Interview with Ed Barrett

How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually go to Amazon.com to find book selections. I also find the public online library a valuable source to check out authors I don't know much about. I've uncovered some very interesting writers with this source, and have added them to my 'to read' list.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I'm pretty sure it was "Old Poker Guy" which was published in Card Player magazine.
What is your writing process?
Everything I write is on Microsoft Word. When I try to write with pen and paper, my mind draws a complete blank. I don't need to be locked away in a private room to write as many writer's do. Often, especially when editing , I'm watching a sports activity on TV while I write.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't remember the name of a first book, but I'm pretty sure it would have had to do with World War II. Impact? We were true patriots when I was growing up. Stories and movies about war had a truly meaningful impact on my life...probably why I spent twenty years in the Air Force.
How do you approach cover design?
My first cover was a collaboration between me and a cover designer. I'm sure she didn't want to have anything more to do with me after all the changes I made on the cover! Now, I go to the internet, where there are many excellent sources for choosing a book cover.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Mystery books. I like drama, but it has to be current time. I'm not really into futuristic types of books, or books on vampires. Paranormal activities are okay. My first novel, Psychic Rhymes, was a typical mystery with a lot of paranormal activity. My next book will probably be similar to the first.
What do you read for pleasure?
Write, play poker and softball. My wife and I like to travel and go to estate sales.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an iPad which I use mostly to read on Kindle and Barnes & Nobles nook.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I did a book signing on my first novel. I'm going to use a Word Press website on my current and future novels. Facebook presents some interesting resources also.
Describe your desk
It's an oak desk looking out to the street in the front of my home. I have a bird bath just outside the window which provides some diversions when I'm drawing blanks with my writing. In the evenings, when I'm editing and sometimes adding new material, I'm in my recliner in front of the TV!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Larksville, PA. It has yet to have a major influence on my writing. I did add a true life experience to my current novel. I would like to write a fictionalized version of my life as a pre-teenager. My wife had me write an autobiography of my life so I have a lot of source material with which to work.
When did you first start writing?
I tried writing in the early 1970s, but this was prior to Word Processing coming into popular use. As I've noted already, I need to be sitting in front of a keyboard to write effectively. Typewriters were okay, but didn't present the same source as do computers for editing. One mistake on a typewriter, required a complete rewrite.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's really a book about a stalker pursuing the protagonist, with a kidnapping serving as a backdrop, and a catalyst that keeps my detective on the alert. My idea was to dovetail the kidnapping and the stalking into a climactic event. I hope I've succeeded.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Writing a first novel...or a second novel, and getting it published by a well-known publishing house is a very difficult process. Mostly, they just don't want to take a chance on new writers. Being an indie author does get the book into the hands of potential buyers, and there's always the dream that it will be so well read that my phone will ring and it will be a well known publisher wanting to publish my book!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I'm new to Smashwords so that remains to be seen.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Having done it. There is nothing more satisfying to me than having created characters, given them life, and dealt with their problems. These are real people to me, who exist within my mind and on the written page. I hope they become as important to you, my readers.
What do your fans mean to you?
Getting positive reviews from fans is a very rewarding experience. Having put so much effort into a book and then having someone say, "I really enjoyed your book," makes my day. One review I'll always cherish was from a dyslexic reader who told me, Psychic Rhymes was the first novel he was ever able to read and understand and enjoy.
What are you working on next?
As already stated, I'm almost certain it will deal with paranormal activities. I'm still in the process of completing the publishing of "In A Manner Of Speaking." When that is completed, I'll settle down and start planning the next venture.
Who are your favorite authors?
John Grisham, Lawrence Sanders, Michael Connelly and Robert Parker
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Whatever it is that I have planned for the day. I'm not sure if medical appointments are very inspiring, but they do get me out of bed, especially the early morning appointments.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Playing softball, watching television, going to estate sales, working out at Fitness 19.
What would you tell a young writer about writing a novel?
I'd ask them, "Someday you'll be fifty years old, and you'll either have written a novel, or you won't have. Which would you rather it be? I asked myself this same question when I was younger.
Are you ever too old to write?
Not unless you think you are. Elmore Leonard wrote and published books well into his 70s!
What subject should a new writer chose. Are there some genres that are more popular than others
There are some genres that are more popular than others. But a new writer should stay with genres in which he or she is interested and of which they have some knowledge.
Do you think a male writer should write a book with a female protagonist? Or, vice versa.
Many writers have been successful doing this. Others that I've read, seem to have a difficult time writing in the opposite gender. It's really up to the writer. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have any problem with it.
Published 2014-10-07.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

In A Manner Of Speaking
Price: Free! Words: 65,810. Language: English. Published: October 6, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
(5.00 from 3 reviews)
Private detective and recovering gambler, Chuck Millstone, is hired by a deranged kidnapper who has an ulterior motive for hiring him. Interference by a revenge seeking stalker, committed to killing the detective, dominates the action. A surprise breakthrough leads to a final confrontation between the detective, the kidnapper and the stalker.