Interview with John Alvah Barnes Jr

Published 2020-06-29.
Where can I find the author interview for "Roadwork" with John Alvah Barnes, Jr. and Naomi Lynn Barnes?
The complete author interviews can be found at:
NLB: What inspired you to write Rollover?
JAB: I'd been using a wheelchair for a couple of years when I started thinking about the challenges and what I might write about them. It wasn't until I became a docent at the National Air and Space Museum and started giving tours from my chair that I thought about combining the two things. The Museum helped get me back on my feet, so to speak.
NLB: How much does Jay's struggle with his disability reflect on your own experience?
JAB: Jay's struggles reflect heavily on my own experiences, though he suffered from a spinal cord injury from an accident, while my disabilities are hereditary. His injury was immediate, while my own situation progressed over time. It wasn't too hard for me to imagine how it would feel if it happened all at once though.
NLB: Your novel raises awareness of the obstacles faced by people who are confined to wheelchairs. Why did you feel this was necessary to include in the novel?
JAB: You answered part of the question when you mentioned raising awareness. I included many things that I've actually experienced because I wanted people to think about how the disabled person feels. There have been times when I've been using my chair that I've felt invisible. There have been other times when people have been friendly and helpful. I'd like for people to pause a moment when they see a disabled person and strive for the latter.
NLB: Why 1918?
JAB: As I say in the credits, when I was eleven or twelve years old my father handed me a copy of Eddie Rickenbacker's 1967 autobiography. Rickenbacker was a fascinating character. He raced at, and eventually owned, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After the war he founded Eastern Airlines. And during WWI he became the preeminent Ace, shooting down 26 confirmed enemy planes. I was enthralled, and it led to my interest in vintage planes and early flight.
NLB: Are any of the adventures Jay experiences in 1918 based on true events?
JAB: Many of them. I spent a lot of time at the museum becoming a docent and learning new things about flight and pilots that I hadn't known. Besides my earlier reading, I did a lot of research for the book, and many events and pilots depicted are based on actual history.
NLB: You're not a pilot. How were you able to describe piloting old planes?
JAB: Many of my friends at the museum were pilots who liked to regale me with their exploits. In the credits I mention Colonel Melvin F. Brown. Colonel Brown was a veteran of Korea and Vietnam, and he became a fighter pilot instructor. He also became a good friend who loved to tell me about his experiences, and we did many museum tours together. As for flying time, I had a good simulator that I spent many hours with learning to "fly" WWI aircraft. Eventually I even learned to land them without crashing. The rest was all imagination.
NLB: Without giving away the surprise ending, What are your views on the possibility of time travel?
JAB: According to my younger son, the physicist, time travel is impossible. I bow to his informed wisdom, but I will tell you it was a lot of fun to think about.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author or publisher.

Books by This Author

Series: Jay Barlow Collection. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 110,310. Language: English. Published: April 7, 2022. Categories: Essay » Literature
"Esbenshade is a modern thriller with action well cemented in realistic scenarios with elements of surprise." Midwest Book Review Evil has come to Esbenshade. Why is the town dying? The answer will keep you awake at night.
Series: Jay Barlow Collection. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 112,430. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2021. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth, Fiction » Romance » Adult
Gripping medical, mystery thriller a la Robin Cook! California Bookwatch Someone is sabotaging medical equipment. Who is trying to kill people and why?
Series: Jay Barlow Collection. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 107,180. Language: English. Published: June 17, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » War & military adventure, Fiction » Historical » Ancient
"Rollover's examination of PTSD, disability and history is thought-provoking and engrossing." Midwest Book Review A display at the National Air and Space Museum takes a disabled docent back in time to 1918. Is it real or a figment of his imagination?
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 185,350. Language: English. Published: June 10, 2020. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
"Addictively readable...A compelling story of forbidden love" The Prairies Book Review This true love story between a teacher and a student takes you back to the culture of the 1970s where they must overcome obstacles, backlash and danger.