Interview with Peter Barnes

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on various RAF bases in my youth, my dad being a Flight Sergent, we moved around a lot when I was younger so that helped experiencing different people and places. I feel this really did influence me and also my writing because it gave me the chance to see life through different people's eyes and see the world like they do, taking bits with me here and there.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is a tricky one, because there is so many. The first on my list has to be The Silmarillion by J.R.R Tolkein, a very complex work that lays the groundwork for everything that comes after with the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's full of sorrow and heat break. The second book I would choose is Dan Brown's the Da Vinci Code, a book I highly recommend, it was one of those books where I just couldn't put it down, every time I finished one chapter I was so gripped I had to keep reading. The third was given to me by a friend as a gift, it's Wes Craven's Fountain Society, I was unfamiliar with his written work, as I'm sure most people are, focusing more on his movie work but this was a really good read, part mystery, part thriller and part science fiction. The fourth on my list has to be Ian Botham's autobiography Head On, as a fan of cricket and the legendary man himself, it was an interesting walk through his life and career. The final book to go on my list belongs to Bernard Cornwell and his fantastic book Sharpe's Waterloo, I have a keen interest in the Battle of Waterloo and the Napoleonic era and this satisfied me on both counts telling the story of the battle for his hero Richard Sharpe.
When did you first start writing?
The first time I can really remember writing was in English class in Secondary School, I felt this really was a chance for me to unshackle myself from the norm and really go deep into the creative aspect of it, I have to give a lot of credit to my English teacher at the time Mr Cody, his enthusiasm was infectious and he really pushed you to be as creative as you could be.
What's the story behind your latest book?
This will be my first foray into fiction writing and even go further to say my first proper attempt at writing on this kind of scale, the story of The Redemption is set in 1882 during the Old West period, its about a man called James Howard, a farmer and family man who has run from his past for many years but now has settled down with his wife and children, living a peaceful existence until someone from his past seeks him out for revenge.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Writing is always something I've enjoyed in my spare time and it has been a long held dream to become an author, one lazy Sunday afternoon I decided that if I was serious about this dream of mine, then why not give it a shot, put the effort in and see what comes out the other side. I remember always hearing the phrase "You have one life, make it count." So this is me making it count, if you have a dream, pursue it and you will enjoy the ride along the way.
Describe your desk
Currently it's a coffee table in my living room, a rather untidy place that houses my laptop, but as I've always believed, there is method to the madness, an organized chaos! Not really enough room to put anything else, I have pretty much commandeered the thing.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I really think the greatest joy for me is the forming of the story, developing the characters and giving them an arch from beginning to end and when you finish it and go back to re-read it to realize how it all has come together and formed a very interesting and gripping set of characters and a story that will keep the reader engrossed.
What do your fans mean to you?
Well currently because I am new to all this I don't have any, that may sound sad but I know that when I finally put my work out there and people read it and enjoy, they will mean the world to me because why else would you write? The readers are the most important part of the whole process, if you have a solid fan base you can pretty much take on the world! I know from giving snippets to family and friends so far, I may well have earned a few fans along the way.
Who are your favorite authors?
J.R.R Tolkien
George R.R Martian
Bernard Cornwell
Anthony Beevor
Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Dan Abnett
Stephen King
Dan Jones
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design was something that I was very new to. When I decided on the cover for The Redemption, I thought I want to give the reader a brief glimpse as what the main character would feel, I took my ideas to Octagon Labs and they came back with an initial design that needed some tweaking and after a few ideas back and forth, I landed on the one I have now and loved the most. If you need a good cover, check them out, they are top notch!
What are you working on next?
There is a few things that I have in my back pocket so to speak, I feel I've learned a great deal that will improve my writing in the long wrong when I decided to start on The Redemption. I think that there could well be a follow up to The Redemption if all goes well. I've got a story very close to my heart, a viking type fantasy saga that I may redevelop so stay tuned.
Published 2016-08-03.
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