Interview with Barry Arthur Cotton

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up along the front range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. The mountains, rivers and forests of my childhood are always with me- especially in my poetry.
When did you first start writing?
I first started writing poetry in high school and really hated expository writing. Later after serving in the military and attending university in Japan, I toyed with writing fiction but have never seriously pursed it. My career took me overseas where I worked as Chief of Staff to a VP in one of the largest multinational corporations in the world. I had to master expository prose in order to survive as one of my job functions was writing speeches for corporate board presentations and communication critical ideas. Later, I was called out of retirement to work as Special Advisor to a UN Ambassador and my writing skills were put the test helping write speeches to the UN General Assembly and drafting UN resolutions. Now that I am finally retired, I apply what writing skills I have to writing history and biography.
What is your writing process?
For biographical/historical work: research, research, research, research, document, document document, and organize my materials in FileMaker Pro. I use the app "Papers" to keep references and use the writing app "Scrivener" to write in. I absolutely love "Scrivener" because I can throw in hundreds of research documents to call up in side-by-side window view with my writing pane. It also gives me total creative control of my work and has simple intuitive organizational features that enable me to export my work directly as a eBook in .mobi, .epub, Word or PDF format. I export often into .mobi to proofread my work on my iPad in Kindle. Then the pain begins after proofing as I plod along 4 or 5 pages at a time. Then go back over and over and over it... pushing each time to move a page or two forward until I have finished a chapter. Even then, I edit and tweak things over and over and over and over- so by the time I have finished a section of a book, I must have read, edited and re-read each chapter over 500 times. As painful as it is, it is also rewarding but I much prefer doing research to writing because it is like being a detective and there are always new discovers and connections to be made.

When I write poetry, my process has been: contemplate things and when something seizes me,grab it and get pregnant until it is time suffer birthing pains.
How do you approach cover design?
With great care! I use Adobe Creative Cloud and spend a lot of time and effort to create a cover that best represents my subject. As a result, my covers often are layer upon layer of design and effort. I often finish a cover in Macphun's FX Photo Studio 2016 to add vintage effects.
Describe your desk
27" iMac internet connected through an Airport Extreme connected to a 10GB hard drive for backup... two wireless keyboards- one for iMac and one for iPhone/iPad ...15 books on my current topic of research... and one LED reading light.
Who are your favorite authors?
My fiction favorites are Nikos Kazantzakis, Gabriel García Márquez and Herman Hesse. In nonfiction, I follow David McCullough, Doris Kearns Goodwin and Ron Chernow in hopes of developing my writing skills.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
iPad
Published 2016-06-11.
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Books by This Author

Green
Price: Free! Words: 2,280. Language: English. Published: August 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Spiritual, Fiction » Themes & motifs » Spiritual & metaphysical
green beckons us - green evokes life - green is a collection of simple reflections about things that seize me like the mountains and canyons of Colorado where I grew up and Japan where I fell in love. A love of mystics permeates the collection along with inspirational quotes from a variety of authors and philosophers.