Interview with Trick D Barrett

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
It varies--I'm either spending time with my animals, studying science, working on my car and motorcycle or, potentially, knitting.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I remember the first piece that I consider to be of my modern work: it was a tale called Calluses that I wrote in the early 2000s. It's the story of a man who loses his family to divine forces and sort of set up a background that's popped up in several of my works since. It's also where the name "Pantomyme Creative Studio" came from.
What is your writing process?
For short stories, I often prefer to hand write most of the first draft and for longer tales I hand write chunks and notes, allowing me to work whenever I have spare time and inspiration. From there, I move to first typed draft, fleshing the story out a bit and cleaning it up. This phase is also where the vast majority of my frankly obsessive researching comes into play. After a read-through of a hard copy of the first typed draft--along with old-school hand proofreading--the story moves on to the second typed draft. The second typed draft will be read by a few, specially selected people that I trust for thoughts and extra proofreading and then any notes will be taken into account and potentially added. Then, the story is in its final form.
What is Pantomyme Creative Studio?
Pantomyme Creative Studio is an art collective that was originally started by myself and Beck Gusler (http://guslerdesign.com/) in the early 2000s to showcase her visual art and designs as well as my literary art. Beck and I have since parted ways, but Pantomyme Creative Studio still exists as an umbrella term for all of my creative pursuits, as well as those of anyone else who wishes to contribute.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
1. Written on the Body, by Jeanette Winterson: I read this book in high school and fell in love with Jeanette Winterson. The way it manages to tell a clear story and still use words as an art form in addition to a form of communication is something that I've striven for ever since. IT also has one of the best first lines of any book--a first line that happens to be tattooed on my back: "Why is the measure of love loss?"

2. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King: Technically seven books, but I'm counting them as one story. I have a massive amount of respect for Stephen King because his writing style hits that perfect sweet spot between pulp fiction and high literature. At no point in a King story does one feel as if the words have been simplified for mass consumption or otherwise dumbed down and yet, one doesn't need an English degree to follow the story. King writes wonderful stories in the common man's language and--I might add--is a master of realistic dialogue. The Dark Tower Series has my other favourite opening line, because King manages to make the first and last line of the whole series exactly the same: "The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed." Also, the final volume contains the only accurate and yet not repulsive description of diarrhoea due to food poisoning that I've ever read, and the latter is quite an achievement.

3. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle: I read this book as a small child and credit it with my enormous interest in theoretical physics. The fact that a book written for--and understandable by--children manages to so accurately describe one of the leading theories of faster-than-light travel is astounding to me.

4. This Book is Full of Spiders (Seriously, Dude, Don't Touch It), by David Wong: This book and it's predecessor (John Dies at the End) were really the final push to getting me to look into self-publishing. Wong's writing has a Terry Pratchett-like feel in that he is able to craft a story that is unquestionably a comedy, but--just as unquestionably--everything from epic to tragedy.

5. Reaper Man, by Terry Pratchett: I find it extremely difficult to just pick one of the Discworld novels as a favourite, because the world, as a whole, is one of my favourite places to visit. I've settled on Reaper Man because it deals with Death as a primary character, whereas others that primarily feature him (Hogfather, Mort) deal more with the characters that surround him. Reaper Man adds a depth to the character that is really appealing to me.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My phone. It's simply the easiest and I'm poor.
Describe your desk
Confession alert: I can't work at a desk unless I'm writing by hand. When on my computer, it's much more comfortable for me to be on the couch in my front room or--as is sometimes the case--on my bed in the middle of the night. I'm a lanky dude and a desk doesn't really offer the range of movement that I like when sitting for long periods of time. However, when I AM hand writing, my desk is relatively clear. The wall behind it has a painting and a poster of Ze Frank's monologue "Invocation." There is a glow-in-the-dark finger puppet zombie and several bat stickers adorning various parts of the desk and a drying rack set up behind me so that Miss Amelia (my boa) can play while I'm working.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA and while that has had some effect on my writing, I think my time living in Philadelphia had the biggest impact. Partially, I'm sure it was the age at which I was there and the jaded associations the city holds in my mind, but memories of that time always make me feel more creative and artistic.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm currently working on three:
1. A post-apocalyptic story dealing with the theme of "If you had a way to escape reality (a la the Matrix or Total Recall) and your real life was horrible, would reality have any inherent appeal to you?"
2. A tragedy that involves the breakup of a marriage due to psychological issues of one of the members of said relationship.
3. A sci-fi series about a group of adults with...talents that escaped from a government facility when they were young but now have to react to the facility's attempts to retake them.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
It's a three-way tie between my love of telling stories, my desire to entertain and educate others and my attention to detail.
What do your fans mean to you?
More than they could ever imagine. I would never have thought that I'd have fans (though many have told me I would, my personality tends toward a lack of self-confidence) and every person who enjoys my work enough to call themselves "a fan" is making me one of the happiest people alive.
Who are your favorite authors?
Jeanette Winterson, Stephen King, Terry Pratchett, David Wong, Douglas Adams, Haruki Murakami, Janelle Canon, Jhonen Vasquez, Simon R. Green, Alan Moore, Winsor McCay, Ambrose Bierce.
Published 2015-04-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Prologue Preview of Cell by Cell
You set the price! Words: 2,260. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: May 4, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
A preview of my new series, called Cell by Cell. WARNING: The following piece contains very graphic violence and a degree of sexuality--though it's certainly not erotic. Sexual abuse also occurs.
Early Days, Volume I
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 9,080. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: April 22, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Anthologies » Poetry - single author
A collection of short stories, poetry and flash fiction from early in Trick Barrett's writing career, the tales in Early Days, Volume I detail love and emotion.
Flowers the Size of People
Price: $4.95 USD. Words: 12,280. Language: Commonwealth English. Published: April 21, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Romance » General
The simultaneous tale of an old sailor, set adrift at sea after the sinking of his beloved ship and two lovers living in South Philadelphia, Flowers The Size of People is a short journey through the lives of two people who seem made for one another and an Old Man who may be nothing more than a dream...