Charles Barrow


Charles Barrow lives on the south coast of England. He studied English Literature and Film at University. He grew up in the shadow of the nuclear arms race, and his formative influence was the 1975 BBC television series ‘Survivors’, set in a post-apocalyptic Britain. It's fair to say that the resulting paranoia feeds into his current fiction. But despite fearing that the Earth of the future will be far less ‘peopled’ than it currently is he remains an optimistic soul. Charles has, so far, self published three novels in the John Mann series.

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
It's a lonely, uphill struggle. But perversely I enjoy most of it. I sit on a wooden chair at a wooden desk. Words come more easily first thing in the morning before I leave the house, before the clutter of the day fills my head. I write in pencil in a lined notebook (usually a Moleskine, if anyone's buying). I find I have more connection to my writing this way, I find working on a computer somehow 'distancing'. This is handy though when I edit on my laptop as I feel slightly removed from the work. When I'm struggling to write I just 'turn up at the page.' Someone else came up with this phrase and to my shame I can't remember who said it or where I read it. When I do remember I shall return here and write their name in block capitals. It's the one piece of advice I'd pass on to any writer who is stuck or doesn't feel inspired. Just turn up at the page, in my case with a sharpened pencil, and write something, anything. If it's rubbish it can be deleted or edited, rewritten tomorrow. I've written whole chunks of stuff I know will never appear in my story, what a character had for dinner, what the sea smelled like, just to keep moving forward, just to stop from stopping.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My friend Jess and I decided we'd email pieces of our writing to each other for comment, in a wholly positive and supportive environment, so that we could perhaps experiment with new styles or genres. I had considered sending her something I'd already written, I was feeling lazy, but then decided to try writing a new short story. I had made no plans, I usually fill a notebook with ideas for a story before I start to write it, this time I just began writing with no thought to genre, characters or plot. It just evolved as I wrote. I hesitate to say it wrote itself but, well, in retrospect it seems that way.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Charles Barrow online