Author, novelist, screenwriter, poet (and other keywords) David Barlow grew up in the cushy suburban digs of Ridgewood, New Jersey. Graduating up there in his class at Emerson College with a BFA in creative writing he pilgrimaged to Los Angeles for the script business. Skittering through several big Hollywood near-misses David plied a trade in writing copy, PR, and professional collateral. All while honing that edge for prose, verse, etc. Some time now those efforts have been enjoyed from the wilds of New Hampshire.
How do you approach cover design?
I see myself as a visual writer. Conceiving an appealing image for the cover comes easily because it uses that same muscle. Then I turn to my daughter for the cinematography, photoshop in this case. We make a great team. I love watching her fly through commands, I'll say I'd like it more such-n-such then presto it happens! Given a budget we could produce some really cool stuff.
For further graphic mastery she can be reached at email@example.com
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Ridgewood, New Jersey was a town that generally did not squash a kid's imagination. Natural childhood impulses were allowed to develop. I loved adventure and nothing seemed more adventurous than creating your own world. Anything could happen, at any time, it was up to you. That struck around eleven and wow I was hooked. For years after, short stories were the stick by which I measured my young self.
In college I began to understand writing as a dance of choreographed moves. (It took a few decades to get the hang of that). My degree from Emerson College focused on screenwriting, from there came structure and scene sculpting, not what to write but when and how. Importing this into fiction seems obvious but again it took time before my feel was right. I've kept very little prose prior to my mid-30s. The novels came after 40.
All of this can distill down rather potent to one's poetry, a passion that took me early and has yet to relent. So verse, scripts, and short stories were the means to achieve being a novelist. Along with a lifetime spent feeding some kind of aesthetic. Exposing yourself to worthy art of any form can only enrich your own. There was a time when it seemed everybody understood that.
Plots like a screenplay, characters like a novel, prose that goes poetic. Each of these twenty pieces brings you incisively off the map. With sorbets of flash fiction interspersed to cleanse the palate. The short story rules are pretty simple: The faster you bring it the more off you can go, til they’re just flying over all kinds of stuff.
Told from the point of view of a suddenly homeless mental patient wandering the streets as his meds wear off, Stone Flag takes us on a journey into one man’s past. From complete amnesia he starts a course that just keeps raising the stakes for 500 pages. Where it will leave him answers so many questions the book continues well beyond its ending.
What happens when getting away with it isn’t enough? Living with yourself can become one too many. Decalog pulls you along at a tenacious pace like the untiring conscience of a good man who done wrong.
Ghosts have no interest in scaring us. None. Of course that doesn’t mean they don’t exist, or don’t have an agenda. What it can mean is their motives are open for interpretation. And there do all the problems start.
What if you could lead a fantasy life, I’m talking big as it gets. Nothing could top being a fifth Beatle, at least til you woke up. Just because you don’t remember doesn’t mean it has no effect on you. Especially when that dream continues every night for years on end.
Poetry can hold up a mirror, revealing not the poet so much as ourselves. A view far too specific to be found in the verse. Words are launching points for your reflection. The lines are a child’s fist holding the bobbing red balloon that is your lofted view. Conjure beyond me each poem asks; the rest is for you.