Eric B. Barnes is a traveler and avid public transit rider/supporter. He favors the railroad for travel within big cities and buses for travel between cities and states. He was born in raised in a big Midwestern city and has never owned a driver’s license nor driven a private vehicle.
What is your writing process?
I spend years jotting down notes resulting from flashes of inspiration. Sooner or later, I realize there is a topic I care about so much that I can write a whole book on it. So I gather my notes, and spend some time deciding exactly what I want the book to be about, and who I'm targeting the book to. Usually, I have to start organizing the story before I can know who my target audience will be. I've got to get my notes from a chaotic mess into an organized format. Then I can decide if characters will be involved, and if so, how many. After that, I have to decide what purpose will they play. This will help me to decide if my readers have any reason to care about these characters. My first book had no characters because its purpose was to be more of a self-help guide. But The Great American Adventures of Modern Big City Railroading needed characters to bring the central theme of the piece home for the readers.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Well, if you mean the first story I even stuck to reading from beginning to end, that would be talk-show host Montel Williams's autobiography "Mountain, Get Out of my Way." I was about 16 or 17, and Montel Williams was my favorite talk-show host at that time. I remember the adversity and challenges I read about him overcoming, and it made me realize that I knew I wanted to do something important with my life, and leave a powerful message to affect others.
"Told from a humorous point of view The Great American Adventures of Modern Big City Railroading is a very poignant piece that urges the reader to take a step back from their everyday lives and appreciate the big city life that is available to them." - Red City Review