Sunday, July 14, 2019

An Interview with author Richard Whitten Barnes

Author Richard Barnes
Author's website

Why did you start fiction writing and what genre(s) do you like to write?

I took a night class. I was asked to join writers group and before long I had a half dozen stories. I was encouraged by the group to turn one of my stories into a book which evolved into a WWII historical fiction. I discovered that I really enjoy doing the research. Then, I had an idea for a mystery and wrote two of them before being published by Wings ePress. Since then, I go back-and-forth between the two genres.

I recently wrote MEDALLION, the story of a Norwegian commando and a young woman; an American Flyer working for the British during the second world war.
My next book is the fifth in a series. My heroine, Andy Blake, is a Canadian Provincial Police detective. STEEL TOWN is a story about the interdiction of opioids in the steel city of Sault Ste. Marie Ontario. As usual, Andy has to balance her love life and the job of catching the bad guys.

Why this/these genres? What attracts you to them?

Writing mysteries is a challenge. First you have to have a story that is interesting for the reader. Most importantly for me is crafting a good ending. I like one that is a surprise and satisfying for the reader.
Writing Historical Fiction gives me the opportunity to satisfy my own curiosity about history and my desire to put words on paper, simultaneously.

Generally speaking, what is the driving force behind your characters? Have any of your characters changed in dramatic way from what you imagined at the start during the writing process?

I would have to half of the driving force behind my characters is of their own volition. I have had characters completely change there persona by the end of the book. In one of my books the character I had meant to be a hero turned out to be the villain. There is no question, my characters have their own mind in many respects.

What do you find the most difficult in finishing a story and approximately how long does it take for you to write a story?

I have been writing since 2009, and I am just publishing my 11th book this coming June. So, a book every year has been the norm. In every case, finishing the story is the biggest challenge. I hate it when a book just stops, as if the author ran out of ideas. I enjoy reading a book that has a thoughtful ending whether that is a surprise, or just a good feeling. Achieving this is a significant challenge.

Are there other types of writing you do such as non-fiction, or short fiction?

No, although I have thought about adding to my collection of short stories and publishing them as a group.

Has your writing affected you in any way and what would you recommend to someone wanting to start writing fiction?

Writing has almost become my raison d’ĂȘtre. There is not a day that goes by I am not thinking about a plot line or a character. I think one needs that kind of fire in the belly to be a good writer. Writing isn’t easy. My advice to someone thinking about doing this for a career would be to ask themselves if they have that kind of dedication.

Richard Whitten Barnes, author of Historical and Mystery fiction


Historical Writer/Editor said...

Hello, Richard, I really enjoyed your book, Medallion. You're a talented writer! -laura

Skyewriter said...

I love your comment about writing historicals giving you an excuse to probe beyond what everyone knows about an event or past. I enjoyed Steel Town and hope it does well.