Today I have Ruby Barnes as my featured author. He’s here to tell us all we want to know about him and his book. So without further delay let’s get on with it.
Can you start off by giving us some insight in who you are?
I’ve pedalled the pushbike of life until the chain fell off. Now living in rural Ireland where the natives are friendly and the weather atrocious, I write crime fiction and thrillers.My writing is dedicated to the memory of my late Scottish grandfather Robert ‘Ruby’ Barnes.
I see you came alone. What happened to my sacrifice? You know you promised me your first born if I’d interview you. Do you really want me to jinx your Nunchucks, again?
The sacrifice has made a run for it and I think I’m perfectly capable of self-injury without external intervention, so do your worst 😉
Right, sounds like you know what to expect here. Let’s do a few of the yada yada questions before we move on to the fun.
What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?
The Crucible – Part 1
Did you have difficulty coming up with that title?
I had a few different working titles including ‘I Don’t Need a Goat’, but The Crucible eventually emerged from a pivotal setting in the story – Koobi Fora, Kenya, the crucible of mankind.
If you would have to change the genre, what would it be then?
It’s a conspiracy thriller (is that a genre?) but also a morality tale, so I would make kiddies read it (except the body count might be a problem).
Just to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.
I’m already confused but feel free to daze me.
When you don’t like writing, or whatever you need to do marketing wise, what would you do to get out from under it?
I like to read and usually have a least a couple of books on the go – paper, Kindle, iPhone – but have trouble turning off my inner editor. When that editor takes a hike I know it’s a really good book. My other passions are acoustic guitar and karate, but not at the same time. Every Sunday I let kids knock bits off me at contact sparring and twice during the week I embarrass myself in front of a regular karate class consisting of mainly ladies.
Tell me, when your muse is visiting and you’re on a roll, what would seriously drive her/him away?
Interruption. I have a young family and have to time my writing so I get at least two hours uninterrupted writing. They’re pretty understanding but sometimes the house gets full of kids and then it’s bye bye muse.
What does your muse look like? Come on, you know you want to say it. yes, don’t hesitate! Wheeeheeee! I knew it she looks like me! … What! She doesn’t? Okay, then I’m not interested. Just kidding of course. Tell me, please. (chuckles)
My muse is female (no surprise there!) She is you, Lucy. She’s every woman. A chameleon muse, she’s the driving force behind the novel. Sometimes it’s my MC’s love interest or his damsel in distress. In The Crucible my muse was Mother Nature.
Different topic. Do you ever speak to your characters and do you get along all the time?
No, I don’t speak to my characters but they do speak through me. When I’m writing dialogue I become the character while they’re speaking, adopting their thoughts and figures of speech. It can be exhausting, like possessed by spirits.
Can you name the food and drink that will surely get you started?
Champagne and oysters. Oh, you mean get me started writing? Mugs of hot tea and crumbly cookies.
Would you be able to come up with an excuse on why you haven’t written a whole day, and have me believe it too?
When I do a beard shaving photo-shoot it can take up quite a lot of time. Or woodwork, like building bookshelves or working on my writing shed. I like working with wood. No, the only real excuse would be a power cut / computer failure, because I never write long hand and always use my laptop.
And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?
Occasionally I have the urge to stop writing, get up in the morning, do my day job, eat dinner, go to bed and leave no mark upon the world. To wake with a head full of stories and let them fade while I shower, satisfying my escapism by reading books written by other people and ticking off the years as they pass, waiting to meet my maker. Then I give a roar, jump up, shake the normality from my werewolf pelt and get back to my writing.
Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂
Oh, that’s difficult. I much preferred structured insanity.
Okay. I’ve spent my life trying to work as little as I can for as much money as possible. It took me thirty years to reach the pinnacle of the Peter Principle. Once I did it all made sense. Those years of fascination with castles, lunatic asylums, abnormal psychology, Swiss country western bands, methods of murder and beautiful women all seamlessly melded into a bubbling pot of novel ideas. I’ve reached a work life balance that allows me to write the bigger stories in my head.
The advent of e-publishing arrived just in time to maintain my sanity. I’ve done the rejection slips collection thing and, I have to say, was worthy of rejection at the time. When I’d work-shopped and writing-coursed myself into shape I had the same epiphany as many others: why did I need the validation? Another X years collecting rejections for authors and publishers? Life is too short. I set out along the path of independent author.
The whirl of social media can be an enchanted forest, full of bewitchment. It needs careful time management to bring it under control. When I’ve managed to get things under control I have found a surprising major side benefit of being an indie; my writing production has kept up a good pace and seems to be in perpetual motion. Four titles published so far, at least two new ones planned for release in 2013. To think I might otherwise still be pursuing the traditional route, rewriting my first MS and schlepping it around to agents and publishers, cap in hand, is a sobering thought. I’m happy with my twenty thousand or so readers and looking forward to the road ahead.
Thank you Ruby for sharing all this with me and the readers. Now we’d like to know where we can stalk you. Erm, I mean, follow, add, befriend and whatever more.
And not forgetting where do we go to buy that book? Oh, you have provided links? Well, come on don’t keep us hanging like that!