Interview with Colin F. Barnes
Today I’m conducting my first ever interview, so I’m very pleased and excited to introduce my friend, Colin F. Barnes. His newly published anthology sees him working with a host of very talented writers.
So without further ado…
1. Hi Colin, can you tell everyone a bit about yourself and your latest book?
Hi Steve, I’m a writer and publisher. I’ve worn many hats over the last few years, mostly because I have a receding hairline, but also because I’m a hands-on kind of guy who likes to get involved with projects and create new things. Hence my interest in publishing as well as writing. Writing is my prime interest however, and that is where I focus most of energies.
As for my latest book, I don’t actually have fiction from myself in this new release. Day of Demons is one of my publishing projects. It’s a dark fantasy anthology of nine stories exploring the effects of a demon upon a character or characters over the course of a day. We have contemporary character pieces, old-school psychological horror and even some epic fantasy. This anthology has a got a little something for everyone.
2. Your website suggests that you’ve held a lot of interesting jobs. Including Somalian pirate and Snake poison collector, how have they prepared you for the world of publishing?
The poison is surprisingly effective when mixed with fountain pen ink. I can say no more on the subject. If someone, maybe like Dan Brown happens to turn up dead, it’s not my fault. Ahem.
3. As a writer, editor and publisher, how do you find the time to prepare the stories you’re sent and write for yourself?
I have no other life outside of fiction. I’m not married (although living with a partner) and have no children other than two pesky cats. I’ve whittled my many hobbies down so that my only commitments on my spare time are publishing and/or writing. I gave up drinking (heavily) some years ago which means I’m not hungover very often and I spend very little time in the pubs. I’ve also eschewed most TV and video games. I have a few that I watch/play, but these are usually when I’m between projects (or procrastinating — which really is just seeding the imagination. Honest). So although it seems I have a lot on (which I do), I just about manage to hold it together. Although lately, I’ve regrettably had to drop a number of writing commitments as my other projects and various life issues have grown in size.
4. What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Learn to write, learn to take and seek out expert criticism and don’t publish the first thing you’ve written.
5. How did you come up with the idea for the, quite frankly stunning, cover?
I usually do the covers myself, but I was put in touch with a friend of a friend who is an excellent artist (and lived locally which helped). I was interested to see what someone else could come up with for the concept of Day of Demons. We had a chat and discussed some art and artists that we admired and he went away and came up with a whole bunch of ideas. There were at least three or four that were equally as good, but for pure attention-grabbing-ness, this one jumped out at me right away. So we worked on it, improved it, refined it, and then I added the typography. I’m happy with the results, and so far the feedback has been positive. It certainly stands out of the crowd even as a thumbnail, which I think is important in this day of digital marketplaces.
6. Will there be a follow up to Day of Demons?
I wasn’t planning on it, but a number of people have asked this so, so depending on the success of the first I wouldn’t be against doing another later on.
7. What book(s) are you reading now?
I tend to have a number of books on the go at once. I’m currently reading Michael Marshal Smith’s ‘Spares’ which is simply brilliant. I recently finished Samuel R. Delany’s ‘About Writing’ which is a deep academic look at the craft. I got a lot of value from that one. I’ve also got some thrillers that I’m reading by Kathy Reichs and Jo Nesbo. I read widely across genre and usually add in short story collections and classics too. The Vandermeer’s ‘The Weird’ is a collection that I’ve been working through. It’s a mighty tome, but full of wonderful examples of the genre.
Thanks, Colin for a superb interview. If you want to know more about Colin’s world, the links below will provide you everything you’ve ever wanted to know.
To purchase Day of Demons (which I can’t recommend enough).
Amazon US http://amzn.to/Jdy01c
Amazon UK http://amzn.to/HwO3HD