Saturday, December 06, 2014

Author Interview: J D Barker: Books Can Take You On Journeys

Hi there. My name is J.D. Barker. I’ve been working in publishing for most of my adult life, primarily as what’s called a “book doctor”. I help people polish their novel and get it ready for publication. This can be as simple as a few suggestions and can stretch all the way to a complete rewrite. Last year, I made a decision to go out on my own and publish my first novel, FORSAKEN.

Your real name and pen name?
J.D. Barker (Jonathan Dylan Barker)

Please share some of the best memories of your childhood
Simply getting lost in a good book. Books can take you on journeys, introduce you to people you never met, allow you to visit places you’ve never been. They have an unlimited budget and feed your imagination.

About your education
I have a B.A. Degree in English from Beaumont University.

What career did you plan during your education days
I’ve always wanted to be a writer although I didn’t start with fiction. My first writing jobs were actually for magazines like Teen Beat and Seventeen, interviewing boy bands and celebrities. I’m still trying to work this out in therapy. It’s like a stink you just can’t wash away.

What languages you can speak and write?
My parents are from Europe and both speak multiple languages (my mother actually speaks 13). Sadly, I’m limited to English. Note to parents: if you can speak more than one language, do so around the house while your kids are young so they can pick it up. It’s much harder to learn as you get older.

What is your biggest source of inspiration in life
My wife and family.

What hurts you most in this world
The fact that there is only 24 hours in a day. There never seems to be enough time to complete everything I want to do.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it?
I had a nasty motorcycle accident when I was twenty. A drunk driver pulled out from a side street directly in front of me, I hit him at 60MPH and flew over the car. When I landed, I shattered my right leg and my jaw. It took two years and six surgeries before I could walk again. That was a long time ago but I still feel it every day. Injuries like that never fade completely.

If you had to live a day of your life as one of the living or dead personality, who would it be and why?
Nicholas Tesla. The man was incredible. He invented things we still haven’t been able to reproduce with today’s tech.

What is your favorite genre and why?
I prefer horror, suspense, a good thriller. I like books that get the adrenaline flowing. That said, I also read romance, sci-fi, and many young adult books. As a writer, you have to read a lot and keep it well rounded.

When did you start writing? What is the purpose of your writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. As a child, I crafted tales in spiral notebooks and stacked them under my bed. As an adult, I’ve continued. Fiction has always been my favorite. When I wrote for magazines it may have paid the bills but I didn’t enjoy it. Nothing is better than crafting a tale or character who is willing to speak to you.

Which of your work has been published so far? Would you like to share a synopsis of your work?
FORSAKEN is my first published fiction novel. t’s about a writer that creates his best work, a horror novel about a 16th century witch. He thinks it’s fiction but quickly learns it’s far more real than he may have hoped. So is the witch and she’s ready to make a comeback.
Check out some of the Goodreads reviews for more:

What are your forthcoming writings?
My next will be out next year. It’s about a serial killer terrorizing Chicago and will be called DIARY OF A MADMAN.

What keeps you motivating towards writing?
I have to write. If I don’t, the characters start stomping their feet in my head demanding to be heard. The only way to silence them is to tell their stories.

How do you plan, schedule and monitor your writing commitments?
I use a program called Scrivener. It allows me to plug in due dates and monitors my daily word count (you MUST write daily). I typically average 1500 words per day - as of today, the program says I must average 363 words per day at my current pace to meet my deadline, so I know I’m ok.

What are your future plans?
More writing. More books. Keep the stories coming.

What is generally your preference in reading – a paper book or ebook? And why?
This is a big debate in our house. I prefer the convenience of an ebook, my wife likes to hold the real thing. In the end, we have a combination of both. We have a library full of books and I have about 1000 on my kindle. I’m also a big fan of audiobooks.

What four top most things you take care of while writing a book?
1. Meet my daily writing goal
2. Never quit writing for the day unless you know what your next sentence will be
3. Organize, it will save you time
4. Read the work of others

How much real life goes into a fiction writing?
I pull from real people when creating characters all the time. It’s the easiest, most effective way to keep them real. I always base characters on someone in my life or a famous actor. This makes things like physical description, Mannerism, and speech patterns easier to detail.

Is high level of imagination important to have for an Author?
Depends on what you plan to write. For fiction, absolutely.

Your dream destination on Earth?
We recently visited Rome, I wouldn’t mind going back.

Your favorite time of the day?
Night. It’s so quiet and that’s when I tend to be the most creative. There’s something magical about writing at 2am when the rest of the world is sleeping.

Your zodiac/ sunsign?

Your favorite color and why?
Blue. I honestly don’t know why. I just like the way it looks.

What is the last book you finished reading? What is the current book you are reading?
I recently finished Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain and I’m currently reading Revival by Stephen King.

Your favorite book and why?
Second Child by John Saul. This book inspired me to write fiction.

Your favorite movie?
Eddie and the Cruisers

Your favorite food?
Mac and Cheese

Your favorite sports?

What is the force that drives you?
The sense of accomplishment at the completion of a project.

What comes to your mind when you think of India?
Spicy food. It’s on my list of places to visit.

Some quickies: Sun or Moon, Laughter or Smile, Morning or Evening, Coffee or Tea, Mountain or Sea, Long Drive or Short Drive, Silence or Conversation, Water or Fire, Air or Earth, Mars or Jupiter, Tulip or Rose, Red or Blue, Left or Right, Glance or Stare, Fame or Money, Boy or Girl, Day or Night, Tree or Plant, Love or Passion

First thing you do in the morning after waking up?
Made it another day.

Last thing to do before sleep?
Tell my wife I love her.

If one fine morning you wake up and find your sex changed to opposite, what will be your first reaction?
Depends, am I hot?

State your signature line/ tagline/ best quote
“Sometimes the most frightening of thoughts can be found hiding among the shadows of our own minds.”

The last line of your autobiography would be…
To be continued.

The title of your autobiography would be…
 While You Were Sleeping

Links & other relevant details:
eBook ISBN 9780990694915
Paperback ISBN 9780990694908
Hardcover ISBN 9780990694939
Publisher: Hampton Creek Press
Twitter handle: J_D_Barker
Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:
Amazon link:
Any other links:

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