Friday, June 10, 2011

Dishing it up with Ian Barker

Today I have the pleasure of dishing it up with Ian Barker, author of Fallen Star. Ian has always dabbled in writing since leaving school. However, he spent almost 20 years working in IT before he discovered that writing about computers was easier than fixing them. He is now editor of PC Utilities magazine and lives and works in Greater Manchester, UK. Fallen Star is his début novel.

JET: Thanks for joining us Ian. Can you tell us about Fallen Star?

Ian: Fallen Star is about discovering that there are more important things in life than fame and celebrity. It follows boy band member Karl on his downward spiral from stardom, taking in some terrorism, family conflict, a look at how our lives are influenced by our parents and falling in love along the way.

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

Ian: I think, as for any new author, it’s getting that initial foot in the door of publication. Whether that’s with a short story or something more substation. You need that affirmation that you have what it takes. I think most new writers make the mistake of sending out stuff before its ready. It’s important to learn the discipline to hold back and polish your craft.

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

Ian: I got one of my early breaks into getting writing accepted doing topical comedy radio sketches. Hearing your words spoken by professional actors is a fantastic buzz.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

Ian: As a teenager I read a lot of Alistair MacLean. Not a great writer in the literary sense but boy can he tell a story!

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

Ian: I’ve always been a writer on some sort of level, though I spent a long time doing other things with just the odd bit of writing here and there. It wasn’t until turning forty that I began to approach it more seriously, a desire to leave something behind perhaps? That ultimately led to a shift of career direction as I ended up writing for computer magazines – classic write what you know.

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

Ian: I’ve stood out in the rain in order to work out how to describe what it feels like. I discovered you get very wet.

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?

Ian: I’m still very fond of my first – and as yet unpublished – novel. Why? Because it’s a very personal story. As it stands I think that works against it, but someday I’m definitely going to go back and write it better, with a little more detachment.

JET: Any advice for the novices out there?

Ian: Write first research later. If you do a lot of research up front you’re tempted to include it all and you end up with a book that reads like an encyclopedia. Concentrate on telling the story then do your research to make sure you have the facts straight.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with: Paper or Plastic?

Ian: Paper.

JET: Steak or Tofu?

Ian: Steak.

JET: Beach or Mountains?

Ian: Beach, I grew up by the sea.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

Ian: Tough call. Rock-n-Roll, as long as I can still have access to Willie Nelson and Don Williams.

JET: Paper or Digital?

Ian: Digital, it was a long hard road but I’ve eventually trained myself to write straight to the computer rather than doing it longhand first.

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

Ian: Silent classics (with the proviso that Charlie Chaplin really isn’t funny).

JET: Coffee or Tea?

Ian: Tea, black no sugar, thanks.

JET: Salty or Sweet?

Ian: Sweet.

JET: Top 10 best seller or Unknown Back Shelf Find?

Ian: Back shelf find, but it’s important to read the best sellers too.

JET: 2012 Mayan Prophecy Believer or Ain’t Gonna Happen?

Ian: Ain’t gonna happen – at least I hope not after we’ve spent all that money on the Olympics.

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?

Ian: I’m working on a sequel to Fallen Star which picks up the main characters a few years further on. I don’t see this turning into a long series though.

JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Ian Barker and his work at the following places:

Swing in next week when I have Morgan Gallagher on tap.

Until then,




J. H. Bográn said...

Great interview. I particularly liked the geeky questions. Guess I´m one too. :-)

JETaylor said...

Thanks Jose!