I had the pleasure of interviewing an author I have been reading for the past year and have read everything he publishes as it’s released. This is an author I really enjoy and he was kind enough to take the time to answer a few questions. For those not familiar with Colin F. Barnes, he writes post-apocalyptic, science fiction and techno thrillers. Here is what he had to tell me in our interview.
1. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from? What propelled you to start writing?
Thanks for interviewing me, David! Okay, onto your first question: I’m a writer from England with a keen interest in a wide variety of genres such as science fiction, horror, and thrillers. I’ve always been into geeky interests, and was reading science fiction from a young age. I think that’s why I ultimately became a writer; my head was full of ideas and characters and I wanted to share them with others. I started writing when I was a young teen and didn’t look back. I now do it full-time and couldn’t wish for a more perfect ‘job.’
2. What do you like to do when you aren’t writing? How does that infuse your work?
Truth be told, I’m always writing something. If I’m not actually drafting then I’m researching topics, reading craft books and analysing my favourite authors. I suppose I’m obsessed with writing and all that it encompasses. This leaves very little time for other interests, but when I do have a few spare hours I enjoy reading, watching TV shows and films. I used to be a gamer but these days I find it difficult to make the time to really dedicate to games but I do enjoy an occasional, casual time gaming on the PS4.
As for how those infuse my writing; everything is grist for the mill. Ideas come to me from other books, TV shows, films, articles etc. The more material one stuffs into their brain from a variety of sources, the more rich and varied one’s writing becomes.
3. What do you love and hate about writing?
That’s a great question and I think it changes for me week-to-week depending on what I’m working on. But in general terms, I love the creation and creativity aspect of it. I love discovering characters and putting them into trouble. I love creating plots and stories, and I love even more sharing them with others. Another of my favourite aspects of writing is meeting and connecting with other people. There’s something quite magical about creating images in someone else’s head. It’s closest to telepathy that we have.
As for hating; there’s generally very few. The main I suppose is the endless cycle of improvement. By the time a book is finished, I’m a better writer than when I started, which of course, makes everything that came before it seem inferior. There’s a constant desire to go back and re-write everything to bring it up to standard. There’s also sometimes a crippling fear that I’ll never gain the skills to most accurately communicate my most ambitious ideas. But when weighed up, the loves far outweigh the hates.
4. What’s coming next and where people can buy your stuff?
I’m currently working on two projects: the first is the third instalment in the Critical series (Critical Strike) which I’m writing with Darren Wearmouth. We’re hoping to have that out by the end of the first quarter of 2015.
The second project is the first novel in a brand new series of tech-thrillers. I’m really excited about that one as it’ll be the first new series I’ve started since completing my Code Breakers cyberpunk series. This new series is set in contemporary times and includes my favourite aspects of True Detective, Person of Interest and James Rollins’ Sigma Force novels. I’m hoping to have that one out around the same time as Critical Strike.