Nine Questions with… Colin F. Barnes

Today I have the pleasure of hosting Colin F. Barnes for an interview. Welcome Colin, why don’t you take a moment to introduce yourself to the captive audience that you now have before you.

I’m a 30 something guy from the UK, who has always had a fascination and love for books, and genre. Growing up, writing stories, and seeking new books to read was a primary focus. That, and watching films. Between those two, I’ve had plenty of exposure to horror, science-fiction, and fantasy, and for the last decade or so I’ve sought to take that concoction of influences and write my own stories.

Tell us, what is your writing process?

I’m always a little nervous with these questions, because it changes so much. All I can really say is how I write now. And that’s usually sporadically, and often in periods of intense focus followed by barren spells where I spend days upon days making notes and dreaming up ideas. In terms of the technical aspect, I write on a Mac in Scrivener for the most part, but I’ve always got a notebook and pen at hand to note down things as and when they come up. I’m a plotter then a pantser, and I don’t necessarily believe in letting my characters ‘do what they want’. I’m the story teller, and they do what I say. I’m a little bit of a control freak like that I suppose.

I write in Scrivener as well and I love it. It makes the absolute panster in me truly shine. You mentioned earlier that you are a fan of genre; tell me, is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

Not really. I write in a number of genres currently, and most of my stories tend to blur the lines so I’m never strictly in one genre. In a purely greedy/selfish way, I suppose I’d like to write best-selling thriller books so I can retire to an island somewhere.

Wouldn’t we all? What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

I can’t narrow it down to 5 specific ones, but I’d say most of Stephen King’s early books, Brian Lumley’s Necroscope series, anything by Ray Bradbury, and of course almost anything by HP Lovecraft. The reason why they influence me the most is simply because I think each of those authors are the absolute best at what they do. They all create their own worlds and have very distinctive styles. I like the individuality and honesty they each convey in their works.

If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

I’d like to cast my current book: The Techxorcist (a cyberpunk serialised novel), and I would love to see a punky/snarky Mila Kunis play my hacker girl ‘Petal.’

Great choice! Now tell me, what is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Have a cup of tea and settle down to write the next one.

Do you have any vices you turn to while you’re writing?

Procrastination. Pringles. Pizza.

Ahh, the three P’s – you can never fail when you have them at your fingertips! What do you do when you’re not writing?

Work the day job, work on building my publishing business ‘Anachron Press’, read books, and watch films. I always like to be stocked up on ideas and when there’s not much work to be done, or writing is finished for the day, a good book or film is always my go-to thing to do.

Now it’s time for the truly fun part! Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

In 2153 the lottery didn’t just change lives; it ended them, and Gerry Cardle’s numbers were up.

Saturday morning and Gerry should have been at home with his family. Instead, in a mood that cast its own shadow, he walked through the ten-metre high archway to Cemprom, the largest company in City Earth, and his employer.

Being at work at the weekend never seemed right. It still had a low-level hum of productivity as hundreds of drone-men and women rode glass escalators and busied themselves with etiquette, but the ferocious capitalism of a weekday was stymied by the ephemeral qualities of a Saturday. They weren’t really trying; as if the day on the calendar signalled a different mind-set; gave them a reason to divert from their usual routine, albeit in minuscule ways.

I would like to thank Colin for taking the time to answer my questions. As luck would have it, Colin has just released the first of a trilogy based in the cyperpunk tech world of The Techxoricst! The first novel is called Artificial Evil and you can buy it now! But stay here for a moment, ‘cuz I’m going to give you a sneak peek!

2153. Post-cataclysm. The last city exists beneath a dome where the mysterious benefactors ‘The Family’ tightly control the population with a death lottery and a semi-autonomous network. 

All is well until the day family man Gerry Cardle, head of the death lottery, inexplicably finds himself the no.1 target of a malicious Artificial Intelligence. Gerry’s numbers are up, and he has just 7 days to save himself, find the source of the AI, and keep the last stronghold of humanity safe.

Gerry finds help in the shadows of the city from two rogue hackers: Petal – a teenage girl with a penchant for violence, hacking systems and general anarchy, and: Gabriel – a burnt-out programmer-turned-priest with highly augmented cybernetics.

With his new team, Gerry discovers there is more beyond the dome than The Family had let on, and his journey to find the source of the AI leads him through a world of violence, danger, and startling revelations. 

Everything is not as it seems. 
Gerry is not who he thinks he is. 
Evil can be coded…. 
Can Gerry and his friends stop it before it destroys humanity?

So now that you have read the gripping synopsis and you cannot wait to buy it, click on the cover and you’ll get whisked away to Amazon. It is available in more than one format, so you can check out Anachron Press for more details. If you’d like to connect with Colin, make sure you check out his blog, or stalk him on Twitter.

Join me next week for my exciting interview with Jeffrey Kosh!


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