Kevin Barrick is a writer of short stories and flash fiction. His recent collection of short stories CREATIVITY BREWING is available on AMAZON. This is a quirky collection of stories that combine an offbeat sense of humour with a dark edge, and in a surprising variety of genera and styles, but they all have one thing in common; they work and they stay with you. Great writing Kevin.
You can also check out his blog to keep up to date with his news and releases.
1. Tell us about your writing process. Where does your inspiration come from and what drives you to write?
–I don’t have much of a process, but I try to keep myself from editing while I write the first draft. I plan out the basic idea of what the story will cover, then I freeflow the rest, letting the characters lead the story. I then go back after the first draft is written to do my edits. For my short stories, this is where I cut out superfluous words. However, when I’m writing longer works, I find my first draft is more like a skeleton that I need to flesh out than taking off a few flairs or hats. My inspiration comes from life. Whether it’s a song, a movie, a quote, or just something I see during the day, my call to writing exists all around me. Some days I’m more deaf to it, other days I can’t stop the voices. My driving force to writing is to tell a story that hasn’t been told before. Or if it has, then tell it in a new light. I love to create and I love walking through complex issues and painting them with words so other people can appreciate and understand.
2. What’s the hardest thing about being a writer?
— I would say there is no immediate reward or appreciation for your work. When you finish the final draft, it still has to be marketed before it’s read. And then it has to be finished before it’s reviewed. So often I’m writing hoping my voice and style is being appreciated without much of a clue to that respect.
3. Your recent book CREATIVITY BREWING is a very eclectic mix of short stories. Do you have a favourite style or do you think you will continue to dabble in different genera?
–Fantasy is my favourite genre by far. However, I’m still working on the style. Sometimes a first-person POV works whereas another story might be told better in a second person POV. I have plans for a second volume, so you can expect more experimentation of genres and styles.
4. They say write what you know, does real-life drive your writing? What do these stories tell us about you?
— The main takeaway I want readers to have is that life is full of moments that are dark and light. It’s when you blend it together that becomes a great melody to your story. I channelled my emotions into these stories, crafting the best tale to match a theme.
5. Who are your writing hero’s and in what way do you think you have learned from them?
— I think my biggest hero is Orson Scott Card. He has such a great mind that ponders deep thoughts and then is able to articulate it through his characters and settings. He doesn’t lose the readers but invites them on a journey of thought as well.
6. What’s the best thing about being a writer?
— Creating. I love the feeling of making up my own worlds, rules, people etc. I like to play god in many cases, throwing my characters through hell to entertain myself and my readers.
7. Your stories have a fable-like quality. How important are myths, fables, and fairy tales to you and your work?
— I love mythology. There’s a resonance there that illustrates how the great minds of old took complex issues like the origins of the universe, the movements of the cosmos, or the cycles of the earth and then construct then into tales that common people could understand. That’s the aim of my writing. I want to take grand ideas and compact them into 50 words or so and yet resonate a truth.
8. What are you working on now? Tell us about your work in progress and writing goals
— I am currently working on a novella series. I am in the editing stages of book 1 and have begun the draft of book 2. The first one is entitled “The Vial of Deziar.” The premise is, without giving away spoilers, is that when a village youth goes missing, his friend and a band of defiant youth speak out against the hierarchy of an oppressive elder rule only to discover dark secrets and dangerous darkness. I plan to release this book in June 2020 with subsequent releases of at least 2 more novellas.
9. If you had one piece of advice for aspiring writers what would it be?
— Believe in yourself and in your work. Step out of your comfort zone. Trust yourself and give yourself credit that you are amazing and can write incredible things!
Thank you, Kevin, for sharing your thoughts with us. And best of luck with your collection and with your new work in progress. THE VIAL OF DEZIAR Sounds really interesting. Thank you again for your time and generosity in agreeing to do this interview.
Kevin Barrick is an independently published author from Kings Mountain, NC. He started writing early on in life, finishing his first unpublished novel around the age of 13. Since then, he’s sharpened his skills through writing groups at local libraries, exploring poetry and non-fiction, and mastering his breakthrough novel. He has several works in progress at a time, always wanting to bring only the best to his readers. Barrick currently lives in Ethiopia where he continues to write sipping on rich Ethiopian coffee straight from the birthplace of coffee. He likes to spend his time thinking of the next big thing to publish and already has a series in the works.