Shane Barker is an avid skier and snowboarder and a former member of the National Ski Patrol. He takes his dog for long mountain-bike rides through the hills every morning (except in winter, when they cross-country ski), then spends the next couple of hours on his farm writing and editing his books. He is a licensed pilot, a certified scuba diver, and an Advanced EMT.
What inspires you to write?
I've always got stories swirling around in my head, and once I latch on to one I can't wait to get it down on paper. People often ask where I find my ideas, but in my case the ideas seem to find me. My greatest worry is that I won't have time to write them all. Once I get working on a story, all kinds of things keep me going. I'll hear a great piece of music, or watching an exciting ball game, and it's like a kick-in-the-pants telling me to get back to work.
Tell us about your writing process.
I've always been a seat-of-the-pants writer. Half the fun of writing is seeing what's going to happen next. I'll start with a vague idea of what's going on and where I need to go, but then I turn my characters loose and let them take me wherever they want to go. In my last book–"Demon's Treasure"–a character I was sure was a villain turned out to be one of the good guys. And one of the real creeps turned out pretty heroic. That surprised me as much as anyone, but again . . . that's the fun of writing!
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I try to "feel" what my characters are feeling. I like to picture what they're going through and try to imagine what is must be like. I hadn't really thought of it before, but I think a lot of my characters feel a lot of loneliness. They end up in situations where they feel overwhelmed by events and often feel they have to work things out by themselves. I think that sense of aloneness makes a victorious resolution more satisfying.
Who are your favorite authors?
When I was a kid I read Alistair MacLean all the time, and his books "Where Eagles Dare" and "Ice Station Zebra" and still among my all-time favorites. Now, though, I read all of John Sandford's "Prey" and "Virgil Flowers" books . . . and while I'm waiting for new ones to come out, I go back and read the old ones again and again. I love the way he writes, and plots, and develops characters. Not long ago there was a minor crime spree going on where I live, and I found myself telling people, "You know, Virgil Flowers once faced a situation like this . Here's what he did . . ."
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I've published with a half-dozen different publishers. I spent a lot of time researching agents, but they're always whining about how many thousands of queries they receive every week. That means that a lot of good–actually, a lot of GREAT–books get turned away. I decided to self-publish a couple of books to see what happened and I've been having a blast!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think you're going to see less and less brick-and-mortar book stores, and more and more on-line publishing. I live in the country, and the nearest bookstore is more than an hour away so if you want a new book, you have to go on-line. I think we'll always have printed books (I still prefer reading paperbacks to e-books), but I think electronic publishing is the way of the future.
What genres do you write?
Young adult, adventure, action
What formats are your books in?
Author’s Social Media Links
All information is provided by the author and is presented as it was submitted so you the reader get to hear the author’s own “voice” in their interview.