Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tom Barry Interview and Signed Giveaway

Hello fans! I'd like you to meet Tom Barry. 

" I gave up on my business career in my mid-forties, I just didn’t tell my boss! Find something you enjoy doing, and you’ll never work another day." - TomBarrywrites.com 

Author of:
A story of seduction, deception and betrayal... 

When restless and neglected Isobel is invited to an idyllic Tuscan retreat by the suave and streetwise Jay, she imagines a life of excitement outside her stagnant marriage. Despite fear and guilt, she abandons herself in a passionate love affair, but is soon trapped in a web of feminine manipulation, business intrigue, and ruthless ambition, while controlling Jay encourages conservative Isobel to push beyond her sexual boundaries.

But all is not as it seems in the hilltop paradise and as her lover battles for survival, she finds herself a player in a dangerous love triangle. Unable to know who she can trust, she must fight to control both her own cravings and to save what little of herself is left. As her life falls apart, she is torn between the consequences of infidelity, her love for Jay, and fear that he will be her nemesis. For both Isobel and Jay, the excesses and confusions of an uncertain and largely amoral age are about to be brought home to roost, right in the heart of their lives.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

My dream job when I was at school was to be a journalist, so I guess I’ve always wanted to be a writer, ever since I first fell in love with books.

How long did it take you to write your book?

3 months to write it, six months to edit it, and 9 months to ag
ree the cover. And there is some truth in all of that. But it was around a two year journey to publication.

What genre is your book? What made you choose to write in that category?

My book is part romantic suspense and part business thriller. So cross genre. I’m told only three things sell in books, romance, sex and violence. In When the Siren Calls you get the first two, plus plenty of high emotion and conflict. I did start with a story in mind, but I also thought long and hard about my target audience, and what they want to read. Someone described the book as “The thinking Woman’s Fifty Shades”.  I wrote a book that I felt would appeal first and foremost to women readers of quality fiction, an audience that read across genres, and was comfortable with sensuality.

What was your work schedule like when you were writing?

Totally erratic. Even though writing is what I do, I fit my writing into and around other things. Looking forward, I intend to be more organised and to set myself targets and deadlines. I work best to deadlines, and there’s a lot to be said for a target of writing a manuscript in 3 months. But then comes the hard bit, re-writing and editing. If over the next 90 days I can write an average of 1,000 words a day, then I will have another manuscript completed.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I’m not big into planning and plotting. I start with an idea and a couple of characters, and then I build out a synopsis. From then on, lots of things happen I didn’t expect. Some people say my method involves unnecessary re-work, and they may be right. But where’s the fun in slavishly following a methodology, churning out one more formulaic novel after another.

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

Ideas just come to me. I don’t work at coming up with them. I think the well I am drawing on is really my life experiences. The trick is to recognize a good story line  idea when it hits you. But if I have a vivid dream I will sometimes write it down before I forget it. So far I have drawn on contexts and settings that I know about, places I’ve been, people I’ve known and so on, so I haven’t had to go off and research my books as such.

How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?

I have written short stories which have been published either in my name or a pen name; I wrote two books before I published When the Siren Calls - ‘The Tuscan Pimpernel’ and ‘Beauty and Biscotti’,, and one day I might publish them, but that was the period I was learning the craft skills, so maybe better left on my shelf. Saving Jay is book two in the Siren Calls trilogy, and there is a Prequel version available exclusively on Amazon. When the Siren Calls is my debut fully published novel, so that’s my favorite.

When the Siren Calls is available in paperback and eBook format from Amazon, B&N, Waterstone’s, WHSmith, and at all good book stores.
Tom Barry Amazon Author page

When the Siren Calls
When the Siren Calls Amazon

Saving Jay
Saving Jay on Amazon

Erotic Seduction
Erotic Seduction on Amazon

When the Siren Calls - Prequel Free on Smashwords

Are you currently working on another book? If so, is it part of a series or something different?

I am currently completing book two of the “Siren Calls’ trilogy. It will be out later this year.

What do you like to do when you're not writing?

Reading, of course, but also more active things to get me out of the house, like playing tennis, sailing, and watching soccer. I eat out most days, particularly when outside the UK, but that is more about getting out of the house than anything else.

What does your family think of your writing?

Writing has been a complete change from my life in the Corporate world. The family is very supportive and tell me they like what I write, but who knows if they do. I will consider it success when my 20 year old son finishes any book, particularly one of mine.

What was one of the most surprising things you learned about yourself in creating your books?

That my skin is not as thick as I thought it was and how much I detest self-promotion. You have to do it, or you won’t sell any books, but it’s a tough gig. I thought with my sales and marketing background it would be easy, but promoting yourself and your own artistic creations, is very different to pitching the products of a corporation.

Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? If so, what are they?  

Master ‘Elements of Style” by William Strunk. Read and write as much as you can. Check out Stephen King’s book “On Writing”.

Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?

It’s a great compliment to an author to hear from readers. Most contact me to say that they enjoyed the book, or some aspect of the book. Over a thousand readers requested an advance copy of When the Siren Calls, and I do read the reviews they write. I will normally thank anyone who posts a review, but I do not engage in discussion with reviewers. I do study reviews and seek to learn from them,but I never angst over a bad review. If your work only gets good reviews it is truly mediocre.

What do you think makes a good story?

Interesting characters with a goal worth fighting for. As a writer you need to drop your protagonist  in hot water as early as possible, and find ways to make it hotter. If you can keep the reader unconsciously asking ‘and what happens next,” you’ve got a good story.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 

That’s easy, be a professional football player. Unfortunately my estimation of my own footballing abilities defied all evidence to the contrary.

Are you self published or do you have a publisher? If self published, what made you decide to go that route?

I chose to self-publish because it is too difficult and takes too long for an unknown author to find a publisher. Only 1 in 1,000 manuscripts submitted are ever published, and the best ones are in the 999. Unfortunately, eBooks have allowed self publication of work that should not see the light of day from well intended but deluded writers. What’s important if you self-publish is that you put your manuscript  through all the same hoops as a traditionally published book. That means independent review, editorial advice, rigorous re-writing and forensic proof-reading. You need to use some sort of focus group to test the title and the cover and then you need to market it, using professional help if you can afford it. With 500 new titles released  every day, if you don’t market your book, no-matter how good it is, it will not be read.

Website http://tombarrywrites.com  

Twitter @tombarry100 
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/WhentheSirenCalls

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