Thank you for taking the time to interview with us! Storyheart’s newest release is Across the Pond. His full length YA Romance novel became available in paperback in October, 2008!
(Let me just say you are in for a treat. I connect with Barry on a chat loop and he is always fun and informative. Some of you may recognize him from commenting here - Storyheart - so give him a big welcome for me!)
Barry Eva (Storyheart)
Author of "Across the Pond"
Across the Pond Website
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When/how did you know you wanted to write?
Who knows, I just used to tell stories, then jot poems down before they became songs. The songs became children’s stories which merged into short romance stories and now into my YA novel.
How long did it take you to become published?
I did the rounds of publishers and agents, which is one circle, worse than the chicken and the egg. One will not take you without the other, and the other will not look at you before the first.
How long does it usually take for you to research a book? Write the book?
My book took my a year, 5 months to get the first three chapters, rhythm, pace and voice, then a chapter a week after that, before re-writes.
Is there any character in your books that you can really relate to?
Fred definitely has plenty of me in him, and many of the stories and actions have happened to me since moving to the US myself.
What advice do you give to those who are just starting out or trying to become published?
Listen, look, learn don’t be afraid to ask for help, and above all have faith in what you write.
(Great advice - especially the having faith in yourself.)
Where do your story ideas come from? Do you use people you know as characters sometimes or even sometimes a certain event from real life happenings?
They say write about what you know. I moved from England to the US in 2000, so I know plenty about what I’ve written, and many of the events in the book have some reality behind them.
You just recently were published. How does it make you feel?
The publishing is only over shadowed by the wonderful reviews, interviews and comments I have received. That is what keeps a writer going.
(Barry has been getting tons of fantastic reviews for Across the Pond.)
Getting back to your books coming out soon. Tell us a little about what to expect from them.
The next book will follow straight from the first and be called “Across the Pond and Back Again” many of the characters from the first book will appear and it will take place in England.
All online book shops. and as from the end of July, in many of the normal book stores.
What are you reading right now?
“The Accidental Bestseller” by Wendy Wax. I recently interviewed her on my radio show and her book is a must for all authors.
(It's on my to be read list already!)
Are there any authors (living or dead) that you would name as influences?
Of course being English, one has to relate to Shakespeare, but know the book is just me, even though it has been compared to Judy Blume.
(Wow, that's some comparison! Way to go, Barry!)
What was the book that most influenced your life — and why?
Tough, I think Reach for the Sky by Sir Douglas Bader. It taught me never to give up and keep on fighting, if you're told do 10, do 20, if you're told you'll never do this or that, do it.
(Good advice for anyone, not just aspiring authors.)
If you had a book club, what would it be reading — and why?
I think there is never a book club for the adventure type books, I love sea fairing stuff like Alexander Kent and the Sharpe books, anything with adventure.
What are your favorite books to give — and get — as gifts?
I give what I can, I never tend to receive, just use the local library.
Give us three "Good to Know" facts about you.
Only three lol okay.
I once danced with Margaret Thatcher
I run a karaoke show
I can’t spell.
(Wow, you've led an interesting life - dancing with Margaret Thatcher!)
What else do you want your readers to know?
I love all sport, I ran 5 London Marathons in my 40’s all in costume, I played rugby for 35 years, I still at heading towards 60 play softball. I love to sing, enjoy a beer, and love to have a laugh.
What are your experiences with publishers and agents?
Let us just say “no good” there are not enough exclamation marks to tell you some of my thoughts.
What will the role of the Internet play in the future of publishing?
IT IS THE WAY FORWARD!! As anybody who has heard my radio shows, interview or read my blogs will know the internet, virtual tours, blogs is the way ahead. Book shops are mainly just warehouses these days. The internet spreads the word across the world.
What's your next project?
Completing my second book
Why did you choose your genre?
I decided I wanted to write something for a younger age group than my short romance stories.
Have you ever gotten to a point where a story wouldn't come? If so, how did you get back on track?
Just stopped for a week, and waited for it to happen, you can’t force yourself.
What do you think is the most important characteristic of a prolific writer?
What is prolific? A person who writes a chapter before breakfast or one he just sits down and churns out 2000 words a day?
Me, I write when the muse hits me, when the words are ready they will come.
If you could choose one thing to be remembered by, what would it be?
That I was able to bring a laugh to people's lips and a smile to people’s hearts.
(You do that every day, Barry! I can attest to that. And you will be remembered for it.)
How do you come up with original story lines?
Some authors start out with a plot in mind, others with characters whom they’ll follow to reveal the theme. What works best for you and why?
I start with some form of plot and build the characters, I often don’t know the ending until I write it, and love having twists to make people think they know the ending but are proved wrong.
Do you use a pseudonym? More than one? Why?
Stroryheart is my non de plume, it stems from when I was chatting on the internet in chat rooms. My wife chatted under the name Tenderheart, I wrote stories so became Storyheart.
No, you just have to be that age when you write, for young adults the main thing is not to talk down to them.
When did you start writing?
At the age of 10
Where did you receive your most valuable lessons in becoming a writer?
My SCBWI group (Society of Book Writers and Illustrators)
Do you belong to a critique group or have a critique partner? Which do you prefer?
I have done been in a critique group and found it very helpful. Perhaps when I get into this next book I’ll look for help again.
Would you recommend critique groups to other writers? If so, what elements, in your opinion, make a successful writer’s group?
They don’t judge, they try and help, and you listen and take on board what they say.
Do you ever look back and think, "I wish I had written this differently?"
All the time.
Is writing your full time job or do you have another job also?
Writing is about 2% of my life, I have a young family, my singing, a full time job plus anything else that come along.
A year, I tend to write in my lunch breaks at work.
How important is it to attend writing conferences?
It depends on what sort of writer you are, attending at least one is an experience, but too many perhaps can be just be confusing, you end up writing what other people say, not what your mind is telling you.
Do you write more than one kind of book? Do you have a preference? Is one type of book easier to write than another?
I write YA, children’s plus romance short stories. The short stories are more easy, churn over the idea, 45mins dash down and there you are.
What kinds of books do you like to read? Who is your favorite author?
Bernard Cornwell is my favorite author, his sea faring and Sharpe books, I like science fantasy as well.
What do you do to unwind in your free time?
Well, you certainly brought fun to us today, Barry! Thank you for spending time in the Moonlight with us and creating a little Mayhem while you were at it! Everyone, do yourselves a favor and check out Barry's blog. One of the things he likes to do is get to the bottom of English words and/or traditions, such as why they drive on the opposite side of the road from us. It's not only entertaining to read, it's educational. And Barry's such a fun guy, you'll be glad you did. ~ Margay