Monday, 19 November 2012

Author Interview: John Barlow

John Barlow has written Islanders and Hope Road.

1. What is your name and where do you call home?
John Barlow. I’m originally from the UK, but I currently live in northern Spain, right beside the beach in a city called A Coruña.

2. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
ISLANDERS. In a war-torn world devastated by germ warfare, a boy tries to discover why his dad abandoned him.

3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
ISLANDERS is the first in a trilogy of YA novels.

4. Do you gift books to readers for book reviews?
All the time. Here, in fact!

5. How did you come up with the cover? Who designed the cover of your book?
Stuart Bache did it. He did the current UK covers for some of Stephen King’s books, and I just find everything he does to be tremendous.

6. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
ISLANDERS. It captures the novel completely. I also like the UK cover of Eating Mammals, which was the first book I published back in 2004.

7. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
Increasingly ebooks. There are some disadvantages, like not being able to fold the corner of a page down or write notes in pencil in the margin. But the advantages are so enormous that I think most people, once they start using an e-reader, have trouble going back.

8. Are you a self-published / Indie author?
Both. I’ve had books out with traditional publishers (HarperCollins, FSG) but ISLANDERS is published by Storm Books, which is essentially me and a colleague, Sam Bridges. We’re looking at ways that a micro publisher like Storm Books might be able to take advantage of the ebook revolution, perhaps with translations (we’re based in Spain). Who knows? Publishign is changing so quickly.

9. Have you ever read a book more than once? And if so what was it?
Giovannino Guareschi’s Don Camillo stories. All three volumes, one right after the other. Three times in a row! I was doing post-grad work in phonetics at the time, doing really repetitive analysis, so I needed something to distract me. I’ve also read Cervantes’ Don Quixote a few times, because it is (IMHO) the finest novel ever written.

10. Has the quality of the cover of a book ever put you off of reading it?
Yes. I live in Spain, where ‘literary’ works often have incredibly dull covers. It’s as if they want you NOT to pick the book up... I happily oblige.

11. What is your favourite film based on a book?
The Godfather. The film is a great deal better than the novel, which is extremely good.

12. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
I’m into British crime wiring. I’m also into reading random stuff that I notice on the internet. Hence...

13. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?

14. If you could invite any four celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite?
Henry VIII, Shakespeare, Count Basie, Noam Chomksy.

15. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
Keep going. Rewrite a lot. Be honest with yourself.

16. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
I very much like food! OK, so I’m greedy. But I also like learning more about food, how it’s produced and prepared. I write articles for a food magazine, which is such a joy because I am essentially paid to travel around and taste food. What could be better? Other than that I like travel, and I’m interested in ecological issues (ISLANDERS is partly about the ecological damage done to a country and its society).

17. Where can your readers follow you?

Goodreads author page:

Thankyou so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!

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