Hallo, lovelies! Welcome to Interview FoxSeat with guest author Shawn Barnard
Shawn Barnard is a fiction author from St. Louis, MO. He lives in Imperial, MO with his amazing wife (who puts up with his insanity), and his two beautiful daughters.
Book Title: Reaper’s War (Book #1 Reaper’s War series)
Genre: Sci/fi action
Synopsis: Hero or killer? This question has plagued Cole Ryan’s mind for years. A life of tragic events beginning when he was only fourteen, have put him in the middle of a war he never wanted to be a part of. It all started in a mental facility his parents dumped him in. That’s where he found out he wasn’t sick. That’s where he learned he’s telepathic, and that he can teleport.
From the mental facility, to a secret government training facility, Cole’s life would only become worse. Codenamed “Ares,” Cole would be torturously trained to become the deadliest assassin in the world. With no desire to be an obedient killing machine, Cole devised a plan to escape the grasp of his captors, and to do something they never expected.
He will not run. He will not hide. Cole will fight to the bitter end to stop the people that did this to him. Taking on the mantle of the vigilante that will come to be known as the Reaper, Cole will fight this war that has now been forced upon him. It’s his war now, Reaper’s War.
How long does it usually take you to complete a book? I try to keep myself to a strict schedule. My goal is to have a first draft completed within three months. If I don’t move through quickly, I feel like I start to lose the story and the writing can become stale. Once the first draft is complete, I am also currently do my own editing. That process usually takes me around a month to two months. Once that process is complete, I have a few people that act as my beta readers. They look for any mistakes I may have missed. For them to read and get back to me, and for me to fix any final mistakes takes around another month. So, overall, writing a book for me takes right around six months.
Do you listen to music or watch TV/movie while you write? Music is necessary for me when I write. It helps me get in the right frame of mind for the scene at hand. From using harder rock or metal to write my action scenes, to slower more emotional music to help with the more intimate and emotional scenes. Music always seems to keep me in the frame of mind I need to keep the words flowing.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just seeing where an idea takes you? I’d say a little of both. Once I have the idea, the most important thing to me is the characters. That’s where my only outlining comes in. I write a short character bio for the main players in the story. This helps me get in the mindset for actions and dialogue for that character’s scenes. Other than that, I just let story take me where it wants to go.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he do that is so special? I think what makes Cole so unique is that he isn’t your typical hero. He’s not the guy you are going to bet on. He’s damaged and emotionally unstable. His life has been hell since he was five years old. Cole wants to do the right thing, but doesn’t always know how. His go to problem solving is to kill, and that can make him seem like a villain instead.
You mentioned you’re writing a new story. How about a teaser? I am currently working on the second installment of the Reaper’s War series. Without giving away too much from the first for potential readers, I can try to tease a little. The second book will begin with Cole in a much better place in life than he has ever known. With good of course, comes bad as well. Cole has come to rely heavily on Abraham’s inventions, and has begun to stray from Nakata’s teachings. A new adversary, more deadly than Cole has ever faced, is coming to destroy everything Cole has built. Left physically, and mentally broken from their first encounter. It will be up to the team to put Cole back together, and a new character to take him back to the basics.
What is your next project? Once the second installment is complete and published. I plan to take a step back from the series for a moment. I have a lot of project ideas written in my notebook. It will be tough to decide which one gets to come up to bat next, but I feel this early in my career it’s a must that I show I can do more than just one series.
Do you or have you sat down and read your book fresh off the presses as if it wasn’t yours? And if you did, what was it like? I can say that the first time I held my copy of Reaper’s War in my hand, it was one of the most surreal experiences of my life. It was really a holy shit moment for me. I wrote this, and I’m holding it as an actual book in my hands. I have not read it though, simply because I’ve read the story around a dozen times during the editing process. Once you’ve done that whole process, it kind of kills the desire to read that book, at least for me.
What do your readers mean to you? Everything, every author desires to have their work appreciated. I’m a new author, Reaper’s War is my first book, and I don’t have a large following to speak of. I believe around fifty people in total have read the book. It’s humbling to discover just how hard it is to find readers. I didn’t come into this thinking that everyone in the world was going to just flock immediately to my writing. It’s a long and hard to become a popular author. I feel I have what it takes to take the hits along the way, and I look forward to gaining more readers no matter how long it takes.
Is there anything else you would like to add? Yes, thank you for the opportunity of doing this interview. I always enjoy connecting with new people within the business. I again would like to sincerely thank anyone that has taken the time to read my work, and thank you in advance to anyone that decides to give reaper’s War a chance from reading this interview.
Many thanks for sharing Shawn! For more about Shawn and to get your own copy of his works, follow the links below: