Welcome to Four Foxes one Hound. Our special guest today is Richard Barnes. Richard Whitten Barnes was born in Minnesota but grew up on the north side of Chicago… yes, a lifelong Cubs fan. A graduate of Michigan State University majoring in chemistry, he is now retired from a long career in international chemical sales and marketing, taking him all over the world. Barnes is a veteran of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division and an avid sailor. Richard, his wife Marg and dog Sparty live in Lake Wylie, S.C., but spend summers at their cottage on St. Joseph Island, Ontario.
Thank you, Elaine, for inviting me to your blog. If I can give your readers some insight into how one finds himself embroiled in the sometimes frustrating, always inspiring business of writing, it is my pleasure.
I guess my first inclination that I might be better than the average bloke at expressing myself was in college. As a chem major I took a course in Technical Writing and received a rare (for me) A. Forty some years later, after a career in sales/marketing and having written a gazillion proposals, business letters and marketing plans, I retired with an idea to teach ESL&GED classes plus take a hand to woodworking. A night class in short story writing put those plans to rest some years later. I was hooked!
Lucky for me I found a group of like-mined and equally naïve aspiring writers who met monthly. By then I had a few short stories finished. They urged me to turn one of them into a book. A book? … “I could never write a whole book!” THE CORYDON SNOW turned out to be over 100K words. It is still one of my favorite efforts.
Being retired affords one a lot of time to write. Since then I have nine other novels, switching genres between Historical Fiction–usually with a military theme–and Mystery. My most recent mysteries have been a series featuring a female Ontario Provincial detective.
Of course, writers draw from their experiences, and I have been fortunate enough to have traveled extensively in my career. I cannot say how many times I have used a situation or anecdote from my exposure to other cultures and varied adventures. These, plus reading the works of other writers, both good and bad, help the words flow onto the page. Let me add that for a writer of history, one must love the research, or it would be drudgery.
I have asked other writers how they work and have found few who, like me, write cursive in notebooks (pencil + good eraser) then transcribe that into the computer. I find the act of scribbling the first words down to be tactile and satisfying. Also, the act of transcribing them into the computer acts as a first edit. An idea or feeling sometimes looks different in print.
My latest novel, MEDALLION, was published this past April.
I would love to have your readers visit my Amazon page featuring all ten of my books plus video trailers for most of them.
They can contact me directly at:
Again, thanks for this chance to introduce myself to your readers.