A Pennsylvania native, Barry K. Nelson has attended college and has worked at a variety of jobs, including retail and the corporate environment. Barry enjoys reading and gardening and is a fan of science fiction and horror movies.
Barry K. Nelson enjoys writing both science fiction and horror stories. He is the author of the science fiction series, McKenzie Files as well as his stand alone, Evil Walks. He is also a big fan of Marvel Comics.
Barry is a member of Ning and Goodreads, can be found on Facebook, and can also be reached through Dreaming Big Publications.
1) First, I want to thank you for taking the time to do this interview with me! When did you know that writing is what you were called to do? What is it about being a writer that you love the most? What about being a writer frustrates you the most?
First off, thanks for doing this interview as well. I was called to writing as far back as when I was in my teens. I was always good with writing and had a wild imagination. What I love the most about writing? A lot of things. Maybe the one that I can nail down is creating my characters. Especially the bad guys. Since my genre is science fiction its fun putting a lot of imagination into them. What frustrates me the most? I’d that a lot of local newspapers and magazines have cut back on their special features. So that’s cost me several chances for some really big promotions.
2) Can you tell us a little about your book(s) and where our readers can find out more about them and you?
First there’s my sci-fi series, McKenzie Files. The series takes place in the distant future. Humans no longer live on Earth because of a deadly viral outbreak. So a majority of Earths population were forced to establish a new home in a distant star system. Eventually human civilization rebuilds and advances. They reach out into space and establish a small empire of colony worlds. Then this empire comes under attack by an alien race called the Brelac. The Brelac are more advanced and out number the humans. One of the weapons that the Brelac use against the humans are genetically engineered beings called Reploids. Reploids are cloned humans. Some function as normal humans. But others were given destructive super powers. And that introduces our three main characters. Colin McKenzie, Diane Christy, and Kelly Lytton. Colin had electrical powers, Diane has super strength, And Kelly has fire abilities. At first they were evil and used against the humans. Then they were captured and reprogrammed to work for humanity. I currently have four books in the series; Book one: McKenzie Files; Book two: Assassination Anxiety; Book three: Obliteration; and recently released, Book four: Maximum Deevor.
Then there’s my stand alone title, Evil Walks, featuring the Sandman. Evil Walks is a collection of short stories involving my main character, the Sandman. He’s a dark and mysterious character working in the city of Pittsburgh. If you tell him about one of your dreams or nightmares he’ll grant you a wish. Any wish that you want. But as the old saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
If anyone wants to learn more about my McKenzie Files series then I invite them to look up my McKenzie Files fan page on Facebook.
3) Where do you draw your inspiration from for the stories that you manage to weave together and the characters that you create?
My imagination has always been my greatest asset for my stories and characters.
4) Do you have a schedule for when you write? Do you outline your novels? How long does it generally take you to finish a novel? What projects are you currently working on?
I usually try to do most of my work in the evenings, although I am slowing down from the days when I could stay up until 1 AM to do my writing. I do outline my novels. It usually takes five to six months to complete a novel. I’m currently working on a graphic novel, or comic book version of my first McKenzie Files novel.
5) What’s the first book you ever read that really moved you emotionally? Who is your favorite author to read? What book are you currently reading?
My favorite author is Stephen King. I’m currently not reading anything right now. My work load has put a damper on my reading at this time.
6) What has been your most significant achievement as a writer thus far? Where do you see yourself within your career in the next five years?
So far my most significant achievement is having my full collection of books listed under my publisher. McKenzie Files books 1 to 4. And Evil Walks. I plan to put out at least 30 books in my series. So in five years time I should be half way through the series. As well as working on a second or third movie.
7) How have you dealt with rejection within your writing career? What is your advice for other writers to better be able to cope or navigate their way through the publishing process, be it traditional or self-publishing?
I feel that I’ve dealt with rejection quite well. I’ve actually collected a stack of rejection letters from publishers and agents that is about five inches thick. After the first ten rejection letters I learned to blow them off and keep going. That’s the best advice that I can give other writers, especially those that are starting out. Blow off the rejections and keep going.
8) Do you find it hard to juggle the creative side of being a writer against the business side of being a writer, in terms of marketing and promotion and things of that nature? How hard has it been (or easy) for you to build up your author platform?
I find that it’s much harder to do book promotions than it is to write books. A lot of newspapers that have helped me with promotions have either gone out of business or cut back in their special features. Things are even harder during this pandemic. Fortunately, social media sites such as Facebook and other websites have allowed me to reach new readers.
9) So many writers say that they hate reading their own work. Do you ever enjoy reading your own work back to yourself after it’s out there for the rest of the world?
You’ll have to add me in that number. I rarely read my own work.
10) Do you believe that there is ever a point in life where it’s too late for an aspiring writer to become successful in this industry? Do you feel a late start would hinder their chances?
I would say that it’s never too late to start writing. But I’d also say that it’s best to start out when you’re younger. I’m hoping that I can still be alive to write 30 plus books.
11) I feel like writing is a remarkable tool to help people not only express themselves, but also to cope emotionally and mentally. I know for me I write to be and feel more authentic. What unique quality is there about you, about your art, that you feel represents your authenticity? How does writing help you to be more empowered in your purpose?
I don’t really have a good answer to that question.