Welcome to Inside the Writer's Mind.
Today, I have Charles Barouch with me. He was kind enough to answer a few questions in regards to his writing and works. Thank you for joining us.
Mr. Barouch has been writing professionally since his early tech articles in IPUA Journal (out of print) and Gateways (out of print). His available writings can be found here: http://hdwp.com/r/cdb/ which include stories in PerihelionSF, Theme-Thology, and the novel Adjacent Fields. He is currently President of HDWP, Inc. a business and technology consulting firm, President of HDWPbooks, a small press book publishing company, and has many other projects in the works. You can follow him on Google+: Charles Barouch
Same DiNamics: I read that you've been writing for some time now, do you find a major difference between technical writing and fictional writing?
Charles Barouch: I do my best to make my work readable -- as in interesting -- and that is common to both. The differences are that fiction is easier. I can't fix things which don't make sense when I do technical writing.
SD: How did you come into writing fiction?
CB: I've always thought of myself as a fiction writer for as long as I could write. My mom is not a big fan of Science Fiction, but once she realized I liked it, there was Science Fiction in the house. She'd read it so we could discuss it. Fantasy came next. By then I was an omnivore, reading in lots of genres. Still, when I wrote, it was a SF&F.
The opportunities to write came in technical writing and tech journalism. So, I took those offers and used them to build my skills and my reputation. It took a long time to start pushing out my fiction.
SD: Who has influenced you as an author?
CB: Long list. Nancy Kress was a late addition to the list, but she is probably one of the strongest. Her style is more evolved than mine, but along the same lines. Add in Andre Norton, Robert Heinlein, CJ Cherryh, and you get a sense of my list. A lot of non-writers have also influenced me. I've been fortunate enough to have had many great conversations which have opened my eyes to alternate perspectives. Editing MPhasis -- a regional Mensa publication -- gave me a lot of great opportunities to engage my mind as well.
SD: What is your writing method? Do you outline first or do you purge your brain on paper until your story is told?
CB: My method is to start writing and then let the characters highjack the story. Once everything is in motion, I spend most of my time trying to wrest control back. Seriously, once I build their back story, my characters take on their own agendas.
SD: How long does it take you to write your story, from getting it down on paper to publishing?
CB: Varies widely. Short stories are easier. Once I have the idea, I can do the writing in an afternoon. Then I re-read and pre-edit. Then it goes to my wife, who edits it again. Then I'm just a rewrite away from something I can submit. The time it takes to get the idea and the character's back story is the time eater.
Novels are like filling a huge vat with your own blood. It takes a lot out of me, it can't be done continuously, and I need recharge time after. And that also still needs a ton of edits.
SD: The title for your stories are intriguing, especially Theme-Thology can you tell me a little bit about them without giving away too much? Why should I read your stories?
CB: Adjacent Fields is my only released novel. You should read it because it is grounded in the world of today. Technology scares people, especially government people and competitor people. At it's root, it is really a story about spirituality and how we treat each other.
As for Theme-Thology... I love short stories and I am surrounded by people who have stories that aren't finding enough audience. Each anthology has a theme but can work in any genre that the authors wish. We have three in motion right now.
Invasion will be out on September 28th, 2013. The stories are complete, The final edits are nearly done. We have some amazing art from Aaron Wood and Juan Ochoa. And the authors are worth -- absolutely worth -- a reader's time. Fifteen stories for $2.99.
Day I Died will be out on November 22nd, 2013. About half of the stories are submitted and working through the editorial process. There will be fourteen stories, plus some amazing poetry. Art is being planned. Why read it? It has an excellent mix of authors, many from Invasion, plus some new authors. Fourteen stories, plus poetry for $2.99.
New Myths has just been announced. We have most of the authors lined up already. Why read it? Once again, fifteen original stories by fifteen amazing authors. Each of these stories will redefine mythology. New gods, new traditions, new spins on ancient religions. Also $2.99.
Then there's Reality Breaks. Why read it? How about ten authors taking on a shared universe. It is essentially a novel with multiple writers, all working together in a single continuity.
SD: How much of yourself is in your character(s)?
CB: Very little. My wife and adult daughters read my work. They scan for any hints of "Mary Sue." Some of my perspective leaks through, but none of them are me.
SD: What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
CB: Writing is a muscle. Practice. Do not hold yourself back from crossing genres. Don't define yourself too narrowly while you learn. Most of all, respect your audience. They are gifting you with their time.
SD: Is there anything else that you'd like to share?
CB: Writers need readers. The reason I publish, the reason I write, is to share. Let me take you on a journey. Let's have an experience together.
Thank you very much, Mr. Barouch. I enjoyed your responses and as always learned something new. One of my favorite questions in the interview is authors who've influenced you because I get to learn of new authors and open up my reading palate.
I have to say that I'm not a big Sci-fi fan but every now and then I do enjoy one where it makes me think about the world around you. Those are the stories I like best, no matter the genre. If they can make think about life, it's a winner for me. Adjacent Fields sounds like just that type of book.
I loved your last response, writers need readers. I agree with you because as a reader, we all need writers, so thank you for being an author.
Please leave any comments or questions for Mr. Barouch.