EA Barker Interview

E. A. Barker fancies himself as a collector of ideas and a purveyor of dot connections. He attempts to present his findings in an entertaining fashion in an effort to encourage people to read—especially men who are reading far too little these days. E. A is an advocate of education for its ability to affect social reform and actively promotes the idea that a global conscience is possible.

What inspired you to write?
The first time that words absolutely poured out of me was in my mid-twenties when the government invited the public to write in to a commission on the important issues of the day. Apparently I or the universe had much to say. This was before word processors and in one day I produced 5000 handwritten words on dozens of pieces of paper which littered the entire room. It was as though someone was dictating the words and I was merely there as their scribe. Nearly a decade would pass before I began writing for a couple of industry magazines professionally, but I did not experience the write through effect again until I began to write Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers! years later.

Was your inspiration sudden, or did it take time?
A little of each. I believe I was harboring resentment and looking for closure. It took time to realize this and to figure out what to do about it. The memoir-like component of the book was definitely an attempt on my part to explore and purge negative emotions. However once I began to write the first Ms. Creant story, the words and outline began to flow faster than I could type; once again creating a mass of notes that covered every surface in the room. For the second time in my life either the universe or I had much to say on a topic.

Did you use an outline, or just write your story from start to finish?
I created several outlines as the book evolved from a memoir to a study of human behavior with case studies and finally to a more entertaining, less textbook like book about life and women.

Do you work alone, or get encouragement from family and friends?
This project has remained pretty hush hush from the beginning. People knew I was working on a book, but aside from my alpha reader, few know what became of it. When you chronicle the misdeeds of people in your past, it is best not to advertise this in circles where it might get back to them.

What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
The most difficult part for me was twofold. When you write a memoir based story you will relive every emotion you had bottled up which is part of the healing process I was striving to achieve. The downside of this is I had to maintain a certain amount of the initial resentment in order to complete the book without noticeable continuity problems.

What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing your book?
I actually laughed out loud as I wrote some of the more inappropriate parts of the book, and I still laugh at them when I read those segments today.

After the book was published, were you changed?
ABSOLUTELY! There were three milestones for me: writing The End for the first time (I would do that twice more in the editing phase) as the feeling of accomplishment was unparalleled; opening my galley proofs is when it became real; and listening to someone read you your first review because you were not brave enough to find out if you suck on your own. I was changed by these events as well as what I discovered in my journey about the publishing industry as a whole. Not all of it is positive but I am better for the experience.

Have you received any awards for your book(s)?
Not yet. This is a touchy subject. I am a rebel--a nonconformist who does not play well with others. I do not subscribe to what I call the Pay To Play schemes of the book marketing world. I will not pay for an award nor will I pay for reviews, and yes this has slowed progress.

Are you working on a new book at the moment?
I am entertaining the idea of cleaning up and dumbing down Ms. Creant for boys under sixteen. I am thinking of calling it: Girls Are Icky!

Do you have any book givaways, contests or events coming up?
Ms. Creant: The Wrong Doers! will be on display at Book Expo America / BookCon 2017 in New York City May 31 to June 4 in the New Title Showcase in the CBE (The Combined Book Exhibit) booth #1657. If you are there, you will have a chance to win a signed author copy. Follow me on twitter for the details.

Also, I may be talking about Ms. Creant on the radio July 13 with Eldon Taylor. I say "may" because we have had one cancellation already.

What gets in the way of your creativity?
Book marketing.

What strategies do you use to deal with criticism?
I have been very fortunate thus far but inevitably someone will read and review the book who does not understand what I set out to do. I have been prepared for this all along. An author must accept that not everyone will love their book. To get past a bad review, I recommend they throw out the bad review with one of their best reviews. The average of what remains is most likely the truth.

What is your favorite/worst childhood memory?
Birthday cakes.

Do you have a favorite quote?
They change frequently but lately it's one from Yoda: ""Do or do not. There is no try.""

What is your favorite show on TV?
I watch very little television. Do ridiculous quasi-documentaries on You Tube count?

Favorite movie?
I would have to do this by genre. However the most watched movie in my collection would have to be Star Wars.

Favorite book?
Again I would need a genre. The book which had the biggest impact on my thinking is probably Expanded Universe by Robert A. Heinlein. My perception of what might be possible was changed forever.

Who would you want to meet if you could? Dead or alive.
Dwight D. Eisenhower for I believe it was him who warned the public of disturbing forces at work which threaten freedom and democracy. I would like to know what he knew.

Is there a talent you wish you had?
I am fortunate in that I have been good to above average in anything I have applied myself to throughout my life. I do wonder what it would be like to be truly great at something though.

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
I have not had any typing lessons. I hunt and peck with some accuracy at a maximum speed of 60 W.P.M.

Describe yourself in 3 words!
Lost and found.