Welcome back, Rick. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write the kind of books I would like to read if someone else had written them. Or, in the case of my two YA novels, the kind of books I would have enjoyed reading as a young adult. My most recent suspense novel for adults, The Methuselah Project, stars a P-47 pilot who gets shot down in World War II (a time period I find fascinating) and used as a guinea pig. I wanted to create an intriguing “What if?” story that combines history, suspense, and romance.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
This is a dangerous question for me. I’d better answer the day my wife Pam said, “I do” at our wedding. But a close runner-up is the day I was blessed to lead no fewer than 25 campers to the Lord in the East European country of
in 2014. Both were thrilling—but in different ways.
Yes, they were. How has being published changed your life?
Well, it certainly has not made me rich or famous. Yet, there was a time a restaurant employee approached me and said, “Excuse me; aren’t you Rick Barry, the author?” That caught me by surprise. (She asked for an autograph.) A fun result has been receiving encouraging notes from readers as far away as
saying how much they enjoyed my books. Less enjoyable is when I hear from
complete strangers who want me to help them get their collection of poems or
other material published.
I understand that. What are you reading right now?
It’s a contemporary military thriller titled Firestorm by the accomplished author Ronie Kendig.
Ronie is a very good suspense author. What is your current work in progress?
Actually, my current WIP isn’t a novel at all. This morning I finished copyediting all the articles for the next issue of Answers magazine (I do this on a freelance basis). Also, I still write short fiction for Focus on the Family and accepted an assignment for a 2,000-word story. Short stories are fun and provide a creative change of pace. But after that, I plan to develop another suspense novel I have in mind.
What would be your dream vacation?
I like to travel to unusual places. I’ve been to Eastern Europe and
Russia over 50
times, plus a number of other nations in Europe and Argentina
in South America. But ever since seventh grade
I’ve wanted to travel in Mongolia.
I speak Russian, so I should be able to communicate with many people there. But
so far, Mongolia
hasn’t fit into my plans!
How do you choose your settings for each book?
For me, the nature of the stories provides the settings. My first novel was actually a YA fantasy, so for that setting I had to create a whole new world. For my WW II story, Gunner’s Run, the hero ends up trapped behind German lines and tries to make a run across Europe in order to get back to
England. In The Methuselah Project,
the hero is from Indiana (my home state), so
the action takes place in Indiana, Germany (while he’s a prisoner), and also Georgia, the
home state of his romantic interest, Katherine.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Possibly the Prime Minister of
Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.
Regardless of whether you like his politics, he strikes me as an interesting
man of principle and integrity. It would be fascinating to sit down to dinner
with him and probe his thoughts on a various topics.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Physical fitness has always been important to me, so I run and lift weights. I also like antiques, which are tangible ties to yesteryear. After my WW II story Gunner’s Run was published, I decorated one guest room all in antiques and memorabilia from the 1940s. It’s been a fun project!
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Procrastination. Even when I have a block of time available for writing (which doesn’t always happen), I find myself “prepping” by dusting my desk and the monitor, or vacuuming the floor… The only good cure I’ve found is to simply tell myself “Enough!” and force myself to sit and start typing whether I feel inspired or not. If I force myself to start, that primes the pump, and then the words start to flow.
That sounds familiar. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Several things: First, develop a rhinoceros hide. Your work won’t be perfect, especially in the beginning; so don’t take offense when friends or colleagues suggest ways you could improve it. Next, keep learning. Regularly read magazines for writers or blogs by successful writers and literary agents (not zillions of them, just a pick a few that seem especially helpful, or else reading will siphon away your writing time). Next, although you must keep in mind the question “Will readers want to buy this kind of story?” you don’t want to chase the fads and try to write what’s currently selling. That tide will have gone out by the time your novel is done and revised. Dig into your own soul and write the story that really wants to come out of you.
Tell us about the featured book.
Shot down over Nazi Germany in1943, Captain Roger Greene becomes a guinea pig in a hush-hush German experiment to create fast-healing, long-living soldiers for the Third Reich. When Allied bombs destroy the facility and kill the genius running it, only Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal. The Methuselah Project worked—but how? As the war winds down, a league of SS officers create “the Organization” and an underground laboratory to rediscover the secret process that has enhanced Roger’s physiology. There, a POW for 70 years, Roger doesn’t age, but he nearly goes insane. Not until he reads a Bible does he find an anchor for his sanity and his soul.
When youthful-looking Roger finally escapes the present-day version of the covert Organization, the world has become a place he no longer understands. Katherine Mueller offers to help him, but can he convince her he’s really a fleeing WW II pilot? Can they dodge Organization bullets long enough to fall in love?
Sounds really interesting. I can’t wait until my copy arrives. Please give us the first page of the book.
Sitting in his cockpit, Captain Roger Greene scanned the heavens. He searched left to right, overhead, below, and behind. No sign of enemy aircraft. Just formation after formation of B-17s droning along below, plus his own umbrella of Thunderbolts providing escort cover.
Come on, you cowards. Come and defend your precious Fatherland. I dare you.
He glanced into the sun, then jerked his eyes from the blinding glare. When searching for enemy planes, he preferred his naked eyes, but his eyesight would surely suffer if he kept doing that. He probed the pocket of his flight jacket for his green aviators. Instead of sunglasses, his gloved thumb and forefinger fished up a ten-dollar bill.
Ten bucks? How the . . .
Then he noticed the message printed along the edge in blue ink: To my good buddy, Roger Greene. On loan until I bag the next German fighter! Walt.
Roger laughed and glanced to his right, where Walt Crippen piloted his own Thunderbolt in the wingman position. Walt, too, was performing visual sweeps.
Good old Walt. He’d have to do some fancy flying if he hoped to score another kill before Roger. He found his sunglasses, then slid the ten-spot back into the pocket.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I’m currently tweaking a brand-new website. Readers can find me at rickcbarry.com. My Facebook page is www.facebook.com/AuthorRickBarry. I tweet at @WriterRickBarry.
Thank you, Rick, for sharing this new book with us. I know my readers will love it.
Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.The Methuselah Project - Chritianbook.com
The Methuselah Project: A Novel - Amazon
The Methuselah Project - Kindle
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