Exclusive Interview with
Barry K. Nelson
When did you start writing?
I wrote and published my first novel, McKenzie Files back in 2009.
What makes writing your passion?
It’s something that I’ve always been good at. Plus, I have a very wild imagination for a lot of ideas.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing ever since I was a teenager.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
It’s hard to describe the level of joy that I felt. I tried for over a year and submitted to countless publishers before I got my first break.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I wanted to create a dysfunctional team of characters that somehow find the ability to make their team work. My main character, Colin McKenzie, Is the moody, reluctant leader. Diane Christy is the more aggressive force in the team. Kelly Lytton is the fearful type.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
I’m annoyed by the fact that a lot of talented writers face an uphill battle to get published because most editors are looking for the next Harry Potter. I think that’s very unrealistic.
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I usually Let my mind rest for a while and play an X-Box game. Then I come back when my mind is refreshed.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
I have a lot planned and I’m determined to see everything that I’ve envisioned come to life. And my advice to new writers is to never stop writing and never get discouraged by rejection letters.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
I would go back in time and tell 21-year-old me to start writing that novel right now instead of when you’re older.
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I read all my reviews. And bad reviews don’t offend me.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I’m usually quite proud.
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Not exactly. But I do like to put in little Easter eggs about me into my stories. For example, in McKenzie Files book One I used all my old address numbers as Colin’s personal identification number.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
I loosely based my main character, Colin, on myself. A tall character, somewhat quiet and moody.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
The book cover is just as important as the story. I think that a good book cover helps to attract a potential reader.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I find it to be a pleasure to connect with my readers.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
It feels very good. I remember one time when I had a book signing event at a bookstore and a bunch of young guys came over to my table and told me that they heard of me and McKenzie Files. It was an awesome moment.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
As a science fiction fan I’ve always liked Ray Bradbury.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
Every writer would like to be as big as Stephen King.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
I’d never re-write one of my books. To me it’s a one-time only thing.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
Who wouldn’t want to switch places with Stephen King?
What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.
I’d say try writing a book of your own.
What would you say to your readers?
Look for a lot of surprises as the McKenzie Files series continues. Colin, Diane, and Kelly will face several new and deadly super villains until I conclude the series with an epic battle.
Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?
I live in Clairton, PA. A town in the Pittsburgh Pa area. I’m single. Not married. I have no kids.
What is your day job if you have one?
I work in retail. But in a couple of years I plan to retire from this so that I can devote my full time to writing.
What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?
My hobbies and Comic collecting and X-box gaming. Something that I do a little too much of. I also collect knives.
Did you have a happy childhood?
To be honest, somewhat. I was much of a loner and not popular in high school.
Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?
Not really. Just the realization that I can put my mind to work and create a novel of my own.
Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?
I’m currently working on a graphic novel version of my first McKenzie Files book.I’m currently working on a graphic novel version of my first McKenzie Files book.
What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?
I think that this generation of kids lack discipline and respect.
If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?
1. Go back in time and tell my 21-year-old self to write that novel now. 2. To have the time to accomplish all the things that I have planned. 3. To finally make it as a big name writer.
What is your favorite music?
I’m a die hard metalhead.
Share a secret with us 🙂
Everyone thinks that I’m good at basketball because of my height. (6’4) But in reality I never played when I was in high school and I absolutely suck at it