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Interview with Barry Durham

Interview with Barry Durham, www.writersandauthors.info
Today I'm joined by author Barry Durham.

What genre do you write and why?
Supernatural crime mystery thrillers, so I guess that covers two or three genres at least!

I have had an interest in the occult since I was young teenager when my maternal grandmother taught me how to ‘read’ playing cards. I went on to learn The Tarot and was even a semi-professional Tarot Card Reader for a while mixing with all sorts of strange people on the ‘psychic circuit’ - some of whom have provided inspiration for characters in my stories.

Being born in Lancashire, England, I knew of the legends surrounding the 17th century Lancashire Witches and became fascinated by the story. After a considerable amount of research I began to wonder what their descendents might be up to today which led to the writing and eventual self-publication of my first novel ‘The Demdike Legacy’.

I also write, and self-publish, books for children about Figaro The Cat Detective after being asked by the eldest of my three young grandsons to write stories for them.

What formats is the book available in?
Paperback and ebook for Kindle, iPad and most other electronic formats. Hardback editions are available to special order.

What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
It is a quote attributed to American author Louis L’Amour: “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

I have it pinned up on my study wall to remind me to stop wandering round the internet and get back to writing!

Interview with Barry Durham, www.writersandauthors.info
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
I have my own website at www.bdeye.me.uk; a Facebook page at Barry Durham Author; Author Profile pages on both Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com and a profile page on my new publisher’s website at www.glannantty.com.

Who designed the cover?
I am lucky enough to have some very talented relatives.
The covers for my supernatural crime books are designed by my niece Charlotte Jones; an English student and illustrator studying at Glynd┼Ár University in Wrexham, Wales.

My second cousin Abi Griffin, another talented artist working in Wales, illustrates and produces the covers for my Figaro The Cat Detective books.

Where can a reader purchase your book?
At the moment, from the publisher’s website at www.glannanty.com as well as Amazon, The Book Depository, Blackwell’s, Barnes and Noble and several others on the internet. Just search for ‘The Demdike Legacy’ and it’ll pop up somewhere. A deal is also in the offing that should hopefully see it in Waterstones, WH Smith and other booksellers in the not too distant future.
           
How do you research your books?
As I tend to set my stories in and around where I live in Lancashire, England, I am always on the lookout for local stories about strange happenings. I also like the old-fashioned way of researching, like talking to local historians or going to reference libraries and record offices. In addition, I have built up my own collection of books on the paranormal and British folk tales. And of course there is now our old friend Google when a bit of instant research is needed. My favourite however, is field work. If I am writing about a specific location I have to go there to get the feel of the place; to put myself into the action, so to speak.

What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
My latest book, as yet untitled, is the fourth in a series concerning the exploits of the fictional Detective Chief Inspector Alf Stone who always finds the weird shi… (sorry) stuff landing on his desk. This time he is on paternity leave after the birth of his first son and his former deputy, DI Alexandra Johnson, is left holding the baby as she investigates the demise of two young men linked by a similarity in names but no apparent cause of death.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing versus traditional publishing?
I spent around 20 years on the ‘merry-go-round’ trying to get my first novel published, with letters from publishers asking if I had an agent and letters from agents asking if I had been published! Traditional publishing is a massive lottery for the newcomer; your manuscript has to arrive on the right person’s desk at precisely the right moment to get any chance of even being read.

I was on the verge of giving up (not writing, I could never do that) when along came self-publishing and it was like being thrown a lifeline.

I think it is a wonderful phenomenon that has given so many talented people the chance to get their words into print without the circus and heartache that traditional publishers can put you through.
And now, I have finally had a bit of luck as my first self-published novel has been accepted and re-published by the American paranormal publishing and media group, Glannant Ty.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
Nothing! I have always been a writer. I submitted stories to SciFi magazines during my teenage years then, after trying other jobs and getting ‘told off’ (to put it politely) for scribbling down ideas for stories when I should have been working, eventually became a journalist at the ripe old age of 23. During the next 40 years or so I worked for various newspapers and magazines in the UK, as well as selling articles on my hobbies to magazines in the UK, USA and Europe. I also spent seven years as a part-time university lecturer teaching newspaper and magazine design to Masters level. I am now finally ‘retired’ and able to write what I want more or less when I want.


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