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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Interview of J.R. Barker

Thank you for joining us today on my blog and allowing me to interview you.

Tell us about "The adventures of the frog prince."

The adventures of the frog prince is about a young prince who has found himself transformed into a small slimy creature and left to fend for himself in the wilds of a moat.  As he struggles to get to grips with his new form he has to find his way back into the castle and track down the culprit.  The only problem is that he’s annoyed so many people as a human that he struggles to narrow down the list of suspects.  Along the way he makes some unlikely friends and discovers a new side to himself and the people around him.

It’s available as an ebook and is suitable for ages 5+,
you're never to old to read a children’s book.

Where can we get your book?

You can get it from Amazon at

What part of the United Kingdom are you from?

South West England.  Home of sea, sun and rain (usually on the same day.)

Your website says you have other writing projects planned.  Please share some insights into what we might expect in the coming years from you?

I have a few works in the pipeline at the moment.  One is another children’s book, the other is a fantasy novel.  I won’t say too much just yet as I haven’t got all the fine details hammered out in my head and I don’t want to lie to you.

I have many other ideas that skip across genres, (I’m genre greedy) so you can expect an eclectic array of books.

What kinds of videos do you and your partner make?

We make documentaries, corporate videos and YouTube videos.  We film, edit and script it all in house.  My talented other half also does some of the music for us (although the humming at the end of your natural history museum experience is all my musical genius)

YouTube is a recent thing for us, we started doing it to hone our camera skills by experimenting.  It also helps to get a taste of what it’s like in front of the camera so we can learn what can be reasonably expected from what is termed as “the talent”. 

By some happy coincidence this also allows me to write.

There seems to be a huge untapped market for those who know the in's and out's of making videos for creating videos trailers for the multitude of Indie Authors who are entering the market of published books.  Have you considered making video trailers for author's books?

That is an excellent question.  No we hadn’t thought about it is the simple answer.  We were talking about doing a video promo for my book at some stage, but strangely have never thought of branching out to other authors.  We’d be delighted to hear from anyone that wanted a promo of their book.

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

There is no simple answer for this.  The only plausible explanation is the craziness my own head. 
I have been known to borrow from my own dreams hey have given me some wonderful material in the past so I sleep with a pencil and paper by my bed. Of course a lamp helps in these situations too, ion an understanding partner. 
not to ment
I’m also particularly drawn to local legends they can easily light literary furnace in my head.

Sometimes it’s merely a turn of phrase that a whole story can be wrapped around.
There have been moments when I have no idea what I’m about to write, yet my fingers seem to know all the words.
I guess, like many authors, I get inspiration from the world around me, and the things that interest me most.

What is your favorite genre to read?

It used to be sci-fi/fantasy.  I still love to read books about crazy inventors and steampunk, although I haven’t come across very many.
I don’t think I’m genre specific.  I love a good tale no matter what category it’s stuck in.  However, I’m not a romance reader and I have never read a book about vampires or werewolves etc.  That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be interested in it if someone were to insist that a particular tome was worth a go.  It’s just I’ve never found one that appealed to me… yet.  (other than Bram Stoker.)

What are your favorite subjects to write about?

I love to make stuff up.  That to me is the definition of being an author.  But I wasn’t sure that I had a favourite subject until fairly recently.  It turns out that I’m rather partial to writing strong, level headed female characters can handle themselves.  I don’t know what that says about me, but there you go. 

How much of you will we find in your writing? 

There is always something of an author in their writing.  However I think the person least likely to see it is the author.  That’s one of the scariest things I found about being an author. 
“What would people make of my work and what does it say about me?”
I’m a very private person by nature, so what am I doing splashing my personal thoughts everywhere?  I’m still not entirely sure that about.
I think the thing is not to worry about it too much and enjoy what you write not what it says about you.  The closer the subject matter is to you the better your work is likely to be, so just let it be and try not to let it worry you about how nuts people might think you are.
What fictional character would be the most like the real you? (What are you really like?)

If I were a fictional character, I would like to be either a Victorian lady and secret steam punk inventor.  Or some mad warrior lady who was handy with a bow and arrow.
I seem to be a bit at odds with myself on that one.
But a character that’s like me… I’m not quite sure if I’ve come across one of those yet, quiet author types don’t tend to get written about very often.

Which fictional character wouldlike to be like if you could?  (Who would you like to be like?)

Granny Weatherwax, one of Terry Pratchett’s creations. She is a no-nonsense witch, with a strong grounding in headology and surprisingly good feet.

Tell us about you, the person behind the author, video maker, and website?

Well I’m a 22 year old female who has the brain of a 30 year old.  I love to read, write, walk and relax. Clubbing is something that other people do.  I prefer the countryside to the city and I have eclectic tastes in most things. I also dabble in drawing, the front cover of my book was designed by yours truly, although I’m generally better at copying things than I am at making them up.
Other than the above I double as a water baby I love to swim and have recently taken up rowing. I have since discovered that rowing is the most unnatural thing you can do on water.

Who has inspired you, teachers, family, friends, other authors, or books that you have read?

There have been particular authors who have inspired me over the years, Terry Pratchett for his humour, Roald Dahl for his imagination and Azimov for his Azimovness.

My other half has helped me a great deal, in fact he’s the reason I published in the first place.  He told me that I was good enough to be published.  Since then he’s been my proof reader, my sounding board and a great help with some of the more technical things, such as dealing with converting files into epubs, converting the art work into the right format, making sure that the book is compatible for all the reading devices available to mankind. *rain aches here*. 
The best part is that he’s not afraid to tell me if something’s not quite right or isn’t working and this is invaluable information for any writer.

Is there anything you would like to share with the world wide web that maybe I didn't touch upon but that you feel passionate about or would just like to share?

Just remember to not be afraid to show someone your work.  If it’s criticised be glad that someone has taken the time to point out things you need to change.  Don’t take it to heart.  They won’t.  Yes it’s very nice to hear that someone likes your work but don’t completely ignore the bad press.  Treat it as what it’s intended to be, an aid to improvement. Your critiques are an extra editor in a way.  There’s always something to improve upon for the next time.
Then there’s the biggie.  Know when to release your work, don’t overwork it or you’ll never let it go.

If we wanted to follow you and your work as you have become a person of interest in our lives, maybe even one of our new favorite authors, how might we keep up with your work and antics?

My website is  ere you can view my book(s) and link to them on amazon, read interviews with other authors or read my blog.  I also have a page where you can read diary excerpts from the pages of some of the characters in my book.

I also have a goodreads and a facebook page. 

You can see mine and my partners videos on YouTube at the Ian and Jo show.  If you would like a video for you, you can contact us through or at our website
us to make

Where do we follow you at?

You can follow me on twitter: @JRBarker101


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