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November 15, 2016
Disgraced during the Demon War, Dwarf investigator Snazdaggin Kundarik (Spade to his friends) wants nothing more than a desk to sleep on, a bottle of grog to drink, and the occasional easy case for quick pay.
Then a mysterious female Elf from the posh side of town shows up and offers him exoneration for his past sins and lots of gold. All he has to do is follow her brother and report his activities. Simple, right?
He should have known better. The simple job soon spirals out of control. Spade finds himself sucked into intrigue, powerful magic, and the hunt for a weapon powerful enough to end the world. Ill-prepared, Spade forges on with the aid of his hapless sidekick and a reluctant female warrior.
Will he survive long enough to save the world and get his grog?
Interview with the Author:
What initially got you interested in writing?
I don’t know that I became interested in writing so much that it became interested in me. Boy, that sounds pretentious, doesn’t it? All I know is I’ve always been a storyteller. I remember being five and helping my dad in the kitchen and pretending we were on TV doing a cooking show. I would often pretend my life was a TV show and would make credit lists in notebooks, giving fake actor names to my parents and friends. I wrote my first short story at age 8, combining the comic strip character Ziggy and David Bowie’s “band” the Spiders from Mars. So yes, my first story was a mash-up.
My first real storytelling started with my attempts at acting. I was okay, but I was never going to be an Oscar winner. I also used to create maps of planets, coming up with names for new worlds and the creatures that inhabited them. From there it was a natural progression to telling stories about these creatures, and it all sort of blossomed from that. Reading Lord of the Rings got me interested in fantasy, and I soon realized that was much easier to write than science fiction. For me, at least.
How did you decide to make the move into being a published author?
I like telling stories, and always thought it would be nice if someone other than me could read them. I started attempting to get published as early as age 20, with some admittedly not very good short stories. Of course, I thought they were good at the time, but you grow and you learn. I was a slow learner when it came to developing my craft, and there were periods of several years when I didn’t write or submit because life or other interests got in the way. Then over the last seven years or so, I really committed to writing and working toward publication, and the perseverance has paid off.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
First and foremost, I want them to just enjoy the stories. I don’t aim for any grand message or huge themes. In A Whisper of Death, I do touch on the problems I have with religion in what I hope is an entertaining and thought-provoking way. But The Malaise Falchion is strictly meant to be a fun story. As Mark Twain said, “those attempting to find meaning will be shot.” So long as readers are entertained and get some chuckles from it, I’m happy.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
I find the challenge of coming up with interesting characters and new worlds to be quite rewarding. The feeling of running into a problem and then solving it is a wonderful thing. And there’s a certain adrenaline rush in getting deep into a scene and writing well past your word count because things are flowing and you don’t want to stop. All of that is the wonderful part of the art? (Hey, that rhymes.)
What do you find most challenging about writing?
The actual sitting down and writing can be difficult at times. Since I don’t make millions from writing (yet), I must work. I work in the film business, which has long hours and often short turnarounds, which means you finish, go home and go to bed pretty much within the hour, then wake up and go right back to work. If I’m working as a production assistant I can sometimes write on set, but it’s not always easy to get into the writing mindset with all the activity going on around you. I’ve gotten pretty good at it, though. So yeah, the most challenging part of writing is committing words to screen (or paper.)
What advice would you give to people want to enter the field?
Find some other creative endeavor to pursue! Okay, maybe not. So many more eloquent people have advice about this, but it all boils down to the same thing. Write, hone your craft, write, learn from others who have gone before you, and write. Have I mentioned you should write? And don’t get discouraged. I’ve been writing, off and on, for thirty years and have only recently been published. It can take time and, unless you’re one of the lucky ones, you’re not going to make instant riches. That’s the other advice: If you’re getting into writing just to make money, quit now. Your time would be better spent learning to be an investment banker. If you’re getting into it because you have stories to tell and you can’t not tell them, you’re on the right path.
What ways can readers connect with you?
I have a Goodreads page at https://www.goodreads.com/producer_paul. I’m available on Twitter under the handle @producerpaul, my Instagram is producerpaul1965, and if you really want to get up close and personal, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org. I also have a horribly underfed and outdated blog at paulbarrettonline.com.
About the Author:
Paul has lived a varied life full of excitement and adventure. Not really, but it sounds good as an opening line.
Paul’s multiple careers have included: rock and roll roadie, children’s theater stage manager, television camera operator, mortgage banker, and support specialist for Microsoft Excel.
This eclectic mix prepared him to go into his true love: motion picture production. He has produced two motion pictures and two documentaries: His film Night Feeders released on DVD in 2007, and Cold Storage was released by Lionsgate in 2010
Amidst all this, Paul has worked on his writing, starting with his first short story, about Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, at age 8. Paul has written and produced numerous commercial and industrial video scripts in his tenure with his forcreative agency, Indievision. He has two published short stories (As You Sow and Double Cross) and one self-published novel (Godchild). He lives with his filmmaker/graphic artist partner and their three cats.
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