Name Tom Barczak
Norman, Oklahoma United States
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I am an Artist turned Architect turned Author. I am raising 3 sons and write in the evenings or whenever I have the time.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My second novel, Mouth of the Dragon, of which I am very excited, is scheduled for 2016 Spring/Summer release by Persied Press.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Always wanted to. Used to write off and on. About 10 years ago I made the decision to actually do the work necessary be any good at it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I made the commitment to be one. Writers write. So yeah, as soon as I made the commitment to write and followed through with it. Sometimes I think writing and publishing actually have nothing to do with each other. An unpublished writer is no less a writer. And just because your published doesn’t necessarily mean that your any good at writing.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was a story I had been watching unfold for years in my paintings, poetry and short stories. It was the only book I could write. I couldn’t not.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. Mine. Turns out, my first draft, I write what turns out to be something almost like a movie script. I always have to go back and edit in words, not out. Over the years, by necessity, I’ve learned to write in short spurts. It was the only way I had the time. Anything else became just an excuse simply not to write.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My writing contains a lot of allegory. For Veil of the Dragon, it has to do with all the ways evil can hide inside each of us. For my new novel, Mouth of the Dragon, it has a lot to do with how evil can call to us.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. Though I dare to say it’s not deliberate. It’s got more to do with what I think I need to hear myself, that there is always hope, that there is always good. That there is a bit of good in the worst of us and a bit of bad in the best of us. That love of and service to others more than of oneself is the best thing anyone can do.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ?
Very little in that it’s pure fantasy, but aside from that, quite a lot, really. Everything aside from magic is based on real world parallels, the cultures, the weapons, the time period, how someone would have interacted with the world when your world only extended 30 miles in any direction. The fall of the Roman Empire plays a huge influence.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I lost my daughter 13 years ago, when she was 2 ½. She died suddenly and unexpectedly. My best guess was it was from Lyme disease from a tick bite that had gone dormant. Still don’t know for sure. So death and rebirth seems to be a common thread in there, in my writing That, and children serving as heroes and as teachers.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Books? The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Belgariad, Codex Alera by Jim Butcher, Dragonlance, Enders Game, William Bernhardt, Stephen King, Peter Straub, and Janet Morris. Mentor? Janet Morris bar none. She has been an amazing resource and influence.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Honestly. I’m in-between right now.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Michael Isreal-Jarvis, Walter Rhein, Seth Lindberg, Jason McIntyre and Jack Finley. Very talented, all.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
The third novel in the Evarun series, Hands of the Dragon, and two short stories for Persied Press.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do. The hardest part for me is deciding how best to manage the time and resources necessary to build my career. It does not pay well in the beginning and it takes time and effort to build up a solid foundation. But it’s certainly possible. You just need to know what you want and be willing to commit to the time and the work.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Hard to say. Yes. Its with the editor now, so I may still get the chance.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Sitting on my front porch as a kid. I would make up stories all the time. I would write them and I would illustrate them.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Beneath the twelfth new moon, 73 CE
Down a thin rope and scarcely a stair he’d come, around the first sentry and then from behind. It took patience not to be seen, crawling slow between the jagged stones.
Lavi’s plunged his sicae, in and out, a single drumbeat through the roman’s jugular. A muffled gurgle cried beneath his hand. He let his enemy down slow upon the jagged stones.
He moved slower still as he buried the body beneath them one by one.
The romans would find their man by dawn. They would notice his absence sooner. But it didn’t matter, because when dawn and sentries came, he would already be dead.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The brevity in which I write. I judge myself too much about that. I’m learning to accept it though, while still getting better.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Jim Butcher. He has both an intelligence and a lack of pretentiousness that I find appealing. He draws you in and makes you want to stay. His writing has depth and weight.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not too much. I would like to though. Hopefully I’ll have that opportunity in the next couple of years.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’ve done all of the ones I’ve published on my own. Persied Press has an art director named Roy Maurtenson, who is really quite good, amazing, really. The cover he is designing for Mouth of the Dragon is exceptional.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Making the commitment and following through on the commitment to write it. I’m a father with three sons and a career as an architect. Writing, if I’m not careful, can take time and energy away from these things and it shouldn’t. But I can’t use that as an excuse not to do write. That, and the days of self-doubt when I didn’t think I was good enough writer to pull it off. I don’t get to use that as an excuse either.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That I’m growing as a writer by leaps and bounds.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t make excuses.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your investment in me.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Sydney the Sea Serpent, or Where the Wild Things are. One of those two.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
George Lucas, or Gary Gygax. Either one.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I like to paint and draw. That and I am starting to get back into dungeons and dragons, again.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Italian / blue / electronic
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d have been a geologist. I like rocks. I understand their tactility in the way I understand words, or paint pigments. They’re like music to me.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Amazon Author Page: