Name. Darren Barker.
Age. Damn 50 years young. Such an evil question.
Where are you from.
Born in Hertfordshire but lived more than two thirds of my life in Suffolk, the place/county I call my home.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc.
Education so long ago hm, average at school, family well let’s see, four children from my first marriage three daughters and one son, and one daughter with my current wife.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Well I just cut my toe nails, whilst drinking a coffee, then I, oh I see, well I’ve just completed my next novel but already started its follow-on book, so we’ll see if that ends there, I’m also working through two more dark poetry collections. And I’m planning scenes, story plot etc. on a separate novel something a little different with this one.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Short answer is- A Birth a Death and Fear with Anger and Sorrow thrown in.
Longer answer if anyone wants to read it. Or skip to the next question.
I Properly started writing novels rather than short stories almost eleven years ago, I wrote a of of short stories for magazines etc many years ago, and stopped for a huge chunk of time, not even short stories, I was running my own business and my wife was six months pregnant and my mum was in hospital with cancer miles away, my wife went for the normal scan at six months I went to work to open up my shop, as my business partner was doing another job so he couldn’t get in, I had a phone call from the hospital I thought of my mum but it was about my wife, they told me to get there like now, you’re having a baby, I shouted down the phone that it wasn’t funny and put it down only for it to ring back as it wasn’t one of my mates wives it was the hospital. Shut up the shop raced to the hospital, sat with my wife listening to everything were getting told but not really taking anything in, they said the heartbeat of the baby is very low and they say for me to go home that night to return at 8 am for an operation to take the baby out. Saying how low the chance was of survival as the baby was weak and 3 months premature. We were to prepare for the worst.
I was as I said sent home late evening but couldn’t sleep as expected, got a phone call at 2 am baby has no heartbeat, get in now your wife is being prepped for the operation. Got there just in time scrubbed up and sat by my wife’s head to hold her hand and comfort her, well after a while we heard one single scream very weak but it was beautiful, a sound I like to close my eyes and dream off even now, the doctor held the baby up and then they took her straight away to try and keep her alive, she was so small at 1 lb. 12 oz. but dropped quickly to 1 lb. 4 oz. the doctors had a problem with my wife and bleeding and had to operate further, I was told to leave and wait outside, so my wife was put into a coma and my daughter was well not faring well, and then in another hospital was my mum with terminal cancer, I went home briefly to get a change of clothes and pick up some things for my wife, it was then I thought what the hell could I do in the hospital whilst I wait, so I grabbed a note pad no idea why, well got to see my baby daughter in the special care baby unit in an incubator full of wires and tubes, skin opaque still and the size of my hand, wife still in a coma, spoke to my dad and mum over the phone and family and friends, then sat in the separate ward room my wife was in as she was now on 24 hour special care and monitoring, so I sat and sat, then I had a story pop into my head and this was when I started to write a novel. Wife was in a coma for almost four days and our daughter was still holding in there, I dint leave my wife’s side other than to the toilet and to see my baby for brief moments when they could let me. Well that was the first time after coma my wife got to see our daughter, we were told they can arrange for the Chaplin to come and say a prayer etc. for our daughter as the outlook was very bleak. Then my wife was allowed out and home so I started to go to open my shop for the mornings complete my work (during a recession) get home, wash take wife to spend afternoon and evening with our baby and then we fitted in visits every day at weekends to also see my mum who was deteriorating before our eyes, during which she was moved to a hostel, this went on for the next couple of months with my daughter going against the odds getting stronger still not breathing without aid, we were trying to figure out a way of getting my mum and daughter to meet but my mum got worse and my daughter was still in special care but starting to almost breathe on her own with blown oxygen up her nose, we managed to get over to see my mum and give her a photo of my daughter breathing, all be it not totally unaided but she was holding her own.
And the next couple of days were hard trying to keep a business afloat and seeing my daughter, spending time with the wife, and seeing my mum, well we got to see my mum after getting her to her transferred home with a nurse so she could die at her home, her last wish, we watched her pass that night, so they never got to meet my heart was broken to say the least, never have recovered off failing to get them to meet. So, a funeral in between it all, and sleep was very little so I carried on writing never in front of my wife or my friends at the time I told no one. Roughly a month later, we discussed taking my daughter home, and having oxygen plumbed in for her, when the day before the release day she just started to breathe normally it’s as if she knew.
Sorry for the long answer I missed out a lot more facts and happenings, but the answer is I wrote rather than turn to drink or worse, it meant I could put all the fear and anger and hurt into my stories, probably why most of what I do is dark in style. There was so much pent up emotion there was no way of keeping it bottled up, so my stories allow me to release safely.
There is a piece about this on my website:
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I suppose when my first book was sold rather than came out, though it was the same day. Just to see a sale was a relief and a moment to ponder why I wrote, I closed my eyes to hear my daughters first little weak cry, was it all worth it hell yes, it was a few years later that I released my novel though, and up until that time I told no one what I was doing.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
While enjoying, the quieter moments experienced between the business and bustle of everyday life, Darren Barker delves into the dark and grim corners of his psyche to drag his grim stories kicking and screaming from the depths. He prefers not to be noticed, lurking in the shadows, and observing, rather than partaking of the insanity.
Darren’s fictional world is murky, violent, and dangerous, inhabited by the sick, the evil, the mean, the mad and the wicked, where anything can happen, and often does. It’s earthy and unadorned writing, with no airs and graces, and nothing is anything other than what it seems: vile, corrupt, cruel, and debauched, but still maintaining an edge of humour that makes it a pleasure to read.
Darren’s real life, with a wife and children in a quiet corner of Suffolk, is nothing out of the ordinary. A loving husband and father, a kind and generous friend, he is very definitely one of the good guys, but he can dredge up the most macabre, surreal, and horrifying ideas from the twists and turns of his tortured imagination, and commit them to paper in a relaxed, straightforward way.
As well as novels, Darren has recently turned his hand to poetry, and produced two collections of beautifully dark verses, which although brief, are energetic, witty, and imaginative.
If you crave the dark side, if you yearn for the corrupt, the depraved and the vicious, if you enjoy revenge, lust, and murder, you’ve come to the right place. If you crave the dark side, read his books now. But don’t say you haven’t been warned. If you do find yourself hearing footsteps behind you in the dark, it’s not his fault, ok?
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
First I get the plot sorted, then I put a title to it, sometimes a few words, other times just a word that fits the story, nothing more complicated that that I’m afraid.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I like to put in all my work things that can be taken note of shall we say, as in you continue doing this and this is what can happen to you, best to take a look in my books to see, and I always put humor in everything I do, mainly dark but it’s there, in dark places there are dark evil people lurking.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I write as it comes, and hope I don’t know anyone who is like my characters in my books, so I don’t base them on anyone I know, rather as far from those I know.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I read such a vast range of genre, I don’t think any could be said to influence me or my style.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I read so many genre, that I can’t lay claim to one author in particular now, I did use to answer that with, Stephen King, I still love his work, but I now read so much more there is now no favorite. But traditionally published and indie authors alike, I read them all.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I think all writers would like to answer this as yes, but a limited few can lay claim to that.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I’m one for once it’s done leave it move on, you wrote it and was happy with it, so that is how it was meant to be told, get onto the next story. Self-doubt is always around the corner, just don’t turn that corner.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Childhood always liked to spin a tale, the only part of English lessons I liked was to write stories that stretch the normal imagination, as far as I could, then a little beyond that point.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
A bit too graphic for here, serial killing but with a different twist?
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Writing time management against family, advertising, socializing etc.
A writer’s mind never switches off.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Yes, I cover a few author related events per year. I like to meet readers, and feel honored to sign my work for them, and to get a chance to talk about my work face to face.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Friends with my input and ideas.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Luke Goss – Benedict Cumberbatch – Daniel Radcliffe – Eddie Redmayne – Tom Hardy -?and based in Suffolk UK, as it’s where, so far, all my books are based.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write that story, there will be self-doubt but it needs to be written, if you enjoy it then others will. Sometimes it’s a personal story which helps the person vent out emotions, this is a good way, so do it.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Past Mortems, life and death behind mortuary doors- By Carla Valentine
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, it was at school, that was a long long time ago.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh- Anything funny really, it’s good to laugh cry- Sorrow
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
Patrick Stewart – Why- Such a versatile person in his acting and voice work, so many questions to be asked.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
You can’t get rid of me that easy. I will still be watching you. Why- just because.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Family time, Amateur radio, motorbikes.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Action/thriller/horror films, tv just the thrillers, some channels show.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food – Roast dinner, color- Black, Music- Rock/Metal to write by, anything modern or older to read by.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
A crisp tester.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Author page on Amazon – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mr-Darren-Barker/e/B00EGP2CVU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1493801183&sr=1-2-ent
Watching Twenty Four Seven link – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Watching-Twenty-Seven-Darren-Barker/dp/1482626896/ref=sr_1_13?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1493801462&sr=1-13