Rick Barry has authored three novels as well as hundreds of published articles and short stories. He speaks Russian and has visited Eastern Europe over 50 times for Christian ministries. His experiences have included skydiving, mountain climbing, camping in Russia, wilderness hiking, white-water rafting, visiting World War II battlegrounds in France, and exploring deserted buildings in the evacuated Chernobyl zone of Ukraine.
Rick Barry is giving away a copy of his novel, The Methuselah Project. Click on the link at the end of this interview to find out how to enter the drawing.
Welcome to PASTimes, Rick. Tell us a little about what you write.
Over the years I’ve experimented with various kinds of writing. But the era that keeps drawing me back is World War II. The type of story I especially enjoy creating is suspense that combines with WWII history and plucks up an ordinary person like you or me and tosses him into an extraordinary situation that he must deal with or die. If I can weave in a light thread of romance, then that’s all the more fun.
Are you a full-time writer or do you hold a day job? What is the biggest challenge/obstacle you face in protecting your writing time?
I’ve never been a full-time writer. Since 1987 I’ve worked with non-profit Christian ministries. Probably every published project of mine has grow slowly, with writing bouts of 20 minutes here, 40 minutes there, half my lunch hour at the office, etc. Simply protecting writing time can be a real challenge. Life happens. Things break down. People call with emergencies. Projects at work need attention right now, so lunch time gets cut short… You can plan when you want to write, but your plans may evaporate.
What historical time periods interest you the most and how have you immersed yourself in a particular time period?
As mentioned above, the World War II years fascinate me. All around the globe, men and women—even children—found themselves caught up in a gigantic conflict. In order to write intelligently about that time, I’ve read hundreds of books about people in WWII, most of them non-fiction. Big overviews of troop movements don’t interest me so much as reading the account of one person who was there (even if he didn’t want to be) and what he experienced.
Besides reading, I’ve listened to much more Big Band music than most people my age. (My mother thinks this is hilarious!) I’ve also watched countless hours of movies about WWII. But for research purposes and to gain an accurate flavor of the time period, I prefer movies that were filmed during the war or shortly afterward. Whether British or American, films from that time period reflect the actual speech patterns, slang, and details of everyday life that scriptwriters born decades later can’t duplicate.
Captain Roger Greene is a P-47 (see the book cover) fighter pilot based in England. His three goals in life are to fly fast airplanes, to serve Uncle Sam, and someday to find the perfect girl to marry.
Katherine Mueller is a Southern belle who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. She is a free-spirited, freelance editor, but she lives under the control of the loving, yet domineering, uncle who raised her from childhood.
What are you working on now?
The sequel to The Methuselah Project. However, you remember that answer about lack of time being an obstacle? It still happens!
Thanks, Rick. Don't miss part 2 of my interview with Rick Barry tomorrow. Rick is giving away a copy of The Methuselah Project. Click the link and follow the instructions to enter the drawing.