Featured Interview With Shane Barker
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I live in a small town in central Utah where I own a small horse farm. I have one dog (a black lab named Keena who I rescued from a shelter). Every morning, as soon as it’s light, we go out to the farm and go mountain biking for an hour or so. (I have a Fat Bike for when it snows, but when the snow gets too deep we cross-country ski.) Once we’re back I like to sit on the tailgate of my truck and work on my books. (I mix that up with the farm chores . . . write a little, work a little, play with the dog, write some more.) It’s while I’m out riding (or skiing) that I come up with a lot of the ideas for my stories. I always carry a notebook and pen, and I’ll stop several times during my ride to write down thoughts and ideas.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I’ve always loved reading, and I started writing stories when I was in fifth grade. One of the first books I remember reading was called “Up Periscope” by Robb White, and I still have my original copy. It’s still one of my all-time favorite books. While I was in junior high I spent a lot of my class time thinking-up and writing stories; I did the same thing in high school and college. Once I got into college I became a sports writer, and I think that’s one reason most of the books I write now are action oriented.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
My favorite author is John Sandford. I love the way he puts humor into his work (even when things are serious). He creates awesome characters and engaging plots and I can reread his books again and again. When I was younger I read all of Alistair MacLean’s books. I still keep “Ice Station Zebra” and “Where Eagles Dare” at the top of my bookshelf.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
My latest book is called “Demon’s Treasure.” I first got the idea while coaching youth football. (Don’t know how that happened, exactly, but there you go!) The story’s about a boy spending the summer aboard his father’s research ship near the Bermuda Triangle. They discover the wreckage of a lost Spanish treasure galleon, and from there things go from bad to worse to miserable in a hurry. One of the villains is a huge, hulking lurch my protagonist–Jansen–often refers to as “Kong.” (I rarely use the guy’s actual name. Every time Jansen mentions him he calls the guy “Kong,” or “Sasquatch” or “the Apeman” or . . . well, you get the idea. I had a great time thinking up names for him.) The funny thing, though, is that I have no idea where the idea for the guy came from. One draft of the book was Kong-free, and in the next there he was, terrorizing all the other characters and giving me nightmares. (I’m glad he showed up, though . . . he adds a whole new dimension to the story!)
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