Below are Ruby Barne’s answers to those now well-known questions I ask as many authors’ I can that are featured on the blog. I’m sure those of you who have not looked up this author are going to be a bit “shocked” to see Ruby is a man as many see the name and go with woman. You can find more about Ruby at his Blog and the publisher of both books, Marble City Publishing.
I digress and now off to those questions.
What inspired you to write Peril and the follow up Getting out of Dodge?
Answer: I had written a couple of novels before Peril but was learning to find my ‘voice’. I also deliberately reined in my writing horizon from international conspiracy to something more claustrophobic, based upon a number of real and imaginary quirky crime events in Ireland. One night, after a few pints, a neighbour discussed the idea of raiding the nation’s entire Class A drugs hoard and the idea for Peril was born. Dodge had to follow Peril because the MC’s story clearly wasn’t over and done with.
Is there any significance to the name/names of your main characters?
Answer: Yes, my protagonist Ger Mayes carries a combination of my grandparents’ names and hails from Port Glasgow, Scotland, as they did. With the other characters my main task was to try and avoid conflict with real life names of individuals who may (or may not) have been role models.
During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your own memories?
Answer: I did and several were incorporated. By the time I had finished the two books, the memories and fiction had blurred. Now I’m not sure what really happened.
What were some of your favorite books growing up?
Answer: I read widely as a child but my first remembered obsession was with Greek legends. I desperately wanted a bronze helmet and did wooden-sword battle with my brother in the garden against his Saracen’s scimitar (we didn’t quite grasp the concept of anachronism.) Following on from Greek gods and mortals, I progressed to murder mysteries. My explanation has to do with trying to impress a fair-haired girl who sat next to me in school and was very fond of Agatha Christie.
Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?
Answer: I do and they all consider my MC (main character) to be despicable and lovable at the same time. Women want to change him and men want to be him.
What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?
Answer: Validated and inspired. I want to see a shelf full of titles with my name on them.
Do you continue to write?
Answer: Every day. I’m keeping busy with helping a colleague breathe new life into his out-of-print backlist but I like to run a couple of writing projects concurrently and try to write at least five hundred words a day, more when possible. Projects include the first DI Andy McAuliffe murder mystery (Andy has a walk-on part in Peril, Dodge and The Baptist), a sequel to The Baptist and a co-written international thriller.
What is the message you want people to take away from the book?
Answer: Don’t go with the flow. Make your own decisions and don’t just let fate pull you along. Take a look at Ger Mayes in Peril and Dodge, learn from his mistakes.
If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?
Answer: He makes a return and gets the girl. He said, “My wife ran off with another man.” She said, “My man ran off with another wife.” They deserve some happiness together.
Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?
Answer: Peril doesn’t contain a dedication. It would have been to my wife, but she was breathing down my neck and it felt too obvious. The print version of Dodge contains a dedication to my family in Ireland: wife Adrienne, daughter Alannah and son Eoin, ‘without whose support Ger Mayes would never have made his comeback’. They tolerated my writing until the wee small hours, my building a summer house for privacy (“It’s not a shed, it’s a mid-life crisis”) and the considerable amount of time I’ve spent on internet marketing.
The + 1 Question:
If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?
Answer: A difficult question. How could I choose one place and not offend the inhabitants of another by omission? I’ll have to go for the mystery location Ger finds himself in at the end of Dodge. Safe, sunny, wine, women (at least to look at) and I’ll sing my own song.