I was able to speak with Ken Barnett , author of "Neck Deep", recently. The review of "Neck Deep" can be seen here...
Where are you from?
I was born in Oklahoma City OK. We moved to Little Rock when I was 11 and then to Paris at 13.
Tell us your latest news?
I have a new grandson Isaac.
When and why did you begin writing?
I have wanted to write since age 14, but didn't have much to write about then. I finally started Neck Deep in 2002.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After Neck Deep was published and I had positive feedback from readers.
What inspired you to pen "Neck Deep"?
The experiences I had with patients and doing the job. It was also a form of coping,and it turned out to be fun.
Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
Joe Connelly, author of Bringing Out the Dead, he was a paramedic and wrote about his experiences. That inspired me and gave me the courage to write my first book. My parents were hard working. They taught me values and gave me the guidance I needed to survive through poverty and make a living for my family.
How has your environment/upbringing colored your writing?
My grandfather was a coal miner for years and then got into construction.My father was in construction until he passed away.My mother worked as a grocery checker and a factory worker before she passed away. We were never wealthy in possessions, but we had a close family. We were not the perfect or model family, but we managed. We traveled for a few years following the construction.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I try to present a strong voice in my writing. My goal is for the reader to feel a palpable pulse through the words.
What genre are you most comfortable writing?
I really like fiction because you can build composite charecters and events to tell the story. Some true stories are unbelievable, so the writter may as well have fun with it.
How did you come up with the title for your book(s)?
The title Neck Deep was from the nature of the business. You are always Neck Deep in kimchi.
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Yes,Don't bet the farm on the system. If you can help make changes for the better, do it know before you become a sad story in the masses. Did we learn anything from Katrina?
What books have most influenced your life?
A Time to Kill,Bringing Out the Dead,Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
What are you reading now?
The five people you meet in Heaven
What are your current projects?
Working,painting the house,cutting firewood for winter,attending required classes to maintain my flight status and I want to start on a new book.
How does your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
My family has been very supportive and helpful, the kids think it's awsome. My friends have also been very supportive and sometimes comment. " I can't believe you actually wrote a book"
Do you see writing as a long- or short-term career?
I don't know, but we'll see what happens.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
No, but it would have been much easier to get published if I were famous.
Is there anything additional you would like to share with your readers?
Yes, If you want to write, jump in and do it. I wish I would have started sooner.