Name: Thomas Barczak
What attracts you to the genre in which you write?
I am a dreamer. I have always had a great love for fantasy. My mind, it wanders constantly. I guess fantasy is just far enough away that when I get there, I can actually stay there awhile and find rest. I grew up playing D&D so I’m pretty sure that plays a lot into it as well. But mostly I think it goes back to its deep roots in mythology, to something more primitive, to a time when there were fewer distractions.
Fantasy is often criticized for being too black and white, and I think that’s a fair criticism, but I’m also not sure that’s entirely a bad thing. I think fantasy is at its best when it leaves our moral insecurities exposed yet still asks us to make a choice and actually take responsibility about which direction we want to go.
What piece of writing advice do you wish you’d known when you started your writing adventures?
It’s ok to fail. That’s how you get better. You can take your time. That and you actually have a lot of choices about what success actually means to you.
I think that is probably the single most important question an aspiring author should ask themselves: What am I trying to do and where am I trying to go. Then don’t settle for the first answer and dig deep. There is a purpose for what you do. Otherwise you wouldn’t have been given the ability to do it. Not everybody gets to be a writer. Take responsibility for it.
If you could have dinner with any famous person or character who would you chose?
J.R.R. Tolkien. He wrote myth from a place of deep personal belief. He didn’t write to preach. He wrote what he wrote because at the end of the day, that’s who and what he was. Honestly his writing at times is really not very good, certainly by contemporary standards. But it is this: It’s honest.
Who has been the greatest influence on your own work?
J.R.R. Tolkien, mostly for the reason above. He shaped the genre a helped shape the fundamental core of who I am. I’m not even talking about being a geek. I’m referring to the deeper allegory he prescribed – That there is always great hope still to be found in the greatest of losses.
Do you think the e-book revolution will do away with print?
Not at all, at least I certainly hope not. I would like to think that paper books are a little more resilient than 8-tracks. They certainly have a longer track record. And you don’t need any devices to read them, except for maybe glasses.
Which 3 books would you take to a desert island and why?
The Hobbit – So that I never forget that life is an adventure, even if you’re stuck somewhere.
A spiritual text – So that I have something to remember what I believe in.
A sketchbook – So that I have something to write and draw in.
Author bio and book synopsis
Please introduce yourself (250 words or so):
I am an artist, turned architect, turned writer, who finally got around to actually writing the stories I started dreaming about as a kid.
My work includes the dark epic fantasy, Mouth of the Dragon, the illustrated epic, Veil of the Dragon, the Kindle serials, Awakening Evarun (Parts I-VI) and Wolfbane (Parts 1-2 of 3), along with numerous short stories and flash fiction, including those published in “Heroika 1 – Dragon Eaters”, “Nine Heroes”, “Terror by Gaslight”, and “What Scares the Boogeyman”, as well as two volumes of the award-winning “Heroes in Hell” series, “Dreamers in Hell”, and “Poets in Hell”.
I write because I can’t not. I write because I need to tell the stories I already started on way before, in my painting, in my poetry, and even before that, when I was sitting around a table with friends, slaying dragons.
Tell us about your book(s) – title, genre etc (short)
Mouth of the Dragon, Prophecy of the Evarun, published by Perseid Press is a dark, epic and redemptive fantasy, which I sincerely hope challenges and presents anew everything a hero’s journey can be.