Friday, June 19, 2015

13 Questions with JD Barker

1. Name one thing you miss about being a child.
I think it’s the wonder of not knowing. As children, we can look out over a large body of water and wonder what is on the other side, we wonder what is under it, we wonder what it’s like to swim above and below it. As an adult, we know all these answers. There is a magic in learning but I think the greater magic can be found in not knowing and allowing your imagination to fill in the blanks.

2. You're hosting a dinner party. What is the menu? Do you cater or make it yourself?
My wife is a vegetarian and I am not, however, she has gotten really good at tricking me. Last night we had tacos made from something called “crumbles” which tastes just like real beef. When people visit, she tends to roll out these culinary delights. She has done the same with pizza and meatloaf. So, catering is out and healthy, home-cooking is in.

3. Are you a collector of anything and if so, what?
I love old timepieces. I have a large collection of old watches, clocks, and hourglasses.

4. You're at a carnival. Favorite attraction and why?
Roller-coasters. I love a good adrenaline filled scare. I occasionally go skydiving, a good roller-coaster is the closest thrill I’ve found on the ground. Sometimes, they’re even better. If you’re ever in Ohio, check out the Millennium Force at Cedar Point.

5. Physical book VS. an E- reader. Your preference and why?
Oh boy, this is a question of much debate at our house. My wife firmly believes in only reading printed editions and I tend to lean toward e-readers. In my defense, I read a lot, on average 3-5 books per week both fiction and non-fiction. While we both like the smell and feel of a real book (I’ve been known to walk into a bookstore just to get a whiff of that scent), I’ve been spoiled by the convenience of e-readers. I can pull out my iPhone and read books from Kindle, Kobo, or Nook anywhere, anytime. And I do read anywhere, even if just waiting in the checkout line at the store. I’m also a huge fan of audiobooks. I listen to them whenever in the car or out exercising.
6. What are you currently reading?
Not sure if you heard the news, but the Stoker family has asked me to co-author a prequel to Dracula (, so lately I have been reading all things vampire both past and present. I recently just finished The Vampyre by John Polidori and the original Dracula. I’m currently reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kosova and Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty. I’m also digging through a substantial pile of material from Bram Stoker, both published and private.

7. What musical artist are you currently into?
I don’t listen to as much music as I probably should, particularly since I discovered audiobooks. If I listen to music at all, it’s usually a movie soundtrack. Lately I’ve been listening to the soundtracks for Interview With a Vampire and Mockingjay.

8. Do you have a hidden talent?
I love to build things and renovate old houses.

9. What is your favorite word?
Fiction. It allows you to visit places you’ve never been, meet new people, and experience thrills that reach far beyond our day-to-day lives.
10. What is your current desktop wall paper?
I typically don’t change my wallpaper, I have a boring black background. I do have a note taped to my monitor with the tagline for the new Dracula book: “Beneath Every Penned Fiction Lies a Truth”.

11. You're at a Chinese buffet. What goes on your plate?
Everything. Then I get another plate. I never seem to get full on Chinese food but I enjoy trying.

12. What kinds of books make up your personal library?
At this point, I have over a thousand books made up of nearly every genre. We tend to get hardcovers for everything we read (including the ones I read on my e-reader) and sign/date the back when we finish them. We ask borrowers to do the same. It’s fun to pick up a book and see everyone who has read it over the years. I’ve been doing this since I was a kid so the library has grown tremendously over the years.

13. What advice would you give an aspiring author?
I know you’ve probably heard this numerous times but you need to write daily. It really is necessary to succeed at the craft. In addition, your heart must be in it. If you take on a writing project and you’re not dedicated 100% to the topic, the reader will know. Here are two tips I tend to live by:
  • I outline my next book while I’m writing the current one. This way, I don’t have any downtime between projects.
  • I never leave my desk unless I know the next sentence I plan to write. Then, when I sit back down, I hit the ground running. If I stop writing for the day because the characters have nothing else to say, I’ll find myself staring at a blank screen the next day waiting for inspiration to hit.
On a related note, listen to those characters, even if it causes you to stray from your outline – they know what they’re talking about.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Author JD Barker to write prequel to Dracula with Dacre Stoker

Bram Stoker’s Dracula is without a doubt one of the greatest horror novels of all time. It has gained new audiences since it was written, been translated into over 40 languages, sold millions of copies across the world, and has been responsible for over 300 films.

But, what if the book we know and love was not the book Bram Stoker turned in to his publisher in 1897?

Official representative of the Stoker family Dacre Stoker has spent the last ten years researching his family’s legacy. He has examined documents public and private trying to piece together information on the man, his great-granduncle who wrote this epic work, and the events that inspired it. In doing so, he has come across a disturbing fact: Bram Stoker may have intended his novel Dracula as a warning, a glimpse of a very real entity of evil.

With Bram Stoket award winning author JD Barker, Dacre plans to explore materials including journals and other personal papers to delve into the idea that Stoker did not intend his novel as a
fictional entertainment, but a warning about a real menace.

For more information, go to Dracula Begins