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Welcome to It's Raining Books. Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?
The genre I chose to write in is literary fiction. As a poet, I am an observer, a witness to the world that surrounds us. I am drawn to the world, the wonders that are made, and the horrors we live through. Literary fiction is the essayist, the author who is able to put perspective on that which appears to be so unconceivable, so indescribable; it is the essayist who describes it, and does it well.
What research is required?
There was little research required for this book. Since they are mostly musings, poetry, and short stories, the research was mostly inspiration. What writer, what painter, what individual doesn’t experience inspiration? I am inspired by human interaction, the way we act and react to each other. The research (if you want to call it that) was little more than people watching, interacting with co-workers, friends, and even at times total strangers.
Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.
There isn’t a hero/heroine per se in this book, however I did learn that the art of writing the essay is not dead. There are still topics to be explored, still stories to be told, still lessons to be learned. I think so many of us were forced to write high school and college essays, we never found out how cleansing writing an essay could be. We never took the time to say, “hey this part of the world sucks—I’m going to write about it and expose it!” I think we get caught up in Facebook post and Tweeting, that we never took the time to really sit down, collect our thoughts and write a cohesive and thought provoking essay. So yea, I learned I can do that, and, if I may be so bold, that I’m pretty good at it!
Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
The quirk I found myself doing while writing this book was finding really good small business coffee shops and writing there. Yea, I know it’s pretty cliché that writers always go to a coffee shop but since I’m not really drinking, (and there’s always a conversation at a bar—uggh) the coffee shop became a good space. I live in Denver, and there’s a particular coffee shop I like to go to, because, well, it’s legal here, and at Strange Grounds, it’s, well around. So going there and being with open and like-minded individuals who (don’t necessarily work for a better world) but discuss it, they converse about it. It gave me a lot of insight and continued inspiration for completing the book.
Are you a plotter or pantser?
I guess you could say that I’m a bit of both actually. Sometimes I’ll get an idea at work, and won’t get a chance to sit down and explore it fully. So I’ll just make a note on my phone, or in my notebook, then dissect it later that night, or the next day I’m off. Other times, I’ll use bullet points while sitting at my desktop to collect my thought, and flesh them out fully. The one thing that did help me out greatly was going over the book with my editor. She is a dear friend who knows a bit about my background and my style of writing, so that part was definitely plotted.
Look to your right – what’s sitting there?
To the right of me are a few things. The head/foot of my bed, (depending on how I decide to sleep) two laptops, (one playing my Pandora, the other is where I’m playing the ‘My Singing Monsters game), and a chair that’s full of my good clothes I need to take to the cleaners. So please support this book, as I am lacking in money to have my clothes laundered *chuckles*.
Anything new coming up from you? What?
There are always new things on the horizon! I’m currently working on two books; one is a collection of short stories, because I love short stories. The second is going to be a collection of short stories that I’m thinking of turning into a series. I know that I want it to be filled with a lot of different characters, who seemingly have different backgrounds, but come together in a sort of special and unconventional way. The collection of short stories will hopefully be finished by mid-fall sometime, and we’ll see what happens with the other idea. I will say that I’m very excited about the short stories, they are all over the place; from shorts on suicide, to religious relationships, to two boys and their adventure in a treatment facility. It will be a very interesting read!
Do you have a question for our readers?
The question I have for the readers, is, what makes you want to buy a book? Is it the genre, the author, the cover? What makes you take a chance on an untested author? I hope that’s not too many questions!
Thanks for the interview; I had a bunch of fun writing this!!
Chicken Soup, and a Shot of Jack is a strikingly impressive work of literary fiction from new author Clarence Barbee. The writer weaves his form of prose, delighting readers with thought provoking lessons on how to balance the good and bad in life. The book offers common sense values filled with humorous stories and tales.
Enjoy an excerpt from the short story "Just Had to Be Grown":
She was amazing! A fire was burning on the stove, her son, who she had spent fourteen hours birthin’, was in danger of losing his left nipple by way of a hot dog grease fire. And all she could do was rock in that damn chair, and talk about the pork chop; which at this point was nothing more than a gnarled up bone.
About the Author: Clarence Barbee has been writing and performing poetry for over a decade. He has produced 9 spoken word albums, under the pseudonyms Nabraska and Poet402. Clarence is now working on self-publishing books of essays and short stories.
In his professional life he has worked with, educated, and supported many children. Clarence believes in keeping an eye on political planes and social occurrences such as changes in world leadership, and social inequalities. These actions of men are a huge curiosity to the author; he believes in writing about them, and discussing them, so solutions can be made.
Clarence has taken these experiences and written about them extensively. He asks, “Who doesn’t want to be happy,” then goes about the business of finding the answer. Please take some time to join him on this journey as they are set through words, sometimes with music, and always taken with a grain of salt.
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