My Tower of Books: Before I ask any other questions, I need to know one thing. How did this story initially start in your head? What sparked the idea?
Lorin K. Barber: Prior to "The Secret Life" I had written three novels (all un-published and in their present state not deserving of it). I made a conscious effort to develop a character interesting and entertaining. I knew a person some years back that was somewhat Nickish. The name is something I think was crucial to me for the progression of the story in my mind. “Copernicus” of course connotes great intelligence. “Stringfellow”, I got while riding a bus. The company’s maintenance person of the year had his picture displayed along the wall/ceiling and was named Stringfellow. It was serendipitous. It exactly portrayed the tall skinny fellow I envisioned. The initial “H.” just sounded good.
My Tower of Books: Do you personally like to eat twinkies? Do you find they aid in your writing process? :)
Lorin: I like Twinkies, but probably no more than the next guy. I heard it said in my youth that you could leave a Twinkie on the shelf for 400 years and it would still taste the same. I wanted something to enhance Nick’s powers so I figured why not make it the least likely edible, thus increasing the hilarity. My wife was the first to suggest that one couldn’t read the book without craving a Twinkie. Admittedly we’ve eaten many more during the process than ever before.
MToB: What do you think would happen if Nick were to come up against someone with equal mental powers, but without the good intentions that Nick himself has? What would the outcome be?
Lorin: If Nick came up against someone with equal intelligence but bad intentions, the outcome would be exactly what it will be when I get to that book in the series. I have 4 more books in mind. One is underway, but not that one.
MToB: I liked the message in the book about doing good things for others regardless of your station in life. How important was it to you for that to come through in your novel?
Lorin: Nick is a superhero. No superhero can be called such without an unflinching desire to do good.
MToB: The Secret Life of Copernicus H. Stringfellow ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger, if I do say so myself. When can we expect the follow-up novel?
Lorin: “The Secret Life” intentionally leaves the door open for more adventures. As to when the next one will be out, that depends on this one being successful enough to allow me to quit my day job.
MToB: This is a favorite question of mine. What is your favorite place to write? What setting really lets the creativity flow?
Lorin: I have a library room on the North side of my house. It gets no direct sunlight but the window opens on a shady area of 50 ft. cedar trees and smaller bushes. I like to sit using only the indirect light from outside. It is peaceful, beautiful and un-interrupted unless a deer happens by.
MToB: Besides writing, what do you love to spend your time doing?
Lorin: Aside from family time and reading, I play basketball, and pan for gold in the summer. Panning for gold is like fishing, even if you come home with nothing you’ve spent the day in a wild and beautiful location. (I never come home with much.)
Lorin, thanks again for stopping by :-)