Author Interview: Nicholas Barrett

How long have you been writing for?

Three and a half years (approx.)

What would you say is the most difficult part of writing a book?

What I term “The Ladder” – the main story building, and the construction of the scenes which make up the full story in some sort of logical order!

What genre do you generally write?

I write Humour/fantasy/adventure, but also horror and just the merest hint of SF (when no-one is looking…)

Do you have a favourite author and why?

Sir Terry Pratchett, Tom Holt, Tom Sharp and Douglas Adams. Sir Terry is perhaps the greatest storyteller of our age – taking the reader into a world of totally believable and likeable characters. He is the standard to which I aspire!

What is your book called and how did you choose this title?

My latest in my “Academy Series” of books is called “Summer Term – The Darling Buds of Mayhem”. I thought that the “mayhem” perfectly describes the bizarre world of The Academy – and is a little nod to H.E. Bates, as there is plenty of Larkin’ about… My first novel was titled “Michaelmas Term (or-why is that boy naked?)” I was inspired by my own journey from a tiny village Primary school – to a dark and foreboding Public School. Alas, about 70% of the incidents which I wrote about did actually occur!


Summer TermThe book deals with the events which take place during the Summer Term at St Onans Academy. It is a time of Teenage angst, acne, and apoplexy. The story races along with the help of M19 Agents, an evil criminal, a student who is quite miraculous, drunken dressage at a horse show, and a surprise appearance at the cricket match by Genghis Khan and the lads… The Head is being blackmailed – and a horse is trying to find one that fits. All of this, and some serious rock and roll. (just another average term, really…)

Has your book been published and how did you go about this?

Having been totally let down by a previous so-called “publisher” – I published direct to Amazon via KDP.

Approximately how long did it take you to finish your book?

The ideas seemed to arrive thick and fast! I finished the first draft in about four months.

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

Trust in what you do! Ensure that you “plan” your story well. Read your chapters carefully – then re-read them as if you had just purchased your book. Above all – do not be discouraged when the rejections arrive on the mat; keep knocking on those doors!

Do you use social media to promote your book? If yes, then which social networks do you like the most?

I am devising a new plan for marketing, beginning with Facebook, which has been quite good in respect of my first book.

What other ways do you market your book/s?

I am trying to find a way to reach more people, on more sites, and generate more sales!

Have you enrolled your book onto Amazon’s KDP Select and how have you found it?

I have! – so far, so good. Results have been rather disappointing, however.

If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?

I regret nothing!! I have had such fun with the books so far.

What books do you like to read in your spare time?

I am reading the “Partheon Series” by Peter Darman at the moment – historical fiction of the finest order.

What do you feel is the most important stage of writing a book?

Plot design, followed by editing and proof-reading.

How did you go about designing the cover for your book?

I design my covers myself, aided and abetted by a very fine designer called Benjamin Nunn.

Are you writing or considering writing a follow-up to your book?

I have a title all ready to be unleashed upon the unsuspecting public – called “Royal Flush”. There are two more books in the “Academy Series” to come, as well as a true horror novel, and a paranormal/IT book.

Do you have a day job (if so, what do you do?) or do you write full-time?

Presently, I am working as a parcel courier, due to Mr Gas Bill and his friends. I write in every spare moment, and cannot wait to go “full-time”

Anything else you’d like to include?

My books fill a huge gap in the market, in the humour/fantasy genre. I decided that there was far too much misery in the world – and I have set out to remedy this! I can guarantee that my books will be the best fun that it is possible to have – whilst fully dressed. I would also add that the world of the Independent Author is a much better place, due to people such as the wonderfully supportive and talented Jo Harrison…so there!

Check out Nicholas’ book, Summer Term – The Darling Buds of Mayhem