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What They Say
“Do not hoard what seems good for a later place in the book, or for another book; give it, give it all, give it now.”
Books by Darrell Bain...
"When a laboratory technician on the verge of retirement accidentally infects himself with blood from an emergency room patient, he intends to report it -- until government agents swarm the hospital, confiscating every sample of blood taken from the patient--at gunpoint. Deciding not to report the incident just yet for fear of being thrown into an isolation chamber, he goes home--and falls violently ill. By the time he recovers and returns to work, scary things are happening."
Samantha's Talent with Robyn Pass
"Samantha must solve a decades old enigma."
"A clerk working in the census bureau discovers a series of anomalies in the population of a small city located in the Ozark Mountains."
"Savage Survival is a coming of age story like no others and Lyda Brightner is a character you won't forget. When eleven year old Lyda is thrown into the midst of millions of undisciplined humans, with no parents or guardian to protect her as she grows up, she has only her own bravery and her belief in the innate goodness of humans to sustain her. For six years, Lyda must endue the most ghastly and brutal environments imaginable, put there by invulnerable aliens for reasons of their own. After her first horrible experience in a barren desert, she vows that come what may, she will live, even while millions die, for she is determined to find what is behind such hideous treatment by the aliens."
"After the Vietnam War, the hard drinking, adventurous Williard brothers decide to go hunting for a purported dinosaur living in the Congo."
"The Williard brothers are tired of the sedentary life. When one of them falls heir to proof of Bigfoot--or possibly an alien--various government agencies began chasing them and their girlfriends, hoping to recover alien technology, if that's what it is. Deep in the wildest part of The Brooks Moutain Range in Alaska, the chase comes to a head, with the CIA, Russians, NSA and Mafia all vying with the Williard brothers and an Eskimo girl to win the prize."
"Robyn’s Rock is the lead story of this collection by Darrell Bain."
Shadow Worlds with Barbara M. Hodges
"Shadowy monsters, conniving federal agents, alternate worlds and a lonely scientist racing against time to save both his world and earth make this latest offering from best selling author Darrell Bain and collaborator Barbara Hodges a page-turning adventure that strings the suspense out to the last page."
The Y Factor (Cresperian Book 2)
"Science Fiction When a stranger invades geneticist Mai Trung's office, he has to say only one word to get her interested in leaving with him: Xenobiology. Rumors have been rife about aliens on Earth, but only a select few know that they arrived on widely scattered lifeboats from a wrecked spaceship. Mai is brought into the secret group working with a few of the surviving aliens because they have one trait that is almost incredible for its implications: They can turn themselves into perfect humans."
"When the Williard brothers get going, any resemblance to a real war is purely coincidental! Sgt. James Williard uses his position as the honcho of a medical dispensary in Vietnam as a base, while he and his crazy medics turn the war zone into a party zone. Williard's two brothers, Jerry, a naval ensign and Jason (Jumpin' Jase) the Marine fighter pilot who regularly loses 15 million dollar planes join the fun and then it is like no war ever recorded. Wilder than M*A*S*H, a hilarious romp."
"Two old curmudgeons, both Vietnam veterans, make life hilarious for everyone as each tries to top the other’s T.I.N.S. (This Is No Sh*T) stories. Their wives call them lazy. They claim to be efficient. One thing is certain: neither of them will ever be accused of understating the truth!"
"Space Trails encompasses the spirit of the old American pioneers who risked all for a chance of a better life in a new environment. With conditions in America deteriorating, the Bentley family decides to take advantage of the recently discovered method for reaching the stars."
"Author Darrell Bain amuses readers with the antics and adventures of his delightful dachshund, Biscuit. Written with an engaging tongue-in-cheek style, readers will almost be able to feel Biscuit's tongue on their check for a sloppy doggie kiss!"
Hotline to Heaven
"Darrell considers Hotline To Heaven one of his best books, and quite different from anything else he's ever done. Humor, chicanery, sex, betrayal and romance, along with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the end. It has such a fun plot that it will even have you wondering who you should be cheering for, the rascally villain Ed Tanner, or the innocent young Violet."
The Melanin Apocalypse
"A man-made virus is killing all the blacks in the world. The African continent is devolving into total and complete chaos. Blacks in America begin rioting and killing Whites..."
Life on Santa Claus Lane
"Here is a collection of wild and zany, hilariously funny stories about the life and adventures of a couple who have lived for over twenty years at a real address on Santa Claus Lane and--what else?--own a Christmas tree farm in--where else?--Texas!"
Laughing All the Way
"Continuing the hilarious tales from Life on Santa Claus Lane and Doggie Biscuit! of a city couple who moved to the country and started a choose-and-cut Christmas tree farm. Join inept farmer Darrell and his long-suffering wife Betty as she comes behind him trying to salvage something from his bumbling attempts to become a successful farmer."
Tales from a Texas Christmas Tree Farm
"When a couple in their forties move to the country and start a Christmas tree farm, with no idea at all of what they are getting into, you have all the makings of some hilarious stories. From start to the present day, read about everything you never knew about Christmas trees and how they're grown and marketed."
Tweedle, The Dog Who Thought He Was a Cat
"Tweedle was a tiny dog and even before he had his eyes opened his mother had to go to the animal hospital for a long time. When Tweedle's eyes opened he found that a big soft human was feeding him from a bottle. There were no other dogs around so poor Tweedle didn't know what kind of animal he was...."
The Focus Factor with Gerald Mills
"A scientist whose family is killed by illegal immigrants decides to use his research on autistic idiot-savants to discover a solution to the problem. Before long, he finds himself inextricably involved in a conspiracy to not only solve the illegal immigrant crisis, but almost every other ill besetting America."
"An unmanned alien ship suddenly appears from a point in space within the solar system and heads toward Earth. It finally comes to rest in the pasture of an ordinary couple's country home. Immediately upon going inside, they are placed in irrevocable, sole command by the ship's computer. How Dan and Stacy Saddler handle the enormous military, political and religious pressure of choosing a crew and taking the ship back through the enigmatic warp point makes this one of Darrell Bain's most exciting novels."
August 1, 2016...
Illustration © 2016 A.M. Scott
What were you like at school?
Inattentive, 9th grade dropout, read incessantly, Passed High School GED and College GED and began taking college courses here and there while in military. Finally got a B.S. in Medical Technology at age 32.
Were you good at English?
If I applied myself, yes. Never did though. Didn’t like studying. Liked doing.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
To be published by major publisher. Began writing for publication at age 50 or thereabouts with no knowledge at all of fiction or non-fiction writing techniques. Still mostly wing it.
Science Fiction is my favorite form of literature if reading for pleasure. Also like military history, general history, thrillers, adventure and humor. My writing sort of follows those
Which writers inspire you?
Robert Heinlein, David Weber, John Ringo, Travis Taylor many other science fiction authors.
So, what have you written?
Somewhere around 60 books, mostly science fiction, adventure and thriller but also three collections of short stories, One Romance, One Children’s book, several humorous books.
Three Eppie Awards, Three Dream Realm Awards, Fictionwise Author of the Year 2005, Knowbetter best book of year for The Sex Gates, Short movie from The Good Book a short story posted at Good Reads. The Good Book is my favorite short story but Samantha a close second. Samantha expanded to longer short story and then to novel, Samantha’s Talent, and currently writing a sequel to it, as well as other sequels. I will most likely concentrate on sequels and series for the rest of my writing career, although if I live long enough that could change. With severe back problems right now, I will do little writing until September and have surgery. Hopefully it will cure the problems and I’ll be my old self again, writing three books a year and several short stories plus Bainstorming, my Blog.
Where can we buy or see them? (* include American, European and any other relevant links. Free, free promotions or prices can be included)
Twilight Times web site, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, book stores for later
books as well and book stores will usually order for you if not in stock. Out of print books usually have some used copies of print editions for sale by various companies.
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
That depends on which book you’re asking about. If it’s Alien Infection, Michael Brandon is patterned like myself in several ways. My last job in Medicine was as a Medical Technologist. Military experience, divorced, etc. But the main thing that stands out is the way he thinks, not trusting the government when men in suits carrying handguns sweep into the lab, collecting all the blood he’d just drawn from a patient in the ER, except a couple of tubes he always saved until the tests are done. He grabs those and runs, then realizes he is sick from accidentally sticking himself with a syringe of blood from the ER patient. He gets well then begins heading north when he runs across Mona, an ex-convict. He accidentally infects her then cares for her. They stick together while hiding from the Feds, but get into more and more trouble as they notice their bodies are changing from the alien infection. The Government doesn’t catch them but an alien finds them and asks for help. Don’t want to give the story away.
I believe my favorite books are the Aperture series and the characters in this continuing story of alternate Earths and an invasion of our world by a world government resembling the Nazis of Germany in WWII. The means of accessing alternate Earths is very original and that’s all I’ll say now about twins Jan and Jani Jenkins who lead Earth’s fight. I’ve read them myself many times. *** !! I can gauge how well I’ve written a book by the number of times I read them for pleasure after writing them.
What are you working on at the minute?
I’m concentrating on a sequel to Samantha’s Talent, which recently was the subject of my publisher’s promotion. Samantha’s Talent has sold thousands of copies in the ebook edition in the last 2 months. Samantha’s talent, which constantly gets her into trouble, is her ability to converse with animals, particularly the higher mammals. Eventually she and her family are protected by DARPA where its scientists think they may have a use for her talent that may affect the whole world. This one took a lot of research.
What genre are your books?
Ans: Mostly science fiction but also adventure, romance, humor and thrillers, along with a few humorous books about life on a Christmas tree farm.
What draws you to this genre?
I’ve always had an active imagination and once I began reading science fiction that genre gave my imagination to room to roam. More so than any other genre. Being hooked at an early age by Heinlein’s young adult books as well. He didn‘t write down to young adults. I have every book Heinlein has ever written and practically have them memorized.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I haven’t got the slightest idea since I don’t watch movies. I’d much rather read.
How much research do you do?
It depends on the genre and the particular book. For some, such as The Afterlife Cabals, which I am self-publishing, it took a moderate amount of research. Samantha’s Talent took a lot. I got a chuckle out of an Amazon customer’s review of The Melanin Apocalypse, which I had done a considerable amount of scientific research on, who stated that the science was stupid or words to that effect, when I had put in a lot of time to make it correct.
Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?
Yes, but none of them have done very well except Human By Choice and the other books in the series where I collaborated with Travis Taylor and Stephanie Osborn.
Why did you do decide to collaborate and did that affect your sales?
Other than Human by Choice, I didn’t particularly like the book I was writing and wanted someone else to finish it. Also other than Human by Choice it didn’t help sales and probably hurt. I won’t go into details but one of the worst mistakes I made in collaboration was with The Sex Gates. I shouldn’t have tried to find a collaborator but this was early in my career and I made a LOT of mistakes.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always liked to write, but writing for money didn’t begin until my early fifties when computers became widely available and cheap enough for us. I wrote a number of books on a Tandy 1000.
Why do you write?
Cooks cook, hunters hunt, Preachers preach. I think it’s something either born in you or is precipitated by something at an early age. Like my wife, Betty says, some people are born readers and real readers re-read good stuff.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
As I said, I’ve always liked to write and actually began writing fiction at 12 years old.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Since retiring, full time, other than helping Betty around the house and other chores we kind of split up.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
No particular time. Just when I feel like it.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I may make notes while at my easy chair but write on a computer. I tried dictating but didn’t like it. There’s something about a keyboard that gets the juices rolling.
Where do your ideas come from?
Every writer gets asked that. Who knows? Sometimes they pop into my head, almost fully plotted, as with Savage Survival. Other times it may be something said or something I read. I generally have to make notes when I think of a theme these days since my memory isn’t as good as it used to be.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
Mostly I create a few characters and they take over.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I’m a better writer now but I’ve never tried very hard to follow every dictate teachers of creative writing put out there.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Editing. I hate it, but it has to be done.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
It was one of those books that practically wrote itself. The original title was No Heaven , No Hell, a novel of the afterlife. It will be re-published as The Afterlife Cabels in a few weeks.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
Hmm. Can’t think of anything really easy about writing. It is hard work, but I love it.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
At my peak I was writing three books a year plus some short stories. I’m older now and not nearly as productive.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
No, because I’m always working on two or three books at once.
Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?
Sit down and write anything. Your address. Your childhood memories. It doesn’t matter, just write and soon you’ll be back to your novel or book or story.
If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?
Alien Infection is a novel of a lab tech on the verge of retirement who gets caught up in an odd blood test then government goons trying to kill him.
What are your thoughts on writing a book series?
Depends on whether the book deserves to be the start of a series, although it seems most reviewers on Amazon ask when a sequel is coming out with every new book latley. I love reading good sequels, but the only book I knew before starting to write it that was going to be the first in a series was Apertures
Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.
Reading is my favorite past time and I read incessantly. So does my wife which has made for a great marriage. My favorite authors are Heinlein, Weber, myself (I read and re-read my own books, the best ones, for pleasure), Ringo, Flint.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
Printed books. As I’ve aged I like paperbacks best because of my hands, but if I’m reading a good series I can’t wait for the sequel. I order the hard cover in advance.
What book/s are you reading at present?
Just finished the last book of Weber’s of the Safehold series and eagerly waiting for the next one, presently reading Liberty’s Last Stand by Coonts, and also reading my own Sanya Claus Lane series.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I read it over once on the computer, print it and my wife and I read it looking for mistakes, then an editor from the publisher will take a shot at it. Sometimes that’s good, others not.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
No, I get it as ready as I can so I can move on to another project.
Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
I don’t know. Selected by the publisher and I rarely remember editors’ names.
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.
If you mean Alien Infection it was done by an artist selected by Twilight Times Books. I made a few suggestions but basically the artist’s work and one of the best of all the covers for my books.
Who designed your book cover/s?
Various people, with a few hints form myself.
Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
It definitely plays a part but I don’t know how much.
How are you publishing this book and why?
Twilight Times, a traditional publisher, published this book and is now promoting it.
What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?
I can’t answer that yet. I’m just getting into Indy publishing in a small way.
How do you market your books?
My blog, paid ads, publisher’s help.
Why did you choose this route?
I don’t really know much about marketing. I write and promote a little when I can.
Would you or do you use a PR agency?
I’ve not had much luck with PR agencies.
Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?
Put it up everywhere they’re active in social media.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
little, as compared to time writing and editing.
What do you do to get book reviews?
Same as anyone. Send it out to any place that does reviews and hope.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
Not very, but improving.
Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers?
I write the best book I can and send it out. That’s all.
What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?
Some reviewers are just plain mean. They look for things that their personality type doesn’t like and cite them. Even good reviews miss the point many times since both reading and writing is so subjective. However, in the words of Travis Taylor, “Good reviews rock!”
Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you?
What’s your views on social media for marketing?
Which social network worked best for you?
Web page, Blog, Amazon Author’s page.
Any tips on what to do and what not to do?
No. I’m not really a social person.
Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?
Yes, but I had no idea what I was doing at the time, early in my career.
Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
I’ve done a number of interviews, including a television appearance for Doggie Biscuit! when I sent a few copies to the judge in charge of a case of animal cruelty. He made the culprits read it.
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
No, but winning the Fictionwise Author of the Year in 2005 had a definite impact since Bujold and Marion Zimmer Bradley, both best selling authors while I was still mostly getting started were second and third place respectively. That tickled me.
Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future?
At the start of my writing career I finished my first book and selected a name out of Writer’s Market for an agent. I couldn’t have made a worse choice if I tried. The so-called agent was two scoundrels who were very good at picking your pocket. I ran across one poor woman who gave them 50 thousand dollars before wising up. Fortunately I didn’t spend that much but it was bad enough and damn near killed my career while it was just getting started. They were pure snake oil salesmen but very good at what they did until one author sent the FBI after them for mail fraud. They got four years each if the federal pen.
Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?
I hate to say it, but a lot of writing sales depends on luck. I’ve heard (but don’t know as a fact) that most manuscripts of first authors, even those with agents are given to college English Majors who read ten pages, if that much, and make a decision on whether to send the bok higher in the chain or reject it.
What do you think of “trailers” for books?
They probably help if they’re good but I don’t know how to do one so can’t say from experience.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
No, but may get my brother to make one for me to see how they work. After I find out how and where to post them.
Do you think that giving books away free works and why?
I’ve tried it but can’t say that it improved sales. I still give one away now and then to random people when I have extra copies left after sending to reviewers. Hope springs eternal.
Did you format your own book?
In what formats is your book available?
Can be read on most of the ebook readers and is also available in print edition as a Trade Paperback.
If formatted by someone else, how did you select them and what was your experience?
Almost all my books have been formatted by publishers. Generally speaking, they do a good job.
How do you relax?
Reading, napping and/or cuddling with Betty, maybe a little more than cuddling when neither of us is hurting very much. As we age, I have to sayj those times are getting fewer and fewer but you never get too old if you love each other the way we do.
What is your favourite motivational phrase.
Don’t think I have one.
What is your favourite positive saying?
Creative minds are rarely tidy.
What is your favourite book and why?
Robert A. Heinlein’s Citizen Of The Galaxy. Why? For pure story telling I believe this is the best book ever written.
What is your favourite quote?
Can’t think of one right off hand.
What is your favourite film and why?
Gone With The Wind. I don’t watch movies very often and I dislike films based on books that sometimes don’t even resemble the book. Gone With The Wind’s verisimilitude in relation to the book was well-night perfect.
Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
What is your favourite movie and why?
That question has already been answered.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Stay the hell in school and learn to study.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
David Weber. I love his books.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
That’s a silly question. I’ll pass.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Where do you see publishing going in the future?
Damned if I know. I just hope print books will remain, and I think they will. Reading exercises the imagination much more than visual media.
Is there anthing else you would like to add that I haven’t included?
No, you’ve covered everything, and then some. This is the longest interview I’ve ever done.
How can readers discover more about you and you work?
They can write me from my web site, www.darrellbain.com and read my periotic Blog, Bainstorming, which appears on my web site and all my blogs are archived there with a search engine. I announce when it has been posted to my contacts, twitter, face book, and all the places listed below except Smashwords when it has been posted.
Amazon Author Page: amazon.com
Book Links: (* American, UK, etc.)