Clifford Barker talks about Zero: Earth and Zero: Earth Fire
That's a tough question to answer, I am not really a trumpet blower. I like to think that since starting writing Zero - Earth back in 2014, I have been singularly focused on getting the story, and subsequent stories down. I remember that I used to have other hobbies, but as I am well into book four of the series, I don't think about much else. Writing Sci-Fi is hard. It's such a vast genre with so much talent already established. The key is bringing something new and exciting, this is where my effort went. Writing words is easy, developing characters and creating believable dialogue around topics which have no basis in reality, and keeping it original, that is a task. I am a bit of a perfectionist, as such I could not release book 1 until I had 2 and 3 done too. I wanted to make sure all the facts aligned, and various Easter eggs have been dropped for readers to find later. This took time, it would've been far easier not to do this, but again I am trying to be dedicated to the reader's enjoyment and create something which provokes thought.
When the words are flowing, I write every second I can. 2 to 3 chapters on the fly are quite easy for me. I was lucky that way with book 1 and 3 which practically wrote themselves, I was just a conduit. That's what it felt like anyway. Book 2 was difficult, I knew that I had to really deliver on the things I'd set up in book 1. Now having edited book 3 and made it ready to publish, and working so hard on book 4 as well as writing Quinn the Assassin, a short story, I don't follow any set schedule. If anything I have been struggling with a few blocks recently, but I am also trying to pace myself. Monday and Tuesday I don't write at all, I watch anime with my son, just to take my mind off what I am doing. I am lucky I have such a great partner, she lets me get on with whatever I am doing and backs me totally, even though she hates Sci-Fi.
It would be great to still be writing, I have a few short story ideas related to the Zero series which I would like to have completed by then. I have also put down a few other story concepts which I would like to explore in more detail. I think maybe you are asking ... Do I want to be famous? I don't think that's possible for a self published Indy on the Zon. The best I can hope for would be a small but loyal following of people who like action and adventure tempered with science, humour and very dark happenings. When I post samples of my work, the response is usually good, but thats all. This does not translate into sales. I think for the next step to happen ... recognition ... I need to take a deep look inside, and start shouting about my work a little more.
Keep your head down and stay focused. Initially people will not take you seriously, in this phase only what you and close relatives think actually matters. If you think you have a decent story get it down. You only have to be able to put meat on the bones of your original idea. I didn't tell many people I was writing a book, all of them looked at me sideways, but at no point did I lose faith in my idea. A huge wave of self doubt hit me when the final manuscript was ready for book 1 and it was time to publish. This is a wall only you can break through, or it was for me, I do my own editing so I had no outside feedback on whether the story was any good or not. You have to find some belief in yourself and just do it. Then when the reviews come in, you need to see the bad ones and cherish them, they make the good reviews much more legitimate.
I had a great review from an author called Stephen Ethier, we did a review for review, and after reading his book The Void revealed, I was filled with doubt that Stephen would like mine. His book was so intricately woven, a few levels above mine which is quite linear by comparison. The result was the best review I have ever had. What follows is just part of what he wrote, and I was blown away.
w manuscripts and read them first.
Book 1 - Zero - Earth
ish the Devine, their neighbours of old and expand across the universe, possessing all that they find and killing any race that would dare to stand in their way.
Book 2 - Zero - Earth Fire