Darrell Bain writes humor, adventure, mystery, science fiction, suspense and thriller novels for adults, as well as short story collections. He has about 50 books in print! Yes, that’s not a misprint.
Darrell Bain: Actually, it is a misprint. I did have more than 60 books in print, but a few months ago I withdrew all my books from one publisher, about 20 of them. Some I am going to allow to remain permanently out of print, another publisher has picked u a dozen or so of them, and I’ve self-published two and will have two more self-published within a month or so. A few I am looking for another publisher for.
Bonnie Ferrante: Welcome, Darrell. According to Amazon, you have published eight books in 2016 in the year is only half over. That’s more than one book a month. How is this possible?
Bain: All but two of these are re-edited and re-published again with new covers by Twilight Times Books.
Ferrante: Do you work on more than one book at a time?
Bain: Yes, most of the time I am working on two or three at once.
Ferrante: Do you get feedback on your books before they are published?
Bain: On some now, but in the past, no.
Ferrante: How much do you write in a day?
Bain: Right now I’m lucky to get a page done because of back problems. I’m having surgery in about 6-8 weeks, the sooner the better. Prior to that, I wrote until I got tired, usually about 5,000 words but sometimes as much as 10 or 15,000 words a day.
Ferrante: You’ve worked in the medical field, do you draw upon this in your novels? Which ones? You’re also a Vietnam veteran. How does this affect the topics you choose and your style of writing?
Bain: Yes. Medics Wild was drawn entirely from my medical experience in Vietnam. The Long Way Home used a lot of my microbiology and hematology experience, as did Alien Infection and a number of others. The military background in some of my novels, e.g. the Apertures Series, is drawn from 13 years service. I can’t really say it affects the topics I choose. Most are drawn from some everyday experience that sparks my imagination.
Ferrante: Your book, Samantha’s Talent, was written with Robyn Pass and The Y Factor was written with Stephanie Osborne. What are the logistics of co-writing a book?
Bain: It depends on the co-author and the book. Most of the ones were books I was either stalled on or had more and better ideas I wanted to get on with. Robyn was different. It wasn’t really a collaboration since she didn’t do any of the writing but she did help edit it and provided some useful ideas, enough that I listed her as co-author and gave her a % of my royalties.
Ferrante: How do you research for your science fiction novels?
Bain: The same way as or any other novel. I try to get the science right and history right and any other background right. I can’t say I always succeed but I do try my best.
Ferrante: Which was the most difficult book for you to write? Why?
Bain: The Melanin Apocalypse. The writing wasn’t difficult but I knew in advance that I would get a lot of flak and be called a racist, a white supremacist and other names. I put a lot of research into it and still one reviewer said the science was ridiculous. Not true. Every bit of it was possible and is becoming more possible every day. I had to really put some thought into the subplot and was called an anti-Muslim bigot, too. Nevertheless a science fiction reader’s club picked the book to debate and I did some radio interviews as well.
Ferrante: Out of all the books you’ve written, what is the one you’re most proud of?
Bain: Now that’s a hard one to answer. If I had to be pinned down, I suppose I’d pick Savage Survival. The idea for it bloomed in my mind one night fully plotted and the book practically wrote itself. On the other hand, I’m really proud of the two books I’ve written as tributes to two really unusual dachshunds we’ve owned (or that owned us, I’m not sure.) One, Doggie Biscuit! followed the life of Biscuit, the most intelligent, people-oriented dogs I’ve ever even heard or thought about and the book followed his life faithfully, other than exaggerating a few true events for humor or dramatic purposes. The other, Bark! was about Tonto, a runt of the litter who was cross-eyed, had only one testicle and was afflicted with the doggie version of Aspergers Syndrome. He also had ADHD. He went his own silly way, marching to the tune of a different drummer than other dogs. He would spend hours arranging garden hoses left lying in the yard around the porch steps into a pattern only he knew the meaning of. He was a tool user and made his own tool for a specific purpose, which is supposed to be impossible for a dog, but not for Tonto. He was fascinated by water and…but read it yourself. It’s out of print right now but you may be able to find some used print copies. I plan on bringing it back as soon as possible, even if I have to self-publish. If any publishers are reading this, please take note. And I can’t write any more about either dog right now because I’m crying over them again, as I’ve done many times in the past. Damn. I knew I’d do that as soon as I thought about Biscuit or Tonto.
Ferrante: Aren’t you running out of ideas? How do you keep generating new topics for books?
Bain: I don’t understand how any author can run out of ideas, especially a science fiction author. I’ll run out of life before I ever run out of ideas. My mother once said she thought I could write a story about anything. She asked me if I’d write her a romance and I did, Hotline To Heaven, although it is a rather unorthodox romance.
Ferrante: If you were invited to be the main guest on a new run of the famous show “This Is Your Life,” what three people from your past would you love to see making a surprise visit on the show?
Bain: I assume that’s a TV show. The ones I’d most like to see are all gone now, but if they could be brought back to life, my Uncle, T.C. Masters would be the first one. He liked to write but had a big family to support and his businesses took up his time. I get tears in my eyes when I think of him. He was a peaceful, slow talking man but a literal, self-taught genius. Everyone who knew him loved him. The next would be my maternal grandfather. Mother always said I resembled him in my thoughts and actions, and like me, he was never satisfied to stay in one place. He was constantly moving his large family around. He like to write but couldn’t get anything published so he bought a printing press and published his own work. No one saved any of it but I’d dearly love to see some of what he wrote. T.C. talked about him a lot. And the last would be Travis, one of T.C.s brothers. He died young in automobile accident. He could tell the most fantastic, outrageous stories and make us kids believe him, but he was never mean.
Ferrante: What is one field or profession that you never pursued, but that you think you would probably have been quite good at?
Bain: A medical doctor. Even as poor as we grew up, I would have had a chance at it, and did when the army sent me to college to get a degree as a lowly PFC who dropped out of high school in the ninth grade because I had such high test scores but I blew it because of an amphetamine habit I had as a young man.
Ferrante: What is the most incredible weather event you’ve ever been through in your life?
Bain: My wife was driving as we were on the way home from a visit and ran into a sudden violent thunderstorm pouring down an enormous amount of rain. We were on a highway entering a town and couldn’t even see how to pull over the rain was coming down so furiously. Nothing to do but keep going and hope for the best. We got through the town and finally came out of it. We learned the next day that we’d missed being carried off by flood waters by about a minute, from eleven inches of rain in little more than a half hour. Incredible and we were lucky to get through it, much less miss the flood!
Darrell Bain’s book Alien Infection will be reviewed on this blog on Friday, December 9, 2016.
Click on the covers below to buy a book by Darrell Bain.
and there are more!
Alien Infection will be reviewed on this blog January 27, 2017.
Note: the three random questions are from “Chat Pack – Fun Questions to Spark Conversations”.