I had found some peace when a smart woman came along who just could not see how her behavior was completely driven by what Freud called id―her base urges.
E.A. Barker – 29 July 2017
The Back Flap
This book was created for everyone from young adults to seniors. It was written from a male’s point of view, speaking to men who are endlessly struggling to understand the opposite sex. For women, this is a fascinating journey inside the male psyche. The book gives a young reader a glimpse of the future, with a recommended timeline for key life events. Mature readers, who have already experienced much of what is discussed in the book, should come away with a new found understanding and perhaps even closure. Ms. Creant is a controversial, entertaining, yet informative look at everything which influences human behaviour including: relationships, life, health, biology, philosophy, sociology, theology, politics, genetics—even physics. E. A. Barker shares twenty-four “inappropriate” stories of life with women. The author based these stories of women behaving badly on his real life experiences, spanning four decades of his search for an ideal partner. The lessons taken away from the book will serve to help readers make better choices, become more aware, grow and change—at any stage of life.
About the book
What is the book about?
Ms. Creant is a guide to the things we are not taught but need to know. It is a book about our journey through life and how we must seek awareness or be doomed by repetitive behavioral patterns. It is centered on relationships as there is no better place to learn about ourselves than through our interactions with others.
When did you start writing the book?
I began researching and making notes in 2009.
How long did it take you to write it?
The short answer is two years spread over a seven year span―one year of research and one year of writing―omitting the seven months it took to produce and distribute the book. I always struggle to answer this question because Ms. Creant kept evolving. It began as a simple memoir to benefit my coming of age nephews. Then the research was added, but I did not want the book to read like a textbook so I began adding all the politically incorrect humor to lighten things up a bit. It was at this point that I just wanted to publish it as an eight chapter e-book and call it a day, but it was not to be. My alpha reader said she wanted more. Ms. Creant 24 popped into my life and she also encouraged me to make the book everything it could be. I pulled some related ideas from the early chapters and wrote two more chapters to fully develop those thoughts. I sent what I thought was a pretty good manuscript off to a professional editor and later, while sifting through the thousands of errors, I thought up yet another new ending that I really liked. Chapter eleven represented the third and final time I would write The End.
Where did you get the idea from?
Without creating any spoilers, I had found some peace when a smart woman came along who just could not see how her behavior was completely driven by what Freud called id―her base urges. She was an emotional mess, but instead of learning about herself, she used her vulnerability to wreak havoc on the local male population.
Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?
I struggled with my inability to see my own mistakes. I must have read Ms. Creant twenty times prior to sending it to my editor, but what came back shook my confidence. I hired a proofreader once I had completed all the revisions and she found things I was incapable of seeing. It mystifies me how I cannot see a missing word or period in my own work.
What came easily?
I am one of the fortunate ones; I do not suffer from writer’s block. Words just pour out of me onto the page, so much so at times that I need to keep a pad nearby so I can keep up.
Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?
I definitely borrowed.
We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?
I am quite sure I have been influenced by other writers, but I really cannot say who, how, or to what extent.
Do you have a target reader?
I tried very hard to write a book for every mature guy on the planet as well as all the open-minded women of the world who are not easily offended. Truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow.
Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?
I write with the idea that everything needs a beginning, a middle and an ending; whether it is a sentence, a paragraph (blurb), a chapter (blog) or a book. Sometimes you need fresh eyes to make a piece better so I write first and sort it the next day. When I speak of sorting, I am talking about content editing where we ask questions like: Is this necessary? Is this tangential? Is this redundant? Does this belong here or would it be better somewhere else? Does this thought need to be fleshed out?
Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just write chapter headings and a couple of sentences?
In the early going, I did produce a VERY flexible outline mostly so I could begin to associate my narrative with the research and the related stories (case studies). It was a way of filing which ultimately led to the creation of chapters.
Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?
I try to edit as I go, but my editor, who I picture in my head as Ilsa of the SS, probably would not believe it. I do tend to write first and then proofread the section I wrote.
Did you hire a professional editor?
Yes. She came highly recommended, but I could only afford a single pass so all the final revisions were on the shoulders of my proofreader. I believe she did a great job of keeping me from looking like a moron.
Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?
No. I need quiet to hear the voices in my head. 😀
Did you submit your work to Agents?
I naively chased some fifty agents and publishers with a less than perfect pitch from a first time author lacking credentials and a writing platform. I had no chance.
What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher?
I have O.C.D. (Obsessive COMPLETION Disorder) I wanted to complete what I had begun and there are days where I question my decision.
Was it a particular event or a gradual process?
I suppose it is a gradual process. You reach a point where you are getting nowhere with traditional publishing, yet you are heavily invested in terms of your time. It seems a shame to shelve your hard work and, in my case at least, your ego kicks in and says, I’LL SHOW THEM! I’ll self-publish and sell a million copies. I’ll have them all begging at my doorstep, and I won’t return their calls, just like J.K. Rowling. (Still more evidence of my naiveté.)
Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?
A little of both; I took the photo, created a mockup, and had my publisher produce the cover I wanted. To their credit, it was their idea to reverse the photo to create the back cover.
Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?
“. . . of mice and men.”
Oh, there was a plan―a real world comprehensive marketing strategy that would have put 100 copies of the book in the hands of mainstream media reviewers around the globe. There was to be advertising in magazines in support of the book’s launch, promotional items, and books submitted to legitimate awards competitions, but everything hinged on a budget that did not materialize. This left me to do the best I could with what I had and plunged me into the low yield on-line book marketing arena.
Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?
DON’T DO IT!
All kidding aside, here is my TOP 12 THINGS I WISH I KNEW before going on this ride:
1) YOU ARE IN BUSINESS. Businesses have costs whether measured in time, money or productivity. The best business advice I ever received was: “Leave your ego at home.”
2) AGENTS AND MAJOR PUBLISHERS are part of a small tight-knit traditional publishing community that only bet on sure things, and they have installed a great many roadblocks to keep indie books out of their playground. Don’t waste your time, envelopes or stamps on them.
3) YOU MUST NOT HAVE ANY ILLUSIONS about success being about the work. I was told by a publishing industry veteran that no one would publish War and Peace in today’s market.
4) DO NOT EXPECT TO BE A BREAKOUT AUTHOR; the odds are literally one in a million. If you always wanted to publish a book, you have the money to put out a quality product, with still more money to market it effectively, then you have a chance to recoup your costs and buy a pizza or two when all is said and done.
5) SPEAKING OF MONEY . . . everybody will be after yours once word gets out that there is a new fish in the pond. BE REALLY CAREFUL and research these people thoroughly. One stop self-publishing companies, editors, formatters, cover designers, PA’s, publicists, book fair promoters, twitter marketers, web developers, pay to review sites, pen and coffee cup peddlers, pay for awards sites, and associations looking for membership fees will inundate your in-boxes. Most of the so-called “industry experts” (consultants) are failed authors who have taken what they have learned and made a career of helping newbies fail as they did.
6) SOCIAL MEDIA is a horrible investment of your time. You will make some friends and garner the attention of some bloggers and reviewers which will help you to rationalize why you do it, but only 1% of social media followers become book buyers. Do a little but don’t get sucked into believing that ads or campaigns will sell more books. They don’t.
7) INTERNET MARKETING does have value. E-mail campaigns give you a much better return on investment. My statistics show a 10% return to be typical, and this interview resulted from an e-mail campaign.
8) Do not send out unprotected digital ADVANCE READER COPIES or you will one day wake up to find your book on a pirate site.
9) Many REVIEWERS want an ARC or galley three months prior to the release of the book. Some reviewers will only look at books that are less than six months old. Others will only review books in print. At most you have one year to get a mainstream review. Many mainstream publications will not review indie releases. Some mainstream publications will not review foreign releases.
10) Most MAINSTREAM LITERARY AWARDS will not consider indie releases because they did not go through an editorial selection process.
11) If you publish using AN AMAZONIAN COMPANY to produce your POD books, it is doubtful you will ever make a sale in a brick and mortar bookstore. I begged two bookstores to order a friend’s book for me but they refused. They would rather pass on a sale than support the entity that is crushing them. The hostility level is that high.
12) DO NOT BELIEVE UNQUALIFIED ALPHA READERS! They are friends, fans or relations who will say you are as good as Hemmingway without ever having read his work. They encourage us but we must not allow our egos to be blown up by anything less than a real review in a mainstream publication.
(Proposed new question:) Would you do it again?
Not unless the costs, measured in both time and money, are recouped. I can now put AUTHOR on my resume and venture out into the world to see where that title takes me. This is a tough business and there is little about it I would miss.
(Proposed new question:) What are the positives?
There are some great people you would never have known were it not for this crazy adventure. Reviews are really a highlight. You hear there is a new one and you begin to rock back and forth sitting in the corner clutching your knees as someone reads it to you. 😀
What would you like readers to know about you?
I’m just a boy―standing in front of a bookstore―asking them to love me. 😀
What are you working on now?
I’m trying desperately to maintain some semblance of sanity for another four months until I reach the finish line. 😀
End of Interview: