Thursday, September 10, 2015

Rick Barry - WWII Buff Blending Historical and Speculative Writing

Chance to enter the drawing extended until
Wed., Sept. 23 at 6 p.m.! See details below. 

Winner announced below in the comment

Rick Barry is a fellow client of Linda S. Glaz of the Hartline Literary Agency. He has a unique story to tell in his latest novel, The Methusaleh Project. He is giving away a copy of his book to one randomly chosen reader in the U.S. who leaves a comment and email address below. Thanks for visiting!

About The Methuselah Project:
In World War II, German scientists began many experiments. One never ended. 

Roger Greene is a war hero. Raised in an orphanage, the only birthright he knows is the feeling that he was born to fly. Flying against the Axis Powers in World War II is everything he always dreamed―until the day he's shot down and lands in the hands of the enemy.

When Allied bombs destroy both his prison and the mad genius experimenting on POWs, Roger survives. Within hours, his wounds miraculously heal, thanks to those experiments. The Methuselah Project is a success―but this ace is still not free. Seventy years later, Roger hasn't aged a day, but he has nearly gone insane. This isn't Captain America―just a lousy existence only made passable by a newfound faith. The Bible provides the only reliable anchor for Roger's sanity and his soul. When he finally escapes, there's no angelic promise or personal prophecy of deliverance, just confusion. It's 2015―and the world has become an unrecognizable place.

Katherine Mueller―crack shot, genius, and real Southern Belle―offers to help him find his way home. Can he convince her of the truth of his crazy story? Can he continue to trust her when he finds out she works for the very organization he's trying to flee?

Thrown right into pulse-pounding action from the first page, readers will find themselves transported back in time to a believable, full-colored past, and then catapulted into the present once more. The historical back-and-forth adds a constantly moving element of suspense to keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Rick, welcome to my blog! I’m excited to have you visit. The Methusaleh Project has a fascinating premise. What would you like to share about your book?

This story has been especially close to my heart, even more so than my first two novels, and I believe it’s my best one yet. For years, the World War 2 era has fascinated me, and I’ve read many accounts by men and women who were thrown into it and had to deal with things no human would want to experience. Airplanes have always been connected with my family, since Dad learned to fly back in the 1940s as a teenager. So, for me, penning a story about a World War 2 pilot caught  against his will in a top-secret experiment became a natural storyline.

The fact that The Methusaleh Project takes place in historical and present times and involves a science experiment, makes it look like the perfect blend of historical and science fiction. What inspired you to write such a story?

History fascinates me, especially the 1940s, when the world was going through a global upheaval, so choosing a character from the forties was natural for me.

I will confess that writing a book with alternating chapters from the past and present was a challenge. It forced me to watch my timeline carefully and to align the story with actual events that happened, both in history and the present, right up to the final edit. It was fun and exciting, but a challenge to do without resorting to time machines or anything weird. Although the story is lightly tinged by sci-fi, I wanted the whole plot to seem believable, as if an actual Methuselah Project really could’ve happened. Who knows, maybe it did!

TWEET HERE: The Methuselah Project by @WriterRickBarry is WWII fiction with a twist! #historicalfiction #bookgiveaway

What is your favorite place and time of day to write?

Unfortunately, my schedule often forces me to write in short spurts of 20 minutes here, and 30 minutes there. Sometimes I squeeze in those moments in my little home office before leaving for work in the morning. Often at lunchtime I will eat quickly, then add more sentences to the story for 30 minutes. I’ve used dead time in airplane terminals and on airliners to create. Once in a great while, when I get a rare block of two or more hours, I will write at the local Panera. In fact, my character Katherine even mentions Panera, so yesterday I presented a complimentary copy of The Methuselah Project to the manager of our local Panera and explained that part of the book had been written in her back corner. She was excited to hear it!

Has your work as a missionary impacted your writing? If so, how?

It’s probably more accurate to say that my Christian faith in general has impacted my writing. Since every novelist creates by delving into all the things stored in his heart and memories to embellish his fiction, my underlying God-centered view of the universe underlies each book. What I can say is that my many, many travels to various parts of Eastern and Western Europe have provided real-life details that I’ve stitched into the storyline for realism. 

What will your next book be about?

Years ago I wrote a series of short stories for Breakaway, which was Focus on the Family’s magazine for teen guys. The title for the series was The Next Fithian. The hero was named Rankin, a normal young man who unexpectedly receives a special title, a special ability, and an assignment too big to handle. Now I’ve expanded those short stories into a full-length adventure, which my agent Linda Glaz has begun to shop around. It’s quite different. Yet, when my wife was reading the manuscript she came to me with it in hand and said, “This is it. Whatever else you’re working on, drop it and concentrate on this!” She’d never done that before. My proofreaders had similar reactions. So, I hope some editor out there catches that same vision.

That said, I also want to write a sequel for The Methuselah Project. I purposely left a number of threads hanging. I believe readers will want to rejoin Roger Greene for his next mission.

Thank you, Rick, for joining me this week. It's been great interviewing you!

Rick Barry is the author of three novels and over 200 articles and fiction stories. In addition to being a World War II buff, he is the director of church planting support at BIEM, a Christian ministry operating in Eastern Europe. He holds a degree in foreign languages, speaks Russian, and has visited Europe more than fifty times. Rick and his wife, Pam, live near Indianapolis, Indiana. Visit him at, or on Twitter (@WriterRickBarry).

TWEET HERE: The Methuselah Project: A WWII POW deals with the downside of anti-aging? @WriterRickBarry #WWIIfiction #bookgiveaway

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  1. Would love to share this book with my husband whose favorite two genres are history and science fiction. Sounds like a perfect match!

  2. Would love to read and even review this book.

    1. Beckie, I would love for you to review it. Thanks for even considering it!

  3. Hi Music4Mom. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
    Though this book isn't about time travel, which I also enjoy,
    I agree history and science fiction can make a great match!

  4. Beckie, thank you for taking the time to read Rick's
    interview and to comment.

  5. Sounds like an intriguing book that I would love to read!


  6. Thank you for taking the time to read Rick's interview
    and share your thoughts, Caryl.

  7. I want to thank ALL of you who are stopping by to read the interview, and especially those who leave a comment. I'm humbled to know that each of you could be doing something else online. Instead, you paused here to check out the interview and The Methuselah Project. Thanks a bunch, everyone!

  8. And the winner of Rick Barry's novel, The Methuselah Project,
    is Caryl Kane! Congratulations and happy reading! I will contact you