When asked about his experience in writing, Barrett replied, "I loved writing fiction all through school. After completing my last creative writing program, life took over and I found less and less time to write."
"What brought you back?" (Interviewer)
"I was reading a book that I believe was number seven or eight in a series that I had been following. Each and every book had gotten more and more verbose until there wasn't the tiniest bit of room left in the story for my imagination."
"Did you finish the book?" (Interviewer)
"No, it holds the distinctive honor of being the only book I've never finished and thrown directly into the garbage can. I read because I have an imagination. I would think that anyone who prefers to read has an vivid imagination and I thought upon throwing that book away, 'I'm going to write a series of books that leave room for the reader to work their own magic!' and started on The Odd Job that same evening."
"So you consider a bare bones approach to be your style?" (Interviewer)
"Definitely! I decided to write a series of ebooks where the readers could blog and send suggestions about what they wanted to see more of. I wrote the first book that introduces the series and presented it to my test readers, explicitly asking for their feedback on how they wanted the story to unfold."
"Does that leave you with less control of the story arc than you would like?" (Interviewer)
"Not at all. So far, the suggestions have been specific to action scenes but I do have the final say in what goes into the stories. In the end, it's a lot like what I've always told my voice students, 'Never try to impress anyone, just entertain them, that's your job and the audience will love you for it.' Hopefully the same principals work as well with written entertainment."
"One last thing, has anyone pointed out that Angus the gorilla is a lot like Shrek?" (Interviewer)
(Laughter...) "Angus is kind of searching for his identity. He has every episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in his movie collection as well as the first Shrek movie. He picks up bits and pieces of characters that appeal to him and wears them like bits of clothing. Angus is also a huge Bruce Willis fan but for me he is more like Xander from the Buffy series than anyone else, I always loved that character so maybe that's just the way I see him."
"Does Angus actually have an accent?" (Interviewer)
"Once you start reading through the books, you'll notice that even though Angus has a Scottish accent, he's actually an old Celtic pirate. He has more Viking blood in him than anything else and the accent changes, depending on his mood. I honestly never know with that guy, he's lovably puzzling."
"You talk as if he's a real person." (Interviewer)
"Isn't he?" (Laughter.) "He's one of my facebook friends."
"I can see where this is going so let me ask you the big question, why pick on God?" (Interviewer)
"I don't pick on God. I just thought where has he been lately? With all the terrible things going on in the world that were traditionally handled by angels or acts of God, at least in the Bible, why haven't we seen any miracles? Simple, God's had a nervous break down and has gone into hiding somewhere where he can't hear all the voices that plague him."
"Didn't you come up with that idea while watching the news?" (Interviewer)
"Yeah, I was tossing a few different story-lines back and forth while watching TV and the thought occurred to me during the news, 'Isn't this where God usually steps in and kicks everyone out of the pool or sends angels in to smash things up?' and then I thought, 'He's not home, he's in the holy version of a padded cell.'"
"You picked and interesting version of that padded cell." (Interviewer)
"Thanks. I figured the world tree Yggdrasil from Norse legend would be perfect. It's something that already has a place in legend so the average reader will probably recognize the name."
"So, why a tree?"
"Well, that's where squirrels stash their nuts. I figured if the big guy has gone nuts, I'd need a really big tree."
"You're messing with me now, aren't you?" (Interviewer)
"Is there anything that you take seriously?" (Interviewer)
"Not really, I hear it's bad for the digestion."
"Thank you for your time." (Interviewer)
"You're welcome, are you going to eat that last piece of pizza?"
"I was thinking about it." (Interviewer)