Hey folks! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Clayton Barnett and his story The Fourth Law!
~ * ~ BIO ~ * ~
One time engineer, some time pharmacy technician, full time husband and father, Clayton Barnett stumbled into writing a traditional novel last November during National Novel Writing Month. Liking the results, he edited what would become “The Fourth Law” and set about teaching himself self-publishing. In July of 2015, he released a sequel entitled “Echoes of Family Lost,” in what is now called his Machine Civilization series. He is working on a third book – for children – and is making notes for a fourth. Clayton Barnett lives in central Ohio with his wife, two daughter, and two dogs.
~ * ~ STALK ~ * ~
~ * ~ TOPIC du JOUR ~ * ~
I asked Clayton Barnett, “How did you get your start in writing and what fuels you to continue?” and here is the response.
Once upon a time, sitting on the old couch in my walk-out basement in central Ohio, I’d an idea. It was not a very nice idea, what being grounded on the notions of jealousy and disgust, but it was still an idea. It was August 3rd 2012, eight months minus one day ago, I’d actually skipped work so that I could download and play the OELVN, Katawa Shoujo. Yes: I’m that kind of geek. I really liked it, and to this day am thankful to all those that put it together. But I thought: if a bunch of artsy-types could do something like that… why can’t I?
So, eight months later, I tap out a short text to a friend of mine who is also a writer and illustrator.
“We should make a visual novel.”
“OK. What’s a visual novel?”
In less than four months, we’d Act I written, illustrated, and coded. Did I mention I had to learn RenPy code from scratch? Four months after that, we’d an 80,000+ word visual novel with four main characters, over twenty secondary characters, and nineteen possible endings, completed.
Then I started writing the spin-offs….
None of this has the slightest thing to do with my traditional novel, “The Fourth Law,” which is the subject of this book tour, but I did want to answer your question!
After all that, I wrote a 13-chapter script for a steampunk-version graphic novel of the adventures of Sidney Reilly, the man who essentially invented modern espionage. Then I wrote a few chapters for an 18+ webcomic that’s under development. Then…
…then I got an email from someone on 3 November 2014: “Are you doing anything for nanowrimo this year?”
A challenge to write a 50,000 novel in thirty days? An irrational deadline?! I was salivating at the prospect. In seconds, two mental images that had been floating about my rather empty mind came together, and I had my start. In four days I’d about 8000 words, in eighteen days, about 36,000.
I’d no idea for how to end it.
I spend three days writing nothing. I tried to see all the myriad ways that the story could go… which was the problem! I could write another 100k words, but I had to meet the deadline! Then, I saw the break-point; that meant there had to be a sequel, but at least I’d a way out. On the day after Thanksgiving, I uploaded the file and tapped ‘Submit.’
‘Validated. You Win!’
That version was so raw, so awful… I shudder to think about it. Still, I kinda liked those girls…. So I started editing. And more editing. Line editing. Did I mention editing? I learned self-publishing, in several formats. I was so much older for all this. On Christmas Eve, around 2315 at night, I tapped, ‘Submit’ once again.
I was the self-published author of a science fiction book of two young women who are the best of friends. Just like that. What an astonishing world we live in!
What fuels me to continue? Alcohol and coffee, of course, but also sheer curiosity as to who these people are! What do they want? How do they interact? They’re just so interesting, I want to know more about them! Unlike many writers, my approach is purely on-the-fly, so to speak. I’ve not the slightest idea where any of these stories are going; I see random bits of what they’re all doing, jot down notes, then try to pull it all together every weekend or so. To date, that’s worked for “The Fourth Law,” “Echoes of Family Lost,” a children’s book that’s being illustrated called “Henge’s Big Day!” and an upcoming webcomic entitled “Poisoned Hearts.” Where are we going, next? I’ve no idea. But, I want to go there with my new friends!
~ * ~ BLURB ~ * ~
In 2026, 23 year-old apprentice nurse Lily Barrett lives in a shattered time. Following its economic collapse, the US has devolved into a group of a few barely-functional smaller states, and vast swathes of barbarian badlands. Her sister has been missing for years, and her father, after earning the opprobrium of most of the world for running a state terror organization, presumed dead.
Two things keep her going: her live-in job at a small, Catholic orphanage in the city of Waxahachie, Republic of Texas, and Ai, her odd, but dear friend, whom she met online: a young woman who only shows herself to Lily as a rendered CG image.
Troubled by her past, haunted by her name, and facing an uncertain future, Lily seeks only a quiet, normal life. But, that past and her present conspire against her. A new Morning has come, and with it, delights and terrors, happiness and adversity.
Where do we come from?
What are we?
Where are we going?
~ * ~ EXCERPT ~ * ~
With this thought at the forefront of her mind as she walked into the dining hall, she had actually begun to giggle to herself. It was the sudden quiet of a normally raucous breakfast time that brought her back to reality. Fourteen, no, there was Marienne in the doorway to the kitchen, so fifteen pairs of eyes stared into hers, as the children wondered what was up with their Assistant Director. It was Erik, being made of trouble, who broke the silence.
“You sure look happy about sumthin’, Miss Barrett!” He said. “You get laid last night– ow!”
This last was as Marienne leaned forward and smacked him with her metal ladle.
“Shut your dirty mouth, Erik!” She said sharply. “And I doubt a little boy like you even knows what that means!”
He was about to talk back, but subsided when the older girl raised her weapon again.
Lily knew she had to say something, or else that rumor would be all over town by sunset.
“Since it seems y’all are interested,” several heads nodded, “I’ll tell you: I was visiting my best friend’s place last night, and got to meet some of her family. We had a really… interesting discussion! And, I guess I’m just excited about a few things. That’s all.”
Emily said quietly, “It’s good to have friends. And, family.” A powerful statement at breakfast in an orphanage.
~ * ~ BUY ~ * ~
~ * ~ GIVEAWAY ~ * ~
Clayton Barnett will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. CLICK HERE to enter to win a $30 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway! Readers, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates and places can be found here: Tour Schedule
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Clayton Barnett, thank you for stopping by today!
Love & blessings to all! ❤