1. Who are you? What do you do?
My name is David-Matthew Barnes. I write novels, poetry, stage plays, and screenplays. I primarily write stories for young people.
2. What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?
I write every day, usually very early in the morning. I work in my home office. It’s a great space to create in.
3. What are the most important elements of good writing? According to you, what tools are must-haves for writers?
Solid storytelling is a must. I love writing that transports the reader into another time and place. All writers need a quiet place to work, a great support system, and the determination to keep going.
4. What motivates you to write?
My readers are a big motivation for me. As long as people want to read my stories, I will continue to write them.
5. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
No. I never struggle with writer’s block. A bigger challenge for me is finding all of the necessary time I need to write.
6. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write the stories you want to read. Write without fear. Study your craft.
7. What is the message in your book? What are your readers’ reactions to it?
One of the biggest messages in ‘Riding with James Dean’ is freedom. This theme appears in different variations in the story. It’s not just about the freedom to love someone, it’s about personal freedom – living a beautiful, rich life with no limits.
8. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned more about myself from writing ‘Riding with James Dean’ than anything else I’ve written. Telling this story really forced me to examine and define my own meaning of freedom, love, and desire.
9. What are your current/future projects?
I just finished writing my next young adult novel. It’s called ‘The Marijuana Mermaids.’ It will be out next year.
10. What book(s)/author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
I wouldn’t be a writer today if it weren’t for the literary works of Judy Blume, Lois Duncan, and Norma Fox Mazer.
11. Is there any other information you want to share?
Thank you to everyone at What To Read After 50 Shades for letting me talk about my work and share information with your readers about ‘Riding with James Dean.’