Meet Author James Barney

In my humble opinion, when you add the element of science into a thriller, you are on the road to a winner. And not just because Black Widow and the Sandman is a good dose of science and thriller. The element of science in a thriller isn’t the only thing I have in common with today’s guest. Our debut novels release date is tomorrow (28 June). Enough about our similarities. Allow me to introduce you
to Science Thriller author James Barney. Enjoy

Tell us a little about yourself. I’m a practicing attorney in Washington, DC, a former U.S. Navy submarine officer, and an aspiring novelist. I live in McLean, Virginia with my wife Kelley, our two children Davis and Isabel, and our dog Max. When I’m not writing, I love traveling, running, and sailing.

Briefly explain your journey to becoming a published author. It’s been a long journey. I first attempted to write a novel while I was in law school, thirteen years ago. I got to about chapter 10 before giving up. It was harder than I thought! I started up again about eight years later, this time with a different plot. A friend of mine at work read an early, unfinished draft and encouraged me to finish the book. He and I would run a few times a week around the monuments in DC, and we would discuss plot points and character development during those runs. It took about two years to finish the book, after which I began looking for an agent. As I expected, that process proved difficult, too. It took nearly a year and a lot of rejections before I finally landed an agent. Once that happened, however, things fell into place relatively quickly. Within a month or two, he’d found me a two-book publishing deal with William Morrow/HarperCollins, and, since then, it’s been a slow but steady process of editing, revising, and moving toward publication. I’m very excited for the actual launch, scheduled for June 28.

What genre(s) do you like to read? I have somewhat eclectic tastes in books. I read quite a bit in the thriller/suspense genre. I like Michael Crichton, James Rollins, Steve Berry, and Joseph Finder in that category. I also like non-fiction books, especially interesting historical treatments, such as Killing Pablo by Mark Bowden (about Pablo Escobar) or Last Call by Daniel Okrent (about Prohibition).

What is your favorite novel and why? I read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand about twenty years ago, and it is still my favorite novel. It was written in 1957 but is just as relevant today as it was then, perhaps more so.

Tell us about your latest book? The Genesis Key a science thriller with a religious twist. The protagonist, Dr. Kathleen Sainsbury, is an ex-NIH scientist struggling to keep her young biotech company afloat. When she learns some disturbing information about the deaths of her parents some three decades earlier, she suddenly finds herself at the center of a swirling mystery involving the U.S. government, the Book of Genesis, and a shadowy organization called the “Olam Foundation.” To solve this puzzle, Kathleen must confront the truth about her parents’ secret research. Meanwhile, powerful forces are trying to stop her at all costs. It’s a race against time, and the future of all humanity hangs in the balance.

Where can readers purchase your latest book? The Genesis Key will be published in paperback (and ebook format) on June 28, 2011, by HarperCollins. It is currently available for pre-order at most booksellers, including Amazon , IndieBound, and Barnes & Noble.

What advice do you have for aspiring authors? Take a breather. I have a tendency when I’m writing to get tired of my own manuscript. After working on a particular section for a long time, I sometimes get frustrated that the story is not unfolding the way I wanted it to. When that happens, I put the manuscript aside for a couple weeks then pick it up with fresh eyes. I’m often pleasantly surprised that it reads better than I remembered. Also, fresh ideas tend to pop up when I re-read the manuscript after a long break.

What do you have on the burner for the next year? I’m very excited about my next novel, which will also be a thriller in the same vein as The Genesis Key. There will not be any recurring characters, but it will have a similar theme and will involve a very intriguing technology.

How can readers reach you? My email address is And I can be found on
Facebook .

L. L. Reaper here. Thank you, James. I know you are busy getting ready for your release and I truly appreciate your taking time out to chat with us. Feel free to come back anytime.

On a sidenote. This is the last day for the pre-order bargains on Black Widow and the Sandman. You know my philosophy: Why pay full price when you can get the same product at a greatly reduced price.

27% – 44% Discount of Black Widow and the Sandman
Don’t miss your opportunity for a great discount on this dangerously sexy suspense. If you’d like autographed copies, you can order directly from the Books page. Black Widow and the Sandman is also available in eBook for $7.99.

Target 27% off, 37% off, Books a Million 44% off.