Wednesday 21 September 2011

Dancing With Myself – David Barber Interviewed by The Two Blokes

Dancing With Myself – David Barber Interviewed by The Two Blokes.

“So, what are we doing here?”

“We’ve come to meet our maker.”

“What? Meet our who?”

“We’ve come to see our “creator” and interview him.”

“We’re going to interview God?”

“No, you daft sod.  We’re here to interview David Barber, the bloke who created us.”

“Oh right, the hairdresser from down the road.”


“David, the barber from down the road.”

 “Oh, give me strength. His name is David Barber, and…oh, shit…never mind, he’s here. Hello, David. Take a seat and we can get this over and done with. For the purpose of this interview, I’ve devised a key. I’m sure you could work it out, but here it is:  DB = David Barber, TB1 = Two Blokes 1, TB2 = Two Blokes 2 (the dim one).”

TB2:  I’m not dim!

TB1:  Yes you are! Now shut up and let me get on with it. OK, the following interview is with David Barber. He’s a writer (so he tells us) and the editor of the fantastic webzine, The…oh come on, David. You can’t make us say stuff li… 

DB:  Just read what you’ve been given. OK?

TB1:  …and the editor of the fantastic webzine, The Flash Fiction Offensive.

DB:  Hello.

TB1:  Yeah, whatever. So, name?

DB:  What? You’ve just said who I am.

TB1:  No, you told me to say who you are by writing it down. I’ve got my own questions, if you don’t mind. Apparently, so has he, but my first question is name?

DB:  OK. You already know my name. I’m your creator.

TB2:  Eh?  You’re God?  I thought you were David Bar

TB1:  Holy shit, we’ve already been through that, dopey.

DB:  No, I’m not God. I’m David Barber. I just created you, The Two Blokes.

TB2:  Oh right. And you’re not the barber from down the road?

TB1:  Just try and ignore him, he’s a bit slow.

DB:  Yes, don’t worry. Ok, I’ve got a question for you two.  What are your names?

TB1:  Sorry, that’s a strictly need-to-know basis.

DB:  Well, I could just give you names, seeing as I cr…

TB1:  Sorry for stopping you there, David, but we have some questions and, look…..see, people are already getting bored. God only knows why they want to know about you anyway. OK, a little background please.

DB:  Well, I started writing when…

TB2:  Hmm…hmm, hmm, hmm…hmm…hmm, la-la-la…da-da-da…

TB1:  What the hell are you doing?

TB2:  You said background noise.

TB1:  Background PLEASE, not noise! About David, you daft sod!

DB:  You’re a bit harsh on him, you know.

TB1:  Come on, you’ve heard him, right? Dim as a two watt light bulb.

DB:  You know, I don’t actually think he’s as dim as you think he is.

TB1:  Yeah, right! Anyway, as you were saying…

DB:  OK. I started writing when I was around 19-20. I read a book and thought, I could do that. How little I knew back then. I dabbled in short stories and started a novel, but I eventually fell out of love with it. 

Things happened in my life: I got injured and finished from the fire service, we had kids and moved up to Scotland.  It was then that a good mate, Col Bury, asked me to submit a story to a magazine that he was co-editing with author, MattHilton. I sent a six sentence story called ‘Sorry, Love,’ off to Thrillers,Killers ‘n’ Chillers, which went on to get a 2nd place Bullet Award. My love for writing was rekindled.

TB1:  Great. OK, your question.

TB2:  Eh? Oh, right. I’m having a new kitchen and was wondering if I should have free standing appliances or interrogated. Your thoughts, please.

DB:  What the f**k!

TB1:  It’s integrated, and that wasn’t a writing question.


TB1:  Told you. He’s a dimwit! Apparently, you’re the editor of an online magazine. How did that happen?

DB:  Long story short. I emailed a friend – and a great writer – Glenn G Gray, about his writing and if he had any new stories coming out, etc. After a bit of email tennis, he told me he’d recommended me to his pal, Matt Louis, who runs Gutter Book Publishers and Out Of The Gutter magazine. Matt was looking for someone to take the reigns over at The Flash Fiction Offensive. The rest, as they say, is history.

TB2:  Who?

TB1:  What are you on about?

TB2:  David just said that ‘they’ said it’s history.

TB1:  God help us!

DB:  Nobody said it. It’s just a saying.


TB1:  Tell us about your writing. Where do your stories come from and what’s your favourite genre?

DB:  Wow. Erm, my stories come from…well, you know I’m not sure. I used to write a lot for challenges, where you were given a starter sentence or a photo prompt or a series of words. I’d sit down and a story would just develop. I get ideas a lot of while I’m working. I’ll be tiling at an old house, go outside for a break, look up at a window and in my mind I’d see the face of a troubled child, a terrified woman or a crazed man. Then a news headline would stir the creative juices. An old man stood in a queue at a cash machine. They can come from anywhere and everywhere.

My favourite genre? I started off writing horror stories when I was younger, and then more recently I’ve been writing crime. I don’t think I have a favourite though. I just love words.

TB1:  Good answer.

DB:  Thanks.

TB1:  Don’t thank me, you wrote the question. What are you working on at the minute?

DB:  I’m working on a novel with a working title of The Court. I’m hoping to have that finished by my next birthday, 5th Jan 2012. There’s a good chance that it could turn into a series involving the same characters. I’ve got another couple of ideas for novels with working titles of The Wrong Coat and In Search Of Perfection.

I’m also working on a couple of stories for anthologies I’ve been invited into and a few short stories which I intend on sending out to magazines.

TB2:  Why don’t you just publish your own stories if you run a magazine? Ouch!

TB1:  See what I mean? He comes out with something intelligent and it hurts him.

TB2:  I banged my knee on the table leg!


DB:  OK, guys. Calm down. Simple answer to your question about publishing my own work is all about honesty. I don’t think I’d get honest feedback if I published myself. People could see it as a bit of an ego trip. Just because I’m the editor of the magazine, then I think I’m a great writer and should automatically be published. 

For me it doesn’t work like that. I prefer to keep my writing and the magazine separate. I’d rather send my work out to other magazines to find out if my stories are good enough. After all, I have my own blog to publish my own work.

TB2:  Is there a toilet in here?

DB:  Just down the hallway, last door on the left.

TB1:  Right, while he’s gone, we need to talk. Is there any chance you could…like…kill him off or something? You know, give me a more intelligent mate?

DB:  Let’s get one thing straight, buddy. If it wasn’t for him, there wouldn’t be a YOU! Live with it.

TB1:  Ok, Ok. Maybe that was a bit harsh. I apologise. 

DB:  No worries.

TB1:  Where did The Two Blokes, us two, come from? That’s a weird question for me to ask!

DB:  One of the writing challenges I spoke of earlier. I’d left it until the last minute to write something for it and the four words to be used just seemed perfect for a conversation. So, you two just appeared, sat at the bar of a pub. The thing is: now you just won’t go away.

TB1:  We aim to…annoy! Ha!

TB2:  Phew! Sorry guys, but if you need the toilet you’d better give it 15, maybe 20 minutes. Woo!

TB1:  Way too much info. To wrap it up then, have you got a question for David?

TB2:  Oh, right. Err, yes, actually I have. When I have my kitchen done, and seeing as you’re a self-employed tiler, is there any chance you could do the tiling for me? You know, on the cheap. Mates rates?

DB:  F**k off!  Three beers please, mate!



David Barber was born and bred in Manchester, England, but now lives in Crieff, Scotland with his wife, Lisa, and their two daughters.  He wrote some years ago but was inspired to write again by an old friend and the beauty that surrounds him.  He has been published on numerous e-zines, including Thriller, Killers ‘n’ Chillers, A Twist of Noir, The New Flesh and Blink Ink.  He also has a couple of pieces of writing appearing in two anthologies.  He is currently working on a few projects including a novel.  He can be found lurking at

Thanks David for an excellent approach - loved it.  And good luck with all those pies your fingers are in.

Other news:
If you're in Scotland, or you plan to be here tomorrow, here's the place to be:


Thursday, 22nd Sept.
University of Edinburgh
Ground Floor Lecture Theatre
Hugh Robson Building
George Square
Thu 22nd Sept, 6.30pm-7.45pm

Join Allan Guthrie and Len Wanner in what promises to be a fun, eventful and informative evening in celebration of Scottish crime fiction as Len discusses his highly acclaimed collection of in-depth interviews with some of Tartan Noir's finest exponents, DEAD SHARP: SCOTTISH CRIME WRITERS ON COUNTRY AND CRAFT, with digital publisher, literary agent and award-winning crime novelist, Allan Guthrie.

I'll be going straight from the hospital from my therapy group.

And if I ever knew that AA Milne wrote crime fiction, I'd forgotten.  I picked up on it yesterday at Crime Fiction Lover.  Not only did they tell me about it, they told me where I could download it to my Kindle for free.  Check that out.

PULP FICTION received a welcome shot of enthusiasm from the wonderful Elizabeth White who said in her introduction:

'Edited by Nigel Bird and Chris Rhatigan, Pulp Ink is a blistering collection of 24 deliciously dark tales, each based on a song from the Pulp Fiction movie soundtrack. Murder and madness, sex and seduction, revenge and redemption, Pulp Ink has a little bit of everything going on.'

Into Thin Air, amazingly enough, was in the top ten e-book short stories at Waterstones this weekend, the first nine places being held by erotic fiction.  I don't publicise this too much as it feels expensive for a short story at £1:12, but then it's only the price of two Mars Bars and has none of the calories.  Imagine.

Shotgun Honey have had some great stories up (as usual) and have also had a really good interview with John Rector which is well worth checking out.

Cash Laramie still tops the Western Charts at Amazon while Keith Rawson doesn't (but then it's not a Western collection).

And here we have Two Blokes.  Watch out for the sparks.


  1. One of the best non-interviews I have read. I think David may need to see someone about the voices in his head...


  2. A laugh out loud interview. Nice stuff, David and good luck with all the writing projects.

    Best, Alan.

  3. I love the Two Blokes and your interview here is no exception. You're a hell of a writer and I hope this gives your stories the exposure they deserve!

  4. That was great. And keep those stories coming, David.

  5. FOOKIN' BARBER! Can't hold his own creation on a leash.

    Great interview nonetheless. You kept your cool around those two clowns!

  6. Enjoyed that Dave, brilliant. Keep on wrting and I'm looking forward to reading both your new stories and the novel when it comes out!

  7. David is a funny and all-around good bloke. Cool to see how your path as a writer developed.

  8. Thanks a lot, guys. Great comments and I appreciate each and every one of them. We have a great and supportive community and I'm proud to be part of it.


    Thanks for having me over, Nigel.

  9. Fantastic, laughed all the way through. Terrific writing Dave.

  10. Bloody brilliant, The Two Blokes have been regular guests over at The Feardom and now even that Dave Barber geezer has slipped in with a few funnies of his own.

    Seriously, you and I 'came out' around the same time, David - all thanks to Col Bury. I'm so proud to count you both as such great mates, writers and editors - in whichever order you prefer.

    And cheers to Nigel for hosting the interviews - always enlightening.


  11. Very entertaining! (and it didn't cost yer a pint, Dave!)

  12. Hey David. I'd whole heartedly reccommend standup comedy . . . except you'd not make a lot of money splitting the paycheck three ways. Cool stuff, mate. Thanks Mr. Bird.

  13. Thanks guys. The Two Blokes appreciate to your comments, as I do!

  14. Good one, Dave.
    It seems a lot of us started writing in our teens, gave up then came back to it. It also seems we're all borderline schizos too!

  15. As long as you're dancing and not "playing" you are safe. A screaming riot! Oy!

  16. Pissed me sides, mate! :-)

    Dave, the possibilities for these two halfwits are endless. You can have great fun with these guys for years to come.

    Smoke blowing time...
    I'm extremely proud I played a part in rekindling your love of writing, and the same goes for Lily. But both of you inspire me every time we speak/email, and have kept me going throughout those solitary moments all writers get, when the doubts and frustration try to break us. So, thank YOU.

    Your respective talent as writers, and decent human beings - have carried you to where you both are now.

    Keeping flying... higher and higher...


    Ps. 'The Court' defo has legs for a series, and 'The Wrong Coat' is a crackin' idea! Look forward to reading them. Don't forget the bet! :-)

  17. Crazy brilliant interview, Mr. Barber!

  18. Thanks for all the kind words, guys. Much appreciated.

    Col, thank you, buddy. Mates are always there to lend an ear. Onward!

  19. David, David, you and your muses. ;-) Sounds like you need extra hands for all the stories you've got going on. I like the title "The Wrong Coat" for crime fiction.