There was a period of about eight months or so where I thought I was being clever. I thought I was writing this innovative sort of poetry that I wasn’t seeing nearly enough of. It read quickly and almost like really short fiction. At that time, flash fiction, to me, was anything less than 500 words. So I thought these really quick rapid fire poems of about 30 words or so had a chance to be unique.
Of course, I simply hadn’t taken the time to do my research. I found that there are limitless avenues for shorter poetry and fiction out there. This was a fact that slapped me squarely across the face when I saw the submissions call for Hint Fiction, a book that was being edited by some Robert Swartwood guy.
25 words to tell a story. A STORY. It made my little 30-word poems curl up in a minimalist corner and cry. But, finding that I loved to experiment with short forms, I gave it a try. And much to my surprise, my story “Through Tiny Windows” was accepted into the collection. As a result, I was having semi-regular correspondence with Mr. Swartwood. Also, because of Hint Fiction, I can now die happy in the knowledge that my name will forever be linked with Peter Straub, Joe Lansdale and Joyce Carol Oates (even if it is only by circumstance).
So you can imagine my delight when Robert openly welcomed me to stop by for a visit during my blog tour for my new release, Everything Theory: Cold Compass. As the colon and presence of a subtitle suggest, it is part of a series—obviously a far cry from a 25-word short story. Everything Theory is a planned 5-part series that borrows from a variety of genres, but would probably be best suited in the company of horror, thriller, and dark sci-fi.
The series is centered around twenty-year-old Gabriel Warren, a disenchanted young man that has been dragged down for most of his life by the bizarre legacy his deceased father left behind. His father was viewed by his peers as a mad scientist of sorts, dabbling in controversial projects concerning genetics manipulation, advanced space exploration, time travel, and ESP.
Everything Theory: Cold Compass finds Gabe after he has been approached by government officials, requesting that he assist with the work his father was unable to complete. Unable to resist the paycheck, Gabe is tasked with his first assignment as an unofficial member of a shadow organization known as the Center for Scientific Anomalous Research (CSAR). With the assistance of a CSAR official posing as an FBI agent, Gabe travels to the small town of Hasper, North Carolina where people are being killed by an ancient evil that lurks beneath the town.
Along the way, Gabe must also contend with the fact that he is beginning to see ghosts and is being hunted down by an enigmatic figure that calls himself Garrison Sleet. As he slowly unravels the mysteries of his father, Gabe slowly understands that even the evil lurking beneath Hasper is tied to not only his father’s work, but to some integral part of him as well.
What some kind folks are saying about Everything Theory: Cold Compass:
"Everything Theory is a dark and creepy ride that takes you right into the lair of the things that go bump in the night."
-- Robert Swartwood, author of The Serial Killer's Wife and Man of Wax
"The Sixth Sense meets The X-Files ... Barry Napier does an outstanding job of drawing you into the storyline while teasing you with glimpses of the larger world to come. Everything Theory: Cold Compass is a veritable page turner that will leave you begging for the next book, and has all the qualities of being an epic series."
-- Gabriel Beyers, author of Guarding the Healer
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To learn more about Barry, his Everything Theory books and other works, visit him at his online home: www.barrynapierwriting.wordpress.com.