Hailing from Miami, Fla., Thomas Barr was born in Lake City, S.C., home of the second African-American astronaut, Dr. Ronald E. McNair, who was killed on the Challenger space mission. At age 17 he graduated Bethune-Cookman University with honors. While in college he was inspired to write when he read Black Boy by Richard Wright. He began writing short stories for campus publications and entered the Air Force after college. He thereafter began a career in government as an intern with the Ohio legislature and later became employed with the Florida Senate.
Thomas Barr’s writings reflect the everyday struggle of the average individual trying to make something of life. Every person has a story to tell and the job of an inspirational writer is to bring those stories to life for the good of all.
What was the impetus for writing this book?
It was the death of a well known African-American politician in Miami. I met him through my job in government. He tragically committed suicide which inspired me to tell his story in my current book.
What’s the overall theme?
It’s a focus on the pressures some minority professionals face. Many experience obstacles in trying to assimilate to the modern day American culture of occupational processes.
What surprised you about the development of the book?
The book development was a two- fold process. It included the creative side and then the business side. I love to write, so the creative side was fun. However, the business side is a lot of work. I was surprised in the amount of work it took to market the product and get the material to the readers.
Which character excites you most?
I enjoyed developing the character Ray Sutter in the book. He was a seedy malevolent figure with a questionable past. He was allowed to be bad and stretch the moral content of the story in regards to various circumstances in the book.
For what audience is it written?
My book is for the audience that can relate to the pressures of assimilation whether it is school or work. All can relate to obstacles and the various ways of coping which could be viewed as destructive or healthy. This book is designed to begin the discussion of identifying contention and developing healthy resolutions.
What do you most want the reader to learn?
I would like for the reader to learn more about their inner self upon reading this book. Get in touch with your true feelings on issues and be true to who you are. “Be true to yourself” as the saying goes.
Other books you’ve written?
Other books I’ve written are Risen and The Notorious P Man Sam due to be released in the coming months