Interview with Darrell Bain

Give us the 411 on yourself. You know, the basic information minus address and phone number.


I’m happily married. I know because my wife Betty tells me I am. I just turned 68, damn it, and wish I could make time run in the opposite direction for a while. We live on what used to be a Christmas tree farm, which I pretended to make a living at for 20 years or so while Betty actually supported us. Betty was a widow and I was divorced when we met. We married in our early forties.


I’ve had several careers, including 13 years as an army medic with two tours of Vietnam, a civilian career as a Medical Technologist, mainly in management so I could nap at my desk, and then as a Christmas tree farmer and finally as a writer.


Last year, after a lot of fans wanted to know more about me, I wrote a series of memoirs covering my whole life and posted them on my web site. I was probably more surprised than anyone when I was asked to expand them into a complete book. I did and and it will be published as an e-book and in print by Twilight Times Books. Anyone wanting more information now can just look at my web site under memoirs and learn more about me, mainly that I’m basically a lazy cuss, untalented at working with anything having moving parts other than my wife, and had a very traumatic childhood. Also it says right there that I inherited the bashful gene and the addictive genes. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


How long have you been a word ho for publishing pimps? (Er, a writer?)

Oh, fifteen years of writing seriously. By that I mean actually trying to make money at it. Of all the low paying professions in the world I had to pick Christmas tree farming and writing. On the other hand, both allowed me to work at home and drink lots of beer so it hasn’t been all that bad. 


Can you give us a brief VIRGIN story? I mean, give us the nitty gritty on your first sale.

My first sale earned me the huge sum of $1.50. It was a short short story about a preacher and an atheist having an argument. I put another fifty cents with the check and bought a package of cigarettes. 


Everybody’s got a fantasy. What’s your writer’s (wet?) dream?

Winning a Hugo or nebula. I’ll settle for either one, but both would be nice. I wouldn’t gritch about having a best selling print book, either. Shucks, I’ve already won just about all the honors possible in e-books, so why not dream about moving on?


Actors wanna be in pictures. Where do you want to be?

Right where I am, only twenty years younger. I really would like to be as well known in print as I am in electronic format. My first hardcover novel, Savage Survival, is coming out this year so that may be my chance. I’d like to be able to travel more, too, so I could do a lot of book signings. They’re fun and I get to talk to lots of pretty girls in a perfectly legitimate fashion.


Get any bad advice early in your writing career?

Damn straight I did. In fact, I got the worst possible advice. After completing my first novel, I started looking for an agent, and by an incredible stroke of bad luck, I picked a name out of the list of about a thousand agents in a Writers Marketplace book, and chose the worst crook in the business. They strung me along for years and I was so stupidly naive I didn’t know it. To give you a clue, the FBI agent who put those crooks in prison wrote a book about it. They continually gave me advice that almost killed my writing career and cost me a great deal of money. All I can say is that I’m glad I have an understanding wife, who by the way, has just become a writer as well. In fact, I’ll mention her book here: Articles, Muses and Favorite Diet-Breaking Recipes. The Complete Works ofBetty Bain, B.S., R.N. It’s at as an e-book and at in print.


Word, baby. Get any good directions that you’d like to pass on?

Yep. Never pay an agent anything. The good ones make their money by selling your work and taking a percentage, which is fine. If they sell your stuff, they’ve earned it.

And here’s some more good advice, straight from Robert A. Heinlein: Finish what you start. Keep sending it out.


We need the 420 on where to find you and your stuff. Cough ‘em up!

First off, try my web site, . Even if you don’t buy any of my books, I write a newsletter every month for my web site that’s become very popular, mainly because I keep the promotion to a minimum and try to write about a number of subjects that have taken my fancy and I feel like rambling about. Just as an example, in the September 2005 newsletter, there’s a tale of our dog who makes and uses a tool for a specific task. I even have a picture there of him working with a tool he produced. No lie!

You can also find all my e-books at and . My print books are listed at and . I also list the books I have in print and the ones I have as e-books in separate spots on my web site. Just look at the menu.

And I just got a call to supper. Happy reading!

Darrell Bain


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