Interview with Barry Brown, author of “The Student-Athlete Playbook”

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

I would have been the original author of Invisible Man because I understand the feeling of being overlooked, under-appreciated & that society doesn’t respect black men in general.

What makes this particular genre you are involved in so special?

Being involved in the youth sports, the student-athlete & character education genre is so special to me because I grew up playing sports as a kid, junior high, high school and college. Sports has afforded me many great opportunities to learn, teach, coach and share my amazing experiences with youth, young adults and their parents through speaking engagements, presentations & trainings.

How important is research to you when writing a book?

Research is very important to me because it allows me to learn valuable information that allows me to share valuable information with my reading audience. It’s also a part of the validation & credibility process.

When did it dawn upon you that you wanted to be a writer?

I realized that I wanted to be a writer after I graduated from college, and I started learning about blogs and other online writing mediums.

What inspires you to write?

Life, my kids and the opportunity to offer solutions to problems.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I actually read a lot of magazines (Sports Illustrated) & articles more so than novels or books. I like reading books from industry legends like Emmet Artegun (Atlantic Records), Clive Davis (Columbia, Arista, J Records), Jay Z, etc.

Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

I actually proofread and edit my own work initially, and several times after receiving the 1st proof. At that point, if I believe I need additional assistance, then I will hire a professional proofreader before I finalize the new book.

What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?

The most important thing about a book is what you learn from it. The book must have substance.

What is your take on the importance of a good cover and title?

Having an attractive and attention grabbing cover is important. I believe a cover should give a potential reader of the book a solid idea of what the book is about.

Have you ever designed your own book cover?

I have never designed my own book cover, but I do give my graphic design artists the ideas and details that I would like to see incorporated in order to bring the cover to life.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Yes, I believe a book cover plays a very important role in the selling process.

Do you read and reply to the reviews and comments of your readers?

Yes, I read and reply to reviews and comments from my readers.

Any advice you would like to give to aspiring writers?

The advice I will give aspiring writers is for them to always be true to themselves, and attempt to help and solve problems for as many people as possible via their writing!

What did you want to become when you were a kid?

As a kid, I wanted to become a professional football or baseball player.

Do you recall the first ever book/novel you read?

I do not really remember the 1st book I ever read, but I believe it was The Great Gatsby.

Which book inspired you to begin writing?

Invisible Man inspired me to begin writing.

How active are you on social media? And how do you think it affects the way you write?

I am very active on Social Media, and I believe if affects my writing in a positive way because I write in conversational style.

What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?

Before I die, one of my dream goals is to literally help millions of student-athletes and their parents, plus sell millions of copies of The Student-Athlete Playbook (Success in the Classroom, Sports & Life!)

How many siblings do you have? How many of them share your passion?

I have one brother, and he does share my passion for life, youth & helping people.

If you could live anywhere in the world, which country would you choose and why?

I choose to live in the United States because it is my home, and I believe I have the best chance to accomplish my goals and raise my children here.

If you were given a teaching opportunity, would you accept it?

Yes, I would except it if I am allowed the flexibility to still speak to audiences around the world.

Do you encourage your children to read?

I most definitely encourage my children to read! Reading is the foundational building block to life-long learning, education and developing critical thinking skills.

How do you think concepts such as Kindle, and e-books have changed the present or future of reading?

Technology has really changed the way books are delivered, read and discussed. In the future, we may see 3-D reading, animation and more via technological advances.

Were your parents reading enthusiasts who gave you a push to be a reader as a kid?

My parents definitely read a lot, and they have encouraged me and my brother to be the best readers, students and people that we can possibly be.

Being an author, how susceptible are you to getting recognized on the street?

Amazingly enough, I have been recognized out in public because of my book, but I would say it is not a frequent occurrence. I am recognized in public more from the things I have done in the entertainment industry, sports in high school & college and my activity on Facebook.

How many children do you have? Do you see any young writers in any of them?

I have two (2) children, and I do see a writing spirit in them. Their mother and I have worked with them from the womb on reading, writing, math and science. We believe in learning and education.

Which book is the one you keep going back to again and again?

The book I keep going to over and over again is Everything You Need to Know about the Music Business.

Do you need to be in a specific place or room to write, or you can just sit in the middle of a café full of people and write?

I usually need to be in an isolated environment to write affectively. Occasionally, I may be able to focus good enough to write while I’m around a lot of people.

What would you say is your biggest failure in life?What would you say is your biggest failure in life?

My biggest failure in life right now would have to be my marriage. I have experienced a divorce. It is painful and very disappointing.

How are your relations with your family? Do you like to stay in touch?

My relationship with my family is awesome! We stay in touch constantly, and I never regret the time spent with family and friends.

Do you think you still have a story to tell to the readers?

I definitely believe I still have a story to tell readers. As long as I live, I believe I have a story to tell.

Are you friends with other writers?

Yes, I am friends with other writers. “Our Network is our Networth.”

What is your motivation for writing more?

My motivation for writing more includes my children, mentors and my genuine intent to help millions of people around the world.

Are all writers rich?

… lol … No. All writers are not rich.

How do you feel when people recognize you in public and appreciate your work?

I feel very good when people recognize me in public and tell me that they appreciate my work. It means I have made a connection with someone and that they have been inspired and/or helped by my work. It’s a great feeling!

What do you do in your free time?

I love to spend time with my children, significant other/wife, relax, watch a movie and/or actually sleep.

Have you ever marketed your own books yourself?

I usually start all my marketing campaigns myself, and then I look for assistance via my network, social media and marketing professionals.

Do you reply back to your fans and admirers personally?

Yes, I make the time to reply back to fans and admirers personally. Direct interaction with people that support me is very important!

How do you see writing? As a hobby or a passion?

Writing is a passion for me because I love to express myself in the written form as well as the oral form. God has blessed me with the ability to relate to youth and adults, so I must use my talent to make a positive impact on and in the world.

Are there any books that you are currently reading and why?

I’m currently reading The Soundtrack of My Life by Clive Davis.

Who are your books mostly dedicated to?

My books are mostly dedicated to my daughters.

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