Today we're talking with Cabot Barden, author of Mixed Blessings
FQ: First, I have to ask, being a songwriter you certainly have a background in emotional text - but when did the songwriting lead into novel writing?
I had read several Clive Cussler novels during the early 1980s. Then I kind of jotted down some memories of playing with my band, Common Faith, that I played with in the 70s, in 1986. I ended up writing about 5 or 6 chapters about that. I didnít pick up the writing pen again until 10 years later, when I wrote a couple of more chapters. Then in 2008 I was unemployed for a while, so I had plenty of time on my hands to work on a novel, so I completed my first novel, Itís The Bass Player almost a year later. Once it was finished and published, I knew I had the writerís bug. So I started on the sequel to the first book. Now that the second one has been published, I have started on a third one.
FQ: This is truly a very personal tale. Was this therapeutic to put on paper?
It felt good to tell this story, even though most of it is fiction, because of my own experiences in life, which were similar to those in the books. I had a son that died in childbirth in 1979, which gave the inspiration for Nancyís tragedy.
FQ: Having the book revolve around the concept of ditching the dream for the reality, it seems in the beginning of the book that it was really a quick decision for you to make. Can you tell our readers about that moment - where you changed the course of your future?
I was a lot like Toby at that point in my life. The music just couldnít quite fill that void I had. Like someone once said, ďSometimes you have to give up your dreams to do the right thing. To stay the course to fulfill your own needs and the needs of a loved one, you have to make sacrifices.Ē At that point most of my friends were getting married and settling down and being happy. I wanted the same thing. But at that point, that meant that I had to give up my dream of being a ďRock Star.Ē But that didnít mean I had to give up being a musician or writing songs. Iím still writing songs today. Iíve had several on the radio over the years, even had the opportunity to have my songs in a major motion picture.
FQ: On to a more 'upbeat note'Ö Are you currently in a band? Still writing and performing?
I am still playing in a band called Renegade. I belong to the Nashville Songwriters Association International. The local chapter of songwriters performs practically every week locally around my hometown area in central Alabama. I have a CD in the back of every autographed copy of my book Mixed Blessings of original tunes that I recorded in Nashville.
FQ: Opening for Mickey Gilley must be absolutely amazing. Who are some of your favorites when it comes to the bands and/or singers youíve performed with over the years?
Mickey Gilley was truly one of the nicest gentlemen Iíve had the pleasure to work with in the entertainment business. Another would be Vince Gill. I got to be in the studio that he recorded in back in the late 90s in Nashville, while I was living there. My band opened for Billy Joe Royal at a private party back in 2009. Heís another nice guy. There are some Iíve met who acted like they were better than everybody else, but most are just plain folks like you and me.
FQ: Are you currently working on a new book? And are you interested in writing other genres?
Yes. I have started on my third book, which I donít have a title for yet. I usually donít really have a title when I start out. I let that come to me after Iíve been working on it for a while. This next book has a ghost story in it, so itís a little bit different from the first 2. It also starts out in the 1800s, then moves up to the 1940s, then back into the 70s. My buddy Clive Cussler uses this technique of writing in different time eras to tie in a main theme. Clive is the one who inspired me to write in the first place. I may try something entirely different for my fourth book.