Barry KirwanI was born in Farnborough and grew up watching the Red Arrow jet fighters paint the sky at airshows, and their counterpart the Red Devils parachute down to nearby Aldershot. While gazing out the school window I penned my first series, the Adventures of Blackie the Cat, a weekly mag for my school mates. I didn't get seriously into writing until years later when I arrived in Paris, and attended a class by Canadian author Lauren Davis. I'd already published four non-fiction books in the area of large-scale accident prevention (nuclear power plants, air disasters, etc.), so I thought, how hard can fiction be? After all, you just make it up, don't you? Just goes to show how wrong can you be. I tried literary fiction, but was a natural disaster at it, so returned to my first love, science fiction. Write what you like reading.

After various writing groups, notably with Jen Dick, I got The Eden Paradox finished, then while waiting for agent/contract, wrote the sequel Eden's Trial, due out later this year. My SF influences were Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Frank Herbert, and Orson Scott Card, but also David Brin who writes about smart aliens and has multi-protagonist plots (as do I). Iain Banks and Alistair Reynolds remain major influences, maestros that they are. I also wish I had Peter F Hamilton's wizard-like knoweldge of SF 'theory'. I hope that I'm writing SF which is fairly 'accessible', whilst still conjuring up some of the 'wonder' of what might be out there, including the perils.

My main SF premise is that if we do ever meet aliens, they'll probably be far more intelligent than we are, and with very different value structures and ideas of how the galaxy 'works'. As a psychologist by training, that interests me, and challenges many a SF writer - how to think outside our own (human) frame of reference. I also write non SF short stories (see 'Stories').

When I'm not writing, I'm either working (my day job), which is preventing mid-air collisions (keeps me busy!), reading, or doing yoga or tai chi. When I'm on holiday I'm usually diving, looking for sharks. Most times I find them, or rather, they find me. 

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