I’m Ron Barak. My wife is Barbie. Our kids are Jennifer and Mark. Our grandkids are Quinn, Madison, Oliver, and Peyton. The kids are long up and out. Barbie and I, together with our British Short Hair cat Maccs and our Havanese pup Ryder, make our home in Pacific Palisades, California, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean on one side and Santa Monica, Brentwood, and Malibu on the other three sides.
I’m a long time, full time lawyer, specializing in real estate and business transactions, litigation, arbitration, and mediation. I’m now also a short time, full time writer, and a part time golf “pro” too (in my dreams). In my spare time (!), I also like to read a lot—people as well as books!
There I was, now a number of years ago, reader of books, pondering the idea of… writing one. A scary thought. But exciting too. Even daring.
A “novel.” Imagine that. I had a title in mind (and I used it), an idea for a story, and its ending (and I used that too, until I changed it), and… oops, that’s right, nothing else. No literature or creative writing classes. Just an ex-gymnast who had traveled around the world, representing the United States in the Olympics and other international competitions. (That came a lot easier than my golf!) Just someone who had earned a physics degree in college (in spite of not being able to change a light bulb or boil an egg) and then headed off to law school (not being able to change a light bulb or boil an egg, that seemed like the smart thing to do) to put off the inevitable for a few more years—having to find… a job (ugh, now that really was scary).
One law practice later, I just started writing. Not a dark and stormy night. No shot rang out in the dark—at least not for a few pages! What happened next was… what, did you think I was going to give it all away here? I have to hold back a few secrets! But, some nine months later… behold, my first novel. And now my second. And, then?
As for my writing technique, I’m a “pantser” (by the seat of my pants, wherever my characters take me) and not a “plotter” (no outlines for me, I’d probably get a bad case of writer’s block if I tried that). As for my writing style, I’ve been described by some as a cross between an Agatha Christie “whodunit,” a John Lescroart “page turner” and a Ray Romano self-deprecating “humorist.” Hmm. I may be a little confused. Maybe I’d just like someone (else) to describe me that way. 🙂
Okay, so now I’ve written my first and second novels. But how would I get anyone to notice? And buy? And read? Well, I still don’t know the answer to that, but some kind souls took pity and did because my first became a number one bestselling hard boiled mystery on Amazon, both hardback and Kindle. What I do know is that I’ve had a lot of help from some very gracious writers and editors who I’m now fortunate to count among my friends.
I’m oh so grateful and indebted to them (and to my parents, without whom…) because nothing is more gratifying to an author than knowing that there are some out there who actually enjoy reading what he enjoys writing. And engaging. I look forward to more of that.
It has also occurred to me that there is still another source of gratification to be derived from my writing. Aside from hopefully creating suspenseful legal thrillers and political thrillers that will entertain and keep people reading into the wee hours, wouldn’t it be rewarding if my writing could at the same time also serve some useful real world public causes? Both of my present novels draw attention to our dysfunctional form of government–not just back-seat driving and criticism for the sake of criticism, but truly possible solutions to the political corruption that confronts all of us today. The hypothetical 28th Amendment to our Constitution which is the subject of my latest novel, 28: The Missing Amendment, is also a real world possibility you can touch and feel right here and now.
Speaking of my latest novel (well, at least I was), one of its primary characters is an 11-year-old Type 1 diabetic (the idea for which came from the fact that I have been a Type 2 diabetic for some 30 years). My wife Barbie and I are honored to be donating no less than 50% of the proceeds of that novel to several national diabetes organizations committed to finding a cure for diabetes. You can learn more about that here.
Hopefully my writing will in fact contribute to some worthwhile real world public causes, as well as providing some genuine, suspense-filled entertainment.
Oh yeah, and if you just happen to be one of those public officials I’m after for abandoning your public trust in favor of your own personal agenda, you’d better watch out!