Today I had the pleasure of interviewing Benjamin Wallace about his writing and books :)
Books & Writing: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Benjamin Wallace: My name is Benjamin Wallace and I like to tell stories. But, stories that will make you laugh. Few things are so serious that we shouldn’t poke a little fun at them. I also like the idea of being active but not so much the effort it takes.
Books & Writing: Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Benjamin Wallace: The first story I remember writing was a blatant rip off of the movie My Science Project. But I placed myself and my friends in the story and moved the setting from the high school to the creek by my house. I was about 8 and didn’t know anything about copyright laws.
Books & Writing: Were you inspired by someone or something?
Benjamin Wallace: In regards to writing, I remember reading The Cruel Shoes by Steve Martin when I was about 11. I loved it. It proved to me what I had always thought - books are allowed to be funny. This inspired me. Because I knew that no matter how many boring stories we read in class, there was something out there worth reading.
Books & Writing: What do you love about writing a story?
Benjamin Wallace: I love writing my characters into corners that I did not expect and forcing myself to find a way out for them. I also like how the pieces come together. The answer to a question in chapter 20 may have been in place since chapter 3 and I never realized it.
Books & Writing: I understand you have written several books. Which one is your favorite?
Benjamin Wallace: I don’t know that I particularly have a favorite book. Though I do have a favorite character. Paul from Tortugas Rising is the most fun to write for. He’s selfish to the point that he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him and I think there’s something admirable about that. Plus, he gets to say what he’s thinking. Don’t we all wish we could do that?
Books & Writing: Can you tell us a bit about “Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors: A Duck & Cover Adventure”, and the main character(s)
Benjamin Wallace: Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors is an action and adventure comedy set after the world has suffered an apocalyptic war. It follows two characters, Jerry and Logan, who have decided to be the wandering hero. But they both go about it different ways. It’s full of action: car chases, bear fights, and more but the real fun comes from how the rest humanity is coping with the loss of civilization as we know it. I don’t think our current generation would handle it very well.
Books & Writing: How did you come up with the story for the book?
Benjamin Wallace: Post-apocalyptic movies have always been a guilty pleasure of mine. I was always surprised that no one had made a comedy out of the genre. I thought about it for a long time (had the idea in high school) and wasn’t sure how to approach it. I didn’t want it to seem silly or the jokes too forced. I wanted the humor to come from the characters and not the situation. I hope I struck that balance.
Books & Writing: You have also written some short stories. What attracts you in those?
Benjamin Wallace: From a creative perspective they allow me try something different and get a quick reaction from readers. And sometimes I just find something funny that wouldn’t constitute an entire books. From a marketing perspective, they are a great way for readers to get a sense of my style without investing a lot of time or money on me.
Books & Writing: The last book you’ve written is a book about Twitter called “Giving The Bird: The Indie Author’s Guide to Twitter”. What made you decide to write a book about Twitter?
Benjamin Wallace: Twitter has been instrumental in finding an audience and a ton of great friends. I’ve really enjoyed the interaction I’ve found on there. There is no shortage of advice out there for indie authors and it all says get on Twitter. But the rest of the advice has been, for the most part, wrong. I’ve seen a lot of authors with great stories get frustrated and quit because they haven’t been able to make it work for them. I wanted to share what I’ve learned. If more people would focus on making friends rather than trying to sell books Twitter would be even more fun. And they would sell more books.
Books & Writing: Which genre is your favorite?
Benjamin Wallace: I like action and adventure. I love a good treasure hunt or man on the run story. I’ve read everything by Ludlum, Du Brul and Cussler. I aspire to write adventures as exciting as theirs, but I’ve got an irreverent streak I can’t shake, so mine will always try to be funny as well.
Books & Writing: Are you working on something new?
Benjamin Wallace: I’m currently working on Dumb White Husband vs Fatherhood. It’s a parenting guide that includes all the things I learned raising three kids. After that, it’s back to the wasteland for the sequel to Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors. I also hope to work in a couple of new short stories in between.
Books & Writing: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Benjamin Wallace: There are no more rules. Tell a good story and it will find it’s audience.
Books & Writing: Where can people go and read your work?
Benjamin Wallace: All of my books and short stories are available at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Benjamin-Wallace/
Books & Writing: Where can people find you on internet?
Below is an excerpt from Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors!
Even a mushroom cloud has a silver lining.
No one ever sees the good in an apocalypse. And that’s understandable. A lot of bad things happen when the world blows up. But then it’s all crying about the loss of family and the failure of our society, “Waaah, waaah, waah, what have we done?”
Sure, there’s that. But what about the good things brought about by the end of the world? Global warming? It’s no longer a problem. And with no more global warming, there are no more whiny hippies.
True, it’s not all green trees and dead hippies. There are real dangers out there: toxins, disease, big scary bears that have mutated to become bigger and scarier.
But here—here in the walls of your city—lies hope. Look around. You’ve already overcome so much. You’ve beaten the elements. You’ve provided food for an entire community. You’ve managed to live together without killing one another or being annoyed by the stink that most of you are putting off.
And, there in that willingness to turn your nose, not up in the air, but towards your funky smelling brethren, lays hope. Hope that we can rebuild this world. Into a braver world, a saner world—a braver world that’s much more sane.
A world where no child need cry for dinner. A world where no child need cry because he is afraid. A world where no child need cry because you didn’t buy him that ring pop at checkout, even though you know that he’ll never finish it and it will just end up a sticky mass of carpet lint and hair somewhere under the seat of the car. A world where no child need cry for want of shelter or love. A world where that child will finally just shut his cake hole.
This is your chance to make the world the way you want it to be. A loving world. A free world.
Are you going to surrender this chance? God, or Russia, or somebody, has seen fit to wipe the slate clean. Now we can apply what we know not to do to make a better world for our children—their children, and their children, and maybe a few generations beyond that.
You’ve already assumed the right to govern yourself, the responsibility to function under a social contract that apparently didn’t mandate bathing.
You are now free men and women. Are you going to let these men that gather at your gates take that from you? Just because they’re stronger? Just because they have an army of merciless killers? Just because they armed that army with chains and blades? And harnessed the power of the mighty and noble buffalo and turned them against you as the menacing war bison? Are you? Or do you accept this responsibility, this glorious burden, to wrestle from these ashes of mankind a better kind of man?
Stand. Stand against this threat. Stand with your heads held high—for you are the true possessors of this world’s future. Stand proud. And I will stand with you.
This is our world to rebuild. Not theirs. Ours. So, let’s not fuck it up.
- The post-apocalyptic nomadic warrior from a speech given at the gates of Eternal Hope, Colorado, moments before the Massacre of Eternal Hope, Colorado.