Author Interview Series: Benjamin Wallace

Benjamin Wallace is the bestselling author of the Duck & Cover Adventures and other books. He lives in Dallas, Texas where he complains about the heat.

GJ: Can you describe your journey to publishing your first novel?

BW: I worked in advertising for many years and figured there had to be a way to not work in advertising any longer. I didn’t enjoy writing things and then watching people that weren’t writers change them all while saying, “I’m no writer!”

When ebooks came along it seemed like a perfect combination of my love for making things up and hatred of authority. So I wrote something and put it out there without showing it to anyone.

GJ: You’re write with a different take on the classic horror take on the apocalypse. How do best describe your style of writing?

BW: My style could best be described as “I have no idea what I’m doing.” I do, however, subscribe to Douglas Adams’ theory that we all know what a spaceship looks like so there’s no use in wasting a lot of words describing it. A reader’s imagination does a better job of filling in the details of an environment than I ever could. This helps keep things brief and, since I write comedies, brief is good. There’s a good reason 90 minute comedies aren’t two hours long.

GJ: Can you put your finger on why you have a such a fascination with the apocalypse , like so many?

BW: The post-apocalyptic world is the ultimate sandbox. No rules. No restrictions. Just us and our wits. And we’re all just convince that if 99% of the population is wiped out, we’ll be in the 1% that makes it. Also Thundarr the Barbarian was awesome.

GJ: What is the most rewarding part of the writing process for you?

BW: When readers get the jokes that I put in there just for me. Some things are really obscure so it’s nice when people call them out. You write alone and don’t get to watch people read your books (they call it stalking) so it’s great to hear back that they made someone else smile.

GJ: Do you have much contact with your fans? If so what is the weirdest question you have been asked and what is the most frequent question you have been asked?

BW: I’m really active online. Especially on my Facebook page. And I do my best to respond to the emails I get. I love hearing from everyone. I haven’t attracted too many weird questions at this point. Everyone has been really cool. The most frequent question is definitely, “When is the next Duck & Cover/Stockwell/Junkers coming out?”

GJ: What can we expect from you in 2019/20?

BW: I’ve been working on several things that are nearing completion. The next thing will definitely be the next book in the Duck & Cover Adventures. The short story collection, Tales of the Apocalypse, will also available in audio soon.

GJ: What genre of books do you generally read and can you name a favourite in each, or at least a book that stood out for you?

BW: I’m all over the place genre wise but I probably reader more science fiction and adventure books than anything else. My to read stack has some Harry Harrison, Iain Banks, Donald Hamilton, ERB, Pratchett, H. Beam Piper, Robert Asprin and a few others.

Some favourites over time have been Catch-22, Pillars of the Earth, The Stars My Destination, To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Farewell My Lovely (They aren’t my favourite books but Chandler is my favourite writer), The Cruel Shoes, The Bourne Identity and the Pellucidar books.

GJ: What has been the highlight of your writing career so far?

BW: The hate mail. That’s when I knew I had made it.

GJ: What advice would you give to new writers looking to writing to publish?

BW: Do it. But don’t get caught up in anything but the writing. It’s easy to get distracted with trends and all the other things people think you need to do. Don’t let it take you away from the book.

GJ: How prepared are you for the apocalypse?

BW: I’ve got half a case of water in the garage and a couple cans of Spaghettio’s in the pantry. I’ll probably have to fight my kids for the Spaghettios.

GJ: Thank you Benjamin for the taking the time to talk with me today. Why not check out Benjamin’s website for more details on his books!

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