"My name is Benjamin Jones and I'm what's known as an independent (for the time being) author who is working tirelessly to make this dream of mine to be the world's greatest writer a reality. Right now I'm simply the greatest writer that 99.99998% of the world hasn't heard of, but I'm working to get that percentage a little lower."
Tell us a detail about the real Ben Jones, not the writer, but the man, which defines you. I’m SUPER competitive and that competitiveness sinks its claws into EVERY aspect of my life, be it in writing or playing Playstation. I have a drive to the best at whatever I do and it’s so bad that I don’t even let my kids win at games – if they beat me then they know they will have earned that win but they should also know that I’m going to be coming at them harder the next game!
You have a fascination with vampires, but what exactly is it about the vampire, as a creature, which has you drawn to them? The part of vampires that fascinates with me is the humanity within them. I don’t look at them as monsters, I look at them as humans that have become monstrous and, underneath it all, there’s still a bit of humanity left within them.
In your series “Humanity’s Ultimate Battle” (H.U.B.) you pit vampires against human beings, but they are vampires we are not familiar with. In 10 words or less, describe your vampires for us.
Misunderstood. A minority trying to live peacefully. Dangerous when provoked.
You’ve said elsewhere how the concept of the H.U.B. series arose from a response to the soft teen romance popularity of vampires. Is this the only personal issue you see your vampires addressing? No, not at all. The vampires in H.U.B. address many different issues that we go through today. 99% of the vampires in H.U.B. just want to left alone and free to live their lives just like humans; they work, have kids, pay bills, love, etc…, etc… They’re a minority that is far outnumbered and, as such, humans try to press their will on them and the consequences aren’t always what the humans anticipate. I want this series to give readers something new to think about when it came to vampires. There’s more to the life of a vampire than killing or, in the case of Twilight, falling in love. There’s politics, xenophobia, fear, as well as killing and the many other emotions that come with life.
You describe yourself as an independent writer, but recently you have collaborated with other writers in diverse genres. Tell us how this works for you as a writer developing your craft? What the collaboration with my group (we call ourselves The Clan of the Flying Pens – www.theclanoftheflyingpens.weebly.com ) does for me is makes me write stronger. When I read something good that one of the other members has written then I know that I have to step my game up and come with something that much better than what they have. At the same time what the group does is expose each other and our varied genres/writing styles to a wider range of audience. Certain readers may be drawn to our book by the crime thriller that one member of the Clan has written but then stumble upon an excerpt of H.U.B. that’s included and really like it (and vice versa).
Due to commitments in work, you write when you can, making your writing part-time. Do you think giving time between writing activity has shaped or affected your writing style? It’s definitely affected my writing in the fact that it makes me know how valuable time is. When I write I tend to write “lean” meaning that my books aren’t these bloated 500 page behemoths with a lot of unnecessary fat to them. I try to get to the point as quickly as possible without sacrificing character development or anything crucial to the story. Other than horror movies and books, what other sources of inspiration do you rely on to charge your creativity? Great question. I’m inspired by all my writing peers, everyone from those like myself that are tying to make names for themselves all the way up to those like Stephen King (who is my idol). Like I’ve said in a previous interview, I love all the writers out there but I’m going to try to outsell you just because my competitive drive is so high.
Going back to your H.U.B. novels, you have the advantage of telling a detailed story in a series, where the plot development is free of the restrictions present in single volumes or trilogies. How does the pace of a series determine the way you explore extra dimensions of your characters? Having the advantage of a series at my disposal I have the freedom to give certain characters the lead in one volume to where you get to know a lot about a certain character but in the next volume the focus shifts on other characters that may not have been in the previous volume or only mentioned in a phone call.
Another thing the pacing does is allow me to space things out the way I want to (no need to rush the impending war) and give the readers the full build up to what’s about to happen and not force feed it so quickly down their throats. I want the reader to get so caught up in everything else going on in the series that, when the war finally does happen, it’s like the icing on the already delicious cake. The first novel is due for release later this year, published after your series H.U.B. How do you think your first novel has prepared you for your writing now in print? The first novel, and all of the handwritten drafts that it went through, gave me the discipline that I need to continue on with the H.U.B. series. Through my work on Head Above Water (the title of my first novel) I was able to take all the lessons I learned writing it (including all the frustration of failed queries) and make my writing on H.U.B. that much better and gave me the confidence to put it out independently. In turn, the work on H.U.B. has provided me with even more lessons that I flipped and used when I ran through the latest re-write of Head Above Water.
You have confessed a liking for paper and pen when writing, and the cursive style when committing your personal thoughts to paper, especially in the letter form. Is it the romance associated with these tools of the trade or do they mean more to you? There is the romance aspect but, most importantly, me writing my books in paper and pen allows me to feel “closer” to the story and the characters in it. It takes a lot – in writing a letter and ESPECIALLY in writing a book – to sit down and write draft after draft after draft using pen and paper. Writing is one of the things where I feel that the technology of computers isn’t always useful (some aspects anyway). It’s infinitely quicker to type up a book than it is to write it, same way that it’s a lot faster and easier to microwave something as opposed to using the oven, but that oven cooked meal is gonna taste so much better once you’ve waited for it to cook just right.
In H.U.B. volume 3, you are still approaching a promised war, and I am sure you won’t disappoint your fans. Without spoiling anything, what can we expect in the future for H.U.B? Volume 3 is called The Tipping Point for a reason because, after this, you know that the war is definitely coming – SOON! Events happen and people die, shaping up the landscape for what was detailed in the prologue in the first volume. There are TREMENDOUS repercussions for actions that take place in volume 3 that will forever change every character involved in the series so far. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.
After Volume 3 you can expect the action to really get cranked up as the first 3 volumes have been the slow burning fuse to the dynamite that is about to blow up. I’ve been laying out the various scenes that are going to take place in Volume 4: Revenge, Retaliation & Getback (the title should tell the audience what the book will focus on) and I can see it easily being as long as the first two volumes (and maybe the third) put together.
Finally, we all want to know, what’s got you Fanged Ben? What has Ben fanged is the love of the written word – writing has had it’s fangs embedded in my neck for as long as I can recall. What else has me fanged is the opportunity to entertain people and put out the best product that I can so that my readers/fans feel that they’ve gotten their monies worth.
What it all boils down to is that I’m a big kid still chasing my dream and anyone that helps me do that I am forever indebted to and I want to return the love that’s given to me right back. My gratitude is endless. Please visit www.whatishub.net to find out more about the series and how you can purchase and contact me. I love talking with fans.
Read from the source by visiting http://t.co/bGUAC9M.