- Guest Author -
Welcome to the life and times of an author with a great sense of humour from the UK - Ben Coulter.
Welcome, Ben ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR WRITING JOURNEY.
I currently have three books available in paperback and for Kindle at Amazon. They make up The Poisoned Saints trilogy. They are gritty-crime-thrillers with a generous dashing of humour, love and suspense.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
It sounds ridiculously clichéd, but I really have been writing, in one form or another, as far back as I can remember. A vivid memory was screenplays around the age of 7 or 8 that I put in big brown envelopes and gave out to family members as Christmas presents! Lucky them!
WHAT TYPE OF PREPARATION DO YOU DO FOR A MANUSCRIPT? DO YOU PLAN EVERYTHING FIRST OR JUST SHOOT FROM THE HIP?
The initial idea usually comes whilst driving, which then starts a whirlwind of thought, characters, plot twists etc ... That I’ll jot down somewhere, usually my phone. Then, I’ll write the first few chapters and start more solid structure planning from there.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
Releasing these demons that taunt my eggshell mind onto my laptop for someone else to deal with.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
My other job is running my own electrical business, nothing about writing is hard compared to that. As soon as I can give it up and write full time, I will. Writing is the best job, ever. If you find it hard; don’t do it. I often hear, or read, people moaning about being on their own, in their own head, for long periods of time. Well, that’s the best part for me. I love it. If you don’t it’s really not for you.
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
If you mean reincarnation; I was definitely on the Asian continent somewhere, probably the South Eastern part. Living next to a beach, watching my two young boys crash about in the sea whilst I eat some kind of coconut infused curry with my partner. I long to regress.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST WRITING ACHIEVEMENT?
Poisoned Saints hitherto. With over 10,000 downloads and 65 5-star reviews.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Another crime-thriller involving a war photographer and a prostitute. And, of course, some highly unpleasant gangsters.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
Life. My life initially, and regrettably.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
In the famous words of a certain evil, worldwide, money hungry whore of a corporation “Just do it”. Don’t spend too long on the ‘whys and hows’, if you think you’ve got a good idea, get writing. The more you write the more the creative side of your brain kicks in and takes over. Then, tap into the eternal source all around you and spew your brain out all over your awaiting laptop. You can always edit after. Life’s too short for editing as you go!
DO YOU SUFFER FROM WRITER’S BLOCK?
Nope, never. Lucky I guess; I’m touching the wooden piece of furniture next to me as I type.
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
No. Just whenever and wherever I can. The creative process isn’t a uniform thing, for me anyway.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
Nope. As long as I have power and an internet connection I’m good to go. Oh, and solitude of course! The misanthrope in me comes out whilst writing. But not towards the world of which I’m creating, of course.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN WRITING?
The indescribable feeling of writing ‘The End’ then leaning back in your chair, as you feel as though you’ve just reached the top of a magnificent mountain climb. A climb you started at two in the morning, in the pitch black. And as you smile at the screen, the sunlight blazes out from behind the surrounding mountains and lights up your soul. Bliss.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
Joseph Conrad. His ‘wordmanship’ is second to none, and his stories excite me more than any others I’ve read.
WHAT’S THE GREATEST COMPLIMENT YOU EVER RECEIVED FROM A READER?
Just saying they loved the book and couldn’t put it down. Maybe when it’s brought them to tears, too. I’m a bit deranged like that.
WHAT WAS THE WORST COMMENT FROM A READER?
Some imbecile on Amazon, claiming my dialogue was over the top! It’s how I talk a lot of the time, it’s how people I’ve grown up with talk, if there’s one part of my book that is perfect in every way, it’s the dialogue. I’m a massive fan of dialogue. So I took it very personally and wanted to track him down to his home address, then torture him whilst giving him examples of angry dialogue from the book, just to prove it was real. There is a lot of localised dialect in my books. Street slang etc.. Most people who have left their mother’s basement in the past ten years, though, will understand it perfectly well.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Yes massively so. The main character in Poisoned Saints learnt all he knows from me, unfortunately.
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
Travelling and music. I’d die if I couldn’t do/have either of them. Literally crawl into a ball and die.
DID YOU HAVE YOUR BOOK / BOOKS PROFESSIONALLY EDITED BEFORE PUBLICATION?
Yes! Without question. Anyone who doesn’t is either a genius or a narcissist. Every stage of the editing process is vital to the finished product you release to the world. Ignore editing at your own peril. I learnt lessons with my first book, which was expertly copy edited by my editor, but not then proof read several times by others, after. Some pedantic reviewer noticed this, wrote it down for all to see, and all shall see for the rest of the books Amazon life. Although these mistakes have now been rectified!
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
My past life as described above. Maybe with a good movie, or two, at the end of it.
IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
I have to say my beautiful and constantly supportive partner, of course. But if she didn’t fancy it, Jim Morrison. As long as he brought that special cactus of his.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
Stop acting like small children in a playground. Fighting over what belongs to who, and embrace the fact we are all one infinite energy source. Which works much better together, respecting everything that has evolved for us to enjoy on this great planet.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
To regress to that former life I mentioned.
WHAT FIVE BOOKS WOULD YOU TAKE TO HEAVEN?
I don’t believe in heaven, but, for the purpose of this question:
1: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.
2: The Art of Happiness by H.H. The Dalai Lama.
3: Story by Robert Mckee (so I could lend it to others and they could write their own books, thus more reading material).
4: Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche (so I could finally finish it).
5: The Satanic Bible by Anthony LaVey (just to be controversial up there).
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
All of the male ones, to a certain extent. The good ones anyway. Not those nasty badies.
DOES THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY FRUSTRATE YOU?
Yep. But it’s not their fault. Is it?
DID YOU EVER THINK OF QUITTING?
Many a, many a, many a time. But it’s not something I really have any control over, not if I want to stay sane anyway.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER.
People saying they’ve enjoyed your books.
WHAT’S YOUR ULTIMATE DREAM?
To write full time, from any chosen destination in this magnificent world.
WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?
Survivor on The River Kwai by Reg Twigg. An amazing book written by an amazing man. You think you’ve got problems in life, sailing along on this 21st century techno filled zephyr? Read his book and realize just how good you really do have it.
WHAT WOULD BE THE VERY LAST SENTENCE YOU’D WRITE?
Nigh’ night you beautiful bastards.
Links to videos are:
Amazon links are:
Clancy's Comment: Thanks, Ben. Well done on the downloads and 5-star reviews. Keep at it.
Think about this!