If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I’ve always had a fantasy about living in New Zealand. I’ve never been there, but I’m an outdoorsman and the idea of living in a small country with mountains and glaciers in the South and tropical islands in the North definitely appeals to me.
How do you write, with a laptop, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
All of the above, and more. When I’m writing a draft, I usually dictate using Dragon Dictate for the Mac. I’m a decent storyteller and this is the quickest way for me to get the words out. However, when editing I use a Mac Mini with a large screen monitor. Don’t tell, but sometimes when editing or writing, I will get in the tub with a couple of dark beers, a pad of paper, and a pencil and stay until my wife threatens to call the fire department to get me out.
Every writer has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is, what does success in writing look like to you?
To me success would be when reluctant readers, and especially boys, read and enjoy my books. I’ve had one boy who, according to his mother, is bored with reading. She got him to read Hunger Games and the Percy Jackson books, but he’s a slow reader and lost interest. But with tears in her eyes, she told me that when he read my book, A Stairway To Danger, he wouldn’t put it down and even hid under the covers reading late into the night. That’s my definition of success.
When you are not writing, how do you like to relax?
I like to read, to hike in the woods, to play with the grandkids, and snuggle with my wife on the couch. Oh, and not necessarily in that order.
How often do you write? And when do you write?
I write, market, and/or edit every day. Since I’m semiretired—I don’t have to go to work every day—I’m fortunate to be able to spend from eight to twelve hours a day on my books. And that doesn’t seem to be enough time.
Have you met any people in the industry who have really helped you?
Tons of them. Two multi-published children’s authors in my city have mentored me. One edits my drafts and urges me to learn more about plotting and story arcs. I get incredible support from traditional and indie authors alike on social networking. I can’t believe that there is any other profession where competitors spend so much time helping one another.
What do you hope people will take away from your writing? How will your words make them feel?
Since I writing for teens, I hope they will get a sense of adventure and fun. There are lessons in the books, but the main reason I wrote them was to spark interest in reading from kids that don’t like to read.
How do you feel about social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter? Are they a good thing?
For authors, they are an excellent resource—both for marketing and finding writing information. And, as a plus, they’re fun, but all of us need to be careful because they can suck away our writing time. I set limits on the time spent networking and even use a timer because I can’t be trusted when looking at animal videos on Facebook.
What’s your next project?
I’m starting a middle grade trilogy that has gotten interest from agents. Originally written as a single book, I’m now breaking it up into three books. And, for the first time, I’m writing paranormal, but there still will be two boys and their antics. The last book will feature a girl protagonist. I’ll start on the books after the first of the year and I plan to query this series to editors and agents.
Explosions, sabotage, caves, deadly warnings and a dangerous red-haired man.
Imagine The Hardy Boys meet Tom Sawyer. Add a layer of teen angst and excitement plus a mysterious group trying to stop a new dam while stirring up racial tensions.
That’s STEPS INTO DARKNESS, the next book in the Shakertown Adventure Series by Ben Woodard.
Fourteen-year-old Tom Wallace again makes plans to escape the small town in the 1923 Kentucky countryside. The town that won’t let him forget his past, when a horrific event changes his mind. He teams with his cousin Will and young FBI agent Rick Sweeney to try to solve a perplexing mystery. Attempts on the boys’ lives and a bewildering list of suspects keep them on edge and confused. An old man gives them a clue that leads to a false accusation and embarrassment until they discover the real villain, and then wish they hadn’t.
STEPS INTO DARKNESS is a fun, page-turning thriller with a hint of romance that delivers adventure and mystery while exploring the fears of a teen living with a frightful memory.
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - YA/Mystery
Rating – PG – 13
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