Today’s post is a transcript from a recent conversation with author Mr. Ben Ireland, which occurred during his visit to my little corner of the etherverse. Ireland is an up and coming novelist and acquaintance of mine through Xchyler Publishing.
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Enjoy the discussion:
Ireland: Thanks for having me, I love this place. It has good feng shui.
J. Aurel: I understand that you have a new work of fiction. Can you tell us a little about your story?
Ireland: Kingdom City ~ Resurrection is the first in the Kingdom City trilogy. It’s a science fantasy novel set in the near future in the peaceful, totally normal metropolis, Kingdom City. Six months prior to the opening of the novel a terrorist attack rocked the city by killing a quarter of it’s police force. Things start to fall apart when they don’t stay dead.
No, not a zombie book. It’s about love, fighting for what’s important, and the consequences of technological progress without moral constraint.
J. Aurel: Wait, wait, I lost you as zombie. They’re not zombies, or it’s not about the zombies?
Ireland: Both. No zombies in Kingdom City. Sorry.
J. Aurel: Oh, my. Now I really have to read it to sort this out. In the meantime, what moved you to become an author?
Ireland: I’ve always felt the need to express myself creatively. When I finally accepted that I was a mediocre musician, I tried my hand at writing. Kingdom City started life ten years ago as a screenplay. When that was done, I asked my wife ‘what on earth do I do with this?’ She replied ‘turn it into a novel.’ The rest, as they say, is history.
J. Aurel: It is a wise man that listens to his better half. So, how is it that you came to be published by Xchyler Publishing?
Ireland: I’m acquainted with one of the staff, and am friends with them on Facebook. I mentioned in one post that I was writing a novel. They messaged me and told me to submit. I was reluctant at first –I’d never published anything before- so I dithered. While investigating Xchyler, I saw that they had anonymous anthology contests. An anonymous contest seemed like the safest way to have my dream crushed. I submitted Kissed a Snake (one scene of which I wrote eons ago in college) to the thriller anthology contest, Dash of Madness, and was accepted. So I figured, why not try to send them my novel.
J. Aurel: Very clever, I read ‘Kissed a Snake’ not long ago and was thoroughly entranced by the raw and twisting plot. What else have you been working on writing wise?
Ireland: Thank you, I appreciate that. I had not seriously pursued a writing career until recently. I piddled around with Kingdom City for nine years, learning how to actually write most of that time. So I’ve only been published in two Xchyler short story contests, Dash of Madness and Moments in Millenia. I hope to expand my resume as time permits.
J. Aurel: Marvelous, I’ve got a copy of Moments in Millenia on my shelf waiting to be read. Which story is yours?
Ireland: Fairykin. It’s about a tribe of fairies struggling to survive in a world where nature has been eradicated.
J. Aurel: Well, there’s another one added to my list then. Can you tell us about some of your most favorite authors?
Ireland: Jim Butcher. Period. Go get his Dresden Files series, starring the only practicing wizard-detective in Chicago, Harry Dresden. Jim’s characters are colorful, lovable, and deep. You can pretty much learn everything you need to learn about writing from that man.
J. Aurel: You seem to be quite the fan of urban fantasy and fiction. What is it that inspires your writing?
Ireland:I’m mostly attracted to people who are smart enough and strong enough to solve the problems they face, it doesn’t have to be urban fantasy. It just so happens that the best books on the planet are.
Primarily my inspiration comes from sharing stories that make people feel. I loved the thrill when Atreyu was soaring with Falkor, or the adrenalin when Ripley was kicking alien ass (ok, yeah, I was probably too young to have watched that when I did…) So, if I can cry or laugh or thrill with you as you read my stories, then I can feel satisfied that I’ve done my job.
J. Aurel: Well put my friend. Do you have any words of wisdom for the burgeoning authors reading this interview?
Ireland: As I’m a burgeoning author myself, I’d have to say, GET OUT OF MY WAY. Ha ha ha. But seriously, don’t cross me.
But seriously, seriously, my advice is to not give up. Sharing stories is a joy, and hearing the different perspective of each reader is a marvelous experience. It’s worth the pain. If you’re having trouble landing your story with the big guys, submit to an indie publisher. Xychler has some wonderfully talented people that I am a better person for having worked with. Don’t give up, and never think you know enough.
J. Aurel: Splendid advice, and I’ll myself will stay out of your way in hopes of catching your tail wind to success. Now, what is next for you?
Ireland: For now, it’s back to the daily grind of network administering. In my free time I’ll be hashing out Kingdom City part 2 and 3. Kingdom City ~ Retaliation (working title) should be out some time in 2015. I have another fantasy series I’m working on that I hope to have ready for publishers soon. I’ll keep you posted on that.
J. Aurel: This has been marvelous Mr. Ireland, simply marvelous. Now at this point I usually ask my guests to compete in a friendly game, however seeing as we nearing dinner, lets simply order a dish. The Grog and Dart pub serves a surprisingly decent selection of foods including Leonopteryx Omelets, Spice Melange Noodles (there’s only just a touch of the stuff in there really), and my favorite Poutine. Take your pick, this one is on me.
Ireland: *stares blankly* Oh, um. I’ll have the chicken.
His upcoming Novel Kingdom City ~ Resurrection will be released on Febuary 28th 2014