Exclusive Interview with

Ben Berwick

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When did you start writing?

Professionally? Well, insofar as I'd call myself a professional, I started work on The Awakening last year. I've been dabbling with fan fiction and some other bits and pieces for nearly two decades.

Ben Berwick
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What makes writing your passion?

Writing is a means of putting my creative thoughts into some kind of tangible order - it gives me the opportunity to realise my visions, whatever those visions may be. I can then share these fleshed-out worlds and characters with the world, which is very meaningful to me.

Ben Berwick
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How long have you been writing?

I've been writing original stuff since 2014 or so, but it was stuff posted to sites like Movellas and Booksie, and no disrespect to those sites, but I never felt what I posted to them was good enough to actually publish.

Ben Berwick
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What was the feeling when you published your first book?

It was pretty amazing. I'd never set out to publish The Awakening, but as I drew closer to the end, the thought kept occuring to me. When it finally happened, it felt like a brand new chapter in my creative world had begun.

Ben Berwick
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What’s the story behind your choice of characters?

Nearly all the main characters in The Awakening are aliens, from a warrior culture. They're grappling with a very rigid interpretation of religious doctrine, which I feel is a pertinent subject in today's world.

Ben Berwick
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What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?

Time. There is never enough time. As a full-time sales consultant, I have to steal moments to write when I can, which isn't easy, considering I am a husband and father as well. There are many priorities that are more important than writing, but that doesn't mean I don't get frustrated when time runs out to actually write.

Ben Berwick
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How do you get over the “writer’s block”?

If I'm stuck on one story I'll work on another story. I find that keeps the creative juices flowing.

Ben Berwick
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We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?

The most important advice I can think of is to make yourself happy first. If you are not entertained by your own words, you cannot expect anybody else to enjoy them. Write for yourself.

Ben Berwick
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If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?

Aside from advising on the outcome of a few sporting events, I'd tell myself that one day, I'd publish something, and that I shouldn't stop writing.

Ben Berwick
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Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?

I've only had one review so far, and it was a good one, so I don't really know how I'd respond to a bad one! I'd like to think I have a thick skin, but the proof will be in the pudding, so to speak.

Ben Berwick
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What is the feeling when you get a good review?

It's lovely. It means someone has enjoyed what I've written. They've not only liked it, but felt moved enough to put down that appreciation into words. That's pretty special.

Ben Berwick
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Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?

Not as yet. It's certainly possible in the future.

Ben Berwick
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Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?

So far, the main characters in the stuff I've written (both published and otherwise) don't really resemble a lanky, geeky guy, but that could always change in the future!

Ben Berwick
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What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?

A good cover will certainly draw the eye, but in a bookshop it's the blurb on the back I usually pay more attention to. It depends on the environment. On an online store, the cover art (and I am fortunate to have a very talented brother who designed mine) needs to stand out. The story though, is ultimately what gets a book talked about.

Ben Berwick
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Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?

I'd be more than happy to chat with my readers, once I have some! I'd be willing to exchange views on Twitter, Facebook, via my website and podcasts, in most avenues really. I have a deep appreciation for celebrities who take the time to interact with their fans.

Ben Berwick
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How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?

Well so far no one recognises me because of my writing! As and when they do, it would be flattering, especially if it's because they've enjoyed my work!

Ben Berwick
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Who is your favorite author? Why?

Ooooh... how do I choose one?! In my adult life I have read a lot of David Weber's Honorverse, Jack Campbell's Lost Fleet Saga, and the works of Peter F Hamilton, along with John Scalzi's stuff. I've enjoyed them all, and I've also enjoyed the sci-fi work of Becky Black. I would however have to credit Roald Dahl, whose story-telling remains beautiful and bursting with imagination.

Ben Berwick
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What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?

If I were half as famous as David Weber, I'd be happy.

Ben Berwick
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Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?

Well, having only released one book to only one review, so far I'm happy with it as it stands!

Ben Berwick
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If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?

Hmm... a life in the day of Peter Hamilton would be nice.