Exclusive Interview with

Ben Berwick

Let’s start with your Career as a writer!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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!

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

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

What would you say to the “trolls” on the internet? We all know them – people who like to write awful reviews to books they’ve never read or didn’t like that much, just to annoy the author.

I would offer trolls my pity - they clearly have some pretty major deficiencies in their own lives that drive them to put down others - they're no different to playground bullies, with the added factor of being cowards who hide behind a screen. They need to be either ignored or encouraged to look at solving their issues.

What would you say to your readers?

I'd say - please give me honest feedback! The only means to grow and learn is with open commentary, not gushing praise.

Thank you for sharing! Let’s talk about your Personal Life!

Share a bit about yourself – where do you live, are you married, do you have kids?

I'm a proud father to a ten year-old daughter and happily married. I was born and raised in Hertfordshire but have lived in Essex for over a decade.

What is your day job if you have one?

My job is in designing bathrooms. It's pretty interesting and involves a fair bit of knowledge, which keeps me on my toes.

What are your hobbies? What do you do in your free time?

I'm a big Nintendo fan, especially when it comes to The Legend of Zelda, though my love of Pokemon has been passed down to my daughter with a vengeance. Formula 1 motor racing has always been a passion, whilst I support Liverpool FC for my sins. I enjoy swimming and reading, and I have a love for all things sci-fi.

Did you have a happy childhood?

I can't complain about it! I didn't especially enjoy school, but who does?

Is there a particular experience that made you start writing?

I enjoyed some elements of English lessons at school, which probably kindled something in me. I dare say Drama lessons - that creative process - might have meant more, though I would never have made it as an actor!

Do you have unpublished books? What are they about?

There are sequels in the works to The Awakening, and two other stories currently on the go. I couldn't really give a timescale as to when any of it would be released.

What do you think should be improved in the education of our children? What do we lack?

Here in the UK we still place too much emphasis on money and background. Kids from less privileged environments don't get the same opportunities, which is horrendously unfair.

If you were allowed 3 wishes – what would they be?

1. Infinite wishes.
Ok, assuming that's not allowed...
1. 100 Million pounds in the bank.
2. The body of Thor from the MCU (the muscular version)
3. The clever mind of Tony Stark.

What is your favorite music?

My musical tastes are all over the shop. One moment I'll be listening to 80s pop, then Disney show tunes, followed by Linkin Park.

Share a secret with us 🙂

I hate mushrooms. They have absolutely no redeeming features and should be purged from this earth.

Thank you! We wish you the best of luck for you and your art!