My next guest is amazing. He is funny and smart and what I would call a serious “thinker” on things that would mostly go right over my head. I was lucky enough to meet him on Facebook because I couldn’t help myself but to comment on some of the posts he made. I really enjoy knowing a person who questions the good and the bad about the world we live. I also love a person who can make me laugh. He is a Prince of a man, and his name is Ben Ditmars.
Hello, my friend. Let’s tell my viewers about you.
“About the Author” –
I grew up in several parts of Central Ohio and now live in Marion. It’s an interesting place with a lot of history. I think it’s what helped spark my interest in it as well as my novel. It’s basically a dystopian story about gnomes. But, also in my book of micro plays, the past and its parallels are very evident.
How long have you been writing? I’ve been writing since elementary school. We had these assignments where we compared and contrasted two different things. I would often flunk because I wove them into stories the teacher found too graphic. Growing up I got into bigger things, writing stories including different friends (mostly girls). I also did a fair bit of humor, writing my own Top Ten Lists like you see on the David Letterman show.
What was your life like before becoming an author?
Was there life before becoming an author? It seems I’ve been doing this for as long as I remember. Before my first book, though I was into a variety of creative things. I wrote a comic on Facebook and blogged. I even tried to get into archaeology for a while. I enjoyed the historical and anthropological side but not so much the scientific end.
Who or what inspired you to write?
The people around me have always inspired me most. I started writing about gnomes in high-school. I had two friends, Nick and Krista I included in skits raising a gnome. It was sort of like the transcript for a sitcom. I did it for a couple years. I imagine some of it is still on my blog too. But, that became the interest for a novel built around gnomes. I wanted to try and take them more seriously than I had seen in books at the time.
Do you have a specific writing style or genre?
I have a habit of being bizarre. If anything I write seems too normal I usually try and change it. Apart from that, I have a deep love of fantasy. I’m a humungous nerd like that. But my writing genre is less distinct. I wrote the fantasy novel a couple years ago and now I seem to write more science fiction shorts. Then there’s the plays. And the poetry book. I’m incredibly random.
Tell me about your latest book? What’s it about?
My latest book, Night Poems, is a short collection of poetry, or chapbook. I’ve written poetry for a long time but held off on publication. I wanted a really memorable idea. I think Night Poems is just that. In it every poem has a time of night and takes you through as if it were one night. I think in many ways, it’s my favorite of the three books I’ve written.
What was your favorite part of the book to write?
I loved writing the poems themselves but the quotes at the beginning were a great way to share my influences with readers. I chose lines from Robert Frost’s Acquainted with the Night and Bob Seger’s Night Moves. I’ve long read lyrics as poetry and I think the latter touched on that.
What was the hardest part to write?
The hardest part for me was the formatting. I run into this quite frequently because the three books I’ve written require vastly different kinds. I’m happy however, that the spacing and everything else turned out so well. Unlike my other books, I can’t really think of a time I’ve wanted to go back and change something.
What do you find most rewarding in writing a book?
I find unquestionably it is the feedback from fans. There’s nothing like hearing or reading a fan tell you they got something from your work. Often, it’s the parts I questioned including that they’ve loved the most and that makes it all the more valuable. And the creativity they have! I hate to brag but I have the best, most brilliant fans. I’ve had poems written, beautiful photographs taken, plays acted out… beyond anything I could imagine.
Do you have any other books complete or in progress?
I have a dream and need an idea. I want to write a fantasy collection. But, like Night Poems, I want it to be memorable. So, I’m still writing for my blog and hoping something will really click inside my head. I know that sounds defeatist in a way, but really, my three other books just sort of happened like that.
What are your future plans in regards to writing?
There are at least a few more books I want to write. The fantasy collection I’ve mentioned, but also a mystery novel. That’s another dream I’ve had. I only place the fantasy collection above it in priority because I have been writing short stories.
Are you listed on the major social networks like facebook, twitter, goodreads, etc…
Yes, all of the above, actually. You can find me at @benditty on Twitter. Search for Ben Ditmars on Facebook and Goodreads. http://niceoldspice.blogspot.com/
What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
It takes a lot of work. I’m only an indie writer myself but building any sort of audience has been a process of years of writing and promotion. The thick skin you must develop is something to be prepared for as well. You have to take in criticism and not let it break you. People will dislike you. It doesn’t mean you or your book is bad. It only means people look for vastly different things in writing.
Outside of writing, what is your most favorite thing to do and why?
I love watching historical documentaries and reading other indie authors; Charity Parkerson, Amber Norrgard, Dionne Lister and you yourself to name a few. I also took up playing the ocarina. It’s a small flute like instrument made popular in the Zelda games. I don’t get to it as often I would like but when I do it’s a lot of fun.
Anything else you would like to add for future fans and friends.
An “I love you” of course. Also, a hug.
Ben, you are too sweet for words and so much fun to socialize with. In a way, you remind me of one of my longtime friends who was a philosophy major at The University of North Texas. Simply brilliant in your way of thinking and viewing the world around you. That is a wonderful trait, my friend. Thank you so much for being a part of my interview series. I’m looking forward to having a signed copy of your books and I appreciate you so much for being a fan of mine. Big hugs, to you Ben. And yes, I love you too. Good people like you are a treasure to find. :o)