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Friday, October 23, 2015

An Interview with Author Ben Wolf

I’m stoked (I really hope you all get that vampire reference) to have the award-winning author Ben Wolf on my blog today. I’m a fan of his writing in general, and I have to tell you, his novel Blood for Blood is awesome. Please give Ben a warm welcome.

Yes, there is a giveaway! (Details at the bottom of the post.) And you can get Blood for Blood for 99 cents, but only for a limited time! This sale ends Saturday the 24th of October, so get your copy before the Halloween season (and this deal) ends.

Blood for Blood is the story of what might happen if a vampire got saved and tried to start living his life for God. 

 Me: Thank you so much for being here, Ben! Please tell us a bit about you. What do you like to do when you aren't writing? Are you a coffee or tea person? Do you have any children or pets?

Ben Wolf: Thanks so much for having me. I'm a bit nuts, but in a good way. I love watching action/adventure movies and TV shows, and I also take MMA classes at a local gym. I enjoy playing volleyball, sword-fighting, shooting friends with Nerf guns, and hearing myself talk, especially in front of large groups.

I prefer tea to coffee (I don't like coffee at all), but I don't drink tea very often either. I'm caffeine-free these days since I get too many withdrawal headaches when I do drink the caffeine and then don't follow up with more caffeine soon enough.

I've got two adorable kids, Liam and Violet. They're amazing. I also have a furry child named Marco. 

Me: What was the inspiration behind Blood for Blood?

Ben Wolf: I've always been a fan of vampires and their lore, but the story idea is actually one I stole (with permission) from a fellow writing friend. He was talking with me about how ironic it would be for a vampire to get saved and then have to endure life as a Christian among other Christians and their religious symbols, practices, etc. I loved the idea so much that I hijacked it and wrote the novel in the course of only a few months' time. 

Me: You recently won an award for Blood for Blood - tell us about that!

Ben Wolf: I was honored to win the Oregon Christian Writers 2015 Cascade Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel. I was up against some stiff competition, and I was thrilled just to be nominated, but I'm even more thrilled that I won. I really think it's a great book, and I'm happy to see it get some recognition. It's also validation that I should keep writing. 

Me: The character of Raven is unique and complex. How do you think people can relate to him? How do YOU relate to him?

Ben Wolf: I'm glad you think he's unique and complex. That's a huge compliment to me. 

I think people will relate to him in his uncertainty. I know I certainly do. Raven is uncertain about his new faith from the very beginning and throughout the entire book until almost the end. The moment he finally decides to really go for broke and surrender EVERYTHING to God is the key moment in his faith development.

I'm like that, only it's a daily struggle. I am constantly fighting against surrendering to God, even though I should do it and need do it. I think a lot of American Christians are like that as well. We tend to think that we've got it under control, and we'll just call on God when we get into a bind. But that's not what God wants. He wants an ongoing relationship, not one of convenience. I struggle with this personally, and I definitely can learn from Raven's story and character in this way. 
Me: If you could spend the day with one of the B4B characters, which would it be?

Ben Wolf: Oooh, tough one. I think I'd benefit the most from hanging out with Luco. My hope would be that he'd rub off on me in a good way. He could mentor me a bit in my faith. 

Me: What authors have influenced you the most?

Ben Wolf: Frank Peretti is responsible for me falling in love with reading and also for inspiring the desire within me to write. Robert Liparulo and Ted Dekker furthered that drive, and Randy Ingermanson and James Scott Bell both contributed a ton with their excellent work on teaching the craft of writing. More recently, Stephen King has become something of a favorite of mine. 

Me: What are you working on now? What's next for you?

Ben Wolf: I'm developing a sci-fi horror novel as we speak. I've got most of the basic outline done, and I'm set to begin working on it in November for NaNoWriMo. I have purposely given myself permission to write during that month, despite a busy freelance editing schedule. I'm hopeful that I can knock out a big chunk of the book, if not finish the first draft entirely. 

Me: I assume you’re dressing up for Halloween this year. Are you going as a vampire?

Ben Wolf: It's highly likely that I'll be going as Wolverine for Halloween this year. Gotta get some more mileage out of those claws. 

Thank you again for taking the time to be a guest on my blog today!

I know you want to know how win a signed copy of Blood for Blood AND two copies of Havok Magazine. All you have to do is sign up for Ben’s newsletter. Make sure you do it by 11:59 p.m. Saturday October 24th, 2015. Good luck!

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