Interviewing Author Ben R Baker
Q1.Tell me about your self what are your favorite books to read?
A. I have, of recent times, fallen hard for SF and Fantasy detective novels. Dresden Files. Iron Druid. Sandman Slim, a few other series names of which escape me ATM. I am also reading books by Eric Flint and John Ringo, both of whom write very well. My favorite books are SF and Fantasy in general. Top 4 books are:
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy
Stand on Zanzibar
Guns of the South
I am also partial to history and politics with the book World Lit Only By Fire being an astonishingly good read.
Q2.when did you decide you were going to write a book?
A.I’ve been a writer since before I could actually read. I scribbled in the front of my Dr. Suess books, writing stories. It was just scribbled, but Der yaggo. I started two books in college. S.F. They continue to be half done. I got the idea for a book seriously in the late 1990s. The book is Origins of Hawgin’: How to Catch Wild Hogs on Topwater Tackle. It is a collection of my best newspaper and magazine columns to that point.
Q3.How did you come up with the name of your books?
A. The column collection titles come from the title of a column in the book. The nonfiction books, it varies. I try to summarize the idea into the title. “Inukshuk” is a good example of this. An inukshuk is a standing pile of stones that indicates a person on a journey is headed in the right direction. Some of the nonfiction I wrote on contract and the person hiring me came up with the title.
Q4.What are you working on for 2019?
A. In 2019, I might be able to finish one of the SF or fantasy novels currently in the words. I have three. The one I’d most like to wrap is a humorous fantasy novel. I posted excerpts as I was writing it and people said it was great. But ya can’t really trust the words of friends when it comes to writing.
Q5. How long have you been writing?
A. To expand on No. 2, as long as I can remember. Writing is who I am. In school, I loved essay tests. Margaret Traylor, one of the teachers to whom my first book is dedicated, assigned us journaling in high school. That and vocabulary assignments are the only time I can ever remember resenting writing. I have a strong anti-authoritarian streak. Being told I have to do something that makes no sense to me brings that right out. Being forced to do vocabulary lessons is something I resented so I was intentionally bad at it. In college, I joined the newspaper staff and by the time I graduated I set a new J-school record for the most published work by a full-time student.
Q6. What advice would you give other authors?
A. Write. Write. Write. Ignore writing advice from other people. At 51 years old, I’ve finally managed to forget the writing advice other people gave me except for what Kurt Vonnegut said. To paraphrase & sorta quote he said, “What the hell are you doing sitting there listening to me? You need to be writing.”
Yeah. Do that.
I intentionally and with malice aforethought bend, fold, spindle, mutilate and otherwise rend the English language into sausage and then stuff it into casings of my own liking. This drives language purists and writing coaches insane. Good. With a 6-month exception, I’ve spent my adult life since leaving college making a living by bending language to my will. I’ve bought 3 houses, two of which I still own, maintain a 300-acre farm, raised two kids, traveled the nation and to Canada, hunted, fished and been a tourist on someone else’s dime all because I am a writer.
I did it by rejecting writing advice.
I’ve invented words - “prezackly” being a favorite and one that was picked up by other writing buds.
Lemme clarify sumpfin: Marketing advice is good info. Do not confuse that with writing advice. Good marketing advice is money in the bank. Get you some good marketing advice and use it.
Q7.where can people find you online?
A.@BenRBaker on Facebook, @Redneckgenius on Twitter, Pork Brains with Milk Gravy on Blogspot and www.BakerBrosPR.com
Q8.Do you plan on making more books in the future?
A.Oh yes. I’m writing all the time. I also produce books for other people.
Q9.How many books have you written?
A. Actual books where I composed all the sentences, except for 1 chapter in A Dog Named Nekkid by my brother (who is a better writer than me), 15 now. I have contributed to 2-3 humor anthologies and several dozen history complications. I also draw cartoons for some of my books.
Q10. did you go to college to be a writer?
A.Yup. Wanted to be a writer so I chose journalism. Other career options at the time were pro rassler or mechanic. Since then, I’ve done lots of other jobs because I found ‘em interesting, but writing was always the mainstay and, except for that 6 months when I was job hunting’, I was writing as well.
I would like to say thank you to Author Ben R Baker for allowing me to Interview him on my blog.