10 Questions with Benjamin Baker
Ben was born in Rexburg Idaho, but spent most of his years growing up in Cedar City, Utah and Panaca, Nevada. His writing ability stemmed from a vivid imagination in childhood, though at the time it mostly consisted of his passion for food. His career started with the publication of “Discarded Identities” in the literary magazine, Kolob Canyon Review. He has recently released a zombie themed novelette “Unworthy Sacrifice” with a follow up novel “Black Death: The Outbreak” to be released in December. He currently resides in Cedar City, Utah with his wife Madeline. When he’s not attending classes at the local university he can usually be found at his computer, crafting a new story to entertain others.
1. How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I consider my writing career to have started in 2012. There was a short story contest for a literary magazine through Southern Utah University. I submitted the short story “Discarded Identities” on a whim and won. My then girlfriend, now wife, was a huge motivation to continue my writing and pursue a writing career.
2. What is the best piece of advice you have for new writers?
As a new writer myself, I don’t exactly know the keys to success, but I would say that persistence is critical to any success. You can’t quit after the first failure, you keep pushing, keep writing and eventually it will pay off.
3. Are there any writing resources, such as books or websites, you’d like to recommend?
I strongly recommend reading Dean Wesley Smith’s blog on his website. There is a vast treasure trove of information to be found there on self-publishing, seminars for writing and more.
4. What is your favorite type of fiction and who are your favorite authors?
My favorite type of fiction is science fiction, though horror and fantasy are strong contenders. I love epic novels spanning the galaxy and characters facing incredible odds. L. Ron Hubbard, Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, and Terry Brooks are among my many favorites.
5. What tips do you have for finding time to write?
You have to make the time, I write in the mornings before school, during lunch breaks, and sometimes at night before bed. It’s hard at first, but with enough persistence you can carve out the time even if it’s only ten minutes here and there.
6. Do you prefer to outline a story in advance or write on the fly? Why?
I use a hybrid approach. I like to come up with a bare bones outline to guide me, just enough to let me know what’s going to happen, then I let myself fill in and pursue whatever avenues I wish. This way I don’t get lost in the story, but I can unleash my creativity without feeling restricted.
7. How do you deal with rejections?
I recognize that rejections are a learning experience. I try to determine what it was about my story that was lacking and improve upon it in the next story.
8. What are your writing goals for the next twelve months?
I plan to have three novels written, two to finish a series and start a new one in the next twelve months and hope to earn $10,000 from my writing.
9. For the next five years?
I hope to become a full time writer within the next five years. Earning a stable income and seeing some of my books in bookstores. At least one novel on a bestsellers list.
10. Is there anything you’d like to plug? Feel free to share a link.
My personal website: http://benbakerbooks.wix.com/home