Name: Benjamin Card
Where are you from: Miami, FL
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc:
My family is huge and awesome. A bunch of crazy Cubans. My dad is Colombian. All my cousins are my best friends. I started college but stopped for now.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I have a new collection being published with Villipede Publications titled “The Courting”. The release date is still TBA but I’ll be announcing an exact date soon. I’m also working on a new science fiction novella called “Love, American Style” and a horror YA series called “Survive The Night”. I have several more novels in my head and plan on releasing at least one a year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
It must have been during elementary school. It started with writing crappy comic books with my older brother and eventually I was starting different stories and never finishing them. Usually love stories because I was influenced early on by Nicholas Sparks.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess I always enjoyed writing as a hobby but it was about 3 years ago after reading Richard Matheson’s work that I decided to pursue writing as a career.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first completed novel was Survive the Night, and it first started in my head as a short story about a kid who is asked to house-sit for a family and starts encountering a lot of demonic things in the house and he’s unable to escape for the entire night. Then the story evolved and eventually became a YA haunted house series. The story was inspired by Shirley Jackson’s “The Haunting of Hill House” and Matheson’s “Hell House”.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Well, I’d say my style mimics Richard Matheson and Ernest Hemingway the most. Unlike Hemingway, though, I love to describe feelings in detail and use a lot of imagery for fear and different emotional reactions.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My titles always come differently. Not sure how to answer that question. I just think about what sounds cool and might sound good as a movie. Aside from the stories I already mentioned, I plan on writing these titles: The Orbs, 2 Saviors, The House Always Wins, On the Rim of the Visible World, and The Comatose Country. I might possibly write a sequel to The Courting sometime in the future.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Sure. It all varies and sometimes comes without me even noticing. My short stories Wake Up!” and “The Glitch” deal with poverty in the world. “I’ll Spend it With You,” “Blind Date,” and “All Is Fair In Love” deal with themes of love and romance. There’s nothing too specific and it’s never preachy or even optimistic usually, but I put enough heart to let the reader take it any way they want.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Well, The Courting is realistic if you can believe in a drug that can target a demographic and make them act differently. Some stuff is fake, but I try to make it believable, even the fake stuff.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Sometimes. The Courting came to me in a nightmare. The other stuff depends. The scary stuff is usually stuff that scares me.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life?
Everything by Richard Matheson.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Matheson, Hemingway, Bradbury, and Stephen King.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Psycho 2 by Robert Bloch and A Farewell To Arms by Hemingway.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I usually read older books. But Mitch Albom is a fantastic new author. I hope he goes down in history as one of the greats.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
The ones I mentioned above.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
God if we’re going to get weird and spiritual. And my close small circle of friends.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Sure. It is a career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope, I did my best. I’ll drive myself crazy if I think that way.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Reading Nicholas Sparks and then Matheson. And I just liked the idea that I could create my own world and invite readers into it.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I’m writing a new novella called “Love, American Style”, which takes place in future America, where a new technology let’s people simulate any experience they want, even if it’s illegal, immoral, or just plain evil. It’s legal because it hurts no one, but one young man sees what the rest of the country doesn’t and tries to stop these criminal acts by shutting down the system and letting America reveal its true colors.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Sure. I think researching is difficult and just plain boring. I try to avoid it if I can. Dialogue comes pretty naturally to me (I hope).
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Richard Matheson. And it’s because he writes so honestly and so realistically that I feel like his characters are in my own head.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Nope I don’t think so.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I design all of my covers initially, and the publisher polishes it up and makes it look way better.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Starting it and then finishing it. But when I look back it wasn’t hard at all. Just takes discipline.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I learned that a little bit of writing a day can eventually make a novel.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write. Read. Get weird with it, and have fun.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you check out my book, I hope you enjoy the stories. I had fun writing them and reading them after. I think they’re quite good. And there’s more to come. Thanks for reading.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Nope. I remember the first book that awakened me to love reading. “Message in a Bottle” by Nicholas Sparks.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I have a rock band called My Flesh Heart. Check me out on iTunes and Spotify. I also enjoy drinking often with friends.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Steven Spielberg, Sam Raimi, Edgar Wright, George Romero, Joss Whedon, gosh there’s too many… For shows: South Park, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Breaking Bad, Twin Peaks, Six Feet Under, Eastbound and Down, The Twilight Zone, too many too mention…
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music.
Italian, Mexican, Greek. Every color is cool I guess. I’m color blind so there are some shades I can’t see. Music: Jars of Clay, Switchfoot, Family Force 5, Needtobreathe, Passion Pit, House of Heroes, Mahler, The Beatles, Chet Baker, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Tchaikovsky, Johnny Cash, so many more…
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? Nope, but look me up on social media by searching Benjamin Card. I’m on Instagram, Twitter and vine.