Today we have an interview with Ben Ireland, author of Kingdom City: Revolt. You can also check out the Rafflecopter and other members of the blog tour on this link.
1. How did you come up with the concept of your story?
Before I wrote books, I thought to myself “I want to write something, but it needs to be cool.” I decided that epic items, like swords, are cool. And then those epic items being needed for something completely unexpected. It was around the swords Fury and Serenity that the entire Kingdom City universe grew. Admittedly, it’s a much more manual thought process than i’ve had with most of my other story ideas; they usually just come to me. But I don’t think that Kingdom City is any less rich or exciting for that.
2. How did you come up with the title?
My little brother LOVES Dungeons & Dragons. Years before I called myself a writer, he was drawing a map for a campaign he was planning and I walked up behind him. He couldn’t think of a name for the capital city of the kingdom, so he called it Kingdom City. I thought that had an amazing ring to it so I stored it away for later use. Once you read the books, you’ll understand why they are subtitled Resurrection, and Revolt.
3. Please provide some insight into or a secret or two about your story.
Revolt is not just about the physical fight against what the Representative is trying to do to the population of Kingdom City, it’s also about the internal revolt of the characters against their internal natures. Paul is torn between leading the revolt and forsaking everything to save his family. There are also several characters that are dealing with internal conflicts that aren’t apparent at first. Through a careful reading, I think you’ll be able to figure out who is hiding something.
4. What was the most surprising part of writing this book?
I was most surprised by how dark it was. I was always fascinated by things that were a little dark and gritty, so I set out to create something edgy. Once I was done and I reread the book, I was taken aback by how dark it had actually become. Reading the first chapter again after not seeing it for several months made me think ‘oh gee, I wrote that?’ I think darkness in art is important to help us see the light and good in life. Though I believe some authors take that too far. RR Martin is a prime example. I feel that artists that write darkness simply because it’s “realistic” miss the point of art.
5. What was the hardest part of writing your book, and how did you overcome it?
Finding time! I love writing and I love telling stories. I haven’t experienced writer’s block, so to speak. My mind it brimming with stories and ideas and the fountain hasn’t run down, let alone run out. As a worker and a father I did the only thing I could do to find time. Sleep less. Some weeks I was going on three and a half hours a night when I had to.
6. What is your preferred writing genre?
I lean towards fantasy, especially urban fantasy. I get a rush when someone isn’t only smart enough to solve their problems, but they can also solve them with fire. Lots and lots of magically invoked fire.
7. Who is your favorite author? Who has most influenced your work?
Early on, I loved The Hobbit—it was the first big-kid book I read twice (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish was the first little-kid book I read more than once). I read a lot of Azimov growing up, too. Just prior to my writing really taking off, I fell in love with Harry Potter. JK’s world is so colorful and engaging it’s hard to not fall in love. Today I’m an avid fan of Harry Dresden. The engrossing characters and thoroughly conceived world that Butcher has created is something I’m constantly trying to emulate.
8. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always loved creating. Probably the worst thing that happened to me is when I took a creative writing class in college. The professor told me that my story was the best thing he’d read “in a long time.” I’ve been spiralling since then. That story ended up being a scene of Kissed a Snake, in Xchyler’s A Dash of Madness short story anthology.
9. Given unlimited resources, what would be your ideal writing environment?
Somewhere close to my kids. A window with a view of the forest would be great, too.
10. Where do you actually write? Do you write on a schedule?
We recently moved and I managed to get an office in the new house. It’s actually a storage closet. But it has a map of Kingdom City on the wall and Slifer the Sky Dragon above my desk, so that’s all I need.
I don’t have a specific time to write. I’m still on the ‘wait until the kids fall to sleep and write until I fall to sleep’ schedule.
11. What is your writing drive? The power that keeps you going when your writing gets difficult?
My brain is full of story ideas and it hurts when I don’t let them out. Writing isn’t a choice, it’s a compulsion.
12. Name one entity that you feel supported your writing, outside of family members.
Tori. Tori supported my writing. Tori, you’re awesome!
And you know, Xchlyer. My publisher.
13. How does writing impact other parts of your life?
It makes me very, very tired. I love creating stories that talk to people that can relate to darkness. My mother doesn’t approve.
14. What activities best give your brain a break? How do you unwind?
Anime and X-files. Though i’m all caught on on X-Files.
15. What are some of your other published works?
Kingdom City: Resurrection (Kingdom City Book 1) http://amzn.to/202KFQE
And two short stories. Kissed a Snake in A Dash of Madness anthology http://amzn.to/23rKi1f, and Fairykin in Moments in Millennia http://amzn.to/23rKopB
16. What is your advice to writers?
Figure out who to listen to and who to ignore. If you don’t have people in your life who challenge your creative work, then you’re handicapping yourself. Peter Jackson and George Lucas stopped listening to people that challenged them, and the result is the Hobbit movies and Star Wars episode 1-3. No matter how successful you get, listen to your trusted critics.
17. What’s up next for you?
Kingdom City part3. Working title is Retribution. The original working title was Redemption, but that sounded way too optimistic for Kingdom City.
18. What is your favorite snack while writing?
Chocolate milk. Heaven help me. I drink too much of the stuff.
19. If you had three wishes, what would they be?
A happy, happy birthday to you from me, to earn enough from writing to support my family, and my kids to be healthy and happy. That’s it.
20. Is there anything else you’d like your readers to know about you?
I want my readers to get to know me through my work. Please pick up any of my stories and see what you find.
Just for fun nerd list:
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Trek
Hunger Games or Divergent? Hunger Games
James Bond or Jack Ryan? Who is Jack Ryan? (Googles it…) I still don’t know who he is.
Sherlock: Robert Downey, Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch? Downey.
Spock: Leonard Nimoy or Zachary Quinto? They’re both so good in different ways. Not a fair question.
X-Men or Avengers? I would have said X men up until the recent Avengers movies.
Aliens or Predators? Aliens. I mean, there is no escaping them. I don’t care how many wrist mounted bombs you have.
Minions or Penguins? I’m insulted by this question.
Batman or Superman? I’ll get back to you after I see the movie.
Harry Potter or Pirates of the Caribbean? Is it even a comparison? Harry Potter.
Beatles or Rolling Stones? Beatles.
Peter Jackson or James Cameron? James. Peter lost my respect with the Hobbit movies. Seriously, though, how could we not see that coming after he made King Kong?
Steven Spielberg or George Lucas? Steven. George lost my respect with episodes 1-3.Go watch the Red Letter Media review on Star Wars 1 -3 and get back to me.
Vampires or Werewolves? To fight with, against, or to kiss passionately?
LARP or MORPG? MMORPG.