Sep 22

Saturday Six Pack – Benjamin Wallace – Author of Tortugas Rising

Today’s Saturday Six Pack features Benjamin Wallace, whose latest book is Tortugas Rising. I’ve been looking forward to having Ben do a Saturday Six Pack since he is a very funny writer. And since I also write comedy, I consider myself a bit of an expert on what is funny. So Po$$e members, don’t argue with me on this one. Ben and I also have some other things in common. He was born in Canada; I grew up in the Thousand Islands right on the Canadian border so I consider myself part Canadian. (The part that loves hockey and great beer.) Ben grew up in Texas; I currently live in Austin. (And although there are many Texans who consider Austin about as Texan as Los Angeles, geographically it still counts.)

So with that bit of context established, let’s see what Ben has on his mind and what he is currently working on.

Action, adventure, private islands, beautiful women, rhinos, boat chases, castles, car chases, fine dining, eco-terrorists, Savage man, The Rainbow Connection, a fortune, a father, dirty limericks, and two of the worst heroes ever to get caught up in a plot that could change the world forever.

Steve Bennett never knew his father. Now he’s inherited a billion dollar empire and a stake in a man-made island chain in the Gulf of Mexico. Trying to adjust to his new situation, he and his best friend, Paul Nelson, travel to the islands and soon find themselves being chased by killers, killer hippies and rhinos.

They have no training. They can’t trust anyone. But, they must escape and stop a plot that threatens America.

Will they succeed? Will they live? Are rhinos nocturnal? Find out in Tortugas Rising, an action and adventure comedy by the author of Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors.

Yet again Wallace has proved that he is the master of the irreverent action packed novel! His protagonists are just 2 regular Joes put into a scenario that defies explanation and rise to the occasion, all the while providing some genuine belly laughs. I defy any one not to crack up during the Rhino scene! With all that being said he also paces the story and keeps the dialog and action moving at a frantic pace. I literally read this book in one setting, it was that gripping. Is it War and Peace? No but for what it is it is definitely a standout in his genre ( I dare you to define it!) I look forward to more!

1)Welcome, Ben. And congratulations on Tortugas Rising. It’s a hoot. Why don’t you tell everyone a bit about the book and its genesis?

Thank you very much. The idea for the book started years ago when I heard about the World project in Dubai. This series of man-made islands had everything an adventure setting needed: rich and powerful people, exotic set pieces, an animal preserve. It was begging to have someone running around on it, blowing things up.

I’ve always enjoyed action, adventure and thriller books by Ludlum, Cussler and others but I always thought it was unfair that the protagonists had such extensive training. I wanted my heroes to be in completely over their heads so I moved the chain to the Gulf of Mexico and dropped two friends with no evil-fighting experience whatsoever to stop a plot that threatens the world as we know it.

2)You’re not shy about telling people that you have a deadly combination of a highly active imagination combined with poor time management skills. As a result you must have quite the collection of ideas you need to finish. What are you working on at the moment and when can we expect to see it launched?

The next few months will be very busy for me. I’ve just finished a non-fiction guide to parenting as a part of my Dumb White Husband series. It’s called Dumb White Husband vs Babies: A Guide for the Unsuspecting Father. It should be available mid-September and will help prepare soon-to-be fathers for what really lies ahead in parenting.

I’m also collecting my previous Dumb White Husband short stories into a single volume for October that will also include to two new and exclusive tales.

I’ve also been writing a serial novel for my newsletter subscribers called The Bulletproof Adventures of Damian Stockwell: Horror in Honduras. It’s my tribute to the great pulp heroes and should be available to everyone in November.

And, then I’m hoping to have the sequel to Post-Apocalyptic Nomadic Warriors, Songs of the Apocalypse, ready for Christmas. Then on to the new stuff.

3) As an indie author, I’m always interested in how other writers balance their writing time with the requisite marketing and promotion efforts. How does a normal week break down for you with respect to writing versus promotion? (Assuming, of course, that any week could actually be called normal.)

I try to get my promotional efforts all taken care of at once. I try to post to my author site and DumbWhiteHusband.com regularly. I’ve found that I have to do this in advance or the efforts will derail me, so I’ll spend a day every now and then preparing the posts or features and set them to publish automatically.

I’m very active on Twitter as well. It’s harder to say how I managed this time since it’s very spontaneous. But I do tweet fairly often. Right now, my focus is on writing and making good on all the dates I just gave you. I try to write for at least two hours a day which doesn’t seem like much, but it’s all the time I have at the moment.

4)You mention something on your Amazon author page that resonates with me. “I do my best to write books worth reading with jokes worth laughing at….The serious stuff is being taken care of by a world full of great writers.” I agree with that sentiment completely but, for me, there is an additional element. I truly believe that writing great comedy that makes significant observations about life or society, or works as satire, is one of the hardest things to do. As a comedy writer, how does the process start for you and at what point do you know you’re ready to start writing?

Every person is wonderful. But, when we get together as people we start to act a little dopey. We lose our identities to a certain extent and all start acting the same. Stories are the same way. Once grouped into genres, it’s easy to see the similarities. It’s these similarities that make us fans, but it also makes them easy pickings for a little humor. We only roast the ones we love and I’m playing in the genres that I’ve always enjoyed. I just want to poke a little fun along the way. I’ve always had a hard time taking anything too seriously so, once I see some similarities, it’s time to point them out.

5)My stuff is very character-driven and I get asked a lot about the process I use for developing mine. Do you have any particular insights or suggestions you’d like to offer other writers about how to create characters that pop off the page?

I met a guy in a casino once. It was 7 in the morning and he needed to borrow a phone. In the span of five minutes he told me what he did for a living, what he really did for a living, that one of his girlfriends might be pregnant but he thought she was lying, that his cousin owned a bunch of strip clubs which he invited me to go to right then, and that he had, just moments before, restrained himself from stabbing someone because “that’s me being a grown up – that’s me acting responsible.” Real people are crazy. Don’t be afraid to go over the top.

Also, think of someone you don’t like, then mock the hell out of them.

6) Last question, and it’s the one I ask everyone since I’m very interested in how each author approaches their own development, if you could change one thing about yourself as a writer, what would it be?

I’m still new at this so I’m always looking to improve, but if I could change one thing it would be this: Whenever I’m about to put out a story there’s little voice inside that starts to ask questions. Will everyone like this? Is this how so-and-so would have done it? Is it long enough? What if someone thinks this? I wish I could give that voice a swirly and send it on its way.

I’d like to wish you the best for continued success and I look forward to catching up with you again in the near future.

Now stop answering all these pesky questions from people like me and get to work. Write something great today!

Be well.

Po$$e Members, You can find Ben at the links below. Don’t miss this guy!


twitter: @benmwallace


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