Today we welcome middle school adventure author, Ben Gartner to Novels Alive to ask a few questions to get to know this author a little better.
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
I’m a sucker for peppermint ice cream, which is typically only produced around the December holiday season. However, I’ve never really found the same kind of peppermint as I used to have at the local ice cream shop of my youth. It was white ice cream with chunks of peppermint and I think they made it there. I can still taste it. Now, for some reason, every gallon you buy in the grocery store or elsewhere is dyed pink. Why?? I mean, I get why. But, why?? I miss that genuine homemade, non-dyed peppermint ice cream.
Which mythological creature are you most like?
I’m going to go with a chimera because it is a hybrid of many different parts, and I feel like that often. I’m a father to two wonderful boys. A husband to a patient wife. A worker for a great company. A writer for terrific middle grade readers. A hiker of beautiful mountains. A listener of fine music. A reader of many books. On any one given day, I may exercise all of those aspects of my persona. I know I am no different than most of you in this way, and so maybe we’re a band of chimeras roaming the earth together. What is a flock of chimeras called anyway? There ya’ go, add “proud word nerd” to the list of my parts.
First book you remember making an indelible impression on you.
There are so many. But one that comes to mind is Needful Things by Stephen King. I think I was probably thirteen or fourteen when I read it. It’s, like, over 800 pages and I read it in a weekend. The quantity and speed felt like an accomplishment that I still remember, yes, but the “indelible” part was the masterful weaving of common people mixed with supernatural events, written in a way that, oddly, didn’t seem far-fetched. It was a fantastic reading experience. I was already a writer, and I wanted to write like that.
How do you develop your plot and characters?
Iterations. Often, I’ll see a scene based on a simple flash of a moment. In drawing it out, the “before” and “after” of that scene will begin to color in, the characters will become more solidified, and the more times I run back over it, the more vivid and real it will become in my head. When it’s time to take it from ideation to full novel, then I get more judicial and plot out an outline to include the primary and sub-plots. I have a page of notes for each character with tidbits about each, much of which may not directly make it into the manuscript, but probably provide more meat to the parts that do.
Describe your writing space.
I have two. The desk in my office where I have my big monitor is where I do most of my research and editing work. And the bulk of the outlining work. My iPad with keyboard is where I prefer to do most of my drafting, where I am most heads-down and need to be distraction-free. With my iPad, I sit in a big comfy chair or go somewhere that is NOT my office, since I spend so much time in there anyway.
Thank you for having me on your blog! If people would like to learn more about me or my books, the best place to find me is my website: https://BenGartner.com
Thanks for joining us, Ben! It’s been fun having you!
The Eye of Ra: Book 3
Publication Date: January 21, 2022
The explosive reveal about who John and Sarah really are and why they’re traveling through time, with their most gut-wrenching challenge yet.
In the time of the Aztec, a scoundrel named Cortés arrives and the kids are forced to make an extremely difficult decision: If you could change history, should you? For more twists, more danger, and more fun, read the third book in The Eye of Ra series, People of the Sun!
One randomly drawn winner will receive a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card.
Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra time travel adventure series for middle graders. His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.
December 7: Mythical Books
December 9: Books in the Hall
December 14: Literary Gold
December 16: Momma Says: To Read or Not to Read
December 28: fundinmental
December 30: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
January 4: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
January 6: All the Ups and Downs
January 11: Hope. Dreams. Life… Love
January 13: Long and Short Reviews
January 18: Splashes of Joy
January 20: Write. Read. Live. review
January 25: The Faerie Review
January 27: Sybrina’s Book Blog
February 1: Sandra’s Book Club
February 3: Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’
February 8: Eye-Rolling Demigod’s Book Blog review only
February 10:Westveil Publishing
February 15: Fabulous and Brunette
February 17: Novels Alive
February 22: Straight from the Library
February 24: Kit ‘N Kabookle review only
March 1: Lamon Reviews
March 3: Jazzy Book Reviews
March 8: The Avid Reader
March 10: Lisa’s Reading
March 15: Sapphyria’s Books
March 17: It’s Raining Books
March 22: Bibliomanaic Aza
March 24: Welcome to My World of Dreams