Benjamin R. Smith (1985-) was born in Wichita, Kansas. He attended a rural high school where he excelled in art and theater. He attended the University of Kansas, studied Journalism at the William Allen White School for Media and Mass Communication, and completed a Masters of Fine Arts in Playwriting. In 2009, he was nominated for the David Mark Cohen Playwright's Award. ATLAS is his first novel.
What makes writing exceptional?
Heart. If a story has heart--and by that I mean something worth caring about at the core of it--then it's already made it halfway to exceptional. I think formal training and practice helped me become more confident as a writer, but I knew from early on that what I wanted to do was create characters people could love and respect. To put those characters in high stakes situations and test them as human beings is how you make them compelling and by extent, give them a life all their own in the minds of the readers. It's more fun when the writing has heart.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think the best moment comes about a year after you finish a piece and you get some distance from it. I always get a little jolt of pride when I read something after a few months or a year have past. You get to experience lines you wrote with a freshness added and you kind of get a little giddy. "Wow, when I wrote this I just thought it was good. But it really is great!"