Ben Chenoweth

Biography

Ben lives in Melbourne, Australia, with his wife and two children. He has an interest in the intersection between theology and the arts, and to that end has written a play based on the life of Saul, a musical based on the Biblical book of Esther, and a novel that is actually a thinly-disguised commentary on the book of Revelation (as he says, "If others can do it, so can I!") For those who might be interested, he lists C. S. Lewis, Peter Shaffer and Neal Stephenson as his literary inspirations.

A couple of comments about the books:
"The Ephesus Scroll" is my latest novel, inspired by a visit to Ephesus in 2004. The novel has two timelines and the action cuts back and forth between them, like Neal Stephenson's "Cryptonomicon". The first timeline is set in 93 AD, during the reign of Domitian. The second is set in the recent present (2005-6), mostly in St. Petersburg, Russia. Having two timelines is my way of answering two important questions about the book of Revelation: what did it mean for the people who first heard it, and what does it mean for us today?

"Meeting Of Minds" was written way back in 1994, so please be kind! It is my first novel, and it has clear influences: Douglas Adams' "Hitchhikers' Guide To The Galaxy" series, the TV series "Max Headroom" and Neal Stephenson's "Snow Crash" to name the obvious ones.

"Saul, First King Of Israel" was written in 2001 as a way to put some of the scholarly materials I was reading as part of a Bachelor Of Theology into more of a popular format. But then I chose to write a play. Go figure!

Smashwords Interview

What made you decide to dedicate hours and hours of your life to sitting behind a screen and touching little buttons?
As a computer programmer and computer support technician I was doing that already! With writing, though, it's nice to tap into the creative part of my brain and generate something that non-computer programmers can enjoy.

I come to writing for two reasons. The first is to entertain. When I was at university my friend and I edited a youth magazine for our church. We commissioned various people to write articles for the magazine but we probably wrote more than half of every issue. We even wrote our own letters to the editor! While some of what we wrote was to educate, most was to entertain. My favourite thing we did for this magazine was a regular column entitled "The Diary of an Anonymous Christian Teenager", done very much in the style of Adrian Plass. Incidentally, I wrote my first novel, Meeting of Minds as a birthday present for that other editor, although anyone who likes Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series should enjoy it.

The second reason I write is to teach. After the novel, I wrote a play, Saul: First King of Israel, based on the Biblical book of 1 Samuel, although seen from King Saul's perspective. This was an attempt to put some brilliant scholarly materials I had read as part of a Bachelor of Theology into a more popular form. But for some strange reason I chose a play! It has never been performed, by the way, and one of my long-term dreams is to see it on stage one day...
What is your writing style: plot it all out or discovery writing? one draft or many? little bits everyday or mammoth writing sessions?
I like to plot things out fairly generally so that I know where I am going. But I don't usually include much detail which means there is still the occasional surprise along the way. I usually only have one draft but that draft is constantly being revised. I find myself going back over what I have already written and tweaking it before adding more new material. This means that progress can be slow! And I have very rarely had the time to write everyday, so it tends to be one-off writing sessions possibly once every one or two weeks. The Ephesus Scroll took me more than six years to write!
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Ben Chenoweth online


Where to buy in print


Books

The Ephesus Scroll
By
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 78,950. Language: English. Published: October 23, 2012. Category: Fiction » Christian » Historical
(5.00 from 2 reviews)
In 93 AD, a young man is entrusted with a scroll to read in seven churches in Asia Minor. However, the scroll sparks rebellion wherever he goes and the Roman authorities attempt to track him down. In 2005 AD, a young Russian couple from St. Petersburg come across an ancient scroll. It appears to be an early copy of the book of Revelation. Has it come to light at this very time for a reason?
Meeting Of Minds
By
Price: Free! Words: 49,560. Language: English. Published: April 13, 2011. Category: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Humor
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
Could virtual reality be used to explore the galaxy? Dave and his friend Jon think so. When an alien message is received that, when decoded, proves to be a three-dimensional environment, the stage is set for the adventure of a lifetime. Then throw in hackers (for dramatic tension) and quite a lot of pop-culture references (just for fun!) For fans of Douglas Adams' Hitchhikers' Guide series.
Saul, First King of Israel
By
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 26,450. Language: English. Published: October 22, 2009. Category: Plays » Religious & Liturgical
Saul, First King of Israel is an attempt to present dramatically the story of Saul found in the biblical book of 1 Samuel from the perspective of Saul and the prophet Samuel. It covers Saul's call to become Israel's first king, his sins and their consequences, and his fall into murderous jealousy as his eventual successor, the boy David, comes to prominence.

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Smashwords book reviews by Ben Chenoweth

  • Tom Grafton Vs The Sambar Spiker on July 08, 2013

    Lots of hunting fun in this short story, very reminiscent of John Buchan's novel "John Macnab". Well done, David!
  • The Five Day Writer's Retreat on Oct. 05, 2013

    This is an excellent start to what promises to be a brilliantly informative, practical and well-written series on the craft of writing. Buffy Greentree's writing is breezy, self-deprecating and quite often laugh-out-loud funny. If you are a writer, even a well-established one, there will be something in this for you. But if you are just starting out as a writer, or thinking about becoming a writer, then this book is most definitely for you. Set aside five days, read this book, and your life may not be the same ever again...