Interview with Benjamin Fisher-Merritt

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a father of two, Brennen who just turned nine and Mina who is four so they occoupy quite a bit of my time. I work in IT for a local school district and enjoy dabbling in things like micro computing and 3D printing. Of course, as some of my writing likely reveals, I also enjoy tabletop role playing games. Life's about more than sitting inside though, and I'm an avid hunter and fisherman. One can never have too many hobbies... or at least that's what I keep telling myself!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I'm totally random. I like to just browse out and pick things that sound mildly interesting. I've nearly never been disappointed, I devour books and I can only think of one or two times when I couldn't make it all the way through a book. Friends of mine also recommend things for me to read and my family is ever sending me links to things they think I'd like. They're rarely wrong.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Let's see... Mrs. Ball's Lit class in seventh grade. As I recall it was something about leaving home and going on a trip even though my parents wanted me to stay home. I always wanted to be a world traveler.
What is your writing process?
It depends on the book, but mostly I do stream of consciousness writing. I tried storyboarding once and it just didn't work for me, I found that it stifled the creative process for me when I had boundaries and strictures. Sadly, I can't force myself to write... when I get hung up on a certain passage it can sometimes take me days to get beyond it. That's one reason I try to have at least two books in the works at any given time. it allows me to jump between them when i get stuck.
What do you read for pleasure?
I'm a fiction fanatic! I love fantasy and scifi as well as the occasional mystery. My tastes are so widely varied that it's easier to describe books I don't like than books I do. More or less when I read it's for an escape from reality so I don't like to read depressing books.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle and a couple tablet PC's and I use my phone as well. For reading comfort I prefer the Kindle, it's just easier on the eyes and I can read it outside. Nothing better than a hot summer day, a lawn chair, a cold beer and a good book!
Describe your desk
It's a mess. I have sticky notes everywhere, half a dozen dismantled computers, four monitors, two docking stations, random bits of 3D printed models and empty coffee cups. I have a bad habit of leaving a terrible mess in my analog world, although my digital one is generally pretty well organized.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I'm a farmer's son, but my mother is a fabric design artist who went back to school to get her BA when I was in high school and my father has degrees in English and Spanish. They taught me how to read, the importance of imagination and dedication to things you love. I was forever telling stories to friends when they were over and helping to weed carrots, plant broccoli or any of the thousand other menial tasks involved in Organic vegetable farming. Eventually, it seemed like those stories needed another outlet and so I began writing. It was almost like I had to write them down or they would drive me crazy.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing seriously in 2010. It started with me writing small blurbs using Facebook notes and then branched out into a full on novel after about six months. I love the instant gratification of blogging my work as well as the quick turnaround with ebooks. Every time I sell a title or get even just a like on my blog it pushes me to write more.
What's the story behind your latest book?
As many gamers can I'm sure understand it started with a favorite Dungeons and Dragons character. The first twenty or so pages were her back story and then from there I kept notes on the campaign, as well as short blurbs that I would write during cut scenes or breaks in the game. After five or six years I had quite a bit of material and now that the game is no longer running I figured it was time to get Callindra's exploits down on paper. Or in bytes at any rate.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I think Smashwords is a far more accessible and much better monitored site than any other ebook publisher out there. I won't name names, but we all know the 'big players' in the market. I have sold two or three times more books on Smashwords than I have on all other sites combined.
Published 2015-06-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Callindra Chronicles Book Two - The Rise of Evil
Series: The Callindra Chronicles. Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 70,770. Language: American English. Published: August 9, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
In this book, Callindra and her brothers in arms find themselves in a nightmare world where monsters summoned from the Abyss are slaughtering living things and reanimating them to cause more chaos and death. A young Dwarf named Durrak is driven from his city he attempts to rebuild his life, putting events in motion that will change the world.
The After-Death
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 87,670. Language: English. Published: October 31, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Horror » Undead, Fiction » Horror » Weird fiction
When a man awakens in a morgue not knowing how he got there, why he was dead or even his name, he sets out to find answers. What he finds are more questions that lead him on a chase that will lead across the country and change everything he thinks he knows. For as you will find, nothing is what it seems in the After-Death.
Machine Girl Book 4: Hard Times Call For Hardware
Series: Machine Girl. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 33,270. Language: English. Published: September 14, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
Machine Girl is a series of science fiction novels that revolve around the life of an eighteen year old girl who is implanted with a cybernetic spinal column that interfaces with her brain. The machine influences the girl and the girl influences the machine and the results are beyond what the project's architects could have anticipated
Starvale Adventures, A Prelude to Darkness
You set the price! Words: 45,930. Language: English. Published: April 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Action, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
As dark forces conspire to swallow the Citystate of Starvale, a small group of adventurers makes a desperate stand against the all-consuming power of evil. Fighting for what they believe to be right, they begin to carve out a name for themselves, making friends and enemies, but can they save the city if it does not want to be saved?
Machine Girl Book 3: A Wolf in Wolf's Clothing
Series: Machine Girl. You set the price! Words: 36,260. Language: English. Published: August 13, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(5.00)
Machine Girl is a series of science fiction novels that revolve around the life of an eighteen year old girl who is implanted with a cybernetic spinal column that interfaces with her brain. The machine influences the girl and the girl influences the machine and the results are beyond what the project's architects could have anticipated.
The Callindra Chronicles Book One - First Quest
Series: The Callindra Chronicles. You set the price! Words: 81,320. Language: English. Published: June 26, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
(5.00)
This Callindra Chronicles follows the adventures of the swashbuckling, magic slinging impetuous young woman Callindra Sol’Estin as she attempts to make her mark upon the world. First Quest covers her younger years as a servant in a Lord's Holding where she attempts to rise above the station her birth and her sex have defined for her.
Machine Girl Book 2: What Happens in Vegas Doesn't Always Stay in Vegas
Series: Machine Girl. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 29,540. Language: English. Published: February 27, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure, Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
Machine Girl is a series of science fiction novels that revolve around the life of an eighteen year old girl who is implanted with a cybernetic spinal column that interfaces with her brain. The machine influences the girl and the girl influences the machine and the results are beyond what the project's architects could have anticipated.
Machine Girl Book 1: Welcome to the Machine
Series: Machine Girl. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 28,970. Language: American English. Published: February 18, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » High tech, Fiction » Science fiction » Cyberpunk
(5.00)
Machine Girl is a series of science fiction novels that revolve around the life of an eighteen year old girl who is implanted with a cybernetic spinal column that interfaces with her brain. The machine influences the girl and the girl influences the machine and the results are beyond what the project's architects could have anticipated.