Interview with Ben Campbell

Who are you?
You'll see me up on a hill overlooking the vistas of San Francisco, Paris, London, Athens, the world. Various European countries have called me to live in them. For instance I'd worked and lived in Dubrovnik, Croatia at the end of Marshal Tito's rule. When I returned home after many years to California I'd worked as an IT technician at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. I'm now an indie author who has ten published novels, all of which are sold through and Smashwords. My books have sold in nineteen countries around the globe.

Dubrovnik is my best seller in Europe. ❤ ㋡❤ ㋡

My current work "P R E T T Y B O Y: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood" glamorizes the fact that you can't stop the rebellion and can't stop the magic. Alive and spellbinding, Monroe, Brando, and Dean shake up Hollywood. They impress the world by way of method acting, eccentric lifestyles, and amazing veneers. Prettyboy is caught in the middle, and he's determined to survive in Sin City where money, sex and savages collide.
Has traveling influenced writing your novels?
Geography, weather, historical sites, cultures and the people, just plain touring gives me ideas for stories and locals. I will use everything in my novels. I'm fascinated with the people I meet along my way; they're creative, excitable and experienced. I love all that about traveling.
Did you really meet Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Marlon Brando?
Of course I know Brad Pitt and George Clooney, from the movies they're in. People think that I'm too young to have seen Marilyn Monroe, but I'd met her in San Francisco on January 14, 1954 the day of her civil marriage ceremony to Arthur Miller. I was a kid on the steps of the San Francisco City Hall. Marilyn Monroe is resurrected in my urban novel "It's All Make Believe, Isn't it?" That's a real Marilyn quote. As for James Dean and Marlon Brando, well, along with Monroe they're major players in my new novel "Prettyboy: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood."
Does music play a part while you wirte?
Have you listened to Bill Withers' "Use Me," or Al Green's "Let's Stay Together?" Music is a huge part of my writing life. Inspiration and motivation from music pushes me forward. Now please, don't use me, well, go ahead I love being used.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
San Francisco was my scary yet fabulous hometown. Mom was beautiful, dad was a Clark Gable philanderer. My oldest brother constantly bullied me. My older sister constantly threatened to kill me. We lived in an historic 24 room, 3-story haunted house that was built during the 1880s. Drunken fist fights, rapes and murders detailed its history. Unfortunate racism and critical family arguments intermingled between its walls. The gushing growth of San Francisco, Hells Angels motorcycle gang, and subcultures around 402 Avalon were visionary influences on my life. The haunted house was my inspiration to write high-octane urban thrillers, psycho dramas, science fiction, comedies, medical discoveries and historical adventures, although another decade would pass before I started writing my first story.
When did you first start writing?
During college I had written KISSINg FREUd, a novel about a psychotherapist who gets thrown into the psychiatric ward in a hospital. True story.
Do you write characters with celebrities in mind?
Sometimes I'll link characters to celebrities or historical figures like Marilyn Monroe in my transgender novel "Marilyn: It's All Make Believe, Isn't it?" or Sigmund Freud in my psyche drama "Kissing Freud." I've visualized actors like Sienna Miller, Adriana Lima, Megan Fox and Ryan Gosling as main characters in my Alexander Crown trilogy "Dubrovnik," "Vitruvian Man" and "Regeneration."
What's the story behind your latest book?
Prettyboy features the 1950s turmoil of method actors and perfumed actresses in Hollywood. I mean, before there was Superman, before there was Batman, and before there was The Simpsons, there was PRETTYBOY carving a pathway to stardom in Hollywood alongside James Dean, Marlon Brando and Marilyn Monroe. This novel weaves a stories of love, betrayal, survival and friendship. As complex as the friendships Prettyboy experiences, PRETTYBOY: Fabulous Fifties Hollywood is an engaging and unforgettable novel.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
That my stories and novels have been purchased by readers in over sixteen countries and counting.
What are you working on next?
My next work is "One Minute Zombie." I'll write that while I continue to write "Love in Rio." That is the sequel to my erotic novel "Love in Malawi" that is already published and gaining readership.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Going indie with creative control in mind by hiring my own editors and designing my own covers made perfect sense.
What do your fans mean to you?
I have fans? Wow, thank you. I like conversing and laughing with readers and authors that show interest in my novels.
What is your writing process?
Three hours of investigative writing in the morning and for two hours in the late afternoons more crazy writing. In between I'm at the In Shape Gym pumping iron and riding a filthy stationary bike. Oh, and coffee, strawberries, toast, oatmeal while writing on my laptop.
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors have to begin with Elmore Leonard. His concise creativity was simply wonderful. Peter Mayle, Audrey Niffenegger, Paul Theroux, Jane Mendelsohn and Steve Berry are just a few.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
That crazy thing called life; showering, food, sex, money, clothes, cameras, Porsche Boxter, a cup of French roast coffee, the story I'm writing and that onyx crow cawing for food on my master suite deck wall. Isn't life wonderful?!!!
Do you remember the first book you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
At twelve years old and on the verge of puberty, with muscles growing and brain bulging with ideas about my future, I had read Ernest Hemingway novel "A Farewell to Arms." I was bowled over by Hemingway's Avant-garde and had to read the best books he had written.
How do you approach cover design?
By way of geography, character, story and color palette.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I'm using a Nexus 7 2013. I may be purchasing the Samsung Galaxy Tab S, mostly for the larger screen to watch videos.
What do you read for pleasure?
Adventures. mysteries, historical fiction, Oh yeah and Zombie stories.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
I post info and video trailers with links to my novels on my Face Book Timeline, Twitter and my blogs. My most effective marketing tool is word-of-mouth.
Describe your desk
Clean and organized: Laptop, notebook, sketchbook, pen and Nexus 7.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is the bomb, but it takes too long to pay authors.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Whatever I am doing, eating in a restaurant, partying with friends, walking on Carmel Beach, taking photographs, I'm always plotting and creating characters for my novels.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I scavenge through amazon and Smashwords.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first story I'd written was about James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, titled "James Dean is Jimmy."
What are your five favorite books, and why?
I'm such a crybaby. This list is not in any specific order. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum; I Was Amelia Earhart by Jane Mendelsohn; The Dome by Stephen King and Cockroach by Rawi Hage. Ffear, happiness, anger, frivolity, depression and comedy; I laughed and cried, hollered and swore, I even jumped up from my chair while reading the Dome and ran outside arms overhead, yelling NOT HERE, NOT NOW. Who the hell would want a dome over their life, dictating what they do? Oh, governments do that already. :)
Published 2015-01-24.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Series: Alexander Crown, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 90,760. Language: English. Published: April 20, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Action & suspense
A mixture of lust, medical discovery, conspiracy and murder, this is the new life of Alexander Crown, mercenary turned philanthropist. Come and get it.
James Dean Is Jimmy
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,100. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban
Experiencing James Dean equates to experiencing the Seven Wonder of the World in a philosophical way. He epitomized youthful angst against established ways, the Wonders were gifts for everyone to enjoy. This story is one young man's journey in self-discovery that was uplifted through an unusual meeting with James Dean and Marilyn Monroe, actors who passed away before they were understood.
When Giants Dance
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 106,790. Language: English. Published: March 25, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense
She was a tormented ballerina, he was a defeated bodybuilder. Together, Melinda McKay and Brent Lord challenged anyone who got in their way. Greed and revenge was their worst enemy and dictated them as targets for murder.
Children With Weapons
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,800. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
This is prequel part 4 to my novel Dubrovnik. Summoned to Macedonia to petition an Albania Army Commander not to kill six American students trying to cross their border illegally, Alexander Crown and Ivan Andric were suddenly kidnapped by Serbian National Police, stripped and searched. These agents were no longer Special Forces members. They were victims.
Searching for Hercules
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,950. Language: English. Published: March 13, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
This is a prequel part 3 to my novel Dubrovnik. Searching for Hercules, the drug, the man, the myth.
Istanbul Sunrise
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 2,260. Language: English. Published: March 11, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
This is prequel part 2 to my novel Dubrovnik. Another mission averted, Alexander Crown and Ivan Andric, U.S. Special Forces Agents arrive in Istanbul. They help the U.S. Consulate free three American Students from jail on charges of disorderly conduct. Drugs, sex and food changes Ivan's future.
Greece On The Bottom
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,900. Language: English. Published: March 9, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » General
This is prequel part 1 to my novel Dubrovnik. On their way to Dubrovnik, Croatia, on a death defying mission, two U.S. Special Forces Agents are temporarily displaced on another mission in Athens. Sleep deprived they stop for a quick rest. Two teenage Greek girls tempt the men with seduction. They will pay to be married and have babies, and they will settle for nothing less.
Series: Alexander Crown, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 114,750. Language: English. Published: January 26, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » Spies & espionage
Alexander Crown trilogy book 1. A behind-the-scenes chronicle, two military spies scheme to end a feud between two revered Croatian families, and then navigate to help end the civil-war against Serbia. Dubrovnik, a truly amazing story. You journey with Croatian youth in search for freedom. I've pushed the boundaries of fictionalizing reality.
Reggie Rocketship and His Galaxy of Secrets
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 60,610. Language: English. Published: January 5, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Historical / Exploration & Discovery
Reggie Rocketship is the luckiest boy in San Francisco. He’d discovered a Dr. Seuss handwritten story in his house. He was the luckiest boy until two thieves show up to steal the exquisitely handwritten tale.
"Vitruvian Man"
Series: Alexander Crown, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 104,530. Language: English. Published: December 19, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
An Alexander Crown novel, book 2. This is Alexander Crown's most intricate and emotional passage, weaving through intense challenges when he unravels a renaissance secret that will get him killed, yet he moves forward in neither a safe nor clear future filled with lies and truths.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 100,770. Language: English. Published: December 13, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Plays & Screenplays » American
You are forewarned, sexuality and profanity are explicitly portrayed in Kissing Freud. Brace yourself for shock. KISSING FREUD explores emotional power with buried secrets like a time bomb. Spellbinding. Scandalous. Ripe. Ruthless. Sensational. A psychotherapist is thrown into a psycho ward so mismanaged that Sigmund Freud would resurrect and crack some heads together.
Marilyn: "It's All Make Believe, Isn't It?"
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 104,360. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Ingenious, poignant, spicy, Marilyn returns. The body of Martin Montage is the conduit. She slides into his body. She spices up his mind. The day is one heralding event after another, unbalancing Martin, hours filled with activities and celebrity for the benefit of Marilyn's return.