Interview with Ben Westerham

Why do you write?
I can't help it. I keep trying to stop, thinking there must be something wrong with me, but the words keep seeping out. You could see it as an illness, but personally, I try to look on the bright side and see it as a blessing.
Where do your ideas for characters and plots come from?
No idea. You think I jest, but it's true. The less I try dreaming up ideas then the more easily they come to me. And of course there's those last two or three minutes just before you nod off to sleep when your head fills with stunningly great material and you tell yourself you'll make a note of all that when you wake up in the morning ...
Do you read?
Yes, though sadly, I am a slow reader, which makes sticking to my one book out, one book in rule a veritable K2 of a challenge.
What do you read?
Most things. As it happens, I read as much non-fiction as I do fiction, which isn't altogether surprising; I'm a history graduate and hoover up books on all manner of historical topics.

Authors featuring large on my shelves are Thomas Hardy, RL Stevenson, Rudyard Kipling, John Buchan, Salman Rushdie, Nick Hornby and like much of the world right now, I have most of a shelf groaning under the weight of several volumes of work by that great story-teller George RR Martin.
Do you still possess paper books?
Although ebooks are fabulous things (I wouldn't be here now answering these questions if not for the freedom ebooks have brought to us indie authors) I can't imagine being without paper books. Holding a Victorian hardback in my hands, smelling those musty, discoloured pages and imagining all the other hands it has passed through over the intervening decades is something you just can't get from an ebook. Mind you, I'm looking forward to such fab features as smell-a-read from our Kindles and Nooks in the future.
What is your writing process?
I am totally free-form for much of the trip, doing little in the way of structuring a plot etc. An idea shapes itself in my head and I give it freedom to take me where it will. In other words, I spoil myself and have fun, until eventually I get to the point where I have to admit discipline and order are required, when I then impose structure. Given that I write mainly crime fiction that is probably no bad thing.
Where do you hide when the going gets tough?
The shed. It may be cold, leaky and lacking in much light but it has the distinct advantage of being in the garden, out of the way and unattractive to both the wife and the kids, who are far too discerning and concerned for their health to venture out there.
What's your favourite plant?
Digitalis, otherwise known as the Foxglove. It looks good, the bees like it and I can always mix up a little with the cat's dinner if it digs up so much as one more plant in my garden (said plant being somewhat big on the poisonous scale).
An interesting fact?
My wallet has a leak that I have never been able to find and plug.
Published 2015-08-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Good Con
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 71,520. Language: British English. Published: October 26, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
She’s Queen of the dancefloor and would-be Queen of the con and she’s about to give London based PI David Good a right old run-around.
Smart Way to Die
Price: $2.49 USD. Words: 26,920. Language: British English. Published: June 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
When you’re dressed for living and full of beans, a run-in with death might not be all that is seems..
Too Good to Die
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 70,880. Language: English. Published: February 28, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Historical
She’s lost in the land of the living. He’s desperate to keep her from the land of the dead.
Good Girl Gone Bad
Price: $2.49 USD. Words: 15,270. Language: British English. Published: April 15, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Meeting the perfect woman can have its downsides, as London based PI David Good is about to find out.
Good Investigations
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 85,300. Language: British English. Published: October 13, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
She's blonde. She’s clever. She’s in his office. London based PI David Good doesn’t stand a chance.
The Strawberry Girl
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,530. Language: British English. Published: September 8, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Short Stories, Fiction » Mystery & detective » Hard-Boiled
Meet, for the first time, David Good, Private Investigator. Plying his trade in 1980s South London, the PI with pliable morals, a taste for blondes and a full-on sense of humour, turns out to be a big softie as he takes up the challenge of sorting out yet another domestic mess.