Interview with M. Benjamin Woodall

When did you first start writing?
So long ago. It seems like I've always been writing, even before I was reading, but that can't be true. Let's see. Back when I was eight, maybe nine, I wrote short stories in a journal somebody gave me. Blue-colored, fabric cover. I know, because I kept it, most of the inside anyway, with one tattered cover hanging from the rim, up until about eight years ago. I re-copied everything inside for posterity, but I really didn't need to. I've probably revised just about every tale in there numerous times since I first penned them to paper. One of the stories in that journal was my first chapter book, initially only three short ones, which I later re-wrote into two journals at about the time I was twelve years old, entitled Door to Wonder, which would become the basis for the fantasy series I'm now working on, Raiders of the Dawn. In the early years I had always hand-written everything. I didn't start typing, or using a word-processor, until the time I was in college.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I can't remember the first story I read for myself, but the first book that inspired my imagination that was read to me, along with its sequels, was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. At the time, it was such a fascinating, game-changing experience for me that made me realize I could experience another reality, another place, all in my head. It was back when I was in a montessori school in Indiana, when I was seven, maybe. I don't know exactly how old. The dad of one of my classmates was a big fan of Tolkien. I remember being in some play of the Hobbit where this guy was Gandalf and I was one of the dwarves. I read the Hobbit, of course, and then at least started the Lord of the Rings, at an early age, but only after I watched the Rankin/Bass animated feature of the Hobbit.
Who are your favorite authors?
I don't read much fiction anymore (I spend so much of my time writing it!), but when I was younger I read extensively. I don't remember all the great books I encountered, but besides C.S. Lewis and Tolkien, I remember A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle and its sequels. These fantasy/sci-fi books were what inspired me early on to become a writer, so that may be why much of my writing is geared toward young adults. I do relish such classics as Watership Down by Richard Adams, Salinger's A Catcher in the Rye, and certain works by Stephen King.
What are you working on next?
I have a plethora of works from when I was younger, and story ideas I've written down over the years, which eventually I intend to publish at some time in the future. I already have a workload ahead of me for the next four years or so to complete the Raiders series of books, 7 planned in all, but in that time I plan to publish a Christmas novel I've always wanted to write. And some time year some I plan to make great progress in, and who knows, maybe even finish, an historical/fantasy/romance entitled the Witch and the Christian. A young adult novel about a forbidden love taking place just before the Salem witch trials.
Describe your desk
Well, right now, my desk is the kitchen table, or anywhere else I set my laptop.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I guess what motivated me was the monstrosity of the traditional publishing industry, with all its high, castle walls and alligator-filled moats to traverse. When I was a lad, my vision of being a published author was being represented by an agent having my novel accepted by a major publishing house. In fact, until after I went through college, having no resources of my own, this was the only avenue available. In the past decades, the rise of ebook distribution and available information on the subject of self-publishing, enabled me to get my first book published when I did.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has allowed me to make my books available to a wider audience which translates to more books sold. More readers have been able to discover me as an author.
Published 2018-01-05.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Dawn's Gate
Series: Raiders of the Dawn. Pre-release—available February 1, 2019. Price: $2.99 USD. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
Unlock the secrets of Dawn's Gate as the fate of Angoll hangs in the balance. Gargoyles among us, hidden in plain sight. An evil wizard's revenge. Destiny's crown. Do you love Mystery, High Adventure, and Fantasy? Get your copy of this thrilling installment of the Raiders of the Dawn series
The Witch and the Christian
Pre-release—available November 1, 2018. Price: $2.99 USD. Language: English. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Romance, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Paranormal
Victor is a witch. I, a Christian. He is not in the Devil’s Service. I am not predestined to Heaven. We are outcasts. We are in love. Do you love magic and dream of a love so strong it can break all bonds? “The Witch and the Christian” will instantly transport you to a simpler time in our history, where fears of the paranormal world are everywhere, and love is the strongest magic of all.
Bridge of Shadow
Series: Raiders of the Dawn. Price: Free! Words: 32,020. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Epic, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Do you love fantasy books? “Bridge of Shadow” will Instantly Transport You to a new world of swordplay, piracy, monsters, and magic. Dayona is the young queen of her people, descendants of the Raiders from Earth long ago. She earns respect in a male-dominated world by the sword, leading John and Kalla on a quest to retrieve the last artifact from the Pool of Wisdom in ancient lands over the sea.
Guardians of the Sword
Series: Raiders of the Dawn. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 38,800. Language: English. Published: September 19, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
A king without a country. A man without a home. A champion without a cause. Three weary adventurers quest for Arthur's ancient sword. A hero's reckoning is won under the looming shadow of death. Don't be fooled. Do you love magic and adventure? Imagine becoming a part of Arthurian legend as you follow John's crusade to discover the hero within.
Raiders of the Dawn
Series: Raiders of the Dawn. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 44,370. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy, Fiction » Fantasy » Epic
Imagine passing through a doorway to a fantasy world, and because there may only be one way home, imagine having to take an epic quest fraught with peril as mythical creatures are in pursuit. Two high school boys do just this, which means they are now caught up in an epic saga of magic and conquest because the dragon Morgana has returned.