Interview with W.R. Benton

Q: When did you first start writing?
I've been writing as long as I can remember, but not actually writing books until my retirement from the United States Air Force 1997. Prior to retirement, I'd sold a few outdoor articles to newspapers and magazines, but that was it. Then, after my retirement, I experienced a rough divorce. I figured I had a choice to drink, like many folks do, or write. I'm glad I chose writing.
Q: Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
My first story was about cave men and I was in the 7th grade and I received a B+. I'm also an illustrator and did the drawings for the cover of my tall tale. I remember my teacher explaining that my cave men drawings showed my men too healthy and fat, when they would have been lean or skinny. I didn't realize it then, but his comments would lead me to doing research before releasing anything of importance.
Q: Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a small farm in the Missouri Ozarks, so I heard plenty of Wild West tales from my great-grandmother and my grandparents. The James Gang was from Missouri and my great- grandmother claimed she knew them, which was completely possible. As a result, I had the urge, when I finally started writing, to write western fiction. Additionally, I've spent years studying dialect, which shows well in my books. Having serviced in the military for 26 years and stationed all over the world, I picked up accents and use them as well when I write. I feel dialog is important in making a book not only more interesting for the reader, but also more authentic. Then, while working on a masters degree, I learned a great deal about basic human nature and use it frequently in my books.
Q: What is your writing process?
I allow my characters to tell the story, within reason. Once I'm "in the groove" and writing, my story unfolds as if by magic. I do not use an outline and normally have no idea where I'm headed when I start a manuscript. I do keep a short leash on my characters once the story starts unfolding, so I can stay focused without too many twists, turns, or bizarre situations. I'm lucky, because I have no idea what writers block is, I could write in the middle of a war zone, and once inside the manuscript I'm totally absorbed, ignoring everything. I think writers block is when folks desire to write, but need an excuse not to write, often-stating mood, personal problems, or a blank mind is the reason. If you don't want to write, don't.
Q: When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm an avid hunter, fisherman, camper, hiker, and other back to nature things that I find enjoyable. I'm also a professional cartoonist, web design company owner, and do graphic design. Each minute I'm awake, I'm doing something I enjoy. My wife and I also have four dogs and two cats, so playing with them is fun too.
Q: What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I view each new day as an opportunity to finish something I'm working on, continue something I've started, or perhaps start something new. I love new days, due to the constant challenge of writing better and developing plots my readers will find interesting. I try to accomplish something worthwhile with each new day.
Q: What are you working on next?
I have sequels planned for "Red Runs the Plain, Nate Grisham, and War Paint," plus a complete series planned for one of my newest titles, "The Fall of America, Premonition of Death." However, I'll still work on other books at the same time and it's not usual for me to work two or three books at the same time. Visit my website http://www.wrbenton.net to keep up with my work.
Published 2013-09-20.
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Books by This Author

The Fall of America: Book 1 Premonition of Death
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 79,820. Language: American English. Published: March 10, 2014 by Loose Cannon. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Apocalyptic, Fiction » Science fiction » Military
What if it all came crashing down? It started with the "Biggest" stock market crash in history. Banks shut down under the weight of their bogus investments, and the financial sector failed. People looked to the government to make it all better. Hyper-inflation, mass unemployment and infrastructure started to breakdown. The food trucks didn't show up at the stores and the shelves went empty.
War Paint
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 106,180. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2013 by Loose Cannon. Categories: Fiction » Historical » Western & American frontier
GO WEST YOUNG MAN... George Alwood III, is a spoiled and rich young man who heads west to become a mountain man in 1825. Taken under wing by two experienced old mountain men, George Alwood the third becomes Bear Killer the mountain man.