Adam Bender is an award-winning journalist and author of speculative fiction that explores modern-day political fears with a balance of action and romance.
Adam self-published two dystopian sci-fi novels: WE, THE WATCHED and DIVIDED WE FALL. He is adapting WE, THE WATCHED into a screenplay and writing an epic new story, THE WANDERER AND THE NEW WEST.
Adam has reported extensively on technology and the international debate between personal privacy and national security. He has won journalism awards for his articles from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Specialized Information Publishers Association.
What's the story behind your latest book?
My novel We, The Watched and its upcoming sequel Divided We Fall is dystopian fiction about a nation where the government keeps close surveillance of its citizens. There is no separation of church and state, so the government isn’t just looking for criminal activity – they are watching for anything they deem to be heresy, which is a great blanket term.
The story came from my feeling somewhat helpless in the wake of 9/11 as the US government passed a series of national security laws to increase surveillance called the PATRIOT Act.
I was fascinated not only by the surveillance itself, but the rationale for it. Everyone was feeling pretty vulnerable and so it was hard not to accept anything that was pitched as preventing another terrorist attack. Besides, how could anyone be against something called the PATRIOT Act?
When did you first start writing?
I have been writing since the day I first held a crayon! I actually had a series called "The Strange Planet" that I made using black construction paper and a white crayon. The planet was only strange because I knew I wouldn't be able to draw the planet consistently with the same shape and size on each page.
Then, from grades one through six we had something called "Young Authors." Each year we'd have to write a book. I loved comics, so of course all of my books were about superheroes. I made them up myself. The leader of the heroes, Spy Boy, is actually referenced briefly in my novel We, The Watched as a part of that world's popular culture. There are approximately three people in the world who will pick that up.
What if a stranger took over the part of your best friend?
In "Life Trade," a directionless dude seeks answers after his buddy is replaced by someone new. He discovers a matching website for people who want to trade places.
A short story by the author of dystopian novels We, The Watched and Divided We Fall.
An amnesiac struggles to conform in a nation that administers a Watched List of its own citizens. He meets people who accept invasive surveillance by the government and forced uniformity by the church as necessary safeguards for protecting national security. But will the fresh perspective from his rebirth be a blessing or a curse?