A Flash of Fiction
A warm welcome to my guest blogger, Ben Wolf, author of Blood for Blood and I’d Punch a Lion in His Eye for You.
Tell something about yourself as a person and as a writer.
As a person, I’m generally confident and optimistic. As a writer, I’m less confident in my writing abilities, but I’m very confident in my ability to sell my writing. You should see me at conferences with my kids books!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I take kickboxing and jiu jitsu classes in the mornings and watch TV shows on Netflix with my gorgeous wife, Charis, in the evenings. My “day job” is freelance editing, so I’m mostly busy doing that. I also run/own Splickety Publishing Group. We produce three flash-fiction magazines in both print and digital format.
What do you do to relax or blow off steam?
I enjoy playing video games, but I don’t have much time for that these days. I used to play a lot of volleyball, but I injured my Achilles tendon and haven’t found a local league in Iowa yet, so I don’t do much of that either. So I guess it’s video games and TV for me.
Tell me something that’s quirky about you.
Aside from being ridiculously handsome? Well, I pretty much have to be the center of attention in an environment with more than a few people or I’m not comfortable. I don’t need people to cater to me and treat me like royalty or anything (though I wouldn’t say no to that either), but if I’m in a group, I like to lead and command people’s attention. If I don’t, I fade into the background and don’t feel as valuable to the group.
What ministries are you passionate about and involved in?
I have always had a heart for youth ministry. I feel like I can relate to teens pretty well, and I’ll be running the teen track at the Florida Christian Writers Conference early next year.
When do you have your devotional time with the Lord, and what do you do during that time?
Mostly I’m just quiet and I try to listen for His voice. I also read several chapters of whichever book of the Bible I’m in and meditate and pray on it.
Tell about a favorite family ritual.
I’m not a ritual guy so much, but my family and I have a tradition: we go to the movies on Christmas Day. It’s a nice release, and it’s a fun way to spend time with the family.
What book(s) are you currently reading?
I’m reading The Progeny by Tosca Lee.
Briefly share one of your favorite memories.
When I was in seventh grade, I got to travel to Australia for a student ambassador program. We went to a petting zoo, and I got to pet a kangaroo (my favorite animal). They’re softer than cats, no kidding! It was a dream come true.
Tell about an experience in your past that God used to put you where you needed to be in order to do something He called you to do.
I was hanging out with my friend Lizzy at our mutual friend Andy’s house several years back. We all got into Andy’s hot tub, and I noticed Lizzy had bandages on her ankles. I asked about it, and she said we’d talk about it later.
As we drove home, she confessed that she’d tried to kill herself by slashing her ankles. We talked for a long time after that, just parked in my parents’ driveway. She was a lifelong atheist, but I shared the gospel with her, and she accepted Christ. She is still a Christian to this day.
What interesting jobs have you had?
I refereed soccer games as a teenager. I washed dishes for restaurants and my college cafeteria. I saw three Minnesota Vikings players get arrested at a gas station I worked at in college. I sold suits and dress clothes at the Men’s Wearhouse and Brooks Brothers, sold a telecom auditing service for my dad’s company, and I’ve been unemployed too.
Now I’m a freelance editor and author, and it’s the most interesting job because I get to explore new worlds and new characters every day.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I always wanted to be a writer in some capacity, but I didn’t plan on it being my career. I did, however, want to be a pastor. I was, for a bit, but then I realized writing was where I needed to be.
What have you written?
I’ve written multiple novels, kids’ books, blog posts, short stories, and flash fiction. But I’ve only published some of it. I did publish one grownup novel called Blood for Blood and one kids’ book called I’d Punch a Lion in His Eye for You.
What do you love most about writing?
I can discover things about myself as well as those about whom I’m writing.
What do find most challenging about writing?
The discipline of it. And making time consistently for it. I struggle with borderline ADD (not officially diagnosed), so I keep jumping around from place to place.
Share one of your most rewarding moments connected to your writing.
Winning awards from the Oregon Christian Writers Conference for Blood for Blood and for I’d Punch a Lion in His Eye for You. I don’t write to win awards, but it is nice to receive recognition.
Name one thing that’s on your “bucket list.”
Going back to Australia—or better yet, living there!
If you could be any fictional character, or star in any movie, which would it be and why?
I’d love to star in a Star Wars movie at some point. But I’m okay if that never happens.
What’s your favorite holiday tradition, and why?
I’d say watching football on Thanksgiving ranks pretty high up there. I’m a big Green Bay Packers fan.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
I’d like Zach Galifinakis to play Santa in a movie made of my Santa book.
How has God used fiction to touch your heart or change your life?
The biggest influence in my early reading life was Frank Peretti. His books inspired me to write in the first place.
Besides Jesus, which person from the Bible would you most like to talk to, and what would you ask or say?
I’d love to talk to the apostle Paul. I’d ask him point blank to settle some of today’s modern debates for Christianity (especially in areas where the NT is silent or arguably unclear).
What parable that Jesus told do you resonate with? What would you change about the story if you could? What details would you want to add?
I’ve always enjoyed the Good Samaritan. If I could change that parable, I’d make the guy who gets robbed know martial arts so he could fight back. Then the message would be don’t be a robber, because you might get beat up.
What story in the Bible do you wish had a different ending? Or in what biblical story do you wish you knew what happened next?
It’s not so much a story that I’d like to see an alternate ending to, but I’d love to see the alleged III and IV (and any other) Corinthians and other epistles Paul wrote that have been lost in time. I would love to see what else he had to say to the early churches.
Thanks again for sharing with me and my followers, Ben!
Ben has written six action/adventure novels. His first, Blood for Blood, won the 2015 Cascade Award for Best Speculative Fiction Novel. It examines the question of whether God can redeem anyone—even a vampire. His debut children’s book, I’d Punch a Lion in His Eye for You, is a 2016 Cascade Award finalist.
Ben founded Splickety Publishing Group to meet the needs of people who appreciate great fiction but don’t have a lot of time to read. SPG offers three quarterly flash-fiction magazines: Splickety Prime (multi-genre), Havok Magazine (speculative fiction), and Splickety Love (romance).
For more information about his writing and his professional services, visit his website, www.benwolf.com. You can also friend Ben Wolf on Facebook and follow him on Twitter and Instagram (@1BenWolf).
October 3, 2016 @ 12:32 pm
I hope you gave Ben two weeks to prepare his answers to your questions. I write because it takes me a long time come up with intelligent and clever replies. Public speakers can be caught flat footed but writers get a lot of time to be spontaneous. Incidentally is boarder line ADD a prerequisite to becoming a writer? It seems that a lot of creative people have this disability. If it is a good sign, I should probably continue to write in spite of my frustration with my disorganized life style.
October 4, 2016 @ 2:35 pm
You’re so right, Ed, that writers have the luxury of taking the time to come up with clever and intelligent replies that public speakers don’t get. But in this case … Ben is just as witty in person, which makes him really fun to be around.
As for borderline ADD being a prerequisite to being a good writer, you may be onto something there. A lot of my writer friends would describe themselves that way–if not well over the border. So yeah, Ed, I think you should take that as a sign to continue to write, in spite of your frustration with your “disorganized lifestyle.” Especially since everyone at our Montrose group from last July (including me!) is eager to see your book in print!