Hello everyone! I had the chance to sit down with another Rambunctious Ramblings Publishing author and learn about the book he signed with them. Benjamin William Phillips is a fantasy/sci-fi novelist who lives in an interesting place.
Benjamin, where do you currently live? I currently live in the Midwestern United States, though I prefer to say that I live through a rainbow under a bridge to the left of the third star on the right and you go all the way ‘til dusk.
That’s a really cool place to live. So, when did you first consider yourself a writer? As soon as I started writing my very first novel at the age of 10.
Wow, so early. But I guess that’s when most authors start writing. Can you tell us about your upcoming book? Yes, it’s set to be release next year in June. Shards of the Crystal Rose is a young adult urban fantasy novel about a fifteen-year-old girl that has to make sense of the world around her, because nothing seems to be what it is at first and she gets drawn into a fantastical adventure filled with fairies, a dragon, elves, unicorn people, fox people, magic, a terrifying masked teenaged queen, war, and all sorts of other weirdos as she tries to sort out what is and what is not real and fix the world around her.
WOW! That sounds awesome. What inspired you to write this book? I was inspired to write Shards because of the way in which the media from television to film to video games and magazines and other books all tend to abuse and portray mentally ill people, especially schizophrenics. I wanted to show these illnesses, and the people that are afflicted with them, in a different; more kinder light… to show that they are just as human as you or I am and that we’re not some big boogey critter in the closet waiting for darkness so we can eat you. We have the same emotions, the same fears, the same problems just like everyone else. We love and live just like everyone else does and I felt that it was time to try to help change the world’s view on how mental illness should be thought of.
It sounds like you have a good grasp on what you are trying to accomplish. I have no doubt your book will be as great as you want it to be. I’d love to know, how do you find the time to write? I just post a note in my Facebook timeline that asks that people not disturb me so that I can have the time I need to write, and then I just get to it.
It’s that easy, is it? How long does it take you to write a book? I’m not sure. One of my other novels, and is a part of a series by the way, called The Raven’s Blood Chronicles—Mirrored Sisters, (it’s Book One of that series), took me 11 years to write, whereas Shards of the Crystal Rose took only about 9 months or so. It really tends to vary with the subject of the book and how long I plan on making the first draft.
I definitely agree with that. Now, I want to ask you a very important question. Are you ready for it? Go for it!
Do you have any pets? Do the animals that accompany several of my characters in my stories count as pets?
I guess that counts, you have created them, live with them, write their every move. It counts. If you could bring one of your characters to life, who would it be? None of them. They already exist in the pages of my novels, and in the hearts, minds, and souls of my fans, followers, and readers. There is no need to bring them into this world as they have their own worlds to live in, which can be visited at any time by anyone. All you need to do is pick up a book and read it.
Fair enough. For the dreaded writer’s block; do you have any advice? Generally speaking, I just walk away from the project for a day or two. I do try to do other things, like play video games or watch a film, or read. When I get ‘writer’s block,’ I see it as my brain’s way of telling me that I have taken too much time working on (blank) project and that it is time for me to step aside and take a break to prevent burn out on the storyline, this way my characters and the story itself won’t suffer.
Great advice. Something I do whenever I have trouble with writing. Do you have any other advice for aspiring writers? Don’t bother listening to the people that tell you, you won’t make it in the world of writing. You’ll get there. It may take time, and a lot of it, but you’ll get there. You’ve got a story to tell and out there in this world there will be one person that desperately wants to read it, so write it. Besides, no one is more uniquely qualified, or more capable, of writing your story than you. And, give your editor some respect. They aren’t trying to hurt you, or your story. They want to see it succeed just as much as you do, even when it doesn’t seem that way at times. You don’t have to always follow every single suggestion, but more often than not, those suggestions that they make will actually make your story stronger and more believable to your audience, so it would benefit you to listen to what they have to say.
And there you have it from Benjamin Phillips. Can we have a peek at Shards of the Crystal Rose? This is from Shards of the Crystal Rose, Chapter Twenty-Five, and is the first on-screen appearance of the main antagonist character, the White Crown.
A young girl’s screech of terror brought everyone to a frozen standstill.
All eyes turned to the south of the village.
A masked girl stood behind the quivering body of a young Runga’an woman, ignoring the wailing of the filly that stood in front of the older Runga’an, a long dagger clutched in her hand as a rivulet of crimson ebbed its way down the blade and dripped from her wrist. Her mask obscured her face; the eyes empty, blacked out. The only feature on the otherwise featureless mask was the upper lip. It had been painted black as jet. The girl’s mask was tied by a thin black ribbon behind her head. Onyx hair, tinged at the tips with fiery red, waved in the clutches of the breeze. She ripped her dagger from the throat of her victim and wiped the blood across the sleeve of her sapphire tunic and tucked the weapon into its sheath at her hip. Releasing her free hand from the dying woman’s shoulder, she let her fall and crushed her victims’ chest beneath her boot as the she stepped over her, making a beeline straight for Grae Reivyn. A small opaque crystal crown rode on the girl’s head, glittering in the sunlight. “No,” Grae Reivyn muttered, her eyes widening. She flicked her wrist, summoning a sphere of glittering black speckled mist. The White Crown locked her eyes with Grae Reivyn’s and inclined her head slightly. Grae Reivyn flicked her wrist again, snuffing the sphere out. The Crown raised a hand straight into the air and snapped her fingers. Forty guards phazed around her, appearing in a cloud of sparkly purple-black smoke.
“I will not submit to you,” Grae Reivyn snarled, her arm shaking as she tried to summon her magic again. The White Crown stood an arm’s length away, keeping her empty eyes locked with the Soother’s.
“Bow before your queen, now!” one of the guards said, unsheathing a broadsword.
“I will…n-not!” Grae Reivyn choked, coughing.
Her lungs burned for air.
“Bow!” the guard bellowed, stepping behind her. He kicked her in the back of the knees, forcing the Soother to the dirt. Grae Reivyn collapsed, tucking her face into her arms as deep chested coughs ripped through her throat. She sputtered, clutching at her neck as the White Crown crouched, gripping the Soother’s chin. She pulled the woman from the dirt and flung her away, her manicured nails gouging thin trails of blood. Grae Reivyn rolled into a ball, tears bursting from her eyes. Her lips blaze with blue. She quivered, fighting for air. The Crown turned away from her. Grae Reivyn choked, falling face first onto the ground, sucking in mouthfuls of welcome air.
“Next time, horse, you will bow willingly!” the guard growled and turned to the rest of the onlookers. “Hail your queen!”
Great excerpt! Thanks for sharing it with us. If you are having fun getting to know Benjamin and his book, please follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Please don’t forget to check out his publisher here.
And I know you are all wondering where to purchase this book, but you will need to wait 390 days and 23 hours. They book should be released on June 15, 2017. That’s right, I said it, 2017! I will update again when it gets closer to the release date so you all remember to snag a copy!
Thank you so much Benjamin for playing along and answering all of my silly questions.