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In conversation with Ben Mears

Born in Cornwall, Ben Mears first began writing high fantasy as a hobbyist, later working on a series of early-medieval whodunits before self-publishing the young adult Tyler May series. A Sock Full of Bones is the first of his novels to be traditionally published.

Listen to the interview

Key takeaways from this episode:

  1. Ben is a graphic designer as well as a writer and author of almost nine books.
  2. Ben has successfully transitioned from self-published to traditionally published.
  3. His first series of self-published books, the Tyler May Series, was inspired by his daughters and is for young adults. It was inspired by a conversation with his daughter about what might come after finishing Harry Potter.
  4. Ben started out writing high fantasy to help direct his creative inspiration and helped hone the skills he’s used with his published works.
  5. Remember what you read as it all adds to your creative inspiration, especially those passages that speak to you.
  6. If you want to write, read as much as you and don’t stick to one genre. And if it’s professed to be great, read it as you can learn from all books, the ones you enjoy and the ones you don’t.
  7. It’s impossible for a reader to overlook poor writing, even if the story or character is good.
  8. His style develops in no small part due to what he reads so he’s become much pickier and will drop a book if the first few pages don’t grab him. He likens poor writing to tripping over rocks.
  9. His latest Banyard and Mingle series mixes genres successfully. It’s a post-apocalyptic, Dickensian mystery with two core characters that cross the divide of a polarised society!
  10. He doesn’t set out to include a social commentary in his books, but they seem to weave their way into the background as a secondary theme.
  11. Fantasy is always written from the perspective of human understanding, it can’t be from anything else as we have no context with which to understand it otherwise.
  12. Ben’s latest book is The Shadow of Grayrton Mire published 21st May 2021.

Mentioned in this episode:

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