Wordy Wednesday with Daniel M Bensen

Welcome again to Wordy Wednesday, a (semi) regular blog interview series with authors from around the world and with variously themed books, writers for all age ranges and tastes can be found here. Today it's the turn of Daniel M Bensen, an American fantasy writer. Daniel was born in Chicago and has since lived in Maine, California, Montana, Japan, and Boston. He currently lives with his wife, daughters, and in-laws in Sofia Bulgaria, where he teaches English as a second language.

Daniel has written a book called The Kingdoms of Evil,  amongst other things. The Kingdoms of Evil is a fantasy satire with some horrific elements. It's about Freetrick Feend, a more or less normal college student in a more or less normal fantasy country, who learns that he is actually Feerborg, the lost heir to the Skull Throne of the Kingdoms of Evil (which is right over those mountains over there). As Ultimate Fiend of the Kingdoms of Evil, Freetrick inherits command over a population of twisted monsters, a family of scheming nobles, a murderous fiance, and the enmity of every one of his country's non-evil neighbours. The biggest problem, though, is that in a land where the sun never shines and the river run with lava, what are the monsters supposed to eat? 

And so I quizzed Daniel, from afar, and this is how it went:

When and why did you start writing?
I tried to write stories way back in 4th grade, but I didn't go about it seriously until after I graduated from college. The extremely un-serious Kingdoms of Evil was the result. I'm now in the middle of my seventh novel. You can find information about all of my books on my website, as well as links to the short stories and the novella that I've actually gotten published.

What 3 things (not including paper, computer, pens) would you like to facilitate a good days writing? Other than my kindle's note-taking function and my laptop, I need nothing but a cup of mocha, a chair, and access to the playlist I've made for the book I'm working on.

Do you write to a schedule, eg every day or three times a week, set times, etc or do you write as and when the mood strikes?
I write every weekday between classes (I teach English as a second language). I work best when it's on a schedule.

Who is your favourite fictional character (that you've written) and why?
The Kaimeera. It's a monster from the kingdoms of evil that assumes the personality of the last person it ate. Ha! Love this idea.

Is writing your main source of income? 
No, I make much more per hour teaching, so talking about writing as my main "job" would be ridiculous. There are novelists who do support themselves by writing novels - but that seems to become possible only after at least three successful releases. Maybe someday. In the mean time, I'm glad to be able to write as a hobby.

What are your favourite biscuits? 

Where do you do most of your writing?
Either in my office, in a cafe near my office, or typing into my kindle in a park, bus, or subway car.

What book are you reading at the moment? 
A couple of good ones! What the Hell Did I Just Read by David Wong and The Book of Joy by Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama. Both are very helpful in the hospital. (I hope you have recovered from your op by the time this post is live!)

Is truth really stranger than fiction? 
Of course. Fiction is constrained by the limits of the human brain, which is far from the strangest thing out there.

If you could genetically cross and animal with a fruit or vegetable what would you choose and why?
I'm currently keen on a cauliflower/caterpillar, a cauli-pillar, a bumpy white caterpillar affair that would be nice with cheese...
That's a hard act to follow. I submit the land urchin. They walk very slowly along the forest floor and taste like cactus. nice

If reading and writing were banned on pain of death, what would you do instead? 
Flee to a different (and less doomed) country. Failing that, I suppose I'd have to join The Resistance.This has been a popular response, so I fully expect that a writers resistance would be a thing

If you could bring a dead person back from the dead for one day to have tea and a natter with them, who would you choose and why? 
I'm only allowed to have tea with them? Not start a new religion or revolutionize anthropology? Charles Darwin. He spoke English and we could have a fun conversation. I could catch him up on biology and show him this excellent video: 

Massive thanks, Daniel for taking part.  Thank you. It was a lot of fun.

By now you will be desperate to know more so why not follow Daniel 

On Twitter
On Tumblr
And check out his website The Kingdoms of Evil

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