Today I have a very special treat for you – an interview with the amazing Ben Wolf! Ben has just recently launched a Kickstarter to raise the funds needed to print his awesome new children’s book, I’d Punch a Lion in His Eye for You – and today is the last day of it’s running!. He joins us today to tell us a little more about the project.
Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome award-winning author, Ben Wolf!
Welcome to Storytopia, Ben! Please, tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Ben Wolf. I’ve written six novels, published one, and banished another to the abyss because it was terrible. I’m the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Splickety Publishing Group
, where I oversee the publication of three incredible flash fiction magazines
. I’m not as funny as I think I am, but that doesn’t keep me from trying.
What inspired you to write a children’s book?
I love my son. Unfortunately, I don’t get to see him as much as I’d like. I wanted to give him something tangible that he could look at and enjoy as a reminder to him that no matter where I am or what happens, I will always love him. I’d Punch a Lion in His Eye for You
is that tangible item.
What is your goal for I’d Punch A Lion?
My primary goal is to provide my son with a reminder of how much I love him, but this is a message for basically every parent anywhere. A lot of parents can’t alway be around their kids due to extenuating circumstances like busy jobs, a hectic travel schedule, divorce or separation, military involvement or deployment, or any number of other reasons. The message of this book serves to remind the children in those families how much they are loved in spite of whatever the surrounding circumstances may be.
Do you have a favorite part of the book?
I love it all, of course, but my favorite part has to be right in the middle when I’m kicking the shark. I’m terrified of sharks (or anything that can get me in the water), so kicking him in the gills was liberating, in a weird way. Just don’t tell the real sharks that I did that.
Mum’s the word!
What was the hardest part of the writing process?
I’m used to writing novels for grown-ups or young adults, so writing this kids book forced me to tone down my vocabulary usage and try to use words and language that little kids would understand. I thought I was pretty good at it, but after I sent the book out for some peer/kid reviews, I realized I had a lot of improving to do! In the end, I think their advice was really helpful, and it made the story better.
If you had to choose between spending the night in Gollum’s Cave or the Endor Ewok Village, which would you choose?
I would absolutely hang with the Ewoks! I’m counting on fewer spiders and more late-night parties after we defeat the empire. Hopefully the Hayden Christiansen version of Darth Vader’s ghost leaves us alone, though.
Do you see yourself doing something like this again in the future? (Maybe a Father daughter adventure? You know your little girl is going to want a story some day too!)
Absolutely. I’ve already got a story in mind for my gorgeous daughter Violet. That will be the next kids book I do, probably sometime next year, and probably via another Kickstarter campaign. I’m excited to write her story next. I also have a couple of ideas for some other kids books, but we’ll see how these first two go before I dive too deeply into the land of children’s books.
Waffles or Pancakes?
Waffles, of course. The texture is more fun.
Any final thoughts or words of wisdom for us?
If you’re a writer, the best thing you can do is write as much as possible. The second best thing you can do is study the craft to get better. The third best thing you can do is hire an editor (like me
) to help you take your drafts from good to great. If you’re an indie author, the fourth best thing you can do is to get a great cover for your work, and then put it out there.
If you’re not a writer, the best thing you can do is read as much as possible. Especially my books. 😉
Do you have a little boy in your life? Show him how much you love him by going to the Kickstarter campaign now and pledging your support! The base goal has been reached, but even more sweet prizes await if we can help raise the total $4500 printing cost!
Ben and I at this year’s Realm Maker’s
conference on Costume Banquet night