Today is the fifth day of my new weekly series! In this series I feature authors that asked me to be featured or that asked me to read their books.
Today I’m going to feature Ben Westerham an author that has written Good Girl Gone Bad, Good Investigations and The Strawberry Girl . In this post there will be a bio about the author and , an interview and a giveaway!
Ben was born in London and spent most of his childhood in the semi-rural environs of north-west Kent, before heading off to the altogether different and industrial metropolis of Manchester for three years as an under-graduate.As study gave way to work, the urge to scribble became incessant and Ben spent many, many years doing just that, jotting down in an uncontrolled jumble anything and everything that jostled for space in his head. Eventually order and discipline was established and for several years now, Ben’s focus has been on writing crime stories. Ben now lives in rural Northamptonshire with his family and a heavily over-worked computer.
About the book Good Girl Gine Bad:
Good girls can seem ten-a-penny at times and some people would have you believe they’re sweet little things that wouldn’t harm a hair on a squirrel’s back. And in 1980s south London, private investigator David Good thinks he’s been lucky enough to find his very own example of well-behaved perfection.
But he really ought to have known better and it’s not long before he finds things are not all he was hoping for. In fact, he’s not got much further than a less than intimate lunch for two, when things start to go seriously pear-shaped, and almost terminal.
Join a love-filled Good as he wanders blindly in to someone else’s nightmare and find out just what it is that ends up leaving such a sour taste in his cynical little mouth.
Arvenig: Tell us a little about yourself and your background!
Ben: I was born in London. In fact, I was in such a hurry to enter the world that I popped out in the ambulance as it made its way to the hospital. In those days ambulance crews were not trained to deliver babies so my grandma had to take care of things. Good job she was there!
Three glorious years studying history at university in Manchester came before starting a career in computing. Computers didn’t really hold a great deal of appeal for me, however the impressively high rates of pay for such jobs most certainly did.
Despite the type of work I finished up doing, I’ve always been a quite a creative type of person and as well as writing, I started learning to play the guitar about eighteen months ago, something else I had long wanted to do and decided I really ought to get on with it.
I now live with my family in a small village in the Northamptonshire countryside, in central England. Sadly this is as far from the sea as you can get in the UK, which is it’s one real drawback as I do like the seaside.
A: Are you an indie author? If not Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?
B: I am indeed an indie author. Some years ago, I did contact a few agents to see if they might represent me, but once I discovered how relatively easy it is to self-publish I soon knew that was the route for me. I am something of a control freak and I enjoy much of the promotional and marketing work that you need to do alongside your writing. The publishing industry is going through a period of change the likes of which we have not seen since the arrival of the printing press and this has brought with it immense opportunities for authors. It’s so exciting!
As for my editor (and, for that matter, my cover designer) I have been blessed with quite exquisite good fortune because my wife works in journalism and just happens to spend her working days doing editing and design. I could not have wished for more.
A: When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
B: I think like a lot of writers, I’ve been actively writing stories since I was a child and I can still vividly remember one particularly gruesome story I wrote when I was eleven. As an adult, I spent many, many years writing bits and pieces covering fiction, poetry, song lyrics, plays and even non-fiction, though never able to settle down to any one thing and focus on that. Then, something like eight years ago, I made a conscious decision to take my writing seriously and as a first step to complete one whole novel. It didn’t matter what it was about nor how badly it was written (and believe me, it was bad) because the object of the exercise was to prove to myself that I could do it, I could write a book from beginning to end.
It took me several months of writing during my lunch breaks at work to complete that first, short novel, but once I had done so, I never looked back. From that moment on I knew I would forever more be a writer and now the words bubble up out of me all the time.
A: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
B: The three David Good stories that I have published so far are deliberately written to be enjoyable, entertaining reads. They do have their more serious elements, however there are no deep and meaningful messages there for the reader. I mention below that I am developing a new, much more serious crime story character and there will definitely be elements to this individual and the stories they feature in that aim to engage readers in thinking about a particular topic; can’t tell you any more at the moment I’m afraid as it is still very much work in progress, but I can say that despite being more serious, the stories must above all else continue to entertain, otherwise who will want to read them?
A: What are you working on at the moment?
B: As is often the case, I have several projects on the go at the moment. I do usually manage to focus on writing one story at a time, however there are always other ideas popping in to my head and I usually sketch out new ideas when they occur to me so that I can park them for later on. I am currently doing a first re-write of a detective story that features a new private investigator. The overall tone is similar to my already published books featuring PI David Good, which puts the emphasis on relationships and humour.
Whilst I am doing this, I am also putting together the outline of a book that will be an altogether more serious piece of crime fiction writing. I have had a particular type of character in mind for some time now and I am very keen to get him just right before I commit to starting to write the story. This is something of a new experience for me because usually I just start writing, then build in the structure later on, whereas this time I am looking to put the main character and plot all in place before I start writing.
Ebook of the copy Good Girl Gone Bad, it’s a novella length crime story!!