About Author

Ben Wolfe

Ben Wolfe
BIOGRAPHY

I write and apparently, live to serve my cat.

Ben Wolfe's Books

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Book
Curse of the Lianshi (Tales of the Lianshi Book 1)
(10) (2) $0.99 kindleeBook,
Curse of the Lianshi (Tales of the Lianshi Book 1)by Ben WolfePublish: Dec 20, 2018Series: Tales of the LianshiFantasy
Escape of the Concubines (Wraith Riders Book 1)
(10) (2) $0.99 kindleeBook,
Escape of the Concubines (Wraith Riders Book 1)by Ben WolfePublish: Sep 24, 2019Series: Wraith Riders TrilogyFantasy
World of the Lianshae: A Ben Wolfe Anthology 1st Edition
(7) (1) $2.99 kindle Free with KUeBook, Paperback, Signed Paperback,
World of the Lianshae: A Ben Wolfe Anthology 1st Editionby Ben WolfePublish: Nov 24, 2019Fantasy
The Little Shoemaker's Silver
$6.99 kindle Free with KUeBook, Paperback,
The Little Shoemaker's Silverby Ben WolfePublish: Feb 18, 2020Series: The Little Shoemaker SeriesChildren's

Ben Wolfe's Series in Order

It's exciting to find a book series to follow. Discover the world created in the book series by Ben Wolfe.
** Importantly, there might be other book series by Ben Wolfe not listed on Allauthor.

  • Tales of the Lianshi

    Curse of the Lianshi (Tales of the Lianshi Book 1) - Published on Dec, 2018
  • Wraith Riders Trilogy

    Escape of the Concubines (Wraith Riders Book 1) - Published on Sep, 2019
  • The Little Shoemaker Series

    The Little Shoemaker's Silver - Published on Feb, 2020

Ben Wolfe interview On 04, Feb 2020

"Ben Wolfe first started writing comic books when he was in the 7th grade, with his childhood best friend. He was influenced by the epic fantasy stories of Tad Williams, Robert Jordan, and George R.R. Martin. The writing style of Ben Wolfe is breathtakingly awesome. His creations are unbelievably captivating, enticing and mesmerizing!"
Where do you live? Does the place and its characteristics appear in your writing in any way?

I currently reside in Asheville, North Carolina, though I am moving to the UK in early January next year (2021) to pursue dual citizenship. However, I grew up in South Florida where I was born and lived in: several cities in Florida; just outside of New York City on Long Island; Charlottesville, Virginia; Arlington, Virginia, just outside of DC; Bismarck, North Dakota; Billings, Montana; Chicago, Illinois; and Houston, Texas. I have also traveled to 25 countries on 4 continents and spent a summer in Slovenia with my paternal grandparents when I was 17, just after graduating high school. I've traveled through 35 U.S. states by car. While I don't recall Asheville or any of these places directly influencing or appearing in my writing, I do think it made it easier to write the escape scene in "ESCAPE OF THE CONCUBINES" when I was describing the actions taken by the characters and writing about them fleeing through the northern pass in the mountains that separate the western kingdoms from the eastern lands. I grew up in southeast Florida, where it is flat and at sea level.

Which is your personal favorite fantasy classic?

Wow. that is difficult. I was first influenced by Tolkien and Eddings, who I still love. I was influenced by the epic fantasy stories of Tad Williams, Robert Jordan, and George R.R. Martin. However, I have also been influenced while writing these stories by the historical romances of Jude Devereaux and the sci-fi fantasy stories in the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey and the urban fantasy writings of Patricia Briggs and Kim Harrison. My favorite most recent series read was "The Summoner Trilogy" by Taran Matharu.

How did you stumble upon writing for publication?

I first started writing comic books when I was in the 7th grade, with my childhood best friend. I would write and he would draw, though I envied his artistic skill and always wanted to draw as well. Then, while attending the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, there was an instructor there called Percy Bardot who was one of the greatest curmudgeons I've ever met. It was nearly impossible to get a good grade in his class. He was a bit prissy but tough. He was almost universally feared and a bit hated for his classes. I think he was so tough because the academic focus there centered on math and science and not so much on the arts. He wanted to make sure we put effort into learning about literature because it was important to him and to the world.

While cramming for finals in his class for World Literature, reading "Classics of World Literature" stories that I had only skimmed through during the semester, I came across a story...it was probably around ten o'clock at night, called "Everyman." It was a morality play. I remember reading it and saying to myself (with great hubris but heartfelt fervor) that the story was crap and I could write better than that and in fact, I did. That night, I set about writing the first act of a morality play called "An Act of God." It was truly inspired. I finished it and realized it was three o'clock in the morning and I had drunk an entire pot of coffee. I had to be up at five that morning to run five miles for physical training, form up after room inspection and march into breakfast before classes.

That day, I fell asleep and even drooled a bit on the World Lit final and was woken up after class by Professor Bardot. I had a D going into the final which counted for half our grade and he told me that he surmised he would be seeing me next semester. I felt really bad about falling asleep during the test and asked if I could explain what happened, He sat incredulously listening to my explanation and clearly did not believe me. He told me if I could produce the first act within five minutes that he would grade me on it as my final exam grade.

I really had no recollection of what I wrote the night before but when faced with a chance at salvation, you don't look a gift horse in the mouth and said a silent thanks to God that I was a fast runner. I got the story back to him with thirty seconds left to spare though my room in the barracks was across campus. Looking surprised, he accepted it and I ended up getting a B+ in the class and passing it along with an offer to introduce it to friends of his who were off-broadway producers if I ever finished it. This coming from a man who graded requests for support from Congressional candidates in red and sent them back with a handwritten note that he would vote for them when they learned how to write. I mean, for God's sake, the man sat on the review board for new words to be included in each new edition of the "American Heritage Dictionary."

Almost a half-decade later, I submitted my first book for publication. It was a 504-page science fiction novel called "The Shroud." It made it to the senior editing level of TOR but I turned them down when they were interested but asked me to rewrite the first half of the book. After spending eleven months tied to a desk, I foolishly declined. That was in the early nineties. Decades later I had raised a family, went through a painful divorce, lived out of my car and in a storage unit for several months in North Dakota, spent years putting my life back together and realized that I carried with me wherever I went a bin filled with three 3" thick notebooks that contained enough notes for thirty years worth of writing. I went to Chicago where I lost most of my worldly possessions due to unemployment but began writing as a volunteer photojournalist for Streetwise Chicago magazine. The structure of writing there and deadlines allowed me to start planning to write my stories again. It took years to put all of my notes in a cohesive enough format to put them in electronic format and start writing again. I wanted to tell a fantasy story, but it spanned a 500-year history of a world I had been keeping notes on for 27 years.

The publishing industry had dramatically changed since I had written my first book and submitted it and I knew that I needed time to build an audience and a social media platform, so I came up with a marketing plan to write a series of short stories introducing the world and the characters in it while I wrote the book. Promoting the series would be how I built my social media platform before submitting my full-length novel, called "LAST KNIGHT OF THE TEMPLARS." That series was the "TALES OF THE LIANSHI" series of 5 short stories that would later include a parallel series called the "WRAITH RIDERS TRILOGY" of novellas. I felt it was also important to tell a story from the perspective of the characters in this world since I had a central character arriving from somewhere else and starting to build an empire ruled by women. I very much wanted to tell the story of how this affected the world from their perspective.

I am now one year into the two-year marketing plan and also have a children's picture book fable (THE LITTLE SHOEMAKER'S SILVER) due out with artist George Jung that tells the first story (that I know of) published about a little girl leprechaun. It's very close to my heart as my proceeds from the children's book will be directed towards establishing a non-profit trust to help child refugees of war who have lost parents and families. It is the direction my philanthropic efforts will take during the course of my writing career, regardless of how well my stories do.

What is the one most important thing you are trying to achieve by your writing?

Well, the most important THING I hope to accomplish I just spoke a little bit about. I hope to help develop voices who can speak with authority from their own experience on behalf of those who have no voice, no country and very little hope without outside help. To provide a voice to those that have no voice and no advocates. Something many of us here in the United States take for granted is the advocacy of parents and teachers, peers and friends. My reasons for writing though are simply to get these stories out there. The characters that reside within my mind were getting a bit crowded in there and really wanted me to tell their stories. As their only conduit, I figured I better start writing them before I got too old to have hope that I could finish the stories, especially this epic fantasy. I am at heart, a historian for another world.

How important do you think it is to strike a work-life and personal-life balance?

Oh, wow. Okay...I spent more than two decades saying that I would "make time" for writing. As a writer, I can tell you that it is the biggest lie we can tell ourselves. You don't make time to write. You write. I made a decision a couple of years ago to restructure my life as a writer. I committed myself to put writing at the center of my life and started fitting everything else into that rather than the other way around. That's when stories started getting written and published. I simply prioritize my life around writing. I could be homeless and would still find a way to write. I'm now one of those people that could be in jail and would write stories on rolls of toilet paper or carve it on the walls or in my skin if necessary. I would find a way to tell my stories.

What is the story behind the idea of "The Imperial Dragon"?

Oh, wow...again. Umm...I don't want to give out spoilers but I can tell you that you learn a lot more about the Dravin and whether or not the Lianshi Empire will survive in that story. You will be shocked at some of the reveals in that story. I can tell you it is already written but I am waiting to finish the editing until I complete and publish "THE BARD OF MASAGHDIVA" because that story actually happens first in the timeline sequence. I am kicking myself because I have the cover and the story finished and just sitting there waiting for final edit but really thought the readers would appreciate being able to read the stories in a historical sequence in the timeline even though it isn't strictly necessary. It's a bit of a financial hit in that it's one more book generating revenue, helping the trickle become a stream, but it will be worth it if the experience is better for fans of my writing. I have made a commitment that until I am done with these stories, they will never go more than six months without a new title telling the stories of the 500- year history of this world are complete. My plan is to self-publish the short stories and novellas and (hopefully) traditionally publish the full-length novels. It should allow for some great made for tv series and potentially even feature films, comic books and graphic novels down the road if there is interest in that.

How did you start writing the Tales of the Lianshi series? What spawned the idea?

Haha...asked and answered. I'll let you figure out how to parse it.

What are some of the most profound "shower thoughts" you've had?

Haha...I can't write those down for a family audience LOL The clothes come off and all bets are off.

What were some misconceptions you had about the book and publishing industry before you became a published author?

Hmmm...really, the best ways to promote the stories. Was it contests? Submitting? Magazines? Social media? There's a lot written about how to promote your stories and I've read a lot on the subject. In the end, I fell back on what I refer to as the gospel of writing for authors who wish to publish their work: a) You have to write. A lot. b) You have to commit yourself to always developing yourself into a better writer. I call this a commitment to the craft of writing. You would not want someone fixing your upstairs toilet if they were an unlicensed plumber. No one wants to read your stuff if it is crap. The best way to get better is to read a lot about the craft of writing, read a lot of stories written by your favorite authors and then read them again paying attention to how they are constructed and then just write. A lot. Eventually, your editing skills improve and all the mistakes that take readers OUT of your story start disappearing and your story-telling skills improve. Just remember they are never good enough to stop trying to become better. c) You have to learn the business of writing. This involves covers, formatting, publishing and distribution channels, pricing, marketing, and promotion. How self-publishing and traditional publishing can work in concert to your benefit and the benefit of publishers who can make or break your career as a successful author. You HAVE to know these things to get good at them. Publishers will help you by providing backing for larger-scale marketing and distribution efforts, but YOU still have to do a lot of it yourself. They are not a classroom for you to learn how to do all of it.

If you have no clue about rights or how the publishing industry works, you are gambling with your career as a writer and have nowhere to go once you find success initially. Getting the right agent is far more important than getting one at all. That much I am certain of. You have to know whether your agent is doing a good job for you and the only way to know that is to learn to do what they do yourself so you can evaluate the degree to which they are helping you. They do a lot of this work up-front without getting paid. Learning to appreciate that is paramount but should not prevent you from evaluating the degree of their effectiveness in representing you. Knowing about the rights to your work and their value is important.

Have you ever written a book during a particularly tough time in your life? If so, what is it called and in what ways did it help?

Oh, yes. I wrote a short story called "THE HOUSE THAT TIME FORGOT" that was important to me in terms of healing from my divorce. I felt betrayed and abandoned. I was still very much a victim when I wrote it and it was an important part of the healing process for me. It was a very personal story and one which I did not care whether the writing was particularly good or whether it was ever published. It had to do with coming to terms with the fact that some doors in your life are always going to remain closed no matter how much you want to open them. Some answers you just have to do your best to figure out on your own in a way that makes sense to you and then you have to find a way to let go of them and move on with your life.

Who was the first reader that reached out to you? What did they say and how did you respond?

I am very happy to tell you this one. She was new to publishing her stories as well and lives in Ukraine but publishes here in the states. Her name is Ellen Khodakivska. it was an unlikely pairing of writers since we write very different types of stories. But we connected on our writer's journey and have helped each other ever since. She was my first review and taught me the value of providing reviews for other authors.

What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

Wow, that is a loaded question and in today's day and age will take a hard pass. Instead, I will say that I think we missed a valuable opportunity in this country in particular and as a result in much of the world to take less of a confrontational approach towards gender equality. It's also important to realize that the fight for equality has long since transformed into more of a search for fairness, which does not always mean "the same." As a holder of an MBA in Global Management, I was trained to see contributions from other cultures as valuable to creating synergistic effects on projects. In other words, you can learn valuable and creative approaches from having people who think differently on your team. You keep the best practices and learn from the rest. I tend to look at different genders in the same way. If you think about it, they share many similarities to cultural differences. If we had learned to value gender differences in the same way that we value cultural differences, we would not have many of the confrontational views we have towards what is rapidly devolving into gender wars. Equal pay for equal work is a completely separate issue. It shouldn't be, but we don't always equate value to pay. If we did, the Chinese who built the railroads would have a very different history. People in general, no matter who they were, have always had to fight for better wages and working conditions. There's always been a separation between owners and the people who create the value proposition. The larger the companies, the wider the separation. Men were just the first to organize to obtain those rights so they are farther ahead in the fight and again, missed an opportunity to value the synergistic effects of having women in the workplace and invite them in to join in the fight. It is a misconception that men, in general, are the enemy here. The largest income disparity for women is the same as it is for men. From the top down. It's just more visible for women because they came to the fight later and rather than being invited to join in it, were forced to start their own movement. Pitting women against men in the workplace was simply a long-term strategy by those wanting to obfuscate the largest inequity in the workplace which is from the top down.

Which literary character of any book do you most relate to?

I always relate to the protagonist regardless of gender, ethnicity or whatever. We all have the same potential to be more than we are now. I really immerse myself in the stories and don't have just one favorite. I simply like well-crafted stories with interesting characters. it's also a reason I almost never watch and have to be dragged kicking and screaming to horror flicks. They terrify me because I'm actually there, in the story, with the characters, inside the mind of the writer and it's terrible for me. It's like the commercial with the three college students in a horror film where one suggests they get in the car and drive away while another suggests they hide in the garage where all the chainsaws, axes and instruments of bloody dismemberment are kept. I mean, I know it's meant to be humorous, but who decides to hide in the garage? It takes a particularly warped mind to want to be scared for your life. I know that people who just see it as a movie or a story will never "get" me because I don't see the world in the same way.

When you're not reading or writing a book, what are some other things that you love to do?

I write and apparently live to serve my cat, so you'd have to ask her.

Seriously, I love martial arts and enjoy jogging but if I had to write a biography of my life it would be called "FLASHES OF INSPIRATION IN AN OTHERWISE SEDENTARY LIFE." I like to think of myself as an Indiana Jones-type character. I live a very sedate and simple life at home, almost a shut-in other than work and the commute back and forth. I look forward to bi-weekly jaunts to the grocery store. Yet every so often, I grab my leather jacket and my fedora and bullwhip (in my case, my laptop) and head out on a wild new adventure. Sometimes it is close by but it could be on the other side of the world. I don't limit myself and live a life largely of deprivation of normal things so that I can do really cool stuff once in a while. One of my favorite characters in a movie is Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone portraying the life of a romance writer, compelled to a life of adventure. That is me. I am that character.

Could you offer us some of your thoughts on AllAuthor and how it has benefited you? What are some things you think we could change to help it cater better to other authors?

I stated one of those suggestions above. I think that offering a platform for readers to provide reviews would be beneficial for you as a business and for authors. That's the most important suggestion. Providing a manner of better organizing books you want to read would also be up there and is a place that really differentiates you from goodreads. If it were not for those two things, I think people would flock to your platform because I think it's the 'friendlier' platform for authors but not for readers. Authors cannot find success without readers and their reviews so an "AllAuthor" platform has to provide things for the readers and a way in which they can give feedback to the authors. Also, greater connectivity with other book distributors such as Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Tolino and others that offer e-books would help authors diversify their reviews and provide a more global perspective as well as encourage the development of more marketing channels. The power that Amazon has over the industry right now is terrible. there's very little accountability to the authors but they have very few other places to go if they want to succeed.

Ben Wolfe All time Favourite Books

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Escape of the Concubines (Wraith Riders Book 1)
(10) (2) $0.99 kindleeBook,
Escape of the Concubines (Wraith Riders Book 1)by Ben WolfePublish: Sep 24, 2019Series: Wraith Riders TrilogyFantasy
Ben Wolfe Ben Wolfe
The second book I published in 27 years and opens the window to a world I spent over 25 years in worldbuilding.
Curse of the Lianshi (Tales of the Lianshi Book 1)
(10) (2) $0.99 kindleeBook,
Curse of the Lianshi (Tales of the Lianshi Book 1)by Ben WolfePublish: Dec 20, 2018Series: Tales of the LianshiFantasy
Ben Wolfe Ben Wolfe
The first story I published in 27 years.
World of the Lianshae: A Ben Wolfe Anthology 1st Edition
(7) (1) $2.99 kindle Free with KUeBook, Paperback, Signed Paperback,
World of the Lianshae: A Ben Wolfe Anthology 1st Editionby Ben WolfePublish: Nov 24, 2019Fantasy
Ben Wolfe Ben Wolfe 6 months ago
An excellent read! It actually starts with a book that hasn't been released yet and starts telling the whimsical story of a young man cursed out of time, still bearing a curse, awakened after more than a century. The first short story tells us a little more about how it all happened from the perspective of the gypsy, Francesca. What starts as a well-researched historical fiction transports us seamlessly into the fantasy world and does so in such a way that we barely notice withing a 34-page short story. The story continues with a parallel series called the Wraith Riders trilogy of novellas and the first novella tells us the story from the perspective of the people who dwell in this fantasy realm and tell the story of how Francesca's arrival affects them.

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      • Ben Wolfe Ben Wolfe 7 months ago
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      • Don't wait. Start writing NOW and you might finish writing all the amazing stories you have inside of you. Maybe.

        No. Seriously. Get off your butt. Start writing. Now! If you write it they will come. seriously.
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      • Ben Wolfe Ben Wolfe 7 months ago
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      • Well, let me answer this as a writer and say that I think there are three things that go into making an author successful.

        1. You have to write. A lot. You have to regiment yourself to make time because at times it can feel like work because it is. A famous author (I can't remember which one) once said, "Writing is easy. You just sit down with a piece of paper or keyboard, open your veins and bleed." He/she is not far off. However, as John Dufresne, my creative writing instructor in college once said, "Writing is like mining. Just as you have to dig through a mountain to get gold, you have to write a mountain of crap before you write anything good.

        2. You have to learn the craft of writing. Ask yourself if you would let someone who is not a licensed and bonded plumber fix your upstairs toilet leak. I the answer is no way, you would say the same thing about reading a book by someone who doesn't know the first thing about putting a story together or a book that is riddled with spelling and grammar errors that take you out o a story when reading it. You wouldn't make it past the first chapter. So...you have to get really good at editing your work. At least half of being a writer is being able to self-edit your work before putting it in front of a publisher. This is a lifelong process as you can always become a better writer, even if you are a bestselling author. A writer will always be chasing perfection.

        3. A writer has to understand the business of writing. To successfully self-publish, you have to understand everything that a literary agent and publisher does for you from getting the book printed or published online to putting it in distribution channels to get it in front of people and then promoting the book. There sometimes seem to be a million ways this has to happen when you are finding success doing it yourself and you gain a huge appreciation for all the work that goes into promoting a new book. You need to understand what an agent does and what advantages there are to having one if you are trying to get your book published through a traditional publisher. Sometimes researching the various publishers that would be a good fit and obtaining contact information, researching submission guidelines, etc. can take almost as much time as writing the book did to research. Add to that not knowing which agent is looking for what type of book and you can see the benefits quickly the first time you try to do that yourself. Understanding how to negotiate the rights in a book deal is also huge. Having not just an agent but a good agent is incredibly important. So...learn the business of writing and evolve as the publishing industry has not remained stagnant over the past thirty years. It has evolved and therefore you must also evolve if you want to live in this magical world.

        Write a lot. Study the craft of writing. Learn the business of writing.

        This does not guarantee your success. It only gives you the best chance to succeed. And without doing these three things, plan on spending thousands on a vanity press just to see your name on the cover of a book you can hand out to family and friends...who won't read them and will probably avoid you like the crazy black sheep in the family who can't give their books away and yet can't stop talking about being an author. Anyone can write. Being an author is hard. You can tell the difference because you will have poured part of your life and soul into your stories as a writer. Writing it...editing it...promoting it. Then doing it all over again, all in the hopes that someone asks you why you had to kill such and such character or what happens to another one. For that is the sign of a great novelist. When people care about what happens to the characters in your story. I mean seriously...who was NOT pissed off that Ned Stark got his head cut off just as we were really starting to see such admirable qualities in his characters, even having a sense of foreboding that he was doomed? If you don't know who Ned Stark is...I'm sorry, but you need to get out more. It's like not knowing who Harry Potter is. He's the boy who lived, just as Ned Stark is the man who died. Game of Thrones, poser. Buy a book once in a while why don't you. :-)
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