Interview: Ben Wheeler

Second in our new feature of interviews with Superversive authors:

What does superversive mean to you?
Superversive is the building of things never seen before to heights unreached. It builds where others have torn down, and gathers together all good things to be made into something greater and more wonderful than they were before. Where before one might find a blasted heath, one finds a garden growing by the Grace of God.

What is the hardest part of writing for you?
The hardest part of writing is the actual work of writing. Editing is tedious but can be done. Ideas spill from my mind, good or bad. But actually typing? It doesn’t matter I can hit 70 WPM or type 10k words a day, sometimes I just type nothing. I need to do better. Sometimes I also forget words or phrases for far too long. Like Resurrection Men, old school grave robbers who kidnapped the inhabitants. I spent like a week trying to remember it.

Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do read reviews of my work, and encourage them. Honestly, I wish I had more. It’s not so much the review itself, but analysis of my work that I crave. I want to know what I’m doing wrong. What is unconscious and bad. What I’m doing right. What movements of my muse are worth remembering and going through the trouble of writing down. I tend to thank whoever reviews my work, but not much else. Bad reviews can kinda just do whatever. I’m not that bothered by it, it’s either quality, and thus worth reading, or not, and thus worthless.

Do you actually LIKE what you do, or is it a way to pass the interminable hours until you shed this mortal coil?
I like writing for its own sake, but it’s more about being remembered for me. I have no wife or children, and my family life is close, but headed towards inevitable death. My sister has as good a chance of being eaten by the cannibals she will minister too on a mission trip as produce a child. I am terrified of turning into some sort of crazed hermit, unknown, and what goods I have gathered to ease my life and do God’s work pass into a stranger’s hands who does not remember me but dimly, and won’t past their lives. If I can write enough books, perhaps a part of me will live on until Armageddon. I don’t know why this fear is laid on me, but it’s certainly motivating.

If you had a chance to co-write with any author, current or from the past, who would it be? Living: John C. Wright, Brian Niemeier or Nick Cole Dead: William Hope Hodgson, C. S. Lewis or Edgar Rice Burroughs

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Berserkergang: The many things Ben Wheeler gets passionate enough to murder over

When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as a young child, though it was in no way good. I wrote a series called “Rodney and…” which starred much hyper-violence in fifth grade. Starting in high school, me and my best friend spent more than five years working on a shared world, complete with a wiki, that I will write up some day (I’ve got two really good stories I can use). Sadly, my best friend hasn’t used his writing for anything. I wrote up an epic that was bad, and I stopped after book one. My first work I was really proud of is called “A boy, a gun and a bike” which is about a man kidnapping his son and making a run for the border. Sheik of Mars was published 5 years later or so. Tears of Elfland will hopefully come out this year.

 What inspired you to write your first book?
Sheik of Mars was inspired by my love of science fiction and my love of Arabian Fantasy. I wish I could say John C. Wright was a great inspiration in the formation, but I only came upon him a few years ago, after I started working on it, not that he didn’t have an influence in the end. Instead, Timothy Zahn, C.S. Lewis, Ben Bova and William Gibson have shades within the work, and works beyond.

 Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, and a lifestyle. I don’t want to do anything else, and very little ‘normie’ things interest me as a motivator for living. The motivation is very important to me. Without Christ, I can’t really figure life out, and without writing, I don’t really have anything to strive to be better at. I just work hard, and die like some kind of normie. I’d rather work hard and die at something I truly love.

 Do you remember the first book you read?
It was a wordless retelling of Noah’s ark called Boat. I also had a dinosaur book with hilarious images and a book about new siblings.

Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Probably serial killing. My artistic temperament needs an outlet somewhere, and those sexy sexy night-joggers won’t murder themselves. Honestly, they should be grateful to be made into my latest red-themed art installation. I don’t know whether I’m going to be more of a “Their screams are my disco” or “I like your hands.” kinda guy. It’s important really. If you’re going to lose your mind and start murdering you should decide on a theme and specialty. No point in wasting a good madness.

See Sheik of Mars on Amazon.