Ben Scott Craig - Snowboarder, Awesome Dad and Our First Author of the Day
Ben Scott Craig, author of the highly rated Within: A Medical Suspense Novel, is back - this time with a riveting dystopian adventure, The Power Flux. Craig is known for creating books that will not only keep you at the edge of your seat but also make you think deeper about the world we live in. The Power Flux is no exception, and in this interview, Craig gives us a peek behind the scenes. He reveals a bit more about his personal life, his inspiration and intentions with The Power Flux and future books in the series. There is so much more to Ben Scott Craig than meets the eye.
1. How would you describe The Power Flux to readers who haven't read any of your previous work?
It's a fast-paced, thought-provoking adventure about the end of the fossil fuel era. It's a unique combination of dystopian, political, and metaphysical themes all wrapped up into a page-turning novel.
2. All of your previous books have been in vastly different genres - what led you to you go from parenting (How to Become a Slightly Above-Average Dad) to suspense (Within) to dystopian adventure?
My two previous books directly related to events in my life.
Within is a medical suspense novel about a family dealing with a mother who has terminal cancer, and a revolutionary new doctor. Many of the descriptions and emotion in this book came from my own life. I lost my mother to cancer in 2010, and she did find some amazing doctors who focused on a more personalized, comprehensive approach to treating cancer. It was a revelation for my mother. It was a very personal book for me.
Slightly Above-Average Dad was a fun little side project. It's basically a self-deprecating collection of short stories about becoming a father, and my two years serving as the unlikely primary caregiver for my two daughters.
3. Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
Bo staff skills. No, seriously, I've done an Ironman. I used to be a snowboard instructor in Lake Tahoe. I poured blended drinks next to the Pacific Ocean. I'm currently a web content editor.
4. How did you come up with the character of Alex Shepherd? Was he inspired by anyone?
Like many characters, he's a collection of a lot of people in my life. No one specifically.
5. What drew you to write about the collapse of the fossil fuel era?
I loved the idea of writing a book about this time. Imagine driving down the street in the not-too-distant future, and you watch a gas station double the price of gas and add a zero to that price. What would that do to the global economy? Will we resort to a Mad Max kind of dystopian scenario? Or will human innovation overcome? I was fascinated with a time when both of these outcomes seemed very possible.
6. The Power Flux is fast-paced and unpredictable. How hard was it to pull this off? Did you work out the entire plot for the book before you started writing?
Pacing is an obsession. It's hard to keep things constantly moving and sound natural, not forced. Fortunately, I have some amazing editors. I'm not one of those writers who makes an elaborate spreadsheet. I have a framework for the plot. I generally know the ending and key points, but then I let the characters and the situation drive the action to some extent. For me, this makes the story feel more natural.
7. What did you have the most fun with when writing The Power Flux?
SuperPreppers. My fictitious prepping superstore (and the people who frequent SuperPreppers).
8. What message do you hope readers take away from The Power Flux?
It's time to start thinking about the end of the fossil fuel era and the global, environmental changes that are bound to happen in the coming decades. Most global change doesn't happen until it is absolutely vital. Economic arguments have persistently trumped environmental ones. I wanted to envision a time when energy and environmental changes were imperative to humanity's future. I think it's time to start thinking about these subjects and the eventual shift from fossil fuels to something new.
9. How can readers discover more about you and your work?
benscottcraig.tumblr.com. Or go to my Amazon author page. All my work will be there.
10. What's next for you? Are you working on something new at the moment?
The Power Flux is the second book of three. I am starting to write books 1 and 3 right now. Yes, I started with book 2. Book 1 will focus on another central character in The Power Flux named Jessie Barlow.