What is your name and/or pen name?
What genre do you write?
What made you want to be a writer?
I’ve always loved reading and writing since I was in grade school, but it wasn’t until my own children got old enough for me to tell them bedtime stories that my desire to be a storyteller and writer blossomed. Every night I would make up a new piece of a tale that eventually stretched into a year-long bedtime story. One day my wife said, “You know, you really should write that down…” Well, it’s become four novels so far, with more to come.
How do you feel about the writing community as a whole?
Great people. They’ve taught me a ton about writing, and I’m still learning from them. It’s been a real pleasure to get to know so many talented and kind people.
Have you or will you be willing to collaborate with other authors in the future?
I have no plans for this at the moment, but who knows – if the opportunity arose, I’d certainly entertain the idea.
Tell us about your book and if it’s upcoming or already published.
I have four books so far in an Irish fantasy series called The McGunnegal Chronicles. It’s clean, fun fantasy for general audiences (ages 8+). No bad language, no sex, good moral lessons, and Christian allegorical themes throughout.
Here’s a brief peek at the plot:
It's 1846, and two children, Colleen and Frederick, discover that Grandpa has been hiding a family secret down in the potato cellar. It is a relic from a lost age of Ireland, and when they stumble into it, they suddenly find themselves in the land of the Others, where the creatures of Irish legend still live on. Leprechauns, goblins, fairies, and a host of other strange peoples accompany them through a whirlwind of adventures, dangers, and mysteries that carry them on a daring mission to rescue Colleen's mother from the dark forces that have taken her. Along the way, they begin to discover why their family is so strange, and what it means to be truly human.
Although the books are full of exciting adventure and are suitable for kids, there are more complex themes woven in as well that young adults and adults can appreciate, such as hidden images of Christian iconography, whispered quotes from Church Fathers, and an exploration of human nature. The historical setting is 1846 in Ireland, during the Great Hunger (potato famine), so I explore that as well, albeit in a way appropriate for a young audience.
Is your book or upcoming book an eBook, paperback, or both?
I’m working on book five in the series, and it will initially be available as both eBook and paperback. The first three books in the series (Into a Strange Land, Taming the Goblin, and The Witch and the Waking Tree) are also available on Audible as audio books, and I’ve contracted with my narrator to deliver book four as an audio book by the end of October this year.
Is this your first book?
This is my first published book series.
Are you planning to write more?
Absolutely. At least two more, and probably a trilogy of trilogies.
Is there anything you would say to other writers, that want to write and publish a book?
Sure – just keep at it. Take a little bit of time each day to write. Spend less time on Facebook and more time putting words on the page. Don’t be afraid to have people read and give honest critiques of your work. Accept constructive criticism and learn from it. Improve your art. Never give up. And get an editor!
Where can my readers find your book and how they can follow you on social media? Leave only links that you want open to the public.
The whole series is available on Amazon.
Here’s The McGunnegal Chronicles Facebook page:
Thank you so much for sharing with us Ben. Your series sounds very interesting and entertaining. Also I love your advice for other writers, especially about getting off of Facebook. I often have to do that myself to keep on track.
I hope everyone will check out Ben’s books by using the link above.
As Always, Happy Reading and Writing Everyone
G. D. Talbot