Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | April 7, 2011

Interview with Jeff Bennington-Author of “Reunion”

T. Hello, Jeff.  Please give us a bit of biography to start.

J. Well, let’s see…I’m a dad of four children, three boys and one girl. I’ve been married for almost nineteen years, and it’s taken me most of that time to finally decide that I needed to pursue my dream…writing books.

T. When did you start writing?

J. I never really cared for writing until 1989. I was attending a local Indiana University pilot campus and I had taken a US history and literature course, along with three other classes in the spring semester – bad idea. I suffered many sleepless nights trying to keep up with my course load. That was the first time I had ever heard of blue book exams, tests that required only written answers. It took a lot of work to prepare, but I learned that I actually enjoyed writing. Weird, I know. The sad thing is, it took me over 15 years before I attempted fiction.

T. Was there a favorite writing teacher or mentor? Tell us about him/her.

J. No, not really. My appreciation for writing and literature was a process of discovery over time. There was nothing magical or inspirational about how I ended up writing.

T. Please tell us about your current book; genre and blurb

J. My current release is called REUNION – a supernatural thriller. This book almost didn’t make it into print, because one editor suggested that I put it aside and work on something else. I did, but I couldn’t get the story out of my head.

Here’s the synopsis:

David Ray killed eight students and then turned the gun on himself. He thought the shooting and suicide would fix his world. It didn’t. The massacre threw Tanner Khan and the other survivors into chaos.

Twenty years later, Tanner and his fellow classmates reluctantly agree to hold a REUNION to lay the past to rest. Although they suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, they come back to their hometown and reunite in the defunct school building. Old flames are rekindled, fears are ignited, and their lives are about to explode in a whirlwind of memories, haunted by the spirit of David Ray.

Once they’re inside the school, they discover that a dark entity has joined them. It has come to collect a debt, long overdue, and someone has to pay. Will Tanner and his classmates overcome their fears, putting the pieces of their lives back together, or will they be consumed by their worst nightmare?

This book was my effort to make sense of school shootings and answer my own questions like: how could someone do this, and what will the survivors lives look like twenty years later…and then of course, I added a dark entity and gave it a paranormal twist.

T. Do you have a sequel or prequel in mind or in progress?

J. No. There is no sequel to REUNION. However, I’ve already completed a follow up supernatural thriller called Act of Vengeance – a mix of Sixth Sense, and Damien. It’s a nail-biting suspense about one cop, one mysterious boy, and a slew of unresolved murders. It will be released in late 2011.

T. What are your writing habits? Are you an outliner or do you write “by the seat of your pants?

J. I’m a 25-50% “plotter” and a 50-75% “pantster”. I start with a basic idea and scribble it into my black book. From there, I add character sketches, short chapter concepts, and notes from research, outlining the basic road map that’ll complete the idea from start to finish. By the time I’ve finished, no one else can make sense of my chicken scratch.

Once I start writing, I let the characters live their lives, causing and responding to conflict as only they can do. I find myself “watching” the story play out according to their personalities as if their decisions are beyond my control…all I do is document what I see.

T. What are your ideas about the future of digital publishing?

J. I think digital publishing will continue to grow and then plateau, sustaining a strong eBook platform – assuming we still have a power grid. I think the biggest and most nimble brick and mortar stores will survive, feeding the shrinking demand for paper books, although I believe the falling demand for print will also plateau as the market finds a balance between those who want the technology and those who refuse it.

Of course, digital publishing has opened the floodgates to independent authors, for now. I think that Indies will have to prove their salt quickly, or be rejected – something the big six, I believe, are wrongly assuming will happen. As King George III discovered in 1776, the desire for freedom and liberty from oppression is a force strong enough to overcome a giant, even if the oppressed are smaller and weaker.

T. Anything else to share?

J. YES! I’m requesting that anyone interested in purchasing REUNION, do so on April 15th so that my rating shoots up, giving the book greater exposure. If you want to support the book, April 15th is the day. If you can’t buy it on that day, by all means, get it when you can. Also, if you want to know more about REUNION, go to jeffbennington.com for details and get the scoop on my blog tour.

Did I mention I love writing, or that I write a really cool blog called The Writing Bomb, or that I’m a drummer, or that I like white shirts, or that I enjoy making glass mosaics? No? Well, I’d say that about covers it.

T. Thank you, Jeff.

J. Thanks for the interview, Tom.

Reunion_Cover

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Responses

  1. hi Tom! hi Jeff! stopping by to show my support for the tour. have a good one guys! c”,)

  2. I guess that makes you older than nineteen then, lol. I like that your characters reluctantly agree to a Reunion. That does sound scary. I bought your book a tad early because I wasn’t paying attention to your release date. Looking forward to reading it!

  3. I am reading your book next!! Just reviewed Replicas by Justin Scro http://george-edwards.blogspot.com/2011/04/book-review-replicas-by-justin-scro.html

    BTW, I purchased your book already. Does that make me ineligible for the Kindle?

    • Hi George! I juust got your receipt and you are officially entered. And guess what? I live down the road from you in Sharpsville. Nice to meet you…sort of.

  4. I love your sense of humor Jeff. Always entertained by your answers and statements. You already know I’m waiting until the 15th to get “Reunion” and time is going really slow!! LOL


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