Featured Interview With Ben Westerham
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I was born in London, in an ambulance, too impatient to get out in to the world to wait long enough to get to the hospital. When I was four, my parents moved us to Kent, in the South East corner of England. These days, I live in a small village in the Northamptonshire countryside, in the middle of England. It is beautiful, though I do miss being closer to the sea.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I’ve always been a big reader, right back to when I was a small child. And similarly, I can remember writing stories with a great deal of enthusiasm when I was as young as 10 and 11 years old. I was more conscious of the need to write when I went off to university and I spent something like twenty years writing in bits and pieces. I pretty much just wrote whatever came to me, never really focusing on any one thing, nor developing any discipline. Things changed when I decided one lunchtime at work that I would write a novel in its entirety, from beginning to end. It didn’t matter what it was about nor how bad it might be; I just needed to show myself that I could do it. Once I’d done it that first time, I never looked back and certainly never again questioned my ability to complete a novel. That was a key moment for me.
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I’ve always read very widely, and normally as much non-fiction as fiction. Looking back over the last six months, I’ve read sci-fi, fantasy, literary, thriller and, of course, crime. My favourite fiction authors include R.L. Stevenson, Salman Rushdie, Thomas Hardy and Nick Hornby. I love master story-tellers, who can weave a great plot, and if they can deliver one or two fabulous characters in to the bargain then so much the better. I wouldn’t say any particular author inspires my writing, although I do like to lean towards the economy of words and punchy style you typically get with hard boiled.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
I have a new book out in the middle of April. ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ features my private investigator David Good, in a story set in his own part of South London. Good almost always has what you might call a challenging relationship with women, few of whom get to take up very much time in his life. But on this occasion he is in for something of a shock, as he finds the latest recipient of his attentions is not at all the wholly good girl he initially believes her to be. As with all my David Good books, this one is very much a story about relationships, rather than a plain vanilla crime yarn. It initially started out as a simple idea I thought might be interesting to knock around, but once I started writing, the words just flowed through my fingers and I found I had an initial draft of a complete story in next-to-no-time. I’m not someone who starts out with a structured story-line and instead just start writing, so it’s always fascinating to see where the characters lead me and that was certainly the case with this book. I think it is fair to say that Good has the kind of experience that leaves an indelible mark on a person.
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