Ben Galley is an author of dark and epic fantasy books who currently hails from Victoria, Canada. Since publishing his debut The Written in 2010, Ben has released a range of award-winning fantasy novels, including the weird western Bloodrush and the epic standalone The Heart of Stone. He is also the author of the brand new Chasing Graves Trilogy.
1. What is your top read of 2019 so far?
I must admit, given my workload this year, the reading has taken a bit of a back seat. However, I’ve been catching up in recent weeks, and I’ve been utterly blown away by Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. It’s a book I’ve been wishing existed since my obsession with Norse Mythology began at an early age. Gaiman does an excellent job marrying his excellent prose with the majesty – and frankly madness – of the Norse mythos.
I am so happy he said this! We have a book we both read and loved (and we both read it recently too).
2. What is your favorite book friendship?
I’m a huge fan of the First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, and the friendship between Dogman and Logen Ninefingers is not only a highly enjoyable one but a funny one, too. I could read a series just featuring those two, with all their misadventures and narrow escapes. Their personalities clash and intertwine in intricate ways together and yet stand alone as fully-realized characters when they’re apart.
3. Most anticipated book release of 2019?
2019 seems to be an exciting year for books! I’m looking forward to throwing Dark Age by Pierce Brown into my TBR pile, along with the Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang, and hopefully (fingers crossed) Thorn of Emberlain by Scott Lynch and Doors of Stone by Patrick Rothfuss.
Can’t wait for Dark Age! This guy know his good books.
4. How many books are in your TBR Pile?
I dread to think… Currently, I think my TBR pile, in its entirety, has about 65 books in it. The summit of Mount TBR at the moment consists of The Hod King by Josiah Bancroft, City of Lies by Sam Hawke, and the End of the Line by Gray Williams.
5. Who is your favorite author?
That is a tough one, however, based on the level of inspiration they’ve brought to my life and writing career, and the sheer mastery of their work, I would have to say J.R.R. Tolkien. An obvious choice, perhaps, but The Hobbit and LotR kindled a fierce passion in me for fantasy and writing. That passion put me on the path I still tread today.
6. How did you start writing?
I started quite young. Thanks to spending my formative years devouring Middle Earth, Narnia, and Redwall, it wasn’t long before I started to write as well as read. I decided to attempt a novel aged 11, and managed to write two by my early teens. I believe that gave me a solid foundation for when I decided to make a professional go of being an author when I was 21. I spent a year or two working on my debut, The Written, and launched it in late 2010. I haven’t looked back since!
7. Where is your favorite reading spot?
My favorite spot doubles as one of my favorite writing spots. There’s a little bar just on the edge of Victoria Harbour that looks over the Juan De Fuca strait between Vancouver Island and Washington. On clear days, the snow-capped mountains dominate the horizon while ships potter about below, and if you’re lucky, you might just glimpse a humpback or pods of orcas traveling through.
8. How long have you been an author?
I would say since aged 11 or 12 when I realized that writing was all I wanted to do in life. However, in regards to publishing and selling books, I would say I’ve been an author since 2009.
9. What do you like about reading?
The escape. When I read, the world around me fades away and my entire attention is focused on the text. I have a very visual imagination and mindset, so can see every action and scene all playing out behind my eyes as I read. That combination of absorbing an author’s prose and yet conjuring up your own imagery and ideas is fantastic, and so hard to achieve with other media such as films and games, in which the visuals are already constructed for you. It’s a kind of magic that only books can offer.
10. If you had to describe yourself in a book title, what would it be?
Great question! And difficult, too… I would have to go with “Magic, Mischief, and Malt Whisky: An Epic, If Not Narcissistic, Saga.
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