Welcome Benita! Thanks for joining us.
BP: I’ve always had a strange fondness for answering interview questions – thank you for inviting me!
Tell us a little about yourself. When did you start writing? When did you publish your first book?
BP: My memory doesn’t go back far enough to remember a time when I wasn’t writing something. I always planned to be a writer; I drafted my first query letter at the age of 11. It never got sent, thank goodness – I copied it into my diary at the time and reading back now, it was a terrible query! Now I wouldn’t do anything else. I published my first book last June and my second should be out not much later than next June.
Are you a planner or a pantser when it comes to your writing?
BP: To be honest, I wouldn’t really have known what this question referred to before I joined the NaNoWriMo site last month! I am mostly a pantser, with a spice of planner thrown in. This is funny, because I have a mania for organizing anything else, but if I try to plan out a book it turns out lifeless. I do jot down ideas for later in the book and I always know approximately what the ending is going to be, however.
You’re making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. What flavour is the jelly…or would it be jam?
BP: I’m making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? That’s a very unlikely scenario for me, because I have a huge dislike of peanut butter! The jam would be strawberry if I was actually making a PB&J sandwich, but my favourite jam is homemade rhubarb.
What do you read for pleasure? Could you tell us a few of your favourite authors or books?
BP: I read a lot of classics (Jane Austen, L.M. Montgomery, etc.); I’m not really into most new fiction. I also enjoy reading theology, especially apologetics, which is how to defend my beliefs. My two favourite authors are J.R.R. Tolkien and John Buchan. I utterly love The Thirty-nine Steps and the other Richard Hannay adventures. I don’t generally go for thriller-types, but John Buchan was a master of the genre.
Do you have any advice to people when they say they want to write a book?
BP: Dare to put your soul on the page.
Benita J. Prins has been writing since she was knee-high to a grasshopper. Her busy imagination fuels her love for fantasy – the seeds of which appeared when she read J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings at the age of eleven (it’s still her favourite book!). She loves to be inventing and feels at a loss when she doesn’t have a fantasy location to flesh out. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy with music (piano, organ, singing… especially singing), filmmaking, and increasing her already enormous book collection. Benita lives in southwestern Ontario, Canada, with her family.
Starscape chronicles the near-hopeless quest of Pluriel, Ringard, Galdore and Tristal across Militer to recover the Sword of the Star. This Sword, stolen centuries ago by Jalavak, is the only weapon which can defeat the Dark Lord, for he was wounded by it in the war of the Valintari at the dawn of time. But the four companions can do nothing alone. For the Sword to be found at all, the Star itself must fall from the sky and aid them in their quest, and how can such a thing come to pass?
The greeting sounded almost like a question to Gydi, who swung around, startled. He saw a young man, auburn hair curling on his shoulders, blue eyes peering enquiringly out of a pinched thin face. He looked delicate, and his attitude was slightly nervous, as if he were afraid of being punished for the smallest offence.
“Hana-gawë, welcome to the Travellers’ Home,” Gydi replied. “And what might I do for you, young fellow?”
The boy still did not relax, despite Gydi’s cheerful greeting. “I have no money,” he stated. His voice had not yet broken and sounded as nervous as the thin face looked.
Gydi looked closely at the boy. “You’re not from Carda,” he deduced. “Kefield, maybe? Or Faerbek?”
A look of what seemed to be fear crossed the boy’s face. “It isn’t your business where I’m from,” he said defiantly.
“Calm down, boy,” the innkeeper reassured him. “I just find it interesting, all the different places my guests hail from.”
“I’m not here as a guest. Like I told you, I’ve got no money. Would you employ me for a few weeks? I can sleep in the stable if you like, and I’ll eat the scraps, just so long as I can get some money.”
Gydi became even more curious. The young man sounded desperate. “Why is it so important for you to earn money?” he inquired.
“That’s none of your business either.”
“But if I’m going to employ you, I need to know something of you, boy. I can’t hire just anyone who comes my way looking for work.”
The desperate look on the boy’s face turned to sullenness. “I need it for a trip.”
“Staran. Or something. As long as it’s not in Tralaga.”
“What’s wrong with our land?”
“Bored of it.” He was answering the questions, sure, but the boy wasn’t going to say anything more than was absolutely necessary.
“And your name?”
The boy paused for the shortest second before replying.