Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ben H. Winters

Ben H. Winters is the author of several novels, including the New York Times bestseller Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and the middle-grade novel The Secret Life of Ms. Finkleman, an Edgar Award nominee and a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book of 2011. Winters’ other books include the science-fiction Tolstoy parody Android Karenina, the Finkleman sequel The Mystery of the Missing Everything, and the supernatural thriller Bedbugs, which has been optioned for the screen by Warner Brothers. Winters also wrote the book and lyrics for three musicals for young audiences: The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, A (Tooth) Fairy Tale, and Uncle Pirate, based on the award-winning children’s book by Douglas Rees.

His latest novel is The Last Policeman.  From the author's Q & A at Needle In The Hay:

Ed: Last meal before the asteroid strikes. What do you eat?

BHW: My wife and I have decided to stop eating meat at the turn of the year, and my only major reservation has to do with her delicious recipe for a slow-roasted pork butt, based on one by the celebrity chef David Chang. I am already mourning the looming disappearance of this incredible dish from my life, so if the world was really about to die by fire, I’d want to eat that one more time.

Tell us a little about how you got your start. Was Sense, Sensibility and Sea Monsters your first attempt at a novel? Do you think these kind of contemporary mash ups are a good place for an author to cut her teeth?

No, I can’t in good conscience advise anyone to write a “mash-up” novel. It turned out great for me, but I fear the vogue for these zany pastiche novels (which started with my book, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and its predecessor, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, both the brain children of Jason Rekulak at Quirk Books) has passed, and I wouldn’t want any aspiring writers wasting time carefully crafting Dr. Zhivago and Mr. Hyde, or whatever, only to have a bunch of publishing-house marketing departments saying, “That’s so 2010.”

Having said that, writing Sea Monsters (and my second stab at the genre, Android Karenina) was a very useful experience for me, as a budding novelist. To write an effective book-length parody, I had to get deeply familiar with...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at the official Ben H. Winters website.

My Book, The Movie: The Last Policeman.

The Page 69 Test: The Last Policeman.

--Marshal Zeringue