Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Meet the Author: 'When the Sky Falls' Joseph Bendoski



Joe Bendoski studied psychology in college and was fascinated by all the insights it provided into human behavior, only to realize most the information never reach people, and when it did, rarely was it in a form that allowed for practical application. He started writing non-fiction, but soon came to understand how few people read that genre and began the difficult transition into fiction writing. His non-fiction works include; the Chemistry of Attraction and the Language of Emotion. 
He worked as the head writer for the television show ‘Saved by Grace.’ After being frustrated with comments like "make this scene cheaper," "What's my motivation?", and "Do we need this scene?" he decided to go in to literature.
His latest book is the thriller/espionage/conspiracy/historical novel, When the Sky Falls.

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Title: WHEN THE SKY FALLS
Author: Joseph Bendoski
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 408
Genre: Thriller/Espionage/Conspiracy/Historical

“What makes you believe a lie? I’m not asking how you know someone is lying. What makes you believe? Because if you don’t understand how that works, then you won’t know when you’re being manipulated.”

In 1938 the War of the Worlds hoax panicked millions of Americans, then in 1988 another fictional media broadcast convinced nearly half of Portugal that sea monsters had risen from the ocean to destroy their cities. A team of CIA agents was sent to study the aftermath of this 6th Skyfall Event in the hope that they could turn it into a weapon of war. When the team consultant turns up dead, everyone scrambles to be the last man standing: the one who will decide if or when the sky falls.

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What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

I read a book called Influencer. It was about a group of social scientists that used to story to create social change and address global problems. One of the most famous studies was how they told a story to slow the spread of the Guinea parasite in Africa and the Middle East. As soon as I read that first story, I knew what I wanted to do. Write a story that changes the way people think about the world and how they interact with it.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I think I won my first writing award in the second grade, and almost annually after that, but I never considered it seriously as a career until my life plans fell apart when I was 25.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

Yes. Less so now, but when I was first studying the craft, I took a lot of notes.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

It’s something I’ve always done, but initially, my big driving passion was my running. Ever since I was a kid, I’d planned to run in the Olympic games, but when I tore my Achilles tendon my senior year of college that dream died and I had to find something new.

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I kind of do. It’s a night job. I work graveyard shifts at a mental health facility. I heard Brandon Sanderson talk about working night shifts at a hotel so he could work on his books. So, I tried to find a job with similar opportunities. I mostly there in case there is an emergency, but if not, I get to write and edit.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

Study the craft. I meet a lot of authors who spend hours marketing and studying marketing but know little about the actual process of writing. They aren’t actively studying how to tell stories better. Learn that first. The critiques from the target audience and non-target audience are very different, and you have to weigh them differently. All critiques must be weighed carefully. Only the writer can see the big picture. Whenever I get a critique, the thing I’m really looking for is what I agree with. The moment when someone says something about my chapter and I realize immediately they are right. That’s the exact thing that’s not working. Outside of that, I let most critiques wash over me. That’s an important skill for any writer getting feedback.

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

No. I’m a very goal-driven person. At the end of each day when things didn’t go as planned, I review the day and look what distractions happened, plan for them again tomorrow and a way to deal with them, so less time is lost.

What hours do you write best?

Anytime. There isn’t a time that works best for me. I use a variety of habit and pair tools to get me in the mindset, a certain music, a place, even a certain smell; all designed to tell my brain it’s time to write. Actually did a whole episode for Start Writing about looking ways to create the optimal writing environment, and learning to write anywhere and under any circumstances.

How often do you write?

Every day but not always on my novel. Sometimes it’s writing for the podcast, sometimes writing copy for marketing materials, sometimes journaling.

Are you an avid reader?

Yes. I think whisper sink is one of the greatest inventions of the modern age. I love both text and audio books, but on occasion, if the narrator of an audiobook is too different than what I imagined in my head I can’t listen to it. That happened with The Name of the Wind. I heard the narrator was great, but when I went to listen to it, it was not the voice of Kvothe that I had imagined when I read the books the first time.

What are you reading now?

I’m always reading something on craft (currently focusing on setting). Just finished Scars of the Broken, and am starting Career of Evil.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a prequel for my novel that will be a perma-free and reader magnet. I also hope that as part of the series it will reach my target audience better. I still pick a lot of people thinking my book is post-apocalyptic despite the blurb being very clearly espionage thriller.

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