About Benita J. Prins:
I’ve been writing since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I still fondly remember writing about “Lucy Larson” when I was six or seven! My writing tastes, however, have changed dramatically since then. My busy imagination fuels my love for fantasy – the seeds of which appeared when I read J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings at the age of eleven (still my favourite book!). I love to be inventing and feel at a loss when I don’t have a fantasy location to flesh out. When I’m not writing, I keep busy with my music (piano, organ, singing… especially singing), filmmaking, and increasing my already enormous book collection.
What inspires you to write?
It is usually something out-of-the-ordinary that people say that inspires me to write. One such sentence was from a dream my best friend was recounting to me: “It’s who I am and who I’m supposed to be.” That sentence was so evocative! I had to know – who was (s)he? Who was (s)he supposed to be?
My imagination also gives me random inspirations (especially when I’m trying to sleep, of course). I have no idea where these ideas come from; they just appear!
Tell us about your writing process.
I hate outlining, but I’m somewhere between a planner and a pantser. Creating an extensive and detailed outline limits my creativity severely; still, when I get ideas for somewhere later in the book I certainly do jot them down. Anything more involved than this, however, I really try to avoid. Once I tried writing a book that I’d fully outlined, and it ended up being one of the dullest, most lifeless things I ever read!
While writing, I make time to take short walks and think out plotlines. I am definitely one of those people who’s tortured by constant distractions popping up (“Oh! Did that reviewer reply to my query yet???” *instantly abandons story and checks email*), and taking a break to just think about my story as a whole, loosens up tension and gets me excited to return to work.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t believe I’ve ever talked to a character. But when I get stuck, one of the best things I can do is sit back, close my eyes, and watch the scene play out as if it were a movie.
What advice would you give other writers?
My favourite advice to give aspiring writers is – “Dare to put your soul on the page.” Don’t hold yourself back for fear of what people are going to think! It’s not about them, it’s about you. Times when I’ve completely let myself go and allowed the words to lead me, are the times when I’ve written better than ever before.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I always assumed I was going to traditionally publish – in fact, when I was thirteen or so I drafted the most dreadful query letter you ever read (at the time I thought it was fantastic) for one of my books. I’d heard of self-publishing but not of online print-on-demand distributors. I thought self-publishing would mean paying hundreds of dollars for a print run.
Finally, when I completed my first fantasy novel, I wanted to have print copies to give friends and family as Christmas gifts, and that made me look into online self-publishing. During the process, I realised that if I was going to go to all this trouble, I should at least make it available for purchasers!I’m so glad I did: self-publishing is so much fun!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Contrary to what I’m seeing a lot of people say, I highly doubt that paper books will become obsolete any time soon. I only read ebooks when I can’t find the same book in a physical edition. At the same time, with online print-on-demand distributors becoming more widespread, self-publishing is almost certainly going to be very popular in future. Big publishing houses are likely to start diminishing in size as writers realise they can do this for themselves and have so much more freedom.
What do you use?: Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Fantasy
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.