Author and sculptor, Ben Molina, is published and rising quickly as a local celebrity. This Clermont resident has a busy schedule, balancing work with book-signings and conferences. Ben spends a lot of his time giving back to his fans, and he is continuing that tradition by graciously accepting this invitation for an interview.
Q: It says that you were inspired to write after hearing your brother share so many fascinating stories. At what age did you really start to think that you might want to do this as a profession? What and/or who else has inspired you a long the way as far as your writing goes?
A: I was very young when my oldest brother started telling his stories, and around seven years old I fell in love with writing. I traded my very first short story for a G.I. Joe.
Q: How did you come up with the basic plot and characters for your first published book, Trail of Blood? Was the basic concept something that came to you quickly, or did you spend a lot of time thinking about the details?
A: The basic concept came to me while patrolling the streets of Philly and the plot and characters took around six weeks to be developed. The rough manuscript took around six months to be completed.
Q: How long did it take you to complete the first two books, Trail of Blood, and Trail of Blood, Hell & Retribution? Did the stories flow from you with ease, or did you have moments where you were unsure of which direction to take?
A: [It took] about a year. The creativity flowed, but as any writer will testify, Historical Research is very essential when combining it with fictional characters. Yes there where those times when nothing would flow, but I would work on ideas and those would turn into chapters once the evil villain named "Writer's Block" would be vanquished.
Q: What is your typical audience? Is there a little something in your books for everyone?
A: Definitely women are indeed purchasing my books and I'm truly grateful that I've connected with them due to the fact that women are emotional and very analytical. The Creator indeed infuses women with greater intelligence and patience, thus they have all of the tools to be better than us simple men.
Q: If you could pick a favorite character that you've written, who would it be and why?
A: All of my characters! They are like my children.
Q: Is there a particular character or a scene in your first book that was especially difficult to write?
A: Yes. When the Dragoons attack Apache Johnson and left him to die. They had dressed in long robes and masks, beating him and burning a cross. The death of McCain's family, his nightmares and the cemetery scenes, when he's at the graves of his loved ones. I have two kids and four granddaughters, and it tore me as a father.
Another scene is where an Apache maid is almost taken by force by the McIntyre brothers and Jim McCain saves her. It took several weeks to really come to terms with those scenes. Even now when reading them I still shudder.
Q: What do you want potential readers to know about this series of books? What is it that they will love about your stories, and why should they invest the time?
A: First to enjoy them. I hope that they will love the plot, the characters and the historical data.
Q: What are you writing currently? What is next, and when can fans expect the next book in the Trail of Blood series to be published?
A: I'm writing four books. Cacique (1523's), The Black Lion of the Desert (1900's) Shadow of the Black Cobra (Present) and Vampiro (1800's). The next Book will be, The Black Cobra. 1865. I have nine books already finished, so at least my work rate is set.
Writing and being an author is a very humbling experience. I want to express my deepest thanks for the folks who have purchased my books. Without them any author would be incomplete. THANK YOU!
Q: Tell me about your sculptures. How long have you been creating them?
A: Once again, my oldest brother showed me as a little kid and I fell in love with sculpting. [I have been doing it] for over twenty-five years.
Q: Where does the inspiration come from in your art? How does your art tie into your writing? Do they compliment each other at all, or is your art completely different from your writing style?
A: [My inspiration comes] from many areas such as nature, people and experiences. Sculpting balances writing, and since is another art form they truly compliment one another.
Q: Do you ever do commissioned work? If so, describe something that you've created for someone. If not, would you be willing to?
A: Yes. I created twelve inch (1-6 scale) 8 inch scale and many statues (maquettes) figures for the Roy Rogers Museum, Mr. John Hart (actor of the forties and sixties, Lone Ranger TV show) Mr. Fred Foy (a radio announcer and a true legend) and many other artists.
Q: What kind of sculpting is it that you do? Please explain the process and the materials that you use. On average, how long does it typically take you to complete a sculpture from start to finish?
A: Statues (different scales), one of a kind 8-inch, twenty-four inches and 12 inches figures. First I find pictures of the artist or person to be sculpted (front, side and rear views), I gather the materials depending on the job. [It takes] four to five weeks from beginning to completion.
Q: What are your professional goals? What would you like to see happen with your books and your sculptures? Are you seeing an increase of interest in your work? How would you like to see your business and your creativity grow?
A: [I would like for folks to enjoy my work. Yes there is a lot of interest in my books and sculpting. As long as folks support my creations, that for me is where my satisfaction lies.
Q: Where can readers find your work and purchase your books and sculptures?
A: Amazon, True perspective Publishing co. and Barnes and Noble, or by contacting me at email@example.com.
Ben leaves us with some excellent advice. “Never give up on your dreams and goals,” encourages Ben. Anyone who is successful has been given plenty of reasons and opportunities to give up. Ben has chosen to press on through those times, and his readers and fans could not be happier that he did. His humility and passion come through in his work and warm personality.