Future Literary Bestseller

Future Literary Bestseller

We recently sat down with up-and-coming author Ben L. from the Lower Sixth to find out a bit more about his creative process and his hopes for his writing.

Could you tell me a bit more about your Latest Novel? What’s the story about?

I’m currently working on a couple, but the main one is called Federation. It’s about humanity around 5,000 years in the future. I like to explore how political issues, further into the future, will impact on humanity. I ask what is entailed by new technologies such as space faring vessels and light speed travel. I’m writing about a humanity which has vastly overpopulated the galaxy and about what then happens to them. Also, about how a government can truly govern in that situation.

I’ve also got a couple of other ideas. One is a medieval fantasy, a bit like Game of Thrones, and one is still sci-fi but about a civilization which is stuck in medieval times, so they know how to fly around in spaceships, but they still fight with swords.

I’m hoping to get published but, as a 17-year-old with their first book, it’s very hard. I think self-publishing will be the best way to move forward because the story is too long and complicated for a blog.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

No, not really! When I was young, I always liked building fictional worlds and universes in my head. It served as entertainment for me, but then when I was little, an English teacher told me my homework was way too long and I thought, no, I can’t accept that. I have to write. There was a spark in me, so I write in spite of that teacher!

Do you have any favourite authors who inspire you?

Quite a few. George Orwell has always been a massive inspiration. I read 1984 when I was 13 or 14 and his dystopian universe really inspired me. I’m always hearing people say 1984 should be a warning and that now we seem to be using it as a guide. I’ve always been fascinated by how humanity has somehow been dragged into a world where everything is so supervised. Everyone knows about things like the map function on various apps which let everyone see where you are! Everywhere you go, they can see. If a government had access to that, what could they do with that information? That’s horrifying to me.

Other authors I really like are George R.R. Martin and J.R.R. Tolkien. George R.R. Martin’s fantasy is just so different from anything else in that genre. He’s more focused on politics and I like that. He looks at inter-personal relationships and themes like how one person can exploit another for their own gain. That fascinates me and he’s one of my main inspirations. I study History, Politics and Economics at A Level and what I learn in those subjects definitely informs my writing, especially History.

Did you enjoy talking about your book and your writing process to the Eunoia Society last year?

Yes, it was an enjoyable experience, mostly because I adhere to the philosophy that if you can explain it well, then you know it well. If I can’t explain my own universe or my own thoughts, that tells me I haven’t explored those ideas enough. I think my peers understood most of what I discussed. Some of the ideas I was trying to explore are quite detailed and time was limited, but I enjoyed it. It was fun talking to them about fake things, fake universes, and having them say, yes, that’s very interesting.

Do you find it easy to balance your writing commitments with the time you spend on your academic work and other hobbies?

It’s difficult! I am a workaholic, that’s the only way I can describe myself. When my schoolwork is given to me, I do it instantly. That’s what I’ve always done, so I’ve developed good time management skills. I try to find snippets of time in the day to write. Some days I have more time than others. Keeping a diary has helped me a lot. I can see how much I’ve done and plan what I will do over the next days, weeks and even months. That’s very helpful for my time management. Setting goals and deadlines works for me.

What are your hopes for after you leave Bloxham?

I plan on going to university to study History and then on doing a Law conversion. I want to go down the prosecutor route to deliver justice to people who deserve it. I want to help make the world a better place.

Back to all stories