Ben Spies: All the Interviews
Most nine year old boys cannot say that they have written a book that has been enjoyed by hundreds of children internationally. Ben Spies can say this though. Ben’s creative streak and flair for story-telling, has seen him create one book already, with another on the way, and many more in the works. All before becoming a teenager!
Because people love the heart-warming story and the authentic child’s voice in Weirdo, it is gaining a lot of attention. Ben can proudly say that because of Weirdo, he has been interviewed by newspapers and magazines, as well as appearing on the radio. Here are some of the recent interviews he has had…
Coast Access Radio
Ben appeared on Coast Access Radio on 31st March 2017 with his mother Renata. Straight away, the host Graham was fascinated by the fact that Ben wanted to write, and called it a ‘formidable task’ to be a published author by just 9-years-old!
They discussed how the words just flow out of the keys, and how the story creates itself as Ben sits down to write. Ben gets some inspiration for his book’s characters from the people he knows, but he tweaks their personalities first.
Ben summarised the plot of 3 of his books and the big ideas that he deals with in each:
Weirdo: Ben’s first book, published in 2016 and available now [https://www.spiespublishing.co.nz/book/weirdo/]
Plot: It’s about a boy who doesn’t have a family, and lives in a run-down house. He gets bullied a lot and everyone says he is weird. He turns the tables around and finishes with a happy ending.
Theme: Ben tackles the big issue of bullying in schools. He was very emphatic when he said, “I really don’t like bullying”.
The Magic Pencil: Ben’s second book, due to be published in mid-2017
Plot: A boy finds a pencil and when he uses it in art class he discovers that whatever you draw with the pencil comes to life. The pencil is then stolen from him and he goes on a big adventure to get it back.
Theme: Creativity and Imagination, “What kid wouldn’t want a pencil that brings things to life?”
The Book of Evil: Ben’s third book that he is currently writing
Plot: An adventure story where mythical creatures come to life, inspired by Percy Jackson.
Graham loved how “Ben’s talent in writing has been a real stimulus for the whole family.” As a family of four, they all contribute to the project. Ben’s younger brother helps to make the books great by being Ben’s toughest critic. And Dad, Robert, has been able to realise his dreams of becoming an artist by illustrating all of Ben’s books.
The interview finished with a look to the future:
“How many more books are hiding away in that head of yours?” - Graham
“One, two, three, four… five!” All different people, plots and settings - Ben
“Where do you see this taking you in the future?” - Graham
“I am enjoying it for what it is now, I really love doing it” – Ben
You can listen to the whole interview here [http://www.accessradio.org/ProgrammePage.aspx?PID=1c867513-5233-4c0a-9214-02c296f4e2df]
Ben was interviewed by the Kapiti Now and they too were fascinated by Ben’s passion to write and create stories for his peers to enjoy.
They loved the fact that Ben’s books have an authentic child’s voice:
“Most books written for children are authored by adults, the true point of difference in Ben’s books is that they are written by a child, for children. Through a child’s eyes, and with a child’s voice. The irreverent humour and story-telling from a young person’s perspective mean that these books really speak to their audience in an authentic tone that they understand and enjoy.”
Read the full write-up here [http://www.kapitinow.co.nz/news/post/introduction-ben-spies-junior-author]
Not only has Ben’s work gained fans in New Zealand, but due to his Brazilian roots, he is gaining a following on the international stage also. He was interviewed by popular Brazilian magazine Revista MBA in early 2017.
Everyone that Ben speaks to about his journey is fascinated by the process he goes through to create a book. Where his ideas come from, what his inspiration is, his passion for reading and writing, and his hobbies outside of writing.
Ben is always humble about his amazing imagination, his passion for devouring books and creating stories, and proves he truly is a 10-year-old boy with his love of climbing trees!
Read the full article here http://www.revistamba.co.nz/revistas---magazines
Review: Balmoral School Librarian
Weirdo has recently been reviewed by the assistant librarian at Balmoral School. Anita was blown away by Ben’s language, imagination and sense of humour.
“For example, to shake off the boss poacher who’s hanging off their escape helicopter, Ben sings a horrible song on loop until the poacher drops off with the torture of it. Everyday speech packed with dialogue propels the action (Quick, swing! Take cover!) Ben uses present tense to heighten the reality, and there are jokes and laughs on every page. “Claire hits Max where it really hurts for a boy…”
Read the full review here [http://booknotes-unbound.org.nz/weirdo-by-ben-and-robert-spies/]
With all the attention surrounding Spies Publishing [http://www.spiespublishing.co.nz/], no one can wait to see what the future holds for Ben and his talent for writing. I think we can safely say that there will be a lot more books for children to enjoy if Ben has anything to do with it!