Peter Benton | Discover Books & Novels on CraveBooks

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Peter Benton
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Member Since: 09/2023


"If you dive into these pages, make sure you find your way back out again." DRYSAU CEUDODOL (Welsh) transl. Heavenly Gates or Cavernous Doors, whichever you see fit. The author did not heed that advice when he unsuspectingly lost himself in the chapters of The Laporte Caves posted a few years back by an anonymous writer in an online forum. Little did he know that he would find a gem in the rough in a genre he had never paid any attention to or even known that he could be interested in. In the following two years, the author cut, honed, and set this diamond to sparkle in the colors he wanted to see, to expand the story into what he would have liked to have read even more. Perhaps you have enjoyed The Power by Naomi Alderman. If you did, this one might provide a more intimate perspective on the theme. The author known here as Peter Benton had left his mark mainly in a walk of life other than writing sexy novels and determined that the twain shall never cross.

Tell us a little bit about yourself, your hobbies and interests.

I write under the pseudonym of Peter Benton as I have stakes in other walks of life that may not be favorably impacted by my authorship of stories like DRYSAU CEUDODOL. I like to travel, hike in the mountains, do motorcycle expeditions, and spend time in my machine shop constructing things though I find too little time for these activities.

When and why did you start writing books?

I have been writing mostly non-fiction before. I started writing fiction over two years ago. After completing a short story that will probably never be published, I set my sights on a big project which became the Drysau Ceudodol trilogy. It was more work than I bargained for. A year of intensive writing, and another year of editing. Though I am German, I write mostly in English since I spent a long time in the US, am married to an American woman, and have children who speak mostly English. These days, even my thoughts are in English and I find it easier to express my thoughts in English.

What made you decide to tackle writing as a career?

It was a chance event and a few years ago writing fiction would not have crossed my mind. I stumbled on a story posted in an internet forum that took me in. The anonymous author never finished it and I realized that if I wanted to see how it ended I needed to attend to the task myself. In the process, I discovered that the story held the seeds for a broader exposition and so I rewrote and extended the story substantially to fit my vision. A big motivation was also that no other story of this kind is on the market, as was confirmed by an editor I was in touch with for a time. If you don't believe me, try finding another superwoman fantasy romance. It seems that superwomen are somehow precluded from romantic and erotic adventures. I felt someone should do something about that, and the task happened to fall on me.

Which one of your books or characters is your favourite?

Hands down: Julia, who experiences the pitfalls of becoming a newly minted superwoman, entirely unprepared for the experience. Her boyfriend is even more unprepared, having his identity as a male subjected to radical revision. I also like the irreverent brat Mindy, who injects a lot of absurdity and tongue-in-cheek scenes into the story. If you check out my avatar, that's Mindy. She is unusually beautiful, isn't she? And she knows how to work her wiles. Be careful around her, though.

Which one of your books was the hardest to write and stretched you the most as a writer?

Of the three books of the trilogy, I found the transition from the end of Book Two to Book Three most challenging; there must have been more than a dozen revisions. In this story, the characters of my main protagonists are not static but experience changes under the tremendous challenges of a reversal of the power structure in their relationship but also the temptations of an Otherworld society. It was really tough to make these challenges credible. I can only hope that I succeeded.

Who is your favourite author and book?

That is very hard to answer as every book has some outstanding quality but lacks somewhere else. Generally, I do not select my reading by author but on account of the inventiveness and uniqueness of the storyline. Funnily, although I wrote Drysau Ceudodol as some kind of romance, I do not read conventional romance. Well, Drysau Ceudodol isn't a conventional romance as you may find out. Usually, I like spy thrillers (think John LeCarre), SciFi (recently Cixin Liu and Andres Eschbach), and biographies. This influence shows up in my writing in that I avoid the magic often found in fantasy and opt for some rational explanation of events, as miraculous as they may appear at the outset. I also focus more on action, dialogue, and character internals than on environmental description.

What book are you reading right now?

Presently I work on Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I say 'work' because it isn't my normal genre. These days I read some books for educational purposes rather than entertainment. I like it for the relentless wit and sarcasm and the way background information is woven seamlessly into the main storyline. Maybe I learn something. I also try to expand my repertoire by getting into German translations of works that stylistically aren't up my alley.

Where do you get your inspiration for your books?

With Drysau Ceudodol I explained that already. I do not see myself as a writer who keeps himself to the task. I need an idea that has no obvious precedent. That is a very high bar. It comes to me or it doesn't. Once it does, I work intensely, otherwise not at all.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Besides the hobbies mentioned above already, I like cooking and baking, and dream of various stuff over tea or wine, sometimes whisky or rum, too. Naturally, I have a penchant for beautiful women but am committed to one.

Do you have any new books in the works?

Not now. I may be doing some translation work. Maybe I translate Drysau Ceudodol into German one day if I get that itch.