LSBBT PROMO AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Destiny’s Way by Ben H. English (Historical Fiction)

A Novel of the Big Bend
Ben H. English

Genre:  Historical Fiction / Suspense
Publisher: Creative Texts Publishers
Date of Publication: January 18, 2020
Number of Pages: 363

Kate Blanchard woke up one morning in a dream home she could no longer afford, with a young son who needed a man’s influence, and not a friend among those who had claimed to be prior to her husband’s mysterious disappearance. About all she had left was a ramshackle ranch along Terlingua Creek, sitting forlornly in the desolate reaches of the lower Big Bend. It was the only place left she could go. There she finds a home and a presence of something strange yet comforting that she can’t put her finger on or fully understand.

With that ethereal presence comes Solomon Zacatecas, a loner with his own past and a knowledge of her land near uncanny in nature. He helps her when no one else can and is honest when no one else will be, but she suspicions that he is not always completely so. Yet her quiet, unassuming neighbor proves to be more than capable in whatever situation arises. That includes when standing alone against those who would take everything else that Kate had, including her life as well as her son’s.

“This is one of those rare books that you simply can’t put down. Ben English ‘s writing style is pure magic. He really brings this historical fiction book to life. Immediately, you are drawn to the main characters Kate and Solomon and feel as though you are right there next to them, experiencing what they are experiencing. Destiny’s Way is one that would do well on the Silver Screen.”Catherine Eaves, published author

“Ben does a superb job with this book! Excellent characters, true-to-life environment that is part and parcel of the story, twists and turns enough to make you wonder what is going on, and a slice of life down in Big Bend that rings true. That area has historically been full of ‘characters’ throughout its history, and Ben brings those characters into the book, raising the hair on the back of your neck. Highly recommended!” — J. L. Curtis, author of the Grey Man series

“Ben, I love how your words and your memories reach out and connect the past with the present and touch so many people along the way. You are the connector! Bravo Zulu, my friend.” — Matt Walter, Museum of the Big Bend Curator

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Interview with Ben H. English
How has being a Texan influenced your writing?
Texans and those of like philosophy are the people I come from and the people I write for. If you are to be successful, you should know your reader and what is important to them. I try to write stories that would make those people proud of themselves, their communities, and their way of life.
Why did you choose to write in your particular genres?
Louis L’Amour once gave some very good advice about being an author. Never one to waste a word, his comment was concise: “Write what you know.” I have kept that foremost in my mind from day one, and that is how I choose my genres.
How long have you been writing?
About three years now. I had toyed with the idea before but believed one must first experience your chosen subject before you can really write about it. A good book is the result of life experiences and the ability to recreate them.
What do you think most characterizes your writing?
It matters little what I think, but what matters greatly is what my readers think. I have been told repeatedly that what sticks out most about my writing is authenticity. To me, that is a badge of honor and worth any number of positive reviews by literary critics.
Who are some of the authors you feel were influential in your work? 
I have had many influences, the biggest being what I came from and the life I chose to lead. But as far as books and writers, I would have to say Robert A. Heinlein, Rudyard Kipling, William Shakespeare, Louis L’Amour, Elmer Kelton, and the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
Did you first experience rejections when submitting this manuscript for publication?
No, ma’am. But there were some who wanted to change my style of writing or at least tweak it for a more academic audience. Their thinking was that I should appeal more to the genteel crowd to garner recognition. I demurred and sought my own path, leading to multiple offers and ultimately a long-term, multi-book contract. 
What are some day jobs that you have held? Have any of them impacted your writing?
In my time I have been a cowboy, a dish washer, a groundskeeper, and a general repairman. I have worked in a salt plant, as security in a hospital, sold newspapers, and been a high school teacher. I have also served two hitches in the Marine Corps, traveled to thirty different countries on four continents, and sailed many a blue sea. Finally, I put in a career as a Texas highway patrolman working Interstate 10 in West Texas. Each job was important in some way, and I learned something from each one that would benefit me later on.
My father had a saying: “If it is honest, it is honorable.” He was right.

Ben H. English is an eighth-generation Texan who grew up in the Big Bend. At seventeen he joined the Marines, ultimately becoming a chief scout-sniper as well as a platoon sergeant. Later he worked counterintelligence and traveled to over thirty countries.

At Angelo State University he graduated Magna Cum Laude along with other honors. Afterwards Ben had a career in the Texas Highway Patrol, holding several instructor billets involving firearms, driving, and defensive tactics.

His intimate knowledge of what he writes about lends credence and authenticity to his work. Ben knows how it feels to get hit and hit back, or being thirsty, cold, wet, hungry, alone, or exhausted beyond imagination. Finally, he knows of not only being the hunter but also the hunted.

Ben and his wife have two sons who both graduated from Annapolis. He still likes nothing better than grabbing a pack and some canteens and heading out to where few others venture.

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