Today we have author Dave Bench with us. Check out our exclusive interview with the author where we get to know more about him and his work.
Dave Bench is the author of the children’s book Take Me to the Zoo. He also illustrated it himself.
Please introduce yourself to our readers.
My name is Dave Bench. I was born in Salt Lake City and have lived here my whole life. I excelled in art classes in school and always thought I’d end up in advertising. I worked briefly in the restaurant industry before beginning my career in healthcare in 1988. I have been with my current company for 28 years. I have been married to my high school sweetheart for 31 years. We have 2 great kids. I enjoy camping, cycling, and music. I play the 6-string and 12-string guitar.
When did you get bit by the ‘author’ bug?
I used to write short stories in junior high and high school, but at the time there wasn’t really a good avenue to pursue publication in those days. After I got married and started a family, I just forgot about writing. My wife came up with the idea for her book The New Kid almost 20 years ago when our son was struggling with making new friends after a recent move. I was very busy at the time and so her notes ended up in a drawer and later a box in the basement. In January of 2015 I stumbled across them and decided to finally do the illustrations and self-publish as a surprise! It was such a great experience I decided to write and illustrate my own book written for my granddaughter, Isabelle.
What’s your favorite genre and why?
I have always been a huge fan of science fiction and horror; at one point I think I had over 150 paperbacks in my collection! Obviously over the years I have scaled back.
Authors you enjoy reading?
Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Dean Koontz, Isaac Asimov, Kurt Vonnegut, Ray Bradbury, Andre Norton, Arthur C. Clark, George R. R. Martin…just to name a few!
What can you tell us about your work Take Me to the Zoo?
We took our granddaughter to the circus last summer and she was so funny. She had as much fun riding the train into town as she did the show itself. My original thought was to write a book about going to the circus, but I changed direction because unlike the circus, you can go to the zoo almost any time. I also incorporated many of her toys and stuffed animals into her imaginary zoo.
Would you like to share some advice for authors who have just started? Any tips for those who want to write children’s books?
I have only written this one, but I think it’s important to know your audience. Keep the sentences short and use easy words so kids will want to read the book on their own. Most of the comments I get are on my bright whimsical illustrations. Isabelle is only three, but she loves to turn the pages and pick out Dad and Mom (and Grandpa in the back!)
What are your thoughts about traditional and self-publishing?
Honestly if it weren’t for self-publishing I wouldn’t have been able to get my book out there. I work long hours and don’t have time to try to pursue traditional publishers. I have a friend whose wife writes books about their dogs. It began as a blog with many followers, and the publisher came to them.
Are there any upcoming works we should know about?
I’m not working on anything right now, but I am seriously thinking of creating a webpage and offering my services as an illustrator for other children’s authors.
You can connect with author Dave Bench on Goodreads.
Don’t forget to check out Take Me to the Zoo.
Have you read Dave Bench’s work? What did you think of it? Let us know!
Farid has a Double Masters in Psychology and Biotechnology as well as an M.Phil in Molecular Genetics. He is the author of numerous books including Missing in Somerville, and The Game Master of Somerville. He gives us insight into comics, books, TV shows, anime/manga, video games, and movies.
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