Sunday 3 January 2010

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Interview with Ben Horton and Contest

You read my review of Monster Republic a few days ago, and now, thanks to the lovely people at Random House, I now have an interview with the author, Ben Horton.

ben hortonThank you, Ben, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to answer some questions for me. I really enjoyed Monster Republic: The Divinity Project; it has such an amazing premise! How did you come up with the idea for the story?

I always hate having to admit it, but the original idea (of a boy being blown up and put back together with bits of his classmates) wasn’t actually mine! It came from a colleague at work. He wasn’t a writer, though, and luckily he didn’t mind me borrowing his inspiration.

Monster Republic has such a great, eye catching cover. Is it the kind of cover you hoped for?

Absolutely. The first time I saw the image of Cameron, the hairs went up on the back of my neck. I love that it’s so dark and menacing, and just a little bit mysterious too.

My teenage brother - who never reads - likes the sound of Monster Republic, and is seriously thinking about reading it himself, which is a big deal for him. How does it feel to know you’re encouraging reluctant readers to pick up your book and get reading?

It feels good! Actually, that’s another reason why I like the cover so much – I think it will make even a reluctant reader pick up the book, then turn it over and read the blurb, then maybe they decide to read it. Anything that gets more people reading has to be good.

I can see Monster Republic making an awesome film. Would you like to see your book on the big screen, and if so, who would you like to play the main characters?

Absolutely. There has actually already been a bit of interest from film companies, which is incredibly exciting. Because the main characters are all so young, I think they would have to be played by newcomers, which is what happened when the films of Stormbreaker and Eragon got made. But I would love Bill Nighy to play Dr Fry (he was Davy Jones in Pirates of the Carribean 2 and is a brilliant actor).

Monster Republic: The Divinity Project by Ben HortonBill Nighy would be amazing! I love him! Have you always wanted to be an author?

No. I wanted to be an astronaut, but writing is the next best thing!

How was your route to publication?

I was very lucky, as several publishers were interested in Monster Republic, so my experience of getting a book published was far smoother than it is for a lot of first-time writers. And I’ve worked in publishing for about five years, so I knew a bit about how the industry works.

If you could have any special power or enhanced ability, what would it be?

I’d love to be able to turn invisible. Great for giving people shocks.
Can you tell us a little about what we can expect in the next book in the Monster Republic series?

Certainly not – it’s top secret! But I’ll tell you the title. It’s The Judas Code, so that might give you a hint…

Thank you again for answering my questions, Ben! I really appreciate it, and look forward to the next instalment!

And how lucky are you guys? We have a contest! Curtesy of Random House, five winners will receive a copy of Monster republic!



  1. I think its cool. I would want to turn invisible. So easy to get into trouble that way

  2. Ohh, I wouldn't mind tuning invisible sometimes, haha! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Thanks Jo, I entered the contest. I'm still frigtened by the cover but as Ben is a debut UK author I will force myself not to look at it. I wonder what role Ben had in publshing.

  4. Just imagine being invisible and what you could get up too. You could sneek in to your favourite authors office & sneak a read at their new book LOL

    Keeping my fingers crossed as i really want to read this book

    Thanks for running this giveaway.

    Good Lucky Everyone xx

  5. Becky - Oh, awesome, thank you! The cover is actually really good when you see it close up, it's great! Ben was an editor I think, it mentioned it on the press release! :)

    Coistycat - Being invisible would be pretty awesome! Thanks for entering the contest! :)

  6. It really is a brilliant book! I do hope you check it out! :)

  7. This sounds like a really interesting book :o) I'll have to look out for it! Thanks for running the contest

  8. You're welcome! I hope you enjoy the book if you read it! :)

  9. I sometimes feel I AM invisible. (Especially at work) :(


  10. Aww, that's so sad! I'm sure your family and friends don't make you feel invisible! :)