Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

Interviews, Partners, and Saga

Originally published at Ben Peek. You can comment here or there.


To start the week, here’s an interview I did over at Smash Dragons.


The year is starting to move forward. Work on the third, still untitled book of the series, continues, and I’m about fifty thousand words done. The Godless, when I finished it, was just under a hundred and twenty when I finished it (it took on another twenty thousand in edits, give or take), so technically, I am about half way. Of course, this book will likely be a hundred and eighty when it is done, about the same Leviathan’s Blood is, so there’s still plenty of work, yet. But once I’ve tidied up this chapter, my girlfriend will read it, and I will move forward. For those of you who haven’t stopped reading this paragraph yet, yes, my girlfriend reads it as I write it. She tells me when things aren’t working. You should thank her, truthfully. She stops a lot of shit.

Not all partners are like that, of course. My previous partners didn’t read my work in drafts, though they occasionally did in its finished form. But regardless of if they did that or not, they were all supportive of the work and that is the most important part. When you start out producing art (I’m using the term broadly, meaning writing, painting, music, whatever) you are basically running on fumes. You are very rarely making money out of it. You are very rarely being told that you are a genius. It’s just you, the work, and the attempt to find someone to like it. If you’ve a partner, they’re support is pretty important. It’s easy to find people in your art who will tell you that you aren’t worth anything. Sometimes, they’re even right. But you’ll find it easier to walk through those people if you have a partner who as your back. Like I said, most of my previous partners weren’t reading my work and telling me I was a genius. My girlfriend would also, I suspect, drink poison than call me a genius. But they’ve always respected the time, and the importance of it to me, just as I respected what they were doing.

Nowadays, I am lucky that my girlfriend is interested in reading my work, and that she’s well read, quite often in a lot of ways that I am not. Of course, everything that I just said in the previous paragraph about my work is completely true about her work, and I try to be as supportive for her work as she is about mine. Which, lets face is, is basic relationship kind of shit, but I’m always surprised by how many people fail at its simplicity.


I read the first volume of Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples’ Saga over the weekend and quite liked it. A sort of science fiction slash fantasy series in which men with horns marry women with wings and are then hunted by princes with TV heads, it starts with a Biblical reference, and then goes on from there. There was lots to enjoy but one of the things I enjoyed most was its diversity. It was built into the background of the comic so that the cast always seemed diverse and multicultural, much like the real world. The comic doesn’t make a big deal out of it, it just presents it in that fashion, much like Steve Erikson does in his Books of the Malazan Fallen series, for those of you who’d like another example. Anyhow: before I read it, I’d been reading about the need for diversity in fiction, which to me is a simple equality issue and why people get bent about it I’ll never understand, so I was nicely pleased to find it in a book that has been getting a lot of press and a lot of props from people.

Anyhow, as recommendations go, that’s today’s one, and I am now, of course, back to work.


Tags: repost

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