Thursday, April 17, 2014

Author Interview: Kenneth G. Bennett, author of EXODUS 2022

 Kenneth G. Bennett, author of the young adult novels, THE GAIA WARS and BATTLE FOR CASCADIA, talks about his new sci-fi thriller, EXODUS 2022. 

Kenneth, has made a living in advertising copywriter for 20 years, writing material for radio, TV, videos, the web, print, outdoor, etc., for clients such as Starbucks, Amazon, Volvo and Disney. Enjoy reading the interview with him...

D.O: Howdy Kenneth G. Bennett. Welcome to Authors Curtilage book talk.

KGB: Thank you. It’s great to be here! Thank you for hosting the interview and featuring Exodus 2022 on your site.

D.O: You are welcome. As the writer of "Exodus 2022" how do you feel about the story, the characters and their challenges?

KGB: I’m really excited about the story. I felt from an early stage that the idea behind Exodus 2022 was pretty fresh. I still feel that way and I’m hearing the same thing from ARC readers now. The feedback is very encouraging.

D.O: Okay. We all know that a theme is vital to every kind of story we tell, because it serves to explore an underlying truth or moral. What's the underlying theme of "Exodus 2022" about?

KGB:  The underlying theme is about the arrogance of the human race and the consequences of such hubris. We’re animals. We have the same DNA as every other life form on the planet, and yet we see ourselves as separate and “above” the natural world. We brutalize the planet and imagine that there are no consequences. But there are consequences.

D.O: Hmm. That's a very strong theme. So is "Exodus 2022“ meant to say something rather than merely entertain the readers?

KGB: Exodus 2022 is not a “message” book. It is (I hope!) a fast, fun, thrill ride that happens to deal with environmental issues. The publisher describes the book as an eco/sci-fi thriller.

"Joe Stanton begins suffering severe, unexplained hallucinations while vacationing with his girlfriend in the San Juan Islands of Washington State, the authorities blame drugs.
What they don’t yet know is that others, up and down the coast—from the Bering Sea to the Puget Sound—are suffering identical, always fatal mental breakdowns."

D.O: What happened to those other people, Kenneth? Without giving so much away can you tell us how they arrived with the fatal metal break downs, or should we just leave this as a mystery for the readers to find out?

KGB: No, let's give the readers some hint.

D.O: Okay then, go ahead.

KGB: Like Joe Stanton, the other victims encountered something in the environment that caused them to begin hallucinating—to suffer exactly the same hallucination. We learn what the “something” is later in the story.

D.O: Briefly tell us a little about Joe's background.

KGB: Joe is a 28-year-old Episcopal priest. He’s smart, funny, athletic and passionate about wilderness and the outdoors. And he’s totally in love with his girlfriend, Ella Tollefson. As the book begins, he’s planning to propose to her, but then all kinds of nightmarish stuff gets in his way.

D.O: Joe is the lead character here, right?

KGB: Correct.

D.O: What is Joe's assignment in the story "Exodus 2022?"

KGB: At first Joe is just trying to survive and figure out what the hell is going on with his body and brain—why he’s flipping out, experiencing violent “visions”. As the story progresses, and he begins to understand what’s going on—the meaning of the voices in his head—he becomes a more active participant in his own destiny, and in the destiny of the planet.

D.O: What personality trait did you give Joe to survive "Exodus 2022?"

KGB:  Joe is mentally and physically strong and also easygoing. He has a great sense of humor and a rock solid belief in a power greater than himself.

D.O: Hmm. That's good enough trait for a lead. What is the transformational arc of "Exodus 2022?"

KGB: Several of the characters in Exodus 2022 undergo dramatic transformations. The overarching arc concerns human characters discovering that people—homo sapiens—aren’t the only game in town.

D.O: Every kind of storytelling has an influence. What are the three elements you've woven into this book that will move the readers, and influence their growth positively?

KGB: 1) A love of wilderness and all that is wild.  2) The power of love (in this case, the love Joe and Ella feel for each other)   3) The idea that non-human life is sacred and that we need to do a better job taking care of the planet—or risk catastrophe.

D.O: Hmm. Those are sublime! What age and group does this book appeal to?

KGB: Older teens and adults.

D.O: Okay. I must confess, I love the way you've written the story "Exodus 2022." Writing a book or a screenplay without formal training can be an uphill struggle, without support. Do you have any writing tips for the beginners?

KGB: I’ve made my living as an advertising copywriter for 20 years, writing material for radio, TV, videos, the web, print, outdoor, etc., for clients such as Starbucks, Amazon, Volvo and Disney. Creating and perfecting an ad campaign is hard but writing novels is way, way harder. It’s also way more fun. The best advice I can give:

-          Read as many different great authors as you can.

-          Read as much fiction as you can.

-          Read Stephen King’s ON WRITING and Elmore Leonard’s TEN RULES OF WRITING

-          Once you start work on your story, don’t stop. You’ll lose your momentum and passion.

-          Realize that the first draft is just the beginning and that much of the work happens as you edit, revise and rewrite.

-          Find a great editor.

D.O: We are glad to host you here today Kenneth G. Bennett. Thanks so much for choosing Authors Curtilage for your book promotion. I hope you'll come back again.

KGB: Thanks for having me! This has been a blast.

D.O: I'm glad!! [SMILES]
EXODUS 2022 is Available:

Find Kenneth G. Bennett Online:


  1. Darmie, thank you so much for featuring EXODUS 2022 on your beautiful site. It's so great to see the book and interview here! It looks wonderful!

    Warmest wishes,

    Kenneth G. Bennett

    1. [Smiles] You are welcome, Kenneth. I'm happy to be living this honorable value in the entertainment field. Thank you for promoting your book on the Authors Curtilage Book Dialogue. I hope you'll come back again. [Smiles]

  2. Insightful interview. Thank you.

    1. Hello Christiana, [smiles] thank you for stopping by Authors' Curtilage and, your comment. Are you a blogger or an author? I'll like to know you better. Thank you.


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