Q&A with author Ben Manning


A very warm welcome to author Ben Manning...

Name one book that made you think 'wow'? Why did it have such an effect on you?
I Claudius by Robert Graves
I read it when I was 14 and later saw the BBC adaptation. It is just an incredible account – along with “Claudius the God” - and was both imaginative, dramatic, quiet original and thrilling in its frank portrayal of the worst aspects in human nature. I also think it was and still is a brave piece of work.

Who is your favourite author and why?
Roald Dahl as an author and Samuel Taylor Coleridge as a poet.
Dahl always fascinated me with his short stories for “Tales of the unexpected” on the TV from “someone like you” and “kiss kiss” – but what im most impressed by is that he could write, horror, humour –in a book like “my uncle Oswald” and for children with stories like “Charlie and the chocolate factory”. I think he understood the way people think – in terms of how children feel and react and also the very adult world of intrigue, where there is always a moral twist. A tribute I wrote to both him and Coleridge is at the Roald Dahl museum here in the UK.

Name one of your all-time favourite book covers?
“Marilyn” by Norman Mailer

If you could have a dinner party with any authors from any time in history, who would you choose and why?
George Orwell – I would like his views on the internet, the political and sociological world in 2011.
ST Coleridge – I would love to know his theories on the universe and life in general, as well as the subconscious and life after death.
Aldous Huxley – I would ask whether he thinks “Brave new World” is anything like how we have become.
Charles Dickens – I would love to ask how he got his idea for “A Christmas Carol”.
Edgar Allen Poe – I would ask where he derived his influences and his writing process- and how his ideas came to him.
Mary Shelley – I’d like to ask her about Coleridge’s influence and her inspiration for Frankenstein.

Who, or what, inspires you?
I am inspired by artists who are different and unique. I like to be gripped by something I feel is different to drive me to write.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I like to write at home in the living room, alone – usually at night.

What is your favourite film that was based on a book?
Blade Runner (Philip K Dick)

What is your your book about?

I have written the first novel to deal with the Nazi's , UFO's and vril Norse mythology – it is called -The Vril Codex. It is the first in a series called “The Vril Chronicles”.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the main characters?

Rufus Sewell as Bob.
Bill Nighy as WarwickRomola Garai as Jane

Tell us a random fact about yourself.
I work at the home of the poet Coleridge and have lectured about him.

Tell us something interesting about the area where you live.
The Quantocks was England’s first designated area of outstanding natural beauty – even though the biggest new nuclear power station Hinkley Point C, sadly is going to be built there.

Winter or summer? Summer
Ebook or paperback? Paperback
Favourite food? Italian
Sporty or couch potato? Both!
Cook or be cooked for? Cooked for!
Links to your website, blog, etc:
Twitter - "@TheVrilCodex"

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