Author Interview: ‘The World Without Crows’ by Ben Lyle Bedard

About the Book:

In 1990, the world ended. A disease turned people into walking shells of themselves. Zombies. Most of them were harmless, but some were broken by the pressure of the disease. The cracked became ravenous killers whose bite infected. To escape the apocalypse, Eric, a young, overweight boy of 16, sets off on a journey across the United States. His plan is to hike from Ohio to an island in Maine, far from the ruins of cities, where the lake and the fierce winters will protect him from both Zombies and the gangs that roam the country. Along the way, Eric finds friends and enemies, hope and despair, love and hatred. The World Without Crows is the story of what he must become to survive. For him and the people he would come to love, the end is only the beginning.

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Purchase Links:

Amazon – UK / US


Author Interview:

1: Tell us a little about yourself and what got you in to writing?

I’m from Buckfield, Maine, a small rural town in Maine, and somehow, I ended up in La Serena, Chile (Go figure). I think what got me into writing was great books. I love books and I’ve always wanted to create a really good one.

2: Do you have a favourite time and place where you write?

I like to write in the morning, at my desk. I always listen to music as I write, anything without lyrics. Lyrics distract me.

3: Where do your ideas come from?

I get many ideas in that strange space between sleep and wakefulness. I also get many ideas while I’m writing. The story seems to lead places and I go there. I think ideas are pretty easy though. The real problem is working them out so that they are interesting and there’s a reason to be telling them. You can have the best idea for a novel in the world, but if you don’t write it well, no one will want to read it. And you can have a boring idea and be such a great writer that it doesn’t matter, it’s going to be a great book. Great stories are about people, not plots.

4: Do you have a plan in your head of where the story is going before you start writing or do you let it carry you along as you go?

Both. I plan out my story before I write. I do a lot of research. I do character sketches and back stories. I spend many weeks with the plot of story before I begin actually writing it. In my last book, “The World Without Crows,” my protagonist has to hike across the Northeast of the United States to escape the ravages of the apocalypse. By hiking, he hopes to avoid the gangs who own the roads. Before I began the book, I knew exactly where he’d be at the end of each chapter, how much he could hike each day, and even went on Google Street View to walk where he walked that day sometimes. So that book has a lot of detail that it might not have had if I just winged it. However, when I do finally start writing, I let the book take me where it wants to go. If it breaks the plan I had, I don’t mind.

5: What genre are your books and what drew you to that genre?

I like many genres! My latest book is science fiction/post apocalypse. It’s set in the year 1990 when a disease called the Vaca Beber is introduced and spreads across the globe. But my last trilogy was pure science fiction, a kind of western set in the future on the distant planet of Damodara. I plan to write in other genres too. It really depends on my idea.

6: What dream cast would you like to see playing the characters in your latest book?

Great question! I think many of the characters should be unknown actors, but there is one character I would love to be played by John Goodman. His name is Carl Doyle and he’s an Ohio native with a fake English accent who drives around in a Land Rover and quotes Winston Churchill. John Goodman would nail Carl Doyle, I’m sure.

7: Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

I read all the time, sometimes several books at once, though I don’t recommend it. I have so many favorite authors, it’s hard to start! I loved Tolkien as a child, but then I stopped reading fantasy. Lately I’ve started again, and I’m a big fan of Patrick Rothfuss, George RR Martin, and Joe Abercrombie. Other writers I really love are Cormac McCarthy, Isabel Allende, Jane Austen, and Stephen King. So many wonderful books!

8: What book/s are you reading at present?

Right now I’m reading “The Dog Stars” by Peter Heller, another post apocalypse book that I’m enjoying. There’s a very interesting relationship in the book that’s fascinating to follow. (I won’t ruin it.)

9: What is your favourite book and why?

I can’t say I have a favorite book. I love so many books. Lately, because of the new show on Netflix, I’ve been thinking about Lucy Maud Montgomery’s “Anne of Green Gables.” I think that’s such a great book. It’s a good example of a book being all about character and not about story idea at all. There are a million stories of orphans, but that’s not why that book is a classic. It’s all about Anne Shirley. There’s a lot for a writer to learn from that book.

10: What advice would you give for someone thinking about becoming a writer?

Read. Don’t fall into the trap of having one particular genre that you like. Read a lot of books from different genres. Every genre has its masterpiece. Try to read them, and don’t be afraid of being influenced. Being influenced means you’re learning. It’s a good thing. When you get down to writing, practice. A journal is a great way to practice writing.

11: What are the best Social Media Sites for people to find out about you and your work?  

You can read more about me and my books at my blog:

You can follow me on Twitter here:

You can follow my newest book here on Facebook:



About the Author:

Ben Lyle Bedard was born in Buckfield, Maine. He enrolled in the University of Maine at Farmington in 1992 and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts. After a few years of waiting tables, he traveled across the country and eventually earned his Master’s Degree at Mills College in Oakland, California. Returning east, he decided to pursue his passion for literature at the University of Buffalo, where, in 2010, he was awarded his PhD. Following his wife to South America, he now lives and writes in La Serena, Chile.

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