Welcome to the blog, Ben! Could you tell us a little bit about your novel?
Thanks for having me, Rachel! The Four Horsemen is a race-against-the-clock international thriller featuring Andie Sullivan. As the world’s only “culturalist,” she is employed by corporations and wealthy individuals to break through the barriers with any culture around the globe. Now, she faces the most challenging and dangerous assignment of her career.
Hired by a ruthless businessman to infiltrate the mysterious tribe who serve as the protectors of the Four Horsemen’s ancient secret, Andie is plunged into a mysterious world where every answer only opens the door to more questions. With a shadowy government force and a brutal terrorist also vying for the Horsemen’s unfathomable power, Andie and her makeshift team must collect them all and unlock their mysteries before time runs out.
What led you to write this book?
After a career as a screenwriter, I longed for the opportunity to be able to tell exactly the type of story that I wanted to. I also wanted to translate the pacing and attention-grabbing action that movies possess into novel form. It is something that I think very few books are able to achieve.
How do you maintain suspense? Any tricks you can share?
This is where I think my screenwriting background is of immense value. It teaches you to write in short, quick bursts of action and dialogue and to constantly be moving the story along. There is not one chapter in The Four Horsemen that does not contribute to the overall story, while also having enough entertainment within itself. You always want to leave your reader wanting more and keep them turning the pages so they can’t wait to see what will happen next.
Why do you think the four horsemen are so fascinating?
They are ancient and mysterious, yet everyone has heard about them. They allowed me the perfect chance to ask, “What if…?”, which I think is what many a good adventure is based upon.
What was the most important lesson you learned from writing this novel?
Keep the audience in mind, but always write for yourself. It is you facing that keyboard alone in a room with nothing but a blank page staring back at you. If you are unhappy with what you are writing, it will definitely show in the words that come out of you. I would also advise not be afraid to tackle pure fiction. People often say, “Write what you know.” While that may work for some authors, the vast majority of storytellers are interested in a subject and then explore it to find the story. So, another lesson – always be on the lookout for a new story. You never know when one will pop up to reveal itself.
Thanks for stopping by, Ben!
A Los Angeles native, Ben Sussman departed the left coast on a writing scholarship to New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. After earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts, he returned to Hollywood where he held positions at Creative Artists Agency, Paramount Pictures and Disney.
Returning to his first love of writing, Ben sold the screenplay FINISHING SCHOOL to Twentieth Century Fox/New Regency and wrote on assignment for Walt Disney Pictures & Touchstone Television. The Four Horsemen is his first novel.
He currently resides in Los Angeles and is working on a sequel to The Four Horsemen,as well as the first book in a new series.
Ben Sussman can be found on Facebook and on his website, http://www.bensussman.net/
The Four Horsemen is available at Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Amazon.
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