The title of this interview is the former Twitter biography words of Benjamin Kissell, an American Humor/Fantasy writer with great geeky personality. When asked about his home base, he declared, “I’d like to consider my home-office more of a Santum Sanctorum or perhaps Fortress of Kittehtude (what with the angry little fuzzballs who dominate our lives and demand food and petting); but, I write from home here in Fredericksburg, Virginia.” The author sat with us to share his thoughts on his career; and, the true beauty of written interviews shines through, as his writing style conveys his character perfectly.
MACG MAGAZINE: What was the defining moment that influenced your growth in this career?
BENJAMIN KISSELL: I’d have to say there were a slew of moments that essentially “You could have had a V8”’d me; but, when it comes down to it … I’d have to say it was when I realized that people enjoyed reading what I wrote and that if I succeeded at it I could have a job where I stayed in my pajamas most of the day, playing with my cats and doing something I truly loved, so, I thought, “hey, why not?!”
MM: What is the most unexpected thing that you’ve experienced/learned in this profession?
BJ: That, despite ones popularity (and there are days I’m kind of cool on the internet) the actual reality of succeeding in the publishing industry is beyond tough.
MM: What was a positive, unforgettable moment in this profession?
BJ: When I saw my name in-print in a book for the first time (and not as an acknowledgement or ‘thank you’ – although, those were pretty bloody sweet, too).
MM: What type of training and development is important for success in interior design?
BJ: A desire to learn – whether through schooling or on my own; I studied a range of majors in college (some might call it fickle, I call it “broadening my horizons”) from Art History to Classics-Latin and all the way to English-Lit. To succeed one must desire to know more and never, EVER be satisfied with what you’ve accomplished thus far (although, I do toot my own horn, because … well … ego).
MM: Finally, what are your future plans?
BJ: Aside from appearing in the follow-up anthology to ‘America in Twilight: Not quite true tales & poems in America’ and folding the laundry, cooking dinner and other domestic-y things, I’ve taken the advice from one of my writing idols – Jen Lancaster – and pushed for what feels right for me … in this case, it’s pursuing my own publication. In the next year, I plan to release two short story anthologies of my own work on top of helping my husband pursue his own artistic dreams by way of his creations, facebook.com/theclockworkticker (where we create, promote and sell his adorable and sometimes odd one-of-a-kind toys).
Benjamin Kissell shares, “I’m pretty obsessive about my phone and have my Twitter routed to it – @praetor1983 – and am always happy to correspond there or on facebook – facebook.com/benjaminbkissell.”