Thursday, October 4, 2018 | By: The Write Way Cafe

The Question and Other Stories with Bentley Wells

The Write Way Café welcomes Bentley Wells, whose collection of short stories takes readers through a variety of experiences.

Tell us a little about The Question and Other Stories.

This collection contains thirteen stories that concern pre-teens, young adults, and adults. For instance, one story focuses on a pre-teen's experiences during a late afternoon class at school. Another concerns a young adult enrolled in college who doesn't know the campus queen but calls and asks her out. Another concerns a young adult--a Vietnam veteran--who is confused about his place in the world. And another looks at a president of a small town bank who meets a possible female companion through a local publication's personals advertisement. Other stories depict characters experiencing other aspects of life, including the death of a family member.

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
Each story was written decades ago and then revised over time. Each story's purpose was to depict the primary character in a situation that could very well happen. Primarily because of the character's gender, age, and circumstances, what he or she experiences is not necessarily out of this world. One or more readers may disagree, however, after reading a few of the stories.

What or who has been instrumental in or to your writing journey?
There have been several people responsible for my interest in writing. For instance, a professor of journalism who had worked for a small award-winning newspaper as well as a large award-winning newspaper was instrumental. Another was a professor of English who taught creative writing. And another was a professor of English who taught technical writing.

What’s the best writing advice you’ve been given? What’s your best writing advice for others?
Accept criticism about your writing from those you respect. Learn from your mistakes. And edit, edit, edit, revise, revise, revise.

What “keepers” are in your home library?

An excellent dictionary, thesaurus, and several books about writing.

What does your writing process look like?

My writing process consists of trying to get the first draft written, which may take months and months. (In fact, I may stop writing one thing and start another.) Then I go through the draft and make numerous changes. I have thrown out scenes and chapters, for instance. In other words, if I don't like something, I'll change it or delete it until I do. And then I'll go through the manuscript again.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I read all of my reviews. In fact, I revised a piece of nonfiction as a result of a reviewer's comment. However, if the piece has been published, this is impossible to do unless the piece will be published again. Regarding bad or negative reviews, writers must have thick skins. It's simple as that.

What is your best marketing tip?

Writers need to try different marketing techniques. If something is tried and it doesn't work, then a writer should try something else. Unfortunately, publishers do very little when it comes to advertising or marketing a particular title. Consequently, writers have to do more--that is, if they want their titles to sell.

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
Spending hours and hours reaching out to bloggers, editors of magazines, and editors of newspapers, trying to interest them enough to consider publishing an interview (if not a review of the book) or publishing a press release about the author and book. Spending hours and hours reaching out to librarians, encouraging them to purchase one or more copies of the book. Of course, like most writers, I would rather spend these hours and hours researching and writing.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I don't believe I would write a piece of fiction that featured a terrorist.

by Bentley Wells
The Question and Other Stories contains several tales that concern young people who have to deal with hard-nosed teachers, fickle girlfriends, and death of family members, among other topics. Other tales concern adults who have to confront loneliness, rejection, and mental illness.

Amazon        Barnes and Noble         Smashwords

Kobo          Black Opal Books       iTunes  


Bentley Wells has written short stories that have been published in literary magazines and The Paradise Coven, a mystery that was published by Black Opal Books in 2017. The Question and Other Stories, his most recent publication, is published by Black Opal Books as well.

Amazon Author Page


Lynn said...

Wonderful to have you on our blog. Your stories are fascinating!

HiDee said...

Thanks for sharing your book and your ideas with us!