Monday, February 1, 2016

Interview with Brian Bennudriti, author of 'Tearing Down the Statues'

Brian Bennudriti has degrees in Physics and Business. He’s taken a nuclear reactor critical, piloted a destroyer, slept in the Omani desert, negotiated multi-million dollar acquisitions, run two companies, provided strategic and management consulting across the United States and traveled around the world in every hemisphere. He’s a plankowner on the aircraft carrier, USS Harry S Truman and has made a lifetime study of religious beliefs and mythology. Brian lives in Kansas City with his wife, two children, two dogs and a lizard. His first book, Tearing Down The Statues, was published in 2015.

For More Information
  • Visit Brian Bennudriti’s website.
  • Connect with Brian  on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Find out more about Brian at Goodreads.

Title: Tearing Down the Statues
Author: Brian Bennudriti
Publisher: Grailrunner Publishing
Pages: 344
Genre: Science Fiction

Misling is a Recorder, having perfect memory and expected to help build a seamless record of history. That’s what the Salt Mystic taught us two thousand years ago when she came stumbling from the flats with her visions. Unfortunately he’s probably the worst Recorder ever. So when he meets a joker with an incredible secret, the two of them are soon on the run from swarming lunatics and towering assault troops in the heart of a city under siege.

As it has for three generations, the horrible Talgo family is the spark of this swelling world war; and their wily generals and scheming counselors clash their fleets in battles of shrieking steel-entrained tornados, cannonballs of lightning, and tanks the size of cities. But it’s the joker’s secret that is the most powerful weapon of all…a trigger set by the Salt Mystic herself in myth, to save the world from itself.

For More Information

  • Tearing Down the Statues is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

            ‘A problem cannot be solved by the same kind of thinking that gave rise to it’.
I have no idea if Albert Einstein ever really said that; but it’s why my day job works. I consult for a number of manufacturing sites, meaning I work with them to tap into the people they never listen to and the little hidden wonders in their processes. We get to build breakthrough ways of operating together and, this part especially rocks my deficit of attention, we change subjects constantly. It’s probably the most fun job I’ve had. Apart from that, I’ve got a daughter into cheerleading and a son into hockey, both of which just morphed into teenagers. That brings a whole new level of crazy busy; and they keep bringing pets home. Have you got any advice about that?

When did you start writing?

            I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have a bunch of paper or notebooks full of things I thought would make good stories or the stories themselves. Most of that will never see sunshine, you’re welcome; but it’s a thing with me that goes way back and is very much how I see the world. We all think in stories – it’s how we relate and process the world and is the fastest way to get inside someone’s head. My first novel was published at the end of 2015.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

            I hope this doesn’t come off as naïve or overly innocent; but I have a special happy place inside my head for bookstores. I love the smell and the look of them, to wander aimlessly and open up the different worlds. I’ve haunted libraries on a rainy day. So I was in a hotel up late and idly clicked the Barnes & Noble website to see if my book had showed up yet; and I laughed out loud to no one when I saw it there. It was intoxicating, though the real work was just beginning. That’s an electric thing, seeing yourself on a site like that where anyone in the world can find you.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

            I’d spend time in that country house from the first Narnia movie in some study overlooking a lake or a field, hopefully in autumn. In my imagination, I’d be at the writing desk acting scenes out and testing the dialogue with the dogs watching me like I’m addled while my wife and kids ride horses or something. If you’re a sporty jock-type with a Fitbit strapped to your wrist and sweating in your Under Armor, that probably sounds miserable. If you’re one of my people though, I’m guessing you get me.

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

            Harlan Ellison, Stephen King, and most of the greats who have bothered to comment on time and wordslinging would say the smart answer is write every day and write in these four hours. That’s my responsible answer. Likely as not though, I’d probably watch a season of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia” on Netflix.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

            Interesting question. I’m guessing one of my Christmas traditions is unique to me; but we’ll see. Every year around November I read a Dickens book called, “Holly Tree Inn”, which was really just a holiday issue of a magazine he was putting out back in the day with some stuff by him and some from his buddies. Whatever. The reason it went timeless and like home for me is the atmosphere of a small inn with ridiculous snowfall outside stranding interesting people, with the crackling fire and helpful attendant there in the lobby. I need that setting; but I probably need assassins or city-sized tanks outside or maybe a possessed lunatic dwelling as one of the guests ready to foam at the mouth any moment though you’ll never know who till it happens. Somewhere like that.

Back to your present book, Tearing Down The Statues, how did you publish it?

            I am someone who will ask opinions of my friends and family about how long I should try submitting something through the frustrating gauntlets of agents and traditional publishers. And I am someone who will let those answers, whatever they were, swoosh by without affecting my course of action. I set up Grailrunner Publishing last year for my work and maybe a small select group of fellow authors leveraging Adobe Photoshop, Acrobat, Indesign and some of the fantastic Print On Demand, Audiobook and marketing services out there, to get to market. I won’t preach here or get too irritated; but it’s very much a national disgrace right now not only how much traditional publishing channels are stacked against breakthrough innovation but also how many snake oil salesmen are out there taking advantage of people trying to publish themselves. We’ve probably already had a book that would’ve changed our world die with its author, languishing on the Ingram database unread.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

            In my job, I often travel anyway; and I’m always studying how people interact with each other. It’s a thing with me; and I can’t turn it off. I’ll see a leather skinned, tattooed dad instructing his thin and wide-eyed son with the Navy duffle bag piled at his feet on how to behave and what to say and shamelessly steal that when I need something in a busy airship dockyard I need to build inside my head. Like Harlan Ellison said once, the only real thing to write about is people.

Why was writing Tearing Down The Statues so important to you?

            I read once that every author’s book will always have the great theme of the writer’s life, whatever that is. Maybe so. I believe that tragedies like September 11th or Pearl Harbor bring out the best in a nation’s character, but that unless something dramatic changes, we’re only a generation or two away from things like dedication and selflessness dying out entirely. Watch the crappy parenting around you and honestly consider whether I’m overreacting. In this book, I wanted to poke around with the notion of how terrible it might be if something on those levels were to happen to a generation that has almost lost those things. I peopled the book with lost souls longing for spiritual connections and rocked their worlds, shadowing all the events with an over-arching and detailed philosophy I found fascinating the more I built it. I couldn’t write anything that isn’t fun though and without big freaking tanks, so there’s that too.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

            I mishear things sometimes, or I misunderstand what’s happening in a book or movie, then nod that what I thought was happening is better than what actually was. I can’t replicate that though, so it’s a crap answer to your question. Really, when I’m stuck on what should happen or how to break through into something new…something really new that hasn’t been seen before…going for a long run on a summer day around a lake near my house is like a chokehold to wherever ideas shake out from. Sometimes I just chuckle to myself in the woods or on the trail when it comes together with a satisfying click out there. I suppose your imagination is screaming at you with the connections it’s seeing, you just need to get somewhere you can listen.

Any final words?

Drop by to join in the art celebration or catch up on some pop culture yammering. Send me your thoughts on Twitter (@grailrunner) or by email (  and…

Why not just go get the book?  
Join in Salt Mystic combat. Change the world. “Tearing Down The Statues”

No comments:

Post a Comment