Author Interviews, Fiction Blog

The 2016 2K Indie Book Tour: Archives

First and foremost, I’d like to give a big thank you to all of the talented authors who signed up to be a part of the blog tour and gave thoughtful, inspiring interviews. This whole show was for you, and I hope you found a few new readers and author friends along the way.

Second, on behalf of all the authors, I’d like to express our gratitude to the readers who followed this tour. I hope you all enjoyed learning a bit more about your favorite books.

And last, I’d like to say a special thanks to my co-host, the ever-inspiring Kate Evans. Thank you for yet another successful blog tour. It’s always a joy to collaborate with you!

The following list contains the original blog tour interviews for all our authors and books. For ease of access, you can always view it on my Events page, under the Past Events section.

The 2016 2K Indie Book Tour

Monday, February 8 – The Earl and the Artificer by Kara Jorgensen

Tuesday, February 9 – The Curious Tale of Gabrielle by Zachary Paul Chopchinski

Wednesday, February 10 – Rise of the Storm by Christina Ochs

Thursday, February 11 – Oak and Mist by Helen Jones

Friday, February 12 – A Case of Deceit by J.L. Phillips

Monday, February 15 – The Fairy Wren by Ashley Capes

Tuesday, February 16 – The Cogsmith’s Daughter by Kate M. Colby

Wednesday, February 17 – Going Through the Change by Samantha Bryant

Thursday, February 18 – The Trouble with being a Movie Star’s Wife by Z.N. Willett

Friday, February 19 – The Dream World Collective by Ben Y. Faroe

Monday, February 22 – The Dagger and the Rose by Bill Hoard

Tuesday, February 23 – Wandering on the Treadmill by Wendy Ogilvie

Wednesday, February 24 – Lady, Thy Name is Trouble by Lori L. MacLaughlin

Thursday, February 25 – The Art of Survival by Kate Evans

Author Interviews, Fiction Blog

The 2016 2K Indie Book Tour: Ben Y. Faroe

Wrapping up week two of The 2016 2K Indie Book Tour (co-hosted by Kate Evans and myself) is Ben Y. Faroe. Over to Ben:

Ben Y. Faroe Author Pic 2I live in Baltimore with my wife and two lovely daughters (aged 2 years and 2 months, respectively).

While I’m technically from New Jersey, I grew up overseas in Turkey, then met my Californian wife in Minnesota before whisking her off to South Carolina for a couple years.

I studied Greek and Latin in college and Bible teaching in seminary, so naturally I’m a data analyst for a health insurance company. I’ve founded a prayer room in the past and a publishing company in the present, and I expect to be writing and adventuring full-time within a few years.

Here’s a bit about his contemporary fiction/humor novel, The Dream World Collective:

The Dream World Collective is the story of five friends who decide to quit their jobs to chase what they love.

Sushi and her roommate Summer are tired of working dead-end jobs for corporate drone bosses. So when their friend Alex quits his job and his roommate Zen proposes a grand experiment, they rope in their geeky friend Otto and move in together to build a life of art and freedom and tea and scheming.

Of course, living each day to the full still takes hard work, especially when, technically speaking, rent still exists.

Sushi, a Japanispanglo firestorm of punches and creativity, pegs her hopes on the prize money from a local art contest. That gets complicated when she discovers that one of her competitors is brilliant, uncannily insightful, and, to make matters worse, gorgeous.

Zen would be dealing with romantic entanglements of his own, if he could only find any. But between his writing, his schemes for a philosophical restaurant, and his admittedly tenuous connection to the real world, he’s at least got enough to stay occupied until the right girl discovers his secret message. Hopefully the right girl.

Alex, meanwhile, is trying to figure out what the good life of freedom and human connection looks like when it turns out what you’re wired for is organizational management. And there’s always the question of how far he’s willing to go to bail out his less responsible friends.

Summer is eager to live out her dreams of communal living and gardening and neighborhood improvement, but gardening doesn’t pay the bills, especially in Minnesota in the winter, and communal living—even with your best friends and great intentions—inevitably has its emotional ups and downs. Especially when you’ve secretly got a huge crush on one of them.

As for Otto, he really wasn’t planning to be in on this at all, but with a new basement lair and all the Shasta he can drink, he’s ready to make it work. But soon the outside world starts worming its way in, and Otto finds himself under the tutelage—or possibly in the servitude—of an eccentric British gallery owner, a tutelage-or-servitude whose results will push him to greater heights than he’s ever achieved in a non-virtual world.

And there’s the evil next door neighbor, and the ninja party, and the garage incident, and the other garage incident. But that’s the great thing about living with your best friends. Whatever goes wrong, at least you’ve got each other. And usually pie.


None yet, but there’s still lots to explore in this story and I’m planning to extend it into a series.

In the meantime, if you like The Dream World Collective, you’ll probably also enjoy my comedy series, Hubris Towers.

In fact, Zen from The Dream World Collective is a dead ringer for Jimmy Acorn from Hubris Towers. And both Otto and Jimmy have comforting foreign middle-aged salt-and-pepper chef confidantes. Hmm. I sense an impending fan theory…

Now, here’s our interview with Ben:

What was the inspiration behind your book?

This book was a sandbox where I played out some risky dreams and ideas. I wrote it because I wanted to see what happens when you quit your job to have adventures, only without actually quitting my job. At the time I was quite seriously thinking about starting some sort of communal living situation with my friends, but I was newly married and working as a delivery driver and it didn’t seem like a good idea to suddenly stop having an income.

So I started writing to explore what could happen if a few friends lived simply, worked together to make ends meet, and spent the rest of their time doing whatever meaningful, interesting, adventurous things they wanted.

And I was intrigued by what I found. They weren’t automatically happy because they quit their jobs, though it opened up interesting opportunities. They struggled with having to focus even more on money than before, since they didn’t have any reliable source of income. And they had to deal with the fact that relationships are always going to have ups and downs, even with people you love, even—maybe especially—when you can do whatever you want.

As for me, I still have a day job, but since I started writing this book several good friends and I have bought houses within a few blocks of each other. We eat meals together and watch each other’s kids and help each other pursue our dreams and make the world a better place. So it can be done, even if it looks different in every life.

Who is your favorite character?

If I had to pick just one, it would be Otto, the Collective’s geeky, pudgy, massively repressed technomage.* He’s such a cute combination of shy, grandiose, silly, and sweet, and I think he grows the most over the course of the book. I don’t want to spoiler anything, but by the end he’s actually expressing an emotion and everything.

He also, at various points, dons a griffin costume, encounters the Mario, mistakes a Brit for Edward Scissorhands, and teaches a five-year-old about Ninja Santa (or Saito Kurusawa, as he is more properly known). Can’t argue with that.

* (Not actually a thing.)

What is one thing you want readers to know or “get” about your book?

It’s a cozy and immersive read in its own right, but you can also read this book as a live experiment in community living. The main characters are intentionally quite different from each other, and they won’t necessarily always agree with each other, me, or you. That said, you don’t always have to agree with people to care deeply about them. Reading The Dream World Collective is a fun way to test out the highs and lows of full-time close quarters with real people.

Which, let’s be honest, is just a fancy way of getting you ready for the fact that Otto has imaginary gremlinoid friends, Zen talks with God, and Sushi punches everybody all the time. But they’re cool.

Who is your ideal reader? Or, who will enjoy your book?

If you’ve dreamed of quitting your day job, I wrote this for you. Alternately, if you know there’s more out there and you want to find it, if you’re into baking or tea or books, or if you care about creativity and quality and fun, you’ll enjoy The Dream World Collective.

Or we can really drill down. This book’s for you if:

  • you’re idealistic, optimistic, and/or visionary
  • you enjoy (or fantasize about) talking to strangers or leaving mysterious notes in public
  • you enjoy both Star Trek (or similar) and Jane Austen (or similar)
  • you care about making the world a better place, but not in a boring way
  • you don’t mind quirky humor and the occasional big (or made-up) word
  • you want to live like Amelie

What three writing tips do you have for aspiring authors?

Write more words. The best way to improve your writing is to write more. The best way to build good writing habits is to write regularly. Marketing works better when you’ve got more books. Do make friends, read books, build your platform, and learn new things, but mainly write a lot.

Find good writing friends. If you can find a few people who can give you genuine encouragement and also useful, objective feedback, you’ve struck gold. Value those relationships and make good use of them. If you don’t have writing friends, try checking the internet for local meetups or online communities. Or I can be your writing friend – drop me a line at

Google like the dickens. A year ago I was unpublished with no platform. Now I’ve published a novel, co-authored a series, hit Amazon Top 10 in Humor and in Fairy Tales, built a mailing list and a blog, started a company, built a website, published other peoples’ books, and made some awesome friends. I learned most of what I needed by searching the web and then trying stuff. This is a good time to be alive.

DWC-Ebook-Cover-1.0-196x300Where can readers buy your book? 

Clickworks Press

Barnes & Noble
Google Play
Apple iBooks

Where can readers learn more about you? 

The best way to get in touch (and try my books for free) is to join my list at I also love hearing from people at

I’m terrible at social media, but if you still want to find me online, I’m byfaroe everywhere:


Fiction Blog, Writing Samples

Why We Have Chickens: My Family Will Survive the Apocalypse While Your Family Starves

I was raised to be apocalyptic. I never knew this, of course. Does the guppy know water? I didn’t realize that I was groomed to face society’s doom until I was eighteen. By that time, it was too late for me.

You see, while other little girls played with Barbies, I sat on the floor next to my dad, an unplugged PlayStation controller in hand, and pretended to blow the heads off zombies. While other girls spent weekends at the mall, I spent them with my dad, shooting Christmas Coca Cola cans until we could hit the polar bears from 30 yards away. When other girls refused to associate with their fathers, my dad and I were getting matching pentagram tattoos to guard against demonic possession – just in case.

Don’t worry. I’m not a romantic. I know that when the apocalypse comes, there will be no monsters: no undead, bloodthirsty scapegoats. There will be no sounding of angelic trumpets. No devils crawling from black smoke. It will be humanity that unravels civilization. The global economy will collapse and people will do whatever is necessary to survive.

When this happens, my family will be prepared. You see, in the end, the rifles mounted on the wall won’t be enough to sustain us. The concrete, one-way-in/one-way-out panic room won’t save us from the rumbling in our stomachs. Civilization or not, we’ll still need to eat.

This is where the chickens come in.

Chickens are self-sustaining protein factories. They eat the scraps from our meals, everything from rotten grapes to corn cobs to watermelon rinds. If left to their own devices, they slurp down worms and dig meat out of buggy exoskeletons. They, themselves, consist of meat: delectable meat that all other meats strive to imitate. After all, everything tastes like chicken. Of course, I will never (circumstances permitting) eat our chickens. The very idea repulses the pseudo-lacto-ovo vegetarian in me. I am content to devour their eggs, the most plentiful product the protein factories manufacture.

Originally, my parents bought six chickens. They were supposed to be Bantam hens, because they are small and easily domesticated. The more likely reason is that my parents think the feathers around their legs – or “the boots with the fur,” as my mom calls them – are adorable. However, we made the unfortunate mistake of buying chicks at Easter. By the time we reached Family Center, dozens of grubby-handed children had snatched up the chicks and moved them from one aluminum tank to the next, scrambling the breeds into indiscernible chaos. Therefore, instead of six Bantams, we have three Bantams, one Wyandotte, one Rhode Island Red, and one bird resembling a pheasant. Oh, and two of them are roosters, which incidentally, do not lay eggs.

Due to these unexpected complications, my dad took it upon himself to acquire six laying hens from the local Farmers’ Co-Op. While the other chickens all have distinct colorings, making them worthy of individual names (Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hestia, Persephone), the six, identical laying hens are known collectively as “The Dinosaurs.” These hens are a testament to evolution. They have gangly, scaled legs, long necks, and wide, black eyes. If I stripped them of their feathers, they would look like Velociraptors. The only excuse for their ugliness is the large, white eggs they lay: the eggs that will keep us alive.

I’m not crazy. I know that the odds of an apocalypse – be it pandemic, demonic, or economic – are slim to none. I know that, if an apocalypse arose, I would not have the guts to shoot a zombie, let alone a human. I know that, even if I became a ruthless sniper, my family’s tiny flock of chickens would not be enough to feed us forever. But you know what they say…

Better safe than sorry.

This creative nonfiction essay is from my Multi-Genre workshop from Baker University. If you cannot tell, it was written in 2012, when the Mayan apocalypse and doomsday prepping were insanely popular topics. It was featured in the 2013 edition of Watershed Literary Magazine.