Interview with Bennett R. Coles, Author of Light in the Abyss (Blackwood & Virtue Book 3)

22 May 2024

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Light in the Abyss (Blackwood & Virtue Book 3)?

My previous book trilogy was quite serious and I wanted to just write a fun adventure. I’ve always enjoyed Age of Sail novels, but in my opinion everything is cooler if it’s in space. So I let my imagination flow and came up with the Blackwood & Virtue setting: space pirates, with dinosaurs!

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

My favorite fiction genre to read is definitely sci-fi, but within that broad category I’m open to many sub-genres. In non-fiction I enjoy history and cosmology the most. When I write, my go-to genre is military sci-fi but even that sub-genre is big enough to include a broad diversity from gritty military realism to swashbuckling space fantasy. 

What books are on your TBR pile right now?

I’m currently reading A Certain Point of View: Return of the Jedi – because there’s no such thing as too much Star Wars. I really like the concept of the entire A Certain Point of View series, telling the myriad tales of the galaxy happening in, around and behind the main story that we know and love.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Hmm… tricky. It’s hard to compare scenes with emotional oomph to scenes with heart-pumping action. But if I have to pick one, I’ll admit I’m particularly delighted with the scene where Amelia Virtue boards one of the pirate ships – because it’s the first time in three novels that I’ve been able to work into the story a moment where one of our heroes actually gets to dramatically swing on a rope!

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

When I first started writing with a keyboard (when I was 12) I used the one-finger, hunt-and-peck technique. This eventually became two fingers, and finally all five. But what it means today is that I type with just my right hand. I do occasionally try to type with both hands and the weirdest thing happens: all the correct letters will be struck, but never in the right order. My two hands just can’t coordinate that well… So my left hand goes back to holding my coffee.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Treat other people the way you’d like to be treated. It’s that simple.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

Each one of us has our own strengths and weaknesses. Recognize them, appreciate them and respect them.


Bennett R. Coles is the author of the new book Light in the Abyss (Blackwood & Virtue Book 3)

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