Friday, October 22, 2010

4 Crime Stories in 4 Minutes

Benjamin Sobieck is my guest today. Welcome, Ben. Please tell us a little about yourself.

Thanks, Susan. I’m an online editor/journalist by day, journalist/online editor by night and crime fiction author when I should be sleeping. At this pace, I should be incoherent by 40.

How did you get into crime fiction?

I work in non-fiction 40 hours a week. You need a break from typing reality sometimes. I’ve keyed the word “recently” so much, I forget what it means. I just throw it into what I’m doing, because it must be in there somewhere.

I got into crime fiction back when I was a cub newspaper reporter. I covered crime and government - sometimes both at once. Since I already enjoyed creative writing, crime fiction seemed like a good fit. It let me analyze the screwball degenerates I was encountering.

So crime fiction allows you to explore crime itself?

Deep down, we’re all criminals. Save for your family and friends, the rest of the world can die on a vine so long as our basic needs are met. That means putting your neighbor on a pitchfork rotisserie to feed your family.

But most people don’t do that. The fabric of society partitions “people” from “animals fighting over food.” Most stay on the former, but criminals are in tune with the latter.

That’s why crime fiction is so appealing. It allows readers to reconnect with that primal instinct without killing someone. Unless they’re looking for inspiration. But psychopaths usually stick to literature.

Crime fiction readers are killers?

Absolutely. If released into the wild, they would put the Mongol hordes to shame.

Okay, you're really stepping on my tender toes now. LOL. I've be trying to hide that instinct.

I can only hope to distract their bloodlust for a few pages. I’m a humble author. It’s the best I can do.

How would you describe your style of writing?

I like incorporating experimental concepts into what I create. But not in a gimmicky or “Look what I can do, ma!” kind of way. The experimental twist is much more subtle. It isn’t obvious the way it hits you. When it does, you’ll probably say, “That was pretty cool,” not “This author is a douche.”

What experimental crime fiction have you put out recently?

Recently. There’s that word again! Agghh, I’m off to join the Mongol hordes.


As of late (that’s better), I put together an anthology of four flash fiction pieces published previously online. It’s called 4 Killer Crime Stories in 4 Minutes. It’s available as an ebook on my website (, Smashwords, Scribd and some other online retailers that aren’t set up as of this interview.

The collection is actually a benefit. For me. Before you say, “Don’t all books benefit the author?” allow me to explain. I received a kidney transplant earlier this year. It saved my life, for which I’m forever grateful. But the pills and procedures necessary to keep me going put me in a tough spot, especially since this economy isn’t helping my wife find work.

It’s like this. Proceeds from 4 Killer Crime Stories in 4 Minutes go toward drugs I need to keep my kidney healthy. Readers get the bonus of good juju with their crime fiction.

Outside of that, my debut crime novel, Cleansing Eden, will be published June 15, 2011, by Shadow Line Press. That seems light years away for this anxious author.

Where can people find out more about you?

My website is I highly recommend it as a time waster at work. I worked hard to make it that way.

And since you’re already wasting time at work on Facebook and Twitter, I’m on there, too. Plus, CrimeSpace and Book Town.

Anything else you’d like to add?

To prevent young Timmy from killing again, I had no choice but to include his letter in 4 Killer Crime Stories in 4 Minutes. The Midwest can sleep in peace again tonight.


Sheila Deeth said...

Watching out for those mongol hoards hovering round my bookshelves. Loved the interview!

Milton T. Burton said...

Good interviews. I especially enjoyed hearing about the creative process.