Joe Bendoski studied psychology in college and was fascinated by all the insights it provided into human behavior, only to realize most the information never reach people, and when it did, rarely was it in a form that allowed for practical application. He started writing non-fiction, but soon came to understand how few people read that genre and began the difficult transition into fiction writing. His non-fiction works include; the Chemistry of Attraction and the Language of Emotion. 
He worked as the head writer for the television show ‘Saved by Grace.’ After being frustrated with comments like "make this scene cheaper," "What's my motivation?", and "Do we need this scene?" he decided to go in to literature.
His latest book is the thriller/espionage/conspiracy/historical novel, When the Sky Falls.



Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book? 

I heard a podcast on the 1938 war of the worlds scare. They discussed the research findings, and they mentioned the conclusion: that it would never happen again. But it did, only six years later in Chile, and again in 1948 in Ecuador. That’s what really got me interested. I wanted to know what they missed, why they kept occurring. I spent six years in research trying to put it all together. Orson Welles told the world the proverbial sky was falling, and they believed him. My book is all about how that is possible. It’s fiction though, so there is a story to help carry the reader through the ideas and
understand them better as they are played out by the characters.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers? 

The hardest part was figuring out a way to deal with all the information. The psychology behind the concept is very complex, and I realized very early if I put in all the studies and history it would drown out the narrative. So, I came up with the idea of the chapter headings. They detail events in the history or specific science experiments that illustrate a piece of the puzzle. Everyone who has read the book says the headings are their favorite part.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish? 

I went indie. When I pitched a book 8 years ago, I was offered 40k with 16% royalties, but for this one, I was offered 1,000 with 7% royalties. The choice was clear at that point. Most publishers now require their authors to do a lot of self-promotion on social media just like an indie. At that point, I couldn’t see a reason to go traditional anymore. If I’m doing all the promoting of an indie, why are they taking the lion’s share of the royalties?

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published? 

The impact of the cover. I got the exact cover I wanted, but soon realized it was miss communicating my genre. I have hired several people, and honestly, the best cover I’ve gotten is the one I had the least amount of say on.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published? 

I’m working on a prequel to this book that will look at propaganda in Germany just before the Second World War is about to start. I think history allows us to study ideas in a different light, take them seriously when otherwise people wouldn’t. The concept of a sky fall event seems unbelievable until you look at the history and see just how often it has worked. As to when it will be finished all depends. I was hoping to do something short, not longer than 40k words, but I won’t know until the first draft is finished.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people? 

That the 1938 war of the worlds scare was not one of a kind.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book? 

The power of media persuasion, and how it works, along with the importance of media literacy, so people are not swept up by the influential techniques.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words? 

As any writer does, I write the kind of fiction I want to read, filled with real science, and real history, the kind of story that can change the way you see the world.

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