Interview With Ben Manning Author of The Vril Codex

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Writing short stories -Reading Agatha Christie- reading Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, “I Claudius” by Robert Graves. I adored the short stories of H.P Lovecraft and M.R James. I began writing poems and stories as a result. I studied English Literature at College. At university and Art school in Bournemouth (the top art school in Europe) I studied review writing and wrote for local magazines and websites. During the 2000′s I worked on architectural magazines. I was diverted from writing by studying acting and working in business. In 2007 I suffered a near fatal heart attack and have since concentrated on writing and developing The Vril chronicles series. I am near completing the sequel to “The Vril Codex” called “The Dresden Benefactor”. I was featured in 2010 on BBC Radio 4′s You and yours program regarding publishing and my first novel.

I teach and lecture about the romantic poets and do guided tours of the home of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. My literature tutor at Bournemouth Arts University was the architectural academic and author Gijs van Hensbergen. This month I was interviewed about my life and novels on BBC Somerset which also covers Dorset, Wales and the west of England.

Where do your ideas come from?

Edgar Allen Poe, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, George Orwell, Robert Bloch. Dennis Wheatley, Frederick Forsyth, Roald Dahl, Alfred Hitchcock, Rod Serling. Hammer Horror Films – Vincent Price Films. RKO – Universal Horror films. Amicus early seventies films such as “From beyond the grave” and “Asylum”, The Dr Phibes film series. “The Omen” film series is another influence. TV shows such as “The Twilight Zone” and Roald Dahl’s “Tales of the Unexpected” and “Alfred Hitchcock presents..

What surprising things did you learn while writing this book?

I was surprised there has never been a contemporary adult novel about Vril and the Nazi’s UFO ideas, or the Norse ancient myths. It has been vaguely alluded to, but all other similar books cover the spear of destiny or the Holy Grail. Other than Bulwer Lytton’s, 19th century novel, that partly inspired the Nazi’s, nothing has been written on Vril and the Nazi’s. I approached it as an escapist book but as I researched in libraries and conspiracy books by historians I found more to merit it as based in bizarre fact. However despite mentions of historical figures, mine are fictional characters.

Who will enjoy and benefit from reading this book?

Fans of Gothic Romance, the Supernatural, thrillers, Conspiracies Theories, love stories, New Age, Alternative/ Spirituality, the Paranormal, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Erotica, Crime, Adventure. Possibly a Dan Brown audience, though he wasn’t a direct influence, as he is part of a long tradition.

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