MBA&M: Tell our readers a few tidbits about Ben Brown?

BEN: A few tidbits; let me see. Well, I was born in Reading in the UK, but for the past twenty two years I’ve lived in Perth, Western Australia.

I was diagnosed with dyslexia at a very early age, and left school all but illiterate. In fact, I only really learnt to read when I reached my late twenties. Basically, with the help of my wife, I used the internet as a teaching tool. Project Gutenberg proved invaluable during that time.

I’ve worked in construction since I was fifteen, I love the work, but writing seems to be taking centre stage lately.

I have a wife and two grown kids, all of whom fill my life with joy daily. I met my wife when we were teenagers, and we’ve never been apart since.

MBA&M: Where did your inspiration come from for “ENHANCED”?

BEN: I like exploring breakthroughs in science, and opportunities that are just over the technological horizon. With that in mind, I find the field of genetic engineering and stem cell research, particularly intriguing.

While rambling around the internet, I discovered some research carried out by scientists attempting to reverse engineer the DNA of chickens. They were endeavoring to turn some of the birds’ avian aspects back to a reptilian state; namely teeth.

This fascinated me. Then I thought; what if certain humans had ancient strands of DNA code, which when turned on, made them super human? Well, that idea blossomed into developing power hungry maniacs, and the trials of those who needed to stop them.


MBA&M: What where some of the challenges in writing this genre?

BEN: I’ve always liked science fiction and action books, so I decided to combine the two. The main challenge was …  I’d never written anything before; not even a postcard.

The story telling wasn’t the hard part; that was already in my head. The hard part for me was the mechanics of writing.

As I had no formal education on the rules of grammar, or how to write, the whole thing was an uphill battle. However, it was a battle I relished.

Every obstacle made me want to write all the more. Things like, learning how to use commas correctly and what an ellipsis was. All these types of things challenged me at every turn, but I loved the learning curve on which I had to travel.

“Enhanced” took me two years, and many rewrites to finish. Each and every edit taught me something new. The things I learned were invaluable.

Even now, I have to rely heavily on spellcheckers, and software. I have a text to speech application, which I use to read everything back to me as I write. Often my dyslexia causes me to make silly errors, which I wouldn’t spot on my own. So, at the end of each paragraph, I listen to what I have just written. It’s a slow job, but it works for me.


MBA&M: How much research went into writing “ENHANCED” and where did you go to get your information?

BEN: I researched “Enhanced” a great deal. Most of the scientific facts have been stretched for the purposes of the book, but they are all grounded in the truth. However, sometimes the internet came up short. A good example of this was when I tried to research the anointing of the sick, better known as, “the last rites”.

I tried to get accurate wordings for this off the internet, but I found too many conflicting websites. I’m not Catholic, so I didn’t know which site was correct. This left me only one option; contact the Catholic Church directly.

I found myself talking at length with a monk via email, it was quite a surreal experience, but rewarding. He explained the significance of the ritual, and the exact wording. That one piece of research, which features on only a few pages, took nearly a month to complete.


MBA&M: Ben, we realize you are from Australia? How hard was it to get your work across the way? Are there many cultural differences?

BEN: Again, the internet has played a big role in this part of my life. Every publisher in the world is only a few mouse clicks away.

I always wanted my books published as eBooks first; I have a sentimental connection with that form of literature. After all, I learned to read using eBooks.

Finding an ePublisher was much easier than finding a traditional one; but it was still no walk in the park.

Australian culture is a hybrid of the US and UK, so my work seems to find an audience in almost every country.


MBA&M: What is a typical writing day like for you?

BEN: Most of my real writing happens on a Sunday. I get up early, around 5.30am, and write for all it’s worth. I take breaks to watch a bit of TV, or listen to music, then back in to it again. During the week, I tinker with what I’ve written, fine tuning it.


MBA&M: Who was your favorite character in “ENHANCED”? Why?

BEN: There’s a character in my book called, Michael O’Kieth. He’s a Catholic priest who becomes corrupted; he’s one of my favorites. I think I like his ongoing struggle with what is right and wrong. He is one of my more conflicted characters.

When I first wrote him, I intended him to play a small role; but he grew on me. I found myself wanting to see what he would do in different situations, so his role grew.


MBA&M: Which character in “ENHANCED” do you most identify with? Why?

BEN: That’s a tough one; I don’t really see myself in any of them. If I’m forced to pick one, I’d say Victor Martinez. He’s loyal, committed and trustworthy. He’s the kind of guy who sees things through to the end, no matter what. I’m a bit like that.


MBA&M: If you could change the world, what would you change and why?

BEN: That’s a bit deep, I’d better go get a coffee and think on this one. Okay, my brain is full of caffeine, so here goes.

I guess I want what most people do, world peace, the end of hunger, global financial stability and the end of all madmen and dictators. As to the why, well that’s obvious; the world would be a better place without the Kony’s of this world.

In a way, my book deals with that last one. It has a small group of people fighting overwhelming odds. It deals with the issue in an entertaining way, but I do admire people who have the guts to fight for what they believe in. I think we can all do our bit in our own small ways. Giving to charity is the easiest, that’s what I do; I support with my money.


            MBA&M: Ben, do you have anything you would like to add?

BEN: Only this, thank you for having me, it was fun. Oh, and please go buy my book! J


Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to visit with us and our readers today!! We hope you will visit us again,soon!





Print Length:296 pages

Publisher:AKW Books; 1 edition (December 5, 2011)



Book Description(from Amazon)

Publication Date: December 5, 2011
2011 eNovel of the Year! [From a poll of readers on Facebook and Goodreads.]
Zac was just an ordinary man, in an ordinary town, with an ordinary life. He drudged through his existence with tedious resignation. That was, until he met the most beautiful woman he had ever seen, Lea Abella. He felt drawn to her, not just because of her beauty; she had something else. However, after she drugged him, and he woke in the secret lab of Dr. Henry Skinner, he felt those feelings may have been misplaced.
Zac had a rare and ancient DNA code, one that when unlocked by Dr. Skinner would enhance every cell in his body, changing him forever. Strength, endurance, senses, everything would improve immensely. In short, he would become — superhuman.
However, there was a catch. Dr. Skinner had carried out the unlocking procedure a number of times before. The first “subject” had been his son. He’d unlocked Dominic’s code in an attempt to cure his insanity. Instead, he unleashed the biggest threat to humanity the world had ever seen.
Dr. Skinner needed Zac’s abilities for one reason: he would be the only “subject” powerful enough to stop his son’s plans of world domination.
Zac, Lea, and a small team of crack soldiers, head out on a worldwide chase, a hunt that can end in only one of two ways: either stop Dominic and his band of enhanced psychopaths … or die trying. This fast paced, action packed novel travels the globe in an adrenalin-filled race against time. From the Berkshire Downs of the UK, to New York and Africa, the tale moves from one breathtaking battle to the next.


We hope you have enjoyed our visit with Ben Brown. Please spread the word!


As always,dear readers,thank you for spending time with My Book Addiction and More and our guests!!



Our “Thoughts” on “Enhanced” by Ben Brown!



  1. Thank you for an interesting interview and kudos to you for teaching yourself to read. To be honest, I don't normally read science fiction, but I think ENHANCED sounds like a good read. May have to expand my horizons!!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the interview; I know I did. Learning to read certainly opened the world up to me, I wish I'd mastered it sooner. You may be interested to know; I also have another book out called, Pohon Setan. It's received some really nice reviews.


  2. What a great interview! MBA&M, I always enjoy your interviews so much; you ask such insightful questions, and then throw some fun ones in there too! Mr. Brown, I am very inspired by your story and pleased that you are so open to sharing that with others. As someone who has devoured books since I learned to read at age 2 (no kidding!), I am reminded that others do not have it so easy and that many struggle with something that I take so much for granted. I'm so happy to hear that your lovely wife (she sounds lovely!) helped you learn to read and to deal with your dyslexia. And how cool that you were able to use ebooks available freely via Project Gutenberg to do so! I also love hearing how you deal with your dyslexia today, and those "simple" mistakes you might otherwise miss, by using a program that reads your writing back to you – very, very cool. Anyway, I was very inspired by your story – and can't believe it "ONLY" took you two years to write "Enhanced"!! I am really looking forward to reading it – I am a huge sci-fi fan and it sounds wonderful.

    Thanks again for the great interview!

    1. OH, and I just realized I had already bought your other book, "Pohon Setan," yay! I'll be moving it up closer to the top of my (interminably long) TBR list! 🙂

      1. I wrote Pohon Setan as a gift to my daughter on her nineteenth birthday, she is the main character of the book. She loves horror, so I thought it would be cool to write something where she got to fight the things of the night. She loved the book, and urged me to publish it, so I did. Others seem to have enjoyed it as much as she. I’ve had great feedback in the form of reviews and people contacting me via twitter.

        If any of you out there wish to contact me on twitter, look for @beninoz.

    2. When I was young, reading never seemed that important to me. I always knew that I would work for my dad, so I let my dyslexia win. I spent much of my school life just messing around and getting into trouble.

      It really wasn’t until I had kids, that the urge to read took hold. I wanted to read to them at night, but couldn’t. That’s when I think I really decided to learn, and put all my efforts into reading. It took a long time to grasp the basics, so instead of reading to them; I used to make stories up. Their favourite character was, Fairy Plumpip and her dog Guff. Every time Guff barked, it smelt like someone had broken wind. 

      Teaching one’s self to read has its limitations. Punctuation and grammar were always a mystery to me. The next logical step was to start writing, learn through doing. So, one Sunday I sat down and just started writing, Enhanced was born.

      Don’t get me wrong, I had a lot of help along the way. My long-suffering editor, Al Kalar, had the patients of a saint. I also got a lot of help from one of his other writers, John Bowers. Both men really showed a lot of kindness to a dyslexic brickie.

      I don’t think I could have written a book, if not for today’s technologies. Computers, spellcheckers and text-to-speech software, all make the journey a little less bumpy.

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