Benjamin Cross author of Colony
Author: Benjamin Cross

The Wordicle’s Author’s Leak presents

Benjamin Cross, and his incredible debut novel, “Colony.”

From the Avanti Centrae, multi-award winning & #1 bestselling thriller author:

Writing your first novel is always going to be an uphill struggle, not least mentally. You have no idea whether you’ll be able to finish it, whether it will be any good, or how it will be received. It’s what they describe in the industry as ‘writing into a blackhole’, and it’s one reason why finishing a book is so much harder than starting one.

Colony was written while I worked full time as a field archaeologist. Archaeology is a fascinating job, for sure. But it’s also demanding. Not just physically, but in terms of lifestyle too. The excavations take place in intensive bursts, involving long hours, a lot of travel and regular re-location to other parts of the country. There is no rhythm, and the all-important work / life balance just isn’t going to happen. Spoiler alert: these are some of the worst possible conditions under which to try and write a novel.

That said, I’m convinced that those same restless conditions also helped produce a better debut in Colony. Why? Because they forced me to develop a number of qualities essential for all new authors: self-belief, self-discipline, stubborn determination, rhino-thick skin, and an obsessive preoccupation with putting words on page. Put simply, they gave me a ferocious contempt for the ‘blackhole’.

The resulting novel is a fast-paced thriller, laced with action, adventure and suspense, and seasoned with a healthy dose of horror. True to the first rule of Writers’ Club, it is precisely the type of book that I like to read. But beyond the escapism, the twists, thrills and spills, there are also over-arching themes running through the novel, the main one being climate change.

The remote island on which the principal characters become stranded is in fact only accessible due to the recent, dramatic reduction in sea ice. While I’d stop short of claiming the novel as an allegory, it is fair to say that everything that happens (i.e. goes wrong) stems from this new and ‘unnatural’ accessibility, alongside the reckless determination of certain characters to exploit it.

More than anything though, my hope for Colony is simply that readers find it fun. And if it allows them to slip out of the humdrum present, to leave the rigor and mundanity of daily life behind and spend a few hours wandering the Arctic and wondering ‘what if’, then I couldn’t ask for more.

Colony is published in paperback and as an Ebook on 28th January 2021. It is available to pre-order now from all good bookstores and from the official website: If you’d be keen to read Colony, and you’re feeling lucky, then I’m currently running a GoodReads Giveaway, with 10 signed copies up for grabs.

Thank you, Benjamin, for that fantastic Author’s Leak for The Wordicle. Please support author Benjamin Cross by reading his fascinating book!

Available on Kindle.

UK link: Colony

“More than anything though, my hope for COLONY is simply that readers…slip out of the humdrum present, to leave the rigor and mundanity of daily life behind and spend a few hours wandering the Arctic and wondering ‘what if’…”

Benjamin Cross

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