I have been waiting and waiting to do this Author Feature! It gives me great pleasure to share the work of my fellow blogger and author friend with my lovely followers today. He’s also been kind enough to sit in the hot seat and allow me to interview him about his new books. Yes–he is a brave soul indeed.
Please welcome author Ben Trube and his new book, Fractals: A Programmer’s Approach!
Genre(s): Nonfiction, Math
Description: “Understand and write your own fractal programs without the heavy math. Step by step C++ programs guide you through such topics as The Chaos Game, Affine Transformations, Turtle Graphics, L-Systems, the Mandelbrot set, and Julia set. Includes hundreds of fractal images, example programs, and detailed explanations of many fractal topics. Available DRM free in Kindle, Nook, and PDF formats. The bundle includes an additional 125 hi-res gallery pictures, nearly an hour of animation, and the bonus e-Booklet Fractals You Can Draw.”
Get it from Bundledragon >> http://bit.ly/15EEFNO
* These books will be available at other online stores soon! Follow Ben for updates!
Interview with Ben Trube
I first met Ben when I started blogging. His site offers a mix of writing advice, imaginative short stories, and a plethora of programming and formatting tips. So it’s no doubt I was able to sucker him into doing an author interview when his book released.
Thank you so much for joining us, Ben! Let’s get to it…
(Me) – For all us non-programmers in the world, can you explain what a fractal is?
(Ben) – Fractals are nature expressed as math. They are all around us, in the trees, in the mountains and up in the clouds. Fractals can help us describe a tree not just as the whole object, but from its trunk down to the tiniest branch. Fractals are amazingly complex, even though the methods we use to describe them are often quite simple. Fractals are diverse, not only the many different types of fractal shapes, but also how each of these shapes look the closer we examine them. This diversity is what lends fractals an artistic quality, particularly fractals like the Mandelbrot and Julia sets.
It’s interesting to see how closely related math can be to nature and art.
Tell us, who would benefit most from reading your books?
When asked who my audience is for the fractal book I always answer, “Myself ten years ago.” Fractals You Can Draw was written for a general audience, whereas Fractals: A Programmer’s Approach is geared toward people with an intermediate level of programming knowledge. That said there’s a lot for non-programmers to enjoy. The book has hundreds of fractal images throughout the text and the gallery and the bundle comes with even more, including nearly an hour of video. Even if you haven’t taken a math class in a while, and have never even thought about being a programmer, there’s something for you.
What made you want to write these books?
I’ve been passionate about fractals ever since I first learned about them. Doing “Fractal Week” on the blog last year reminded me of that fact. Fractals combine a lot of my passions, not just programming and writing, but also an artistic side which I don’t have a lot of other natural outlets for. There also seems to be a real lack of good fractal books written in the last ten years, and practically zero that are affordable in eBook form. I wanted to write something that would introduce the topic to a new generation of programmers, at a price that wouldn’t break the bank.
Finding a niche market is key – you’ve certainly done your research.
But which was your first love: writing or programming? And was it love at first ‘write’?
Definitely writing. Programming came along much later in my life. The first formal programming class I took was in high school. Writing, on the other hand, was in my DNA. I used to write “Detective Ben” stories in the first grade and have been writing pretty much non-stop ever since.
I can just picture a pint-sized Ben with a little magnifying glass, hunting for clues…
Now, what do you prefer to write more: fiction or nonfiction?
My answer to this probably depends on when you ask me the question. Right now I’ve been working on a non-fiction book for 14 months, and I’m itchin’ to write some fiction. But talk to me a year from now and I might want to be working on volume 2 of the fractal book. They each have their own challenges. This particular non-fiction project involved creating thousands of images, writing 30 or so programs, playing with eBook formatting on 5 devices, and a number of tasks too lengthy to mention here. But fiction involves rearranging or rewriting scenes, creating new characters and worlds, etc. So short answer: fiction (at least for right now).
I don’t think there is a writer on this planet that doesn’t have a million projects going, most of which are still in their head.
Now, it’s time to get a bit more personal… and maybe a bit weird…
If you were stranded on a deserted island for the rest of your life, what 3 books would you absolutely have to have?
I’d need three hefty blank notebooks, with plenty of pens. Not being able to write would drive me crazier than not being able to read.
You ain’t no fool! Now that’s passion!
Okay, my fingers are crossed that it never comes to this but… if you were on death row, what would be your last meal?
My wife’s lasagna.
Mmm–that sounds good. What time should I be over?
What is your all-time favorite movie? (You only get one!)
Apollo 13. It’s probably one of the things that inspired me to be both a writer and an engineer.
Most of my readers know I’m a bit of a car girl, so I’ve gotta ask… if you could have any car on the lot, what would it be and do you have a preference on color?
I’m probably driving it, a red Ford Taurus, with a gray interior. I love it because it’s OSU’s colors.
You and I need to sit down and have a serious talk about cars… soon. But you love what you love and who am I to argue?
And finally, Ben… what advice would you give to authors looking to publish independently?
Avoid the “self-published” look. Pay attention to the formatting of your eBooks and make sure your text has been thoroughly gone over several times by an editor. It will NEVER be perfect, but it can be professional.
Excellent advice – especially that last part.
About the Author
Ben Trube is a writer and programmer who blogs over at [BTW] Ben Trube, Writer. He lives in Ohio with his wife “the little red-haired girl” his dog Simon and cat Dax. Ben first discovered fractals in the 6th grade and has been creating images ever since. His noir, technological mystery, Surreality, is due for release at the end of 2013.
Connect with Ben Online:
Thank you so much for joining us, Ben. Best of luck to you with all your books!