Creative Writing

Interview: Jason Hewitt – author, playwright and Bath Spa alumni

March 16, 2018

Charlee Rowe and Jess Silvester-Yeo meet the author of The Dynamite Room 

Jason Bennett has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University, where he now teaches. He also has a BA in History and English from the University of Winchester, and trained in drama to become an actor. He has appeared in several plays, including Pericles and A Christmas Carol. However, if you have ever seen him on stage you might not recognise the name…

“I chose the pen-name ‘Jason Hewitt’, as Bennett was already taken by a previously established actor, and I needed a unique name,” Jason says. However, beyond just a name, it’s clear that the concept of another identity is something that interests him.

Jason has a passion for writing stories focused on the Second World War. He says that for him, it was a way of escaping into another world. He also finds that writing suspenseful contemporary novels is much harder, as new technology broaches more problems in his storylines.  

“In The Dynamite Room, Lydia gets kidnapped. If the book was set in the modern day, she could just text or call someone for help”

Jason’s love of history is partly what inspired him to write these novels – Agatha Christie’s books were one of his first loves. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks and Atonement by Ian McEwan are also key influences. “Although, as an author, this is not enough to be able to write a novel,” he says. “You will find inspiration in everything around you.”

The Dynamite Room was long-listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Authors’ Club First Novel award. Critics claim it to be ‘Ambitious and often gripping, with a tense and dramatic climax…’ (The Observer). His books are popular in both the US and Canada, as well as the UK. He is also the author of Devastation Road.

Find out more about The Dynamite Room and Devastation Road on Jason’s website

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