About the Author: Ben Filla

ben filla

Ben Filla, winner of Clermont County Public Library’s Short Story Contest.

Profile by: Adam Baker, Clermont Co. Public Library Communications Manager 

Story ideas come easy for Ben Filla, an instructor in the Business Information Technology program at UC-Clermont. However, it’s the follow-through that seems to give him the most trouble.

“I have many, many stories partially written,” Filla said. “Your contest was great in that it encouraged me to just go ahead and try.”

His passion for writing began about 10 years ago. Before moving to Batavia with his wife and five boys, Filla was an admissions counselor at Miami University Middleton. There, he started a film club on campus where he worked with students to create short films. However, his creativity didn’t stop there.

“I was left with a lot of story ideas, but a limited crew to get stuff made,” he said. “I kind of decided that maybe it’d be better to focus on stories, because writing, at least initially, requires just me.”

The idea for his winning entry, “Bobby Darin, Take Me Home” came to him during a recent car ride.

“Something triggered in me the question: What if I had a memory of a place with someone I loved very much, but could never go back to that exact moment in time?” he said. “How would I feel if it was impossible to relive it in the same way, with the same person?”

While crafting the story, he tapped into childhood experiences for inspiration.

“As a kid I’d tag along when my stepdad would take his mother to weekly doctor’s appointments and I remember thinking how fragile she seemed,” Filla said.

One memory in particular helped him paint a key scene at the end of his story.

“I used to play in an orchard just outside of Chardon, Ohio when I visited my grandma’s farm,” he said. “That whole area has grown up considerably, but you can still see the clock tower on Chardon Square from miles away.”

As for the Bobby Darin song he used in the story, Filla credits a little bit of fate for that.

“When I write I sometimes listen to music that I think fits the genre of what I’m trying to capture,” he said. “I was listening to big band music and just happened to hear Beyond the Sea at just the right time in my thinking process, and it seemed to pull it all together nicely.”

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