Originally from Arizona, Ben Martin currently lives in Japan. He was a semi finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest with the manuscript for Samurai Awakening, which placed in the top 1% in the Young Adult category.
"Martin scrupulously details the elements of David's apprenticeship, and his familiarity with Japanese customs and myth lends verisimilitude [...] Martin's writing is richest when conveying David's initial disorientation as an outsider in a new environment." --Publishers Weekly "Due to the author's firsthand experience as an American living in Japan, David's feelings of isolation as he attempts to adjust to new surroundings ring true, as do the details of school life. Dialogue printed in Japanese characters adds a pleasing note of authenticity, and the novel's rural setting will appeal to readers who seek to know Japan beyond Tokyo." --School Library Journal "When a typical American boy spends a year in Japan on an exchange program, he's expected to have his mind opened to new experiences. In Samurai Awakening, young David Matthews achieves that and more--for a price. A new entry in the young adult paranormal category, Benjamin Martin uses Japanese culture and history to build quite a compelling tale." --McClatchy News Service "David is an engaging character whom readers will easily identify with as he struggles to overcome his own fears and doubts to find his inner strength. Although the book culminates in David saving a damsel in distress, Martin creates a strong female counterpart to David in the character of a female warrior. An imaginative take on the triumph of the underdog." --Booklist "Youngsters who enjoy exciting adventures based on Japanese legends and folklore will undoubtedly like reading this book. The book moves rather slowly for a time, but the ending is certainly action-packed." --HomeSchoolBlogger.com