Redfield native publishes novel, holds book signing in Redfield
By Shiloh Appel
On Saturday, December 21st, Ben Armstrong, a 2007 graduate of Redfield High School and son of Denise Fliehe, held a book signing event at the Redfield Carnegie Library. During the event, Armstrong signed and sold copies of his newly printed novel, “Out of Time.” According to Armstrong, he sold approximately 20 books during the event. He also said he hopes to have more book-signing events in Redfield in the near future.
“Out of Time” is a story that pulls from some of Armstrong’s own memories and experiences growing up in Redfield and other areas in South Dakota, but also ads psychological time-traveling twists. According to the book’s synopsis, the story follows Daniel Williams, a man who has had the same dream every night since he was 10 years old. In the dream, he is transported back to 1965, a time before he was born.
“As time goes by, the dreams become less like a dream, and more like a reality. What do you do when your idea of reality is pushed to its limits? Daniel is living a life he doesn't quite believe is real anymore. These continuous dream states are forcing him to question every choice he makes,” states the book’s plot. “…He begins to get glimpses of a past that is unknown to him, and a future he wants no part of. As the dreams reach an ultimate level of realism, the disturbing truth will be uncovered.”
When asked why he chose Redfield as one of the settings for his novel, Armstrong replied that he has many good memories in Redfield.
“I consider Redfield my home town since I went to high school and graduated from there. That is where I grew up, really. My parent still lives in Redfield. It’s the closest connection I have. And I knew a lot of the landmarks, so it is just easy to write about, I guess,” said Armstrong. “I did a little bit of historical research. A good example is Leo’s Good Food. That is in [the book]. I had to research exactly when it switched. It used to be a bank. Leo’s used to be across the street, apparently, and that is when it used to be a bank. I needed to make sure that lined up to where my storyline was in the book.”
Armstrong said that parts of his book also take place in Fargo, North Dakota and fictional towns set in South Dakota that aren’t based on any real places.
“Obviously, none of the people in the book are real. It’s fiction. But a lot of it is based off of real people I know,” said Armstrong.
Looking back, it didn’t take him long to write “Out of Time.” Armstrong said he started writing in June of 2019 and published the book five months later on November 16th, 2019. What got him started was a novel by Stephen King.
“Honestly, I was just reading a novel one day (Salem’s Lot) and I just started to wonder if I could come up with enough of a plot to write a book. Honestly, that was the inspiration — just to see if I could do it,” said Armstrong.
The psychological thriller, which leaves readers on a cliff hanger, is the first novel Armstrong has ever written. The book is split into three parts with a total of 23 chapters. The paperback book is 274 pages and the hard cover is 242 (due to differences in margins and spacing). He is currently working on it’s sequel.
Copies of “Out of Time” can be obtained through Amazon, barnesandnoble.com, or by emailing Armstrong directly at [email protected] The Redfield Carnegie Library also has a copy available for check-out.