Retiree expands short story into a book.

A Pandemic Novel

LADWP: Late in 2020, LADWP Retiree Ben Alirez wrote a short story about the pandemic, and the story was published in Survival: Tales of Pandemic, an anthology published by the High Desert California Writers Club, to which he belongs.

“It was my intention to see the short story become a full-length novel,” he tells Alive! “Well, I’m happy to say that after 20 long months, I have finally completed it.”
Well done, Ben!

His new book, Embers of Innocence: A Novel, centers around three protagonists who are experiencing the onset of the pandemic and its impact on their lives. And since the story takes place in Southern California, there are some references to eating establishments in and around Los Angeles or sports teams.

Writing it “was quite challenging, certainly equal to anything I’ve ever undertaken while working in the City,” he continues. “But it was a labor a love from start to finish.

“Without question, writing continues to give me that sense of purpose I lost after retiring. And the fact that I can share messages of hope through my writing is just another way I can continue to be a civil servant (of sorts).”

Ben Alirez holds the anthology, Survival: Tales of Pandemic, published by the High Desert California Writers Club, in December 2020. He wrote a short story that was included in the anthology; the short story formed the basis of his new novel.

Ben retired from the LADWP in July 2018 with 33 years of City service.

The book is available on Amazon. Ben hopes to also offer an e-book in the near future.