AUTHOR INTERVIEW – BEN BURGESS, JR (Literary Fiction)
Welcome to Ben Burgess, Jr.!
Ben, we’re very happy you could join us. Please tell us about yourself, where you’re from/grew up/live now, what you do for fun, if you work at “day job”—you know, all that stuff that makes you interesting!
I grew up in Queensbridge which is located close to Astoria in Queens. I moved to Freeport, Long Island at the end of 7th grade.
I currently work in Law Enforcement. Being in that profession allows me to meet people every day, and it puts me in a lot of situations that are interesting and I can learn from them.
My favorite color is blue.
My favorite books are Richard Wright’s “Native Son”, Eric Jerome Dickey’s “Cheaters”, Milk in My Coffee”, and “Between Lovers”.
My favorite movies are Fight Club, Love and Basketball, He got Game, Forrest Gump, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Paid in Full, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Django Unchained, Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill volumes 1 &2.
My favorite actor is Brad Pitt.
Very interesting likes, Ben! When and why did you begin writing?
When I was in the 8th grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Marcus, gave the class a poetry assignment. My poem was on basketball. I don’t even remember what I wrote, but I remember my teacher was blown away by it. She encouraged me to keep writing.. She was one of my most influential teachers, and I promised her if I ever wrote a book, I would write a poem about the Holocaust for her (She was Jewish and had family in it) My dream was to write a book. I continued to write throughout high school and college. My college professors told me I had talent, so I decided to go to open mic’s and perform my poetry. Hearing people cheer for me and appreciate my words, inspired me to want to keep writing.
Some teachers are just born for the job, aren’t they? I’ll never forget Miss Shaughnessy. What is your genre?
I like to view my genre as pure Literary Fiction. My work has a little bit of everything, romance, general fiction, erotic fiction, and African American fiction. I hope to not become classified as purely African American Fiction because I want everyone and every race to enjoy my writing. I write about topics that I feel we all go through and can connect with.
What’s your process? SOP, well-devised outliner?
I don’t think I have a traditional process. I create stories in my head, then I write out my thoughts, and, as time goes on, I edit those thoughts and add to them. Most of the storyboards are created in my head.
What other writer inspires you? Your work?
My favorite writers are Eric Jerome Dickey, Zane, and Carl Weber. Reading their work always pushes me to want to be a better writer.
There’s nothing like a good influence, heh? What is your favorite work by you? And why is it your fav?
My favorite work would have to be my new novel “Monster” It’s my favorite work, because the main character is based off my life and experiences. I wanted people to learn that:
Every action has a consequence- It can be good or bad, but there is a result for everything we do.
We need to take time to truly heal emotionally and mentally after a break-up. If we don’t we are bound to bring that pain into future relationships.
We need to be conscience of our actions. We never know the effects they can have on other people.
Even the bonus poems in the back of the book were about topics that are important to me. This book was my most personal book.
Where does your character inspiration come from?
My character inspiration comes from people watching and observing friends, co-workers, and family. I think when you take the time to observe their mannerisms, listening to the way they talk, their characteristics and expressions, it helps you to write realistic characters that people can connect with.
Now for some writer trivia! What’s your best/worst experience as a writer
My worst experience as a writer was with my first published book “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange” I didn’t research self publishing enough. I relied too much on having the company edit my work and as a result I had to republish it twice to finally get it the way I wanted it. I learned the importance of patience, research, and the importance of hiring an editor before I publish a book.
Sounds like what we refer to as “vanity press” not self-publishing. Many of us have fallen for that trip—once! How about the best/worst writing advice you ever got?
My favorite author Eric Jerome Dickey, told me to never give up and continue to do what I love to do. He explained the importance of learning the craft and constantly reading other writers to learn different styles and techniques to form my own unique style. He also supported me by buying a copy of my book.
This had to put you on cloud 9. I got a Facebook response from Lisa Jackson once and felt like I’d hit the lottery. Yours is even better! What is your latest work?
My latest work is my new novel “Monster”.
What do you want your fans to know about you and your work?
I want my fans to know that this is my dream. I put my heart and soul into all of my writings. I constantly try to improve to become a better writer for myself and my fans.
Just for fun, tell us something about yourself that your readers don’t already know.
I’m really into fitness, and I plan owning my own gym sometime in the future.
Where can readers find out more about you and your work?