DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.
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.

I published my first book in 2008 entitled "Times Have Changed and Life is Strange. It is currently used in two schools on the Lower East side of Manhattan.

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.

I’m married to my wife Lauren and I have a daughter named Jaelynn.

DWED: Have you always aspired to publish a novel?
Yes, 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 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 publish 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. My first published book was “Times Have changed and Life is Strange.” It was a poetry book. I wrote a poem for Mrs. Marcus called “Holocaust” keeping my promise. The poem “Ugly” from “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange”, is the poem that inspired me to write “Monster” I reflected on my life, and felt this would be a good story that would teach and possible change people’s lives.

DWED: Would you say the journey to publishing was easy or hard? Why?

I would say the journey was difficult. When I first started to pitch my novel to agents, I was turned down left and right. I felt like I wasn't good enough. I felt like quitting. One agent finally talked to me, and told me that while my writing was good, it wasn't great. He told me to make it in the book business I needed to be great. I thought long and hard about just giving up on my book, but then I thought about all of my friends, and even some strangers that thought that my novel was really good. I reminded myself that this is my dream, my passion, and if I sold one copy or a million, I would publish this book. I learned more about my craft by studying books on writing. The fact that I accomplished my goals of finishing the book and publishing it is a success for me. I self-published the book, but I have been blessed to receive great reviews for it. People are actually getting the points of my book, and I'm so happy that I have written a book that people are enjoying. When strangers message me on Facebook and tell me how much my book has changed their lives or how much they enjoyed it, I think back to those times where I wanted to quit. I'm proud of myself for believing in my own abilities, and accomplishing my dream after going through so much rejection. I may never be number one on the New York Times Best Seller List, but the fact that I can have an impact on the people who have read my book, makes me extremely happy.



DWED: Who or what would you say inspired “Monster”?

"Monster" is based off my life and experiences. After enduring some pretty interesting experiences, I believe that "Monster" is a story that can benefit everyone and it's a story that needed to be told. I was inspired to write it to teach people. I feel that people can learn from my mistakes. I wanted people to learn that:

1.      Every action has a consequence- It can be good or bad, but there is a result for everything we do.

2.      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.

3.      We need to be conscience of our actions. We never know the effects they can have on other people.

4.      In order to move forward in life, we have to learn to let go of negativity, and to forgive ourselves.



DWED: How was the concept of “Monster” born?

The poem “Ugly” from “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange”, is the poem that inspired me to write “Monster” I reflected on my life, and felt this would be a good story that would teach and possible change people’s lives.

DWED: How does “Monster” stand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?

I think viewers will find that I poured my heart and soul into this book. I think people will realize that while I do what them to be entertained by the book, that I really want them to learn from it, and see that it is much more than smut. I think what makes my book stand out is its realistic dialogue, the lessons taught within the book, and it delves into the mind of why some men become womanizers.

DWED: At length how would you describe the feedback for “Monster”?

Monster is receiving great feedback. People from different states, even parts of Europe have emailed me (authorbenburgessjr@gmail.com)to explain how my book has changed their lives or they learned from it. To know that the words that I wrote can have such an impact on someone’s life, is an amazing feeling.

DWED: Would you say you have a unique style of writing?

I think I have a unique style because I try not to write about the typical urban fiction topics (Gangs, drug dealing, etc) there is nothing wrong with those topics, but I try to focus on things that almost everyone can relate to. I also like to share my poetry as a bonus in the back of my novels. I think it gives the reader a little more to think about and enjoy when the book is over.

DWED: what kind of messages do you try to instill in your writing?

The message that I try to instill in my writing is, as people we should always strive to be better. We should always want to become better versions of ourselves. I also want people to see that whether they like it or not, no one is perfect. At some point even the “good guys/girls” aren’t so good. I try to make my books very realistic.

DWED: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

I would say my favorite character would be Ken Ferguson, because his character was based off of myself, and my past experiences.



DWED: Who is your least favorite character in your book and why?

I would say my least favorite character would be Jesse because her character was based off of numerous people in my past who knew who to press my buttons and annoy me.



DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?

You can look forward to me constantly working on new books to stimulate people’s minds with. I’m working on my next book “Love and Happiness”, and I plan to have it published by February


DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?

I would say to never give up on your dreams. If you want to be a writer, learn the craft. Research, read other successful authors, learn what makes them successful, take a class, read books, but never give up on writing the story you want to tell. There will be times when you want to quit, when you feel like your work isn’t good enough, and you are just wasting your time. When you feel like that, work harder. Learn what you need to improve. Listen to criticism, even if some of it is not flattering. You don’t always have to apply everything you hear in regards to criticism, but it is important to keep an open mind and to not have pride block you from improving. We can always get better.



DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?

I currently don't have a website, but here are the links to my author page, and my Monster's fan page:

Monster's Fan Page

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Monster/231214637006067

Author Page

https://www.facebook.com/BenBurgessJr

These are the links where you can purchase the book:

Android Devices:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.impelsys.monster.android#?t=W251bGwsMSwxLDIxMiwiY29tLmltcGVsc3lzLm1vbnN0ZXIuYW5kcm9pZCJd

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Monster-ebook/dp/B00BNVG61C/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Barnes&Nobles:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/monster-ben-burgess-jr/1114313407?ean=2940016299143

Smashwords:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/283252 : Make sure the adult filter is off or you won’t be able to find the book

 




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