Can you please tell us who is Ben Burgess Jr.
I'm a father, a poet, an author, a teacher, a personal trainer, and a Detective for NYPD. I wear a lot of hats because I like to uplift and help people.
What was your inspiration behind Wounded?
I was working on another novel, my next novel "Love and Happiness" when my co-workers told me I should write a book with a Lesbian protagonist. At first I thought it wouldn't be possible since I wasn't a woman and knew nothing about being Gay or the LGBT community. After going to a Lesbian bar with them and talking to the women there, I decided to work on the book. I did a lot of research. I talked to fifteen women on top of the five couples I interviewed, to hear their thoughts, feelings, and philosophies about being a Lesbian. I listened to their joys and pains. I also mixed some of my family into my characters to add drama and heart to them . "Wounded" was the hardest book I have written so far. With "Monster", it was easier because 90% of that story was about me, but this story was a whole different world for me. It was both challenging and exciting at the same time.
What do you wish more people knew about the publishing side of things?
There is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into every book especially if the author is self-published. Reviews are important. Word of mouth is important and every time a person reads a book in its entirety, likes the book, and returns it anyway, that's a slap in the face of that author who worked so hard to produce that book.
What would you consider your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is my daughter Jaelynn. She is my motivation and inspiration for everything. Everything I do, is to give her the best possible life I can provide.
Do you have a philosophy by which you live?
Ten (2) letter words. "If It Is To Be It Is Up To Me" I think that we all possess the ability to do anything we put our minds to. Through hard work and dedication, I think we all can accomplish great things.
This is actually really important for me. I want to inspire people. I want people to know that I got rejection letters from publishers and agents who told me that my first book "Monster" was too dark. Despite being rejected countless times I self published and won two book of the year awards for the book. I want people to say one day "I'm going to be a successful author. I might be self published, but my book will reach people and help to change the world just like Ben Burgess did" I would love to be successful enough to make an even bigger impact on supporting urban neighborhood than I do now. I want to raise children that all contribute to improving society and the world. I have a lot of work to do to bring this legacy into fruition, but I'm down for the challenge.
How important was a "platform" in selling your books?
It's very important. As a self published author, I have to do everything possible to reach my fans and potential fans. As an author, you need to have ways that you can interact with people... I like people to see that I'm not just some robot trying to get them to buy my books. I answer questions and give advice when asked. I feel being involved with your fan base like that, strengthens the bond that you have with them.
Do you have book signings coming up where readers can meet you?
I don't have a venue yet for "Wounded" but , I plan on setting something up within the next couple of weeks.
Can you tell us about your upcoming project(s)?
My next project is called "Love and Happiness" It is a sort of spin off from "Monster" based off a character named Karen that was one of Ken's clients in that book. A sample for "Love and Happiness" can be found in the back of "Wounded" *All of my books are connected in some way. For example in "Wounded" Ron is friends with Dr. Andrews. They were in the same Fraternity and roommates. Also the characters Will and Lou make a cameo in "Wounded" they are in the next book "Love and Happiness" I like all of my books to share the same universe.
What advice do you have to an aspiring author?
There will be lots of times when you want to give up. There will be times when people talk bad about your book or sales might be low. Never give up. Believe in yourself and believe in your work. Learn from your mistakes. Learn your craft by taking classes and reading other authors. Research the industry. Two of the most important things: Find a credible editor and promote, promote, promote. You have to put your heart and soul into your work. While it will be hard and you will go through trials and tribulations, in the end it is worth it when your book is entertaining people and it is successful.
SYNOPSIS: Samantha Miller didn't have an easy start. Molested as a child and subsequently forced into prostitution by her drug-addicted mother, Samantha learned at an early age that men were not to be trusted. Being constantly preyed upon taught her to be a predator. Her target was women-specifically, straight or married women. As the headliner at a local strip club, Samantha capitalized on the gifts she was cursed with. In turn, her life quickly spiraled down a dangerous path of violence, seduction, and exploitation. When Sasha is brought on as the new bartender, she becomes Samantha's newest target. The last thing Samantha anticipated was falling in love. When tragedy strikes, what was once a challenge may prove to be her downfall. Can Samantha heal from her abusive past, or will she always be Wounded?
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Ben Burgess Jr is the author of the award winning novel "Monster", the poetry book "Times Have Changed and Life is Strange" and the new novel "Wounded" He is an active performer of spoken word poetry. Ben Burgess Jr uses his love of writing to inspire and influence youths to strive for what they believe in, and to never give up on their dreams. His poetry book "Times Have Changed and Life is Strange" and his novel "Monster" are currently used in schools on the lower east side of Manhattan. Ben Burgess has a BA degree in Business Management, and a MA degree in Educational Leadership. He is the proud father of his daughter Jaelynn and is active in trying to improve urban neighborhoods and communities.