Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Interview with non-fiction writer A. William Benitez

Non-fiction writer A. William Benitez is back on Reviews and Interviews. This time he's talking about his newest book, Relationship: Notes on Love, Mutual Respect,Boundaries, Marriage, and Divorce.

During this virtual book tour, Bill will be awarding 1 lucky commenter a $50 Amazon gift card. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit his other tour stops and enter there, too!

Welcome, Bill. Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
For more than 30 years I have operated one-person businesses. Twelve years of my life were spent managing federally-assisted housing programs for local government.

I established a small publishing company to publish the books and a monthly newsletter and did consulting and public speaking on housing related topics for agencies and organizations in cities across the country. I wrote and published nine guidebooks on the subject of housing rehabilitation.

When the federal housing programs dried up I owned and operated a woodworking business for over twenty years, first in Tampa, Florida and then in Austin, Texas. During these years I began writing books about my experiences.

In 2007 I established my present publishing company, Positive Imaging, LLC. To date I have published sixteen paperback books and over a half dozen e-books.
My computer experience dates back almost twenty years and began in response to poor technical support for our computer. I used home study to acquire A+ and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer Certifications.

I was born and raised in Tampa, Florida and moved to Austin, Texas in 1986, where I now live with my wife, Barbara Frances.

Please tell us about your current release.
When I decided to write this book on relationship, my wife Barbara was surprised and cautioned me by saying that she would not dare write such a book because it was such a varied topic with so many nuances. That scared me because she is certainly more qualified to write about relationship than I am. I hesitated for a while but then I jumped in.

I have written about relationship before but was not satisfied with the results but now, for some unknown reason, I felt ready to tackle this huge topic and feel good about this book. I don’t see myself as an expert on relationship but I definitely have a lot to share that may be helpful to others.

The book contains ten chapters including What is Love, What is A Good Relationship, Fostering and Nurturing Relationships, Harming Relationships, Mutual Respect, Boundaries, Marriage, Breakups and Divorce, Helpful Tips, Final Thoughts, plus a Preface and an Introduction.

What inspired you to write this book?
I was inspired to write this book some fifteen years ago when my wife and I were asked to talk to a group about our marriage experience. They wanted to know how we managed to get along so well. We made the presentation and everyone enjoyed it and there were many questions. I felt it would be a good subject for a book and I tried to do it several times but was dissatisfied with the outcome. Finally this year it came together and I wrote it.

Mutual Respect

After several conversations about respect I realized there might be some confusion regarding its exact meaning. It seemed like a good idea to address that confusion and settle on a clear definition of respect before writing this chapter. This turned out to be a task that was much easier said than done. It seemed that mutual respect would be an “I’ll know it when I see it topic,” and that just wasn’t good enough. I thought about it for a while and decided that I needed to look back to my past and do a little research before coming up with a meaning with which I was comfortable.

My first lessons in respect came from my father who commanded respect from everyone who knew him. He strongly believed that you never allowed anyone to take advantage of you or your family. He told me that, if anyone did attempt to take advantage or put you down, the immediate response had to hurt enough to ensure they would never do it again. Few people tried to take advantage of him, and no one did it twice. That may be a form of respect, but it seemed to cross over into fear and it didn’t seem a good lesson for mutual respect in intimate relationships.

As I looked back, many situations with family, friends, acquaintances, flirtations, and partners came to mind. Some were pleasant and definitely reflected mutual respect while others not so much. It was obvious there were many times when I could have been more respectful and brought about a better outcome. Even though no one can change the past, it can be a source of valuable lessons and helped to write a definition of mutual respect to share with others.

All those experiences over the years gave me many ideas about respect and by adding a small amount of research I realized that mutual respect had various meanings. Based on all of this effort I was able to develop a definition and when this book mentions respect it is based on that specific definition. I couldn’t come up with a short definition so here is a list that defines respect for my partner and others.

Regard your partner with consideration, appreciation, and acceptance just as she is, not as you believe she should be.

Accept and value your partner’s point of view even if it differs from yours.

Honor your partner’s right to privacy by not intruding, interfering, or spying.

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’m not working on a book right now even though I have several topic ideas. I have decided to focus on marketing my existing books for the rest of the year.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials asked me to write a book on housing I felt certain that I was a writer. This was when I first started writing and their request helped my confidence.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full time because I have a full time job as the IT Manager for a Hyatt Hotel. I write mostly in the afternoons, evenings, and on weekends. Since I love to write it’s not difficult to make time for it. What is difficult is to make time for marketing which is definitely not as enjoyable but just as necessary.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I’m fortunate that I can write even with interruptions. I can be in the middle of something and stop and then come back to the same place and move right on. It’s a real blessing.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an artist. I did well in art classes in school but I never developed it. I do have good design skills and design my own covers and handle some myself using Photoshop.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I hope that many of them will comment as I enjoy sharing with others and it would be a unique opportunity to discuss this subject.

All the information in this book is based on my first-hand experiences, a small amount of research, and discussions with other couples. I sincerely hope that you will find it of real value in your own relationships. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at: bill@positive-imaging.com

Thanks, Bill! Readers, don't forget about the giveaway! Use the form below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Mary Preston said...

I always like to know what inspired a book.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Unknown said...

Thanks so much for hosting my book. I look forward to comments and questions from your readers.

JB's Comments said...

Not only is your book a good read with valuable insights, it helps explain how you came to be so patient and supportive of those you mentor.

JHBaldus, Author, P.S. To The Beyond:Communicating with Your (departed)Loved Ones,JHBPressAustinTX204

Joel D Canfield said...

Lisa, thanks for hosting the good Mr. B.

Bill, I like your definition. It's a slippery job, putting into words what we all instinctively put in the "know it when I see it" box. Well done.

If the only people who wrote relationship books were those who knew all the answers, we wouldn't have any relationship books ;) One thing I enjoy in Critical Conversations is how each of the authors shared lessons learned from their mistakes.

Any author who claims to know it all about such a complex topic is fooling themselves or trying to fool us.

You're no fool.

Unknown said...

Thanks JB, patience has always been a full time task for me so I watch to make certain that I am being patient. It doesn't work all the time but it's better because I know that I need to watch it.

Unknown said...

Joel, Thanks for posting. The definition took a long time to develop but it was essential for the book.

With relationships as with all of life we have to be in learning mode all the time so that we do learn from our mistakes. And we will make mistakes. I've always felt that anyone who isn't making mistakes probably isn't doing anything.

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the interview!

Trix, vitajex(at)aol(Dot)com

Rita Wray said...

I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

Unknown said...

Thanks Rita,

I'm glad that Lisa selected the Mutual Respect excerpt because it is such a critical part of relationship.

From Head To Tale said...

I enjoyed the excerpt. Bill, has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer and book publisher?

bn100 said...

Informative interview

Serena S. said...

I looks interesting, a nice reading.

Unknown said...

Good Question Skeeter, I don't believe its changed that much. I have always tried to do work that I enjoy and writing and publishing has been the most enjoyable work I have done so I'm quite happy to continue doing it.

Unknown said...

Serena, I think you will find it interesting and perhaps even challenging. I hope you really enjoy it.

Lucretia said...

Bill, You are truly a Man For All Seasons! You have had so many varied life experiences and written about many of those adventures. I liked it that you have gotten to the "bottom line" of respect, and it can be applied to any relationship, not just partnership and marriage. You are helping to heal the planet one relationship at a time. Keep up the good work! I look forward to your next endeavor.

Unknown said...

Thanks Lucretia, I really appreciate your words and your support. I think others will find this book very useful and until Sept. 15th I'm offering an autographed copy for a special price and free shipping at my web site http://notesonrelationship.com .

Sherry said...

Rarely does one find a book that causes such deep personal introspection. I find myself returning to phrases at relevant moments in my everyday. I hope this material finds it's way into the hands of counselors and anyone wanting to have a more satisfying relationship. Great book.

Unknown said...

Thanks Sherry, I appreciate your words and sincerely hope that my book does help others to have happy and healthy relationships.