Thursday, October 23, 2014

Interview with literary fiction author Benjamin W. DeHaven

Today’s special guest is literary fiction writer Benjamin W.DeHaven, and we’re focused on his new book Confessions of a Self-Help Writer.

During his virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions, Benjamin will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to one lucky winner plus FIVE signed hard copies (US only) of his novel to even more winners. 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!

A Graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, Benjamin DeHaven keeps his heart in Chicago and his soul in New Orleans. He holds a MBA from Tulane and a film degree from Columbia. Once ejected from a community college for arguing Frost cried out for acceptance in Birches, he has since written screenplays, traded futures in Madrid, and was Editor in Chief of the Nola Shopper Newspaper, a free art newspaper and the 2nd largest monthly paper in the New Orleans, MSA. He also has a "shout out" in a Jay "Z" Song.

DeHaven, who currently resides in Las Vegas began his writing career with Stone United, a Chicago based Film Company, which works primarily in independent film. As an unknown fiction writer, he feels the best description of himself is a sarcastic one and is as follows:

Benjamin W. DeHaven was born on a pool table after a Waylon Jennings' concert in 1977. His personal success is outweighed only by his stunning good looks and adherence to unwritten moral guidelines. He has been described as a thinking man's Tucker Max as well as an idiot's Hunter S. Thompson. His goal is to die from an unwavering commitment to be more like Hemingway.

He and Michael Enzo were friends

Blurb about Confessions of a Self-Help Writer:
A ghost, a philanthropist, a con man, a devout Catholic, a gigolo, a savior, an heir, a common man, and an addict are just some of the words used to describe Michael Enzo, who some sources credit with ghost-writing more than 108 self-help books on behalf of celebrities, politicians and business leaders. After failing to make what he considered to be a positive impact on society he began to destroy those closest to him including Benjamin DeHaven, the author of this book, and former collaborator. Defrauding an industry for almost 20 years by exploiting people's insecurities and profiting from them, more than likely these friends contributed more to the field of self-help, while profiting from it, than they will ever know. Believing they could only understand people's problems by suffering along with them, they lived on the razor's edge. If you've ever picked up a tell-all biography of a celebrity or a title from the self-help section at the bookstore, certainly you would question the source. This is an inside look at the mind of Michael Enzo and it is the author's hope that people will start helping themselves again after reading it. Discover what turns someone from preaching salvation towards seeking its destruction. You won't believe this could be true.

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
No. About 3 years ago I quit a dream job to come home and help my mom who suffers with Lupus. I took another job running a mechanical company, but roughly 2 years ago, my doctor accidently sent a letter to the employer saying I had Narcolepsy, which was a disability. It was a disaster, because the employer assumed I was going to sue him for something and he reacted by forcing me out and screwing up my insurance. I had just finished a trial about the character in my book, Michael Enzo. And was immediately thrown into another with the Department of Labor suing my employer. So 2 years ago was at a pretty low point, but it was also the time I was writing the most. Plus 2 years ago, Confessions was just an idea.

Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
Sure, lots-I wrote a screen play about Solipsism and for a while toyed with the idea that I was the only thing and everything thing else was a creation of my mind. Other than Descartes, it’s the only philosophical theory than cannot be proven or disproven to satisfaction.

Do you have any phobias?
I’m definitely a germaphobe.

Ever broken any bones?
I broke my ankle playing basketball in high school. Which was a blessing because I had a lot of time to read and get into theater

Any weird things you do when you’re alone?
I compulsively clean and throw out everything I own.

What is your favorite quote and why?
Do I have to pick just one? –My favorite motivation is probably “If” by Kipling, and “The Courage of Conviction” by Rita Mae Brown. I read them over and over again when I need strength.

"It is not only the leader of men, statesman, philosopher, or poet, that owes this bounden duty to mankind. Every rustic who delivers in the village alehouse his slow, infrequent sentences, may help to kill or keep alive the fatal superstitions which clog his race. Every hard-worked wife of an artisan may transmit to her children beliefs which shall knit society together, or rend it in pieces. No simplicity of mind, no obscurity of station, can escape the universal duty of questioning all that we believe."
—W. K. Clifford, “The Ethics of Belief”

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”

Some of my favorite quotes are from the Confessions of a Self-Help Writer project:
“Beware of people who say “I love you” without hesitation. They’ve had a lot of practice saying it.” (confessions of a Self-Help Writer)
There are signs everywhere. The secret is reading them
It’s good to ask questions that make people uncomfortable
Your reality can be as beautiful as you imagine it.
Escape is impossible without knowledge.
It’s easy to sell people with a glimmer of hope.
Self-destruction is inevitable because existence is a full-time job. #confessionsofaselfhelpwriter
When you bargain with yourself, you always lose


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Unknown said...

Thanks for Having me today Lisa! I really enjoyed the questions you selected and hope some of your blog's fans can win an amazon Gift Card or Two!

Rita Wray said...

I like the blurb.

Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

bn100 said...

Interesting info

Mary Preston said...

An interesting interview.