My latest interview is with Bennie L. Newsome who lives in Birmingham, Alabama where he works as a full-time writer. At the moment, he makes little to no money, but he loves the job. He has several short stories published (Unholy Alliance-published in the anthology, Halloween Frights: Volume 3 was nominated for a Pushcart Award), a few more scheduled for publication, and two novels scheduled for the 2012 calender year. His hobbies include: writing, drawing, reading (He loves Stephen King, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Terry Goodkind), and video games.
Books & Writing: What’s the first thing that you remember you wrote?
Bennie L. Newsome: The first thing I ever wrote was a poem called, The Potter's Work. Back when I was a teenager, all I wrote was poetry (even won a poetry contest in high school), but one day my desire for poetry died away so I switched over to writing short stories.
Books & Writing: I understand you write fiction and horror stories. What attracts you to both genres?
Bennie L. Newsome: I love writing fiction because it gives me an escape from reality, while allowing me to use my imagination. And I've always wanted to write horror after reading my first Goosebumps book by R.L.Stine back when I was ten-years-old.
Books & Writing: Do you write in other genres, too?
Bennie L. Newsome: I prefer to write horror and humor. I write a lot of Christian horror, however, and my newly accepted novel, Life is no Fairy Tale, is romance. Romance is far from my norm, but the story came to me and I wrote it.
Books & Writing: What attracts you in short stories, because you have written a few short stories I believe.
Bennie L. Newsome: My goal is to be a novelist, but I started writing short stories to create a decent reputation in order to attract a literary agent. I still don't have a literary agent, but I've found a new love in short story writing. Short stories also give me faster results, whereas, a novel can take anywhere from a few months to years to complete.
Books & Writing: What is the first book you wrote and where did you get the inspiration from to write it?
Bennie L. Newsome: My first completed book was called, The BoogeyMann, which is scheduled for publication in March of 2012. I came up with the idea for The BoogeyMann when I was thinking about how I would discipline my children when the time came. I thought about hiding under their bed and scaring the living daylights out of them if they misbehaved, or maybe hide in their closet. I thought that was the coolest, and most hilarious idea ever, but I also realized that it could be constituted as child abuse. Therefore, I decided to let a fictional character carry out my fantasy.
Books & Writing: Life is no Fairy Tale, a Young adult novel will get published I read on your website. Can you tell us something about the novel?
Bennie L. Newsome: Life is no Fairy Tale was inspired by the Grimm's brothers, Rapunzel. After reading the real tale of Rapunzel, I thought, Oh, that was a horrible story! The prince lost Rapunzel, and when he came across her at last, she had two children by another man. It reminded me of modern day relationships, so I wrote a contemporary, romance story from a man's point of view. It's about a man who falls in love, it doesn't work out; he falls in love with the same woman later on in life, and it fails once more; then they finally get it together in the end. My novel is basically how life is no fairy tale, but the plot is parallel to Brother Grimms', Rapunzel.
Books & Writing: If you could be one of your characters for a day, who would you be and why?
Bennie L. Newsome: If I could be one of my characters for a day, it would be Joshua Dobbs from my unpublished novel, Agape. Joshua is a half demon, half angel being and I think it would be cool to be him so I could fly around. I wouldn't want to fight demons like he does, I'm too scary for that, but I would like to sprout wings and fly.
Books & Writing: What is the last book you read?
Bennie L. Newsome: The last book I read was Cujo by Stephen King, back in November 2011. I never saw the movie, so I finally decided to see what the story was about. I love Stephen King's work.
Books & Writing: Where can people go and read your work?
Bennie L. Newsome: I post excerpts of my work on scribd.com and the prelude to Life is no Fairy Tale can be found on OrganicsEternal website. Anthologies containing my work can be found on amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online bookstores.
Books & Writing: Where can people find you on the internet?
Bennie L. Newsome: I'm on twitter under @BLNewsome, facebook: Bennie Newsome, and facebook fan page: Bennie L. Newsome, Writer and Graphic Designer. They can also find me at my website: bnewsome.yolasite.com
Books & Writing: Which writer(s) inspires you?
Bennie L. Newsome: R.L.Stine and Stephen King are the writers that inspire me. I want to write as well as Stephen King and bring a bit of magic to young readers like R.L.Stine did for me way back when.
Books & Writing: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Bennie L. Newsome: Never give up! I've had rejection after rejection before my first acceptance, and before that acceptance, I was ready to call it quits. I still have the occasional rejection and I haven't made it big yet, but I am now confident in my skills and I've learned that the writing field is very subjective. My work may not be one person's cup of tea, while another may love it. So my tip for any writer is to never give up and find your audience.
Thank you Bennie for answering my questions!
Below is an excerpt from his soon to be released book "The BoogeyMann".
Cruel and Unusual
“Excerpt from The BoogeyMann”
By: Bennie L. Newsome
1340 18th Ave. South Apt. C-8
Birmingham, Alabama 35205
The full moon hung ominously in the frigid, night air. It happened to be the only source of light for one little girl who was wide awake in her twin size bed. The five-year-old, Chloe Mann, watched as the bare tree outside her window, performed an eerie shadow puppet show upon her wall; the unsettling stick figures reminded her of characters from a Tim Burton film.
Eventually, Chloe tired of staring at the repetitive act performed by Old Man Birch, so she tore her gaze away from her bedroom wall and looked over to where her older sister slept in a similar bed just a few feet away. Heavy snores came from that direction; the kind of snores that made Chloe wonder how come Kayla never woke up with nose bleeds.
Sounds like a chainsaw that’s off a ways, Chloe thought to herself, and it did.
The snoring was undoubtedly disturbing to the toddler, but she did envy one thing about her sibling, Kayla. Her older sister was asleep. A peaceful slumber, that’s what Chloe desired more than anything at that moment, but there was…a problem. The sound of heavy breathing coming from beneath her bed was keeping her up.
“Momma!” Chloe yelled for the second time that night. “Daddy!”
The terrified child laid there, wrapped tightly in her blanket, and listened.
Chloe heard a murmuring noise caused by a slight breeze that blew beneath the eaves of the house. Crickets filled the night with their incessant chirping, a car whooshed down the main street that sat just beyond their front yard, and the breathing under her bed continued; however, there was no response from her parents. Her shouting had not even wakened Kayla who was still working on that nose bleed.
I’m gonna have to make a run for it, Chloe thought as she began estimating the distance from her bed to the bedroom door. She was going to have to make a giant leap, because everyone knew that monsters who lay beneath the bed had gigantic hands that delighted in grabbing dainty little ankles like hers. It was a scientific fact. Therefore, Chloe did not want her feet to touch down anywhere near her bed.
After a moment or two, Chloe had devised a rather foolproof plan; which involved leaping from her bed, sticking the landing right before the bedroom door, snatching open said door, then dashing down the hallway for dear life. The escape she had in mind would only take a couple of seconds, and then she would be in the safety of her parents’ huge, cozy bed. No monsters would dare bother her there. The things that went bump in the night seemed to do their foul business everywhere except parents’ bedrooms. Of course, that did not seem the least bit fair to Chloe, but it was another one of those scientific facts of life.