Interview Author Ben Stern
Interview Author Ben Stern
Q. Tell me about yourself?
A. I didn’t realize it until recently that Shel Silverstein’s Where The Sidewalk Ends was a huge influence on my early writing which was mainly poetry. I have been writing poetry consistently ever since reading it for the first time when I was 10 years old. Poetry has been an outlet for me for over 30 years, and becoming a published author has been a dream for almost as long.
I finished my first poetry book when I was in college, and dreamed up a scheme to get on Oprah's recommended list. However, the process of getting published was extremely difficult, and there was no Amazon back then. I spent 15 years after college working in informal education while continuing to write poetry.
Fast forward 20 years, and I am the father of four Princesses and a Superhero. Raising these five beautiful, smart, independent children has inspired and challenged me to use creative and original ideas to teach them important life lessons. During bedtime, my children didn’t prefer books, they preferred, “Stories from your head.” I had often thought of writing down these wonderful stories that my children would request night after night. It didn’t occur to me until we were on a drive that was way too long, that I created a story on the spot to calm down all of the “Are we there yet?”, “I’m bored”, “I’m hungry”, “I have to pee” coming from the back of the car. This was the moment Flip was born and the dream of becoming a published author became a real possibility thanks to Amazon's Self-Publishing program.
Q. What are your favorite books to read?
A. Honestly, reading to my children would be my first choice because they get so into it. I get to have fun with voices and it becomes an interactive book experience. After that, any Shel Silverstein book at any time. If I need something for a longer period of time, I prefer spies and crime novels like those by David Baldacci.
Q. Please tell us about your book and what it is about?
A. “Do You Have Any Patience?” is the first book in the Flip and Friends books series. My late brother, Philip (Flip) Stern was always the life of the party and doing everything possible to make people smile. The entire Flip and Friends series is named in his honor and memory. He also had a long struggle with Epilepsy and there is a link included in the book for our readers to donate to the Epilepsy Foundation in his name.
This first book was inspired by my 5 amazing children. As you can imagine, raising 5 kids takes patience from both the children and their parents. One long car ride and a little too many, “Are we there yets” spurred a moment of inspiration which is now “Do You Have Any Patience?” to teach them the importance of a little patience.
"Do You Have Any Patience?" is the first book in the Flip and Friends book series which is the story of Flip, an impatient, demanding little frog that wants everything NOW. He slowly learns the importance of patience and is sweetly rewarded. Parents, with this book, you will be able to clearly teach your child the importance of patience without the need for a lecture or punishment. The book is now available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch with more translations coming soon.
We have also had many of our readers reach out to us saying that the book was able to start the patience conversation, but what do they do next? In response, we just launched ThePatienceBook.com for parents, teachers, grandparents, and children to continue the work started with the book. ThePatienceBook.com has videos, activities, and resources for parents, teachers, children, and grandparents to continue the hard work of learning this invaluable life skill.
Q. What are you working on for 2022?
A. Books numbers 2, 3, and 4 in the series and their translations. Book #2 is already written and being illustrated as we speak. The story is focused on the importance of being able to get out of your comfort zone. This lesson is even more important nowadays when schools are closed and children are stuck at home. We will be putting our first coloring book as well as building a shop to help parents and teachers continue the hard work of teaching patience and turning children into successful adults.
Q. What advice would you give other Authors?
A. Don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged. Publishing your first book is just the beginning of the journey. Once you publish your first book and learn the process, let your writing machine take control. Books that you publish will be your legacy, and not many people are able to successfully join the author club. If you feel the desire to write and share your words, just do it.
Q. What is your favorite drink and snack when you are reading a book?
A. I am more or less a water drinker, sorry to disappoint. However, almost any flavor of Ben & Jerry's and a good book always hits the spot.
Q. What is your favorite coffee drink?
A. Believe it or not, I don't actually drink coffee! My father is 6' 1" and my mother is 4' 9", so I didn't do anything that may have stopped me from growing and coffee was on the top of that list. However, I do love coffee nips and coffee ice cream. So, I guess that makes my favorite coffee drink a very thick coffee ice cream milkshake.,
Q. What is your favorite book store and coffee shop?
A. I am a huge fan of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf out in California but for their Ice Blended drinks and not their coffee of course. As for my favorite book store, I would have to say any book store that has a great place to just grab a book and stay for as long as you want. I think a good book store should feel like an extension of your living room.
Q. Did you go to college to be a writer?
A. No, I did not. I have always been a writer but with all the free time that college provides, I definitely became a much more focused writer. However, I have found that each English professor has their own style of writing, and wanted you to adapt your writing to their style. This was extremely difficult for me to adjust to so instead this pushed me to challenge myself to become a published author one day.
Q. Where can people find you online?
Speaking Engagements: email@example.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/benstern