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If I Want The World To Change

Ben Burgess Jr. Author Interview

Mothers Vol. 1 follows a widowed mother of two boys who is working in a job she hates while caring for one child with cancer and the other who feels neglected. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

I based some of the story and characters on my mother, other mothers I’ve met, and my earlier childhood. This story was needed because I believe there is a negative stigma about single mothers and people who live in and/or come from housing projects. While impoverished areas might have higher crime and negative aspects than some areas, good people live in and come from these areas too. My main goal with every book I write is to improve race relations. If I want the world to change, I have to help it change, and I’m trying to do that with my writing.

What were the morals you were trying to capture while creating your characters?

There were a lot of morals to the story, but a few are: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Always think before you act. Your actions have consequences.

What was the chosen theme of the novel or did it develop organically as you were writing?

The theme was to honor single mothers. Juanita is a widowed single mother working a job she hates to provide for her two sons. Tracy is a single mother working nights at the hospital as a nurse’s aide to provide for her twins, Akeem and Ebony. Unfortunately, the father of her two children abandoned his responsibilities and enjoyed street life more than being a father, leaving Tracy to pick up the slack alone. Debbie is the only Caucasian mother in the novel, but she represents that single mothers come in every race, shape, and kind. She has Multiple Sclerosis and still struggling to raise her only son to be a man alone after her husband left her because he didn’t want to be a father. (This also shows that situations like this happen to every race and is just the typical stereotype for minorities) It is one thing to be a mother taking care of a sickly child, but to be a sickly mother that has to muster up the energy every day to raise your children takes strength and fortitude.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

The next book I am working on is Mothers Vol. 2 which will be somewhat of a sequel to my novel “A Father’s Sacrifice: Daddy’s Girl. I’m a huge perfectionist when it comes to my writing, so I hope to have it finished in a year or two.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

In 1995, tragedy struck when Maurice Wilson returned home from the grocery store and was killed by a stray bullet, leaving his wife, Juanita, a widowed single mother of two. Having no life insurance and barely any savings, Juanita is forced to sell what few valuable items she has to give her husband a decent burial. With her husband no longer around as the primary breadwinner and without his salary, Juanita struggled to financially keep her and her children’s heads above water, but she managed to survive.
Tragically, two years following the death of her husband, her youngest child is diagnosed with cancer, leaving Juanita deeply in debt due to copayments for treatments, surgeries, prescriptions, and transportation to and from her job and doctors’ visits. Overworked and underpaid, Juanita works a job she hates at the prestigious law firm of Wayne, Rothstein, and Lincoln to provide for her children. When her oldest child, Jalen, begins to feel neglected because his mother cannot afford to buy him the things he wants, constantly works overtime, and is always taking care of his younger brother, he is lured by the streets and a local drug dealer named Drastic. Will Jerami, Juanita’s youngest son, survive cancer? Can Juanita endure being drowned in debt and working a stressful job? Will her eldest son, Jalen, continue to be drawn to and consumed by the streets? Mothers, Vol. 1, is the riveting prologue to the award-winning novel, Defining Moments: Black and White, about a mother’s bravery and fortitude to do whatever is necessary for her children.

Mothers Vol. 1

In Mothers Vol. 1, Ben Burgess Jr. masterfully weaves a poignant, multi-layered urban narrative that delves deep into the heart-wrenching struggles of a single mother, Juanita, raising two boys in a crime-infested neighborhood. Tragedy strikes when Juanita’s son is diagnosed with cancer just two years after the devastating loss of her spouse to a stray bullet. As she grapples with financial woes and the constant worry about her older son’s brushes with the law, Juanita’s job as a senior executive assistant and administrative manager at the prestigious New York law firm, Wayne, Rothstein, and Lincoln, hangs in the balance.

Enthralling and thought-provoking, Mothers Vol. 1 captivates readers with its intricate plot twists, memorable characters, and a potent exploration of the challenges faced by resilient, independent single mothers in today’s world. The workplace antagonist who schemes to oust Juanita in favor of his illicit lover adds a layer of tension and frustration to the story.

Though the novel features some violent episodes and explicit intimate scenes, making it most suitable for mature readers, its emotional core shines through. The narrative switches between the perspectives of Juanita and her son, offering a comprehensive view of their internal struggles. While Jalen spirals into a life of crime, resentful of his mother’s perceived inadequacies, Juanita strives to provide for her children and maintain a semblance of normalcy amidst chaos. The engaging storyline is further enriched by powerful lessons on empathy, bridging racial divides, and embracing tolerance.

This compelling novel is sure to resonate with fans of urban literature and stories that celebrate the fortitude of single mothers. Upon turning the final page, readers will not only gain a newfound admiration for the heroic efforts of single mothers but also develop a deeper understanding of the hardships faced by children raised in crime-ridden communities. Mothers Vol. 1 is an unputdownable, eye-opening literary gem that leaves a lasting impression.

Pages: 499 | ASIN : B0C1MN2NW3

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Their Trials and Tribulations

Ben Burgess Jr. Author Interview

Ben Burgess Jr. Author Interview

Love and Happiness does an exceptional job of portraying a relateable relationship and the many obstacles that a relationship can face. What were some driving motivations for you while writing this book?

I did a lot of research with married couples (15) Interviewing 15 of them and at least 20 married women to help get the voice down for Karen. I asked them about their trials and tribulations with marriage and what would make them cheat. I also looked at my own relationship as motivation. Like Chris, I’m more of an “I’ll show you I love you more than I’ll tell you I love you” type of person. By listening to all of the interviews and writing both characters I felt I was able to learn and improve on my own relationship.

Chris and Karen are complex character that I was able to empathize with. What were some ideals you wanted to capture in your characters?

I wanted readers to see that neither Karen or Chris was innocent. Their actions had consequences to them. I wanted readers to see that if they are going through problems in their relationship that they are not alone. Every relationship has its trials and tribulations but communication is key.

Are you a fan of the urban fantasy genre? What books do you think most influenced your work?

For me, Eric Jerome Dickey is my favorite author. He talks to me in person, gives me advice and motivates me to keep writing. His books are what influenced my work. Cheaters, Milk in my coffee, Liars game, and the other woman to name a few.

What is the next book that you are writing and when will it be available?

The book that I am currently working on is called “Mothers” and I hope to have it released early next year. Hopefully in time for Mother’s Day.

Author Links: Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

Karen has it all: a handsome husband, beautiful twin daughters, a lovely home, and a great job. She also has a secret: she’s cheating on her husband with not one man, but two. On the outside, her life seems perfect, but Karen feels neglected, bored, and unappreciated. Yearning for affection and excitement, she falls into the arms of first Raheem, and then Tyrell. Out of fear of losing her husband, Karen ends the affairs, but things don’t turn out how she planned. When Karen’s dirty secrets are revealed, she must fight to keep her family together.

Chris is doing all he can to hold his marriage together. He loves Karen, but she’s been growing more distant every day. When she starts coming home later and later, he suspects she is being unfaithful. When Chris accidentally takes her cell phone, what he finds changes their lives forever.

Tragedy strikes, and Karen must decide if she should sacrifice her happiness for her husband’s love, and Chris wonders if he should stay with Karen, because he still loves her despite her infidelity. If they do stay together, will they ever find love and happiness again?

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A Dialogue For Change

Ben Burgess Jr. Author Interview

Ben Burgess Jr. Author Interview

Black and White is contemporary novel focused on interracial couples and the stigma they endure. Why was this an important novel for you to write?

I felt with everything going on in the world today, this book was needed. I want this book to help improve the world or at least get people to start talking and create a dialogue for change. The world can be an ugly place and I wanted to show that ugliness so that people can also appreciate the beauty.

The story is set in a city filled with crime and focuses on the animosity between black communities and the police. You take a balanced perspective in your story, do you feel that is something that is lacking today?

I feel there is mistrust on both sides when it comes to the Black Communities and the Police. I feel that both sides need to work on change and the only way that can happen is with dialogue. I want this book to help. I’m an NYPD Detective and I feel that it’s important that Cops acknowledge that there are some cops who are prejudice and pray on minorities but at the same time it’s important that minority communities don’t assume that every cop is corrupt and prejudice. I feel society forgets that cops are people too. I feel that sometimes some cops become so calloused from the job that they began to see minorities as bad. Balance is the key to everything. Understanding each other helps also. I talk to communities often and sometimes after I explain certain situations to the crowd, they understand things better and have less animosity. Sometimes the community members help me see things differently than I do through the lenses of being a cop. In order for the world to get better, we all have to change.

Did you put any personal life experiences in this book?

I put some personal life experiences in all of my books. “Ben”, “Ebony”, and even “Bill” and “Becky” are all parts of me. At times I felt like Ben where I felt my own race believed I wasn’t “Black” enough and I was too “Black” for some White people. I know the struggle of dealing with the public at protests like Ebony. I’m an NYPD Detective. Like Ebony, before I became a Cop, I hated cops and I became one to make a difference in the world. I’m heavily involved in urban communities and I’m in an interracial relationship. I’m similar to Becky because I wrote this book to change the world. I wouldn’t want to alter it or tone it down. I love this story the way it is and my writing is important to me. I’m similar to Bill because I grew up in Queens Bridge. Despite growing up in a low-income family, I didn’t let my environment hold me back. I’m also a huge basketball fan and play regularly. Some of the situations and even dialogues in the book I have actually had or have been involved with. I like to put some of my real experiences in my stories because I believe it helps them feel more authentic.

What is one thing that you hope readers take away from Black and White?

I want readers to understand that we all have biases, we all have assumptions and stereotype, but it’s important not to base our actions and decisions on these things. It’s important to get to know people and not assume that a certain race is all the same. I want people to read this book and understand that love is love. It doesn’t matter what race your partner is, be with anyone you love. I also want people to feel comfortable in their own skin. Ben and Simone were examples of two characters that struggled with that and it’s important to know that until you have love and appreciation for yourself, you can’t truly do the same for someone else.

What is the next novel that you are writing and when will it be available?

My next novel will be a story celebrating the strength of Mothers. I’m writing a story about three different types of Mothers in three different situations and I’m calling it “Mothers.” I hope to have the novel out in time for Mother’s Day.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

Black and WhiteWhen the prestigious law firm of Wayne, Rothstein, and Lincoln catches two major cases—a rape case where a White NBA star allegedly raped a Black stripper, and a murder case where a Black rapper allegedly killed a gay couple and two policemen—Bill O’Neil and Ben Turner are tasked to handle these racially charged litigations. The cases hit emotional chords with the two lawyers and force them to reckon with their interracial relationships and families. Will the racial tension of their cases destroy them or make them stronger?

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