- By Monster by Ben Burgess Jr.
- Editions: eBook & Paperback
- Published: February 4th, 2013
- Source: Review by Request
- Genre: Erotica
- In a Flutter: Raw
Tormented while growing up for being dark-skinned, and the son of a womanizer who deserts his family regularly, Ken Ferguson longed for that feeling of being loved. Ken promised himself that he wouldn’t be a manipulating, deceitful man like his father, but after being cheated on and dumped by the girl he thought he would one day marry, he begins his transformation. Fueled by anger, and tired of being the “nice guy”, Ken drowns himself in one-night stands, threesomes, affairs with married women, and sleeping with one conquest after another. He adopts the philosophy of having no commitment and no attachments, but meets his match with Ashley, a girl that makes him want to stop his promiscuous ways. But Ashley turns out to do even more damage to his ego and his heart, wounding him deeply. With his philosophy reinforced, Ken spirals out of control and becomes a MONSTER. Sleeping with and mistreating random women he meets at bars and clubs, Ken uses sex to forget about his insecurities, his anger, and his sadness. Will Ken learn to let go of his heartbreaks, or will he be consumed by them and continue to be a MONSTER?
This is an intriguing and thought-provoking story of one man’s downward spiral.
First of all, thumbs up to the blurb for this book – it really draws you in without spoiling anything. I cannot, in good faith, categorize this as a romance. There’s a lot of angst and self-discovery in this book. It’s erotica with a bite.
21 year old Ken is a hot mess in the wake of a failed relationship…
He’s tired of feeling inferior,
Not good enough,
Not handsome enough,
Not wealthy enough,
Not strong enough…
He’s learned a hard lesson.
Nice guys finish last and he’s done losing.
He drowns himself in every debouched sexual encounter he would have dismissed or despised in his previous life.
He’s not Don Juan… He’s a misguided college kid with a HUGE chip on his shoulder.
As good-guy Kenny deteriorates before our eyes, the sense of impending doom looms ever closer.
It doesn’t take long before he becomes the perpetrator of all wounds he had once fallen victim to… He’s acting like a kid with nothing to loose… He’s built himself a house of cards and the collapse is epic.
This book is a stand-alone novel, written from the male POV, by a male author. It is brutally honest, emotional, and will leave you feeling raw at times. We start out rooting for Kenny the underdog, but as he transforms himself into a callus womanizing monster, the reader struggles to maintain hope that Kenny will pull himself out of the hole he has created.
The headboard hit the wall in my bedroom. Loud moans, heavy breathing and sounds of the bed creaking permeated the room. I was in a trance. Krissy was experiencing both ecstasy and pain as I did her doggie style. With each thrust I wanted to go through her. I wanted her to feel the pain I felt. The whole time, all I could think about was Ashley. Every thrust, I wanted to kill the weakness I felt. I wanted to callous that soft spot in my heart I had for her. Krissy tried to turn her head to look at me, but I pulled her by her hair. I didn’t want to be looked at. I couldn’t even look at myself.
“Oh my God, Ken…oh my …”
Krissy came, and cursed loudly. I pumped away, harder and faster until I came. We laid in bed panting.
“Are you ok?”
“I… I just worry about you. You scare me sometimes.”
“I know there’s something on your mind. You weren’t with me. I mean you were with me in the physical sense, but you weren’t with me mentally…emotionally. What’s wrong?”
“I…I’m fine. I got a couple things stressing me out, but nothing I can’t handle. I’ll be all right.”
“Kenny you know you can talk to me about anything right?”
“Well I’m here for you. You can tell me anything.”
I didn’t doubt she would listen to my problems and be that sympathetic ear for me to vent to, but I didn’t want someone to vent to. I needed more. I needed to escape. I slept with more women. With each one I was able to forget about my insecurities, my anger and my sadness. Each new woman I touched gave me a sense of power and control. Even if it were only temporary, that feeling of euphoria I got from pleasing them made me feel loved. While I had the pretend feeling of love, it didn’t hide the hole in my heart Bri and Ashley left. It was getting bigger and bigger. Nothing was filling it or making it better. I preyed on women who were beautiful, yet materialistic, because at least I knew what I was going into. They were using me and I was using them. I would go to bars and clubs, wear my Armani outfits, dangle my car keys and watch as dumb, materialistic women flocked to me. I would screw some of them in the back seat of my car or in the bathrooms of the places I met them.
Q&A with Ben Burgess Jr.
If you were to describe your book in only one word, what would it be?
Passionate! I put my heart and soul into every book I write. I love writing books that move people. When I get a review or email from a fan explaining that the words I created made them cry or changed their life, it’s a beautiful feeling. If the words I wrote can get someone emotionally invested in my characters, I know I did my job.
What would you say inspired you to write it?
When I was in 8th grade, I read Richard Wright’s “Native Son” I read that book and it was life changing for me. I knew I wanted to one day write something that could have the same effect on people. While in 8th grade, my English teacher Mrs. Marcus gave the class a poetry assignment. My poem was on basketball. I don’t remember what I wrote, but I remember my teacher was blown away by it. She encouraged me to keep writing. She was one of my most influential teachers, and I promised her if I ever wrote a book, I would write a poem about the Holocaust for her. (She was Jewish, and had family that were survivors.) My dream was to publish a book. I continued to write throughout high school and college. My college professors told me I had talent as a poet and writer, so I decided to go to lounges that had open mics to perform my poetry. Hearing people cheer for me and appreciate my words, inspired me to keep writing. My first published book was a poetry book titled “Times Have changed and Life is Strange.” I wrote a poem for Mrs. Marcus titled “Holocaust”, keeping my promise. The poem “Ugly” from “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange”, is the poem that inspired me to write my first novel “Monster.” I reflected on my life, and felt it would be a good story that would teach and possible change people’s lives the way Richard Wright’s “Native Son” had done for me.
What was the source of inspiration for Kenny?
Ken Ferguson, is based off my past. After enduring some pretty interesting experiences, I believe that “Monster” is a story that can benefit everyone. I feel that it’s a story that needed to be told. I was inspired to write it to teach people and I hope others will learn from my mistakes. The poem “Ugly” from my first published work “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange”, is the poem that inspired me to write “Monster” I reflected on my life, and felt this would be a good story that would teach and possible change people’s lives.
How much of yourself do you see in Kenny?
Kenny is me. Ninety percent of Monster is real. Of course some situations and characters had to be changed, but for the most part, getting to know Kenny is like getting to know me.
What was your first Erotica reading experience?
The first erotica book I read was “Addicted” by Zane. She is another African American fiction author that has motivated me and inspired me to become an author.
Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
With every book I work on, I try to improve and top my previous work. Sometimes I’m hit with “writer’s block”. When I’m faced with it, I read other authors to take a break from writing. After I take a break, I continue to write. I write whatever comes to my mind because I view it like this, nothing is final until it’s published. The key to breaking out of it, is to keep writing. I write and I modify afterwards.
What is your all-time favorite book?
My favorite book of all-time is Milk in my Coffee by Eric Jerome Dickey.
What made you pick that one above all others?
I picked that book because it was the first book I read from him. After reading that book, I knew I wanted to be an author.
What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
The longest time I’ve spent working on a project would be a two years.
Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
It has changed me. I observe people more, the way they talk, the way they dress, the differences in personalities, and I use those observations to make more realistic characters.
Was there ever a time, during your work on this book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
I wrote my first novel “Monster” because I believed I had an important story to tell. I believed that my story was different and unique, and a book that would help to change the world. I tried to publish traditionally, but many publishers believed my book was too dark. There were times when I felt like giving up. I doubted myself and felt that I wasn’t good enough. I let (15) fifteen strangers test read my novel. All of them agreed that my book was well written and should be published. I decided to ignore what the publishers told me and self-publish. It has been one of the most rewarding and happiest experiences of my life. I have won the 2013 Readers Favorite Book Award for Urban Fiction, the 2014 Beverly Hills Book Award for African American Fiction, and I was a finalist for both the 2014 International Book Awards, and the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards. I feel I’m living proof to anyone who wants to independently publish that if you have a dream to write a book, never give up. Work hard on your craft and accomplish your goal!
What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside from writing?
I’m a Detective for the NYPD. My job allows me to observe different types of people and personalities which helps to spark ideas with my character development and voices for those characters.
How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
There are different strokes for different folks. There will be some that just don’t feel my style of writing or the story I’m telling. In this business, you have to have thick skin, you can’t take everything personal. I listen to constructive criticism that I feel is helpful. As a writer, I try to work on my flaws and improve with every book, but it’s impossible to please everyone. I work hard to write stories I believe a majority of people will enjoy.
What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
My next project is called “Love and Happiness” It is a sort of spin off from “Monster” based off a character named Karen that was one of Ken’s clients in that book. A sample for “Love and Happiness” can be found in the back of “Wounded” *All of my books are connected in some way. For example in “Wounded” Ron is friends with Dr. Andrews. They were in the same Fraternity and roommates. Also the characters Will and Lou make a cameo in “Wounded” they are in the next book “Love and Happiness” I like all of my books to share the same universe.
What made you decide to become an Indie Author?
I tried to publish traditionally, but many publishers believed my book was too dark. I decided to ignore what the publishers told me and self-publish. It has been one of the most rewarding and happiest experiences of my life. I love the freedom that I have with my books. I get to tell the stories I want to tell the way I want to tell them.
What would you say was the toughest part?
There is a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that goes into every book especially if the author is self-published. Reviews are important. Word of mouth is important and every time a person reads a book in its entirety, likes the book, and returns it anyway, that’s a slap in the face of that author who worked so hard to produce that book.
Did you hire professionals for editing, cover design, formatting?
I want to be taken seriously in the literary world, so I always hire an editor, cover designer, and book formatting company.
How did you decide who to hire, if you worked with pros?
I research through the internet and I listen to other authors. I read magazines and look at sample work before I decide to use them for my work.
How long did the production part take, from the moment you began working on the manuscript to self-pub to when you hit ‘Publish’?
I dedicate an entire year to writing, editing, having the book proofread, and typeset. I put in a lot of work to make sure everything is done carefully.
Where is your work being distributed, Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks/Omnilit, some other distributor? How did you decide which one(s) to go with?
I want my books to reach as many potential readers as possible. I use Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play, Createspace, Ingram spark, and iTunes for distribution. I used those companies because they are well known and popular.
If you could turn back in time and do things differently, would you? What would you change?
I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve learned a lot and I’m still learning a lot. I’ve had proud moments and sad moments, but every experience has helped me evolve with my writing and as a person. I know that I still have a long way to go before I am a well-known author, and right now I’m just enjoying the grind and the climb.
If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
I would wish for immortality (the type where I don’t age) with the power to make some people immortal with me.
If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
Cheaters by Eric Jerome Dickey.
Name your favorite fruit.
Coffee or tea?
How about favorite time of the day?
Six Pm. It’s not too late or too early.
Were you a boyscout or girlscout?
Neither. That was never for me.
Favorite food for breakfast?
A turkey and cheese omelet… with pancakes #dontjudgemelol
Latest book you’ve bought and read?
Carl Weber’s “The man in 3b”
Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
I collect movies. I’m a big movie buff.
Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
Drama or comedy?
This is a hard one for me because I love both, but I will go with comedy.
Have a favorite quote or personal motto?
Ten (2) letter words. “If It Is To Be It Is Up To Me” I think that we all possess the ability to do anything we put our minds to. Through hard work and dedication, I think we all can accomplish great things.
Cats or dogs?
I’m not really a pet lover, but I will say dogs.
Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Dinner by candlelight. I’m not into clubbing.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
YES I DO! LOL
Favorite Swear Word?
FUCK!!!!! I love that FUCKING word!!!
About the Author
Ben Burgess Jr is the author of the award winning novel “Monster”, the poetry book “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange” and the new novel “Wounded” He is an active performer of spoken word poetry. Ben Burgess Jr uses his love of writing to inspire and influence youths to strive for what they believe in, and to never give up on their dreams. His poetry book “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange” and his novel “Monster” are currently used in schools on the lower east side of Manhattan. Ben Burgess has a BA degree in Business Management, and a MA degree in Educational Leadership. He is the proud father of his daughter Jaelynn and is active in trying to improve urban neighborhoods and communities.
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