Kevin Benton [afieldtriptohell]
What did you first read? How did you begin to write? Who were the first to read what you wrote?
As a child, apart from reading books in school, the Bible was the first influential book that I ever read. While being taught in Sunday school, I found the biblical accounts and stories to be very interesting and fascinating.
I began to find my passion for writing in eight grade during English class which became my favorite subject. I noticed that could I express myself better and convey my creative thoughts using my imagination by writing.
The first book I wrote was called 'A Field Trip to Hell' and while I was preparing to collect testimonials for my website, I would send out my manuscript to credible people for their review. The first person to read what I wrote after my wife was my freelance Editor, Mr. Leonard Goss.
What is your favorite genre? Can you provide a link to a site where we can read some of your work or learn something about it?
I like Christian Non-Fiction but my favorite genre is Christian-Fiction. This genre allows one to take some serious situations and circumstances that pertain to real life and learn about them in a creative and imaginative ways. The great thing about Christian-Fiction is that the lesson, message or principals to be learned is still being conveyed thus impacting the lives of readers. I have found that an important key with this type of book is not to be too "preachy." That is why some people go to church on Sunday.
To read more about my book you can visit my website at www.kevinbentonministries.com.
What is your creative process like? What happens before sitting down to write?
My creative process begins by first thinking and looking at the end product in connection to how have my readers been positively impacted. I ponder the question, "What is the positive result that I desire to get out my readers or want them to grasp when they finish reading my book"? Once I know what the desired end result is that I want to achieve, I then try to convey interesting and fascinating information in a sequential manner that builds on each other to lead up to that desired end.
Before I sit down to write, that means that I have already prayed and have had a lot of think tank time. I like to organize concepts and ideas in my mind before I put them down on paper. Organization and processional thought is very important because without these elements, it can cause for frustration for any reader. For example we learned Algebra I before learning Algebra II and so it is with readers as they arrive to the final destination that your book takes them.
What type of reading inspires you to write?
My personal convictions and beliefs in the Bible inspires me to write about topics that people tend to shy away from or do not want to talk about, like hell for example. However, conveying the message in a loving, non-forceful, non-judgmental and critical way is the key. What have helped me are my sincere heart, passion and love for people. I believe that encouragement is the key to change, growth and development. When someone walks away from reading my book about hell and feels inspired, encouraged and informed, this means that I have obtained my desired end result. This is also a confirmation that I have conveyed the message the right way because hell is such a serious topic.
What do you think are the basic ingredients of a story?
In my opinion, I think that the basic ingredients to a story is introducing your unique topic and then building up to setting for your topic in an interesting way. Next, giving your readers a little bit about your topic but enough to leave them hanging so that they keep wondering what happens next. Lastly, giving them the climactic topic conveyed in a non-traditional way that moves them intellectually or emotionally, give them resolve and them bring about more unexpected twist after your are done. There is nothing new under the sun in terms of what has been written so we have to find new innovative ways to convey our stories within the scope of our genre that makes it our own.
What well known writers do you admire most?
I admire William Shakespeare because in his writing he conveyed a message during his time that is still relevant and applicable for today. I believe that his writing will be applicable for ever because he dealt with many themes that are simply common to all people.
What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?
I think that for a character to be believable they must to relatable to the reader. There are some things in life that are just common to everyone like experiencing pain or getting angry for example. What this translates into is a character that is being portrayed as being open, honest and transparent. This allows readers to identify with and connect with a character because they end up seeing themselves in that character. The end result is that the character becomes more realistic.
Are you equally good at telling stories orally?
Yes, because being a member of the Clergy that is what we are called to do. We tell stories using, alliterations, examples, analogies and stories connected made relative to everyday life to help people remember principals that hopefully they will apply to their lives. It ends up being an art from.
Deep down inside, who do you write for?
This is simple, I write so that I can impact, encourage, inform and inspire people lives. I want to leave a lasting positive imprint on people lives that have made them better.
Is writing a form of personal therapy? Are internal conflicts a creative force?
Writing is a form of therapy because it is a form of release. They even have therapeutic methods in psychology that entails writing because it conveys thoughts and connects with our emotions which can give an indication about understanding our behaviors. Writing can sometimes cause us to relive traumatic experiences that can cause us pain while we do. However, on the other side of that pain is healing because that pain has been brought to the light. It is being dealt with.
Internal conflicts are a creative force because it can assist in releasing a very powerful message that can be very impactful when it is tapped into. Pain has served as an excellent creative force for people who have achieved success because it takes them to another level of authenticity. The key is that the internal conflict be channeled the right way because if it is not it can bring hurt or harm to readers or people in general.
Does reader feed-back help you?
Yes, because you get a broad perspective on what you need to do to continue to improve your writing. The minute we feel that we don't want or need reader feedback, the minute our ability to write begins to die. I once heard a well respected Author say, "If we remain F.A.T. we will always grow and get better." The acronym for F.A.T. stands for Faithful, Available and Teachable. This is a formula for success because we will continue to develop our gifts, talents and abilities.
Do you participate in competitions? Have you received any awards?
I have not yet but I intend to in the future. The rewards that I have received thus far are the positive impact that my book has had on readers.
Do you share rough drafts of your writings with someone whose opinion you trust?
Yes, I have submitted my manuscript to some very credible people who I respect and trust because of their level of expertise and I know that they are going to be honest with me and tell me the truth. I have submitted my work to some Literary Agents with over 20 years experience, Editors with over 20 years experience and also well respected Publishers in the book writing industry who have a very stringent evaluation process. This has helped me tremendously because it has assisted in putting forth the best possible product that I can out on the market.
Do you believe you have already found "your voice" or is that something one is always searching for?
Yes, I believe that I have found my voice, which is connected with my unique topic which is hell. My topic translates into my brand which is my book and my book becomes not only my signature on life but my voice as well. The interesting thing is that once you write a book, your voice will always be heard for ever even when you’re gone. Once your book is in print it will always in up in someone’s hands.
I do believe that people search for their voice but eventually find it if they continue to stick with it. It took me 20 years to find my voice and I'm using it to better people lives now and to leave an awesome legacy behind.
What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.?
I have a disciplined goal that I impose on myself every day. That is to do at least one thing every day to enhance myself as a writer and to market my book. It can be as small as sending a friend request on facebook or as large as contacting a major corporation or company that might be interested in buying my book. Even though I have charged myself to do one thing daily, I end up doing at least ten to twenty things daily. When you have finally found your destiny, you get some an unexplainable drive and motivation to move forward in it.
What do you surround yourself with in your work area in order to help your concentrate?
I make sure I'm in a clean and quiet area so that I can think clearly. I organize my areas so that I can make sure that I can easily get to the documents that I need. As an Author you have to approach your writing and your book with a level of seriousness just as you would anything else that is very important to you. Your book is like a baby that you have given birth to and the surrounding environment is important to its continued growth and development. It begins with your approach to its care and it the same with your book.
Do you write on a computer? Do you print frequently? Do you correct on paper? What is your process?
I take my time and I write on paper and then transfer the information to my computer. I print frequently and make corrections over and over again until I am satisfied on the inside with what I want my reader to get out of reading what I wrote. If what I wrote moves on my heart or make me think and I wrote it, I think that it would have an excellent chance of doing the same for a reader.
What sites do you frequent on-line to share experiences or information?
I share my experiences and information on:
What has been your experience with publishers?
I have had a great experience with my publisher, Liberty University Press. They have done a professional job publishing my book with integrity. Most importantly, they have provided the personal connection and touch that I desired. There is nothing worse than putting your manuscript or book in the hands of someone who treats you in such an impersonal way. Yes, it is business but this is still your book which is very important to you. When you take your child to a day care or a babysitter, you want a personal connection with those who are taking care of them. More than that, you want to utilize your personal connection at anytime you need to because you have that right with that being your child. It is the same principal with an ones book. It’s like your child.
What are you working on now?
I'm always working on and marketing my book which is AVAILABLE wherever books are sold and online at Barnes & Noble.com and Amazon.com. REQUEST IT! ORDER IT! GET IT! The tour is here, ARE YOU READY TO GO?.
The KINDLE edition is NOW AVAILABLE on Amazon.com for only $9.99. This is a small price to pay for a tremendous blessing! Download your copy today in just seconds.
The Amazon.com link:
The Barnes & Noble.com link:
I am not only the author of a published book but an anointed and gifted speaker and teacher of the Word of God bringing a message of hope, help, healing and hell. I was invited on the Trinity Broadcasting Network for a 30 minute interview on the "Praise the Lord" segment to give my awesome testimony of trails to triumph and to talk about my inspirational and informative book.
It is getting some very good reviews from some credible people who have read the book and I'm excited about it.
What do you recommend I do with all those things I wrote years ago but have never been able to bring myself to show anyone?
Start dusting off the notes and manuscripts and be like NIKE and "Just Do It."