Monday, June 24, 2013

Featured BTR Show: The Writing Mama with Guest Author Dennis Milam Bensie

Join Host Virginia S Grenier on Monday as she talks with Dennis Milam Bensie about his two memoirs: One Gay American and Shorn: Toys to Men.

This show is going to be about many different topics from writing and the arts to child abuse and family relationships.

Dennis Milam Bensie grew up in Robinson, Illinois where his interest in the arts began in high school participating in various community theatre productions.

Bensie’s first book,  Shorn: Toys to Men was nominated for the Stonewall Book Award, sponsored by the American Library Association. It was also a pick in the International gay magazine The Advocate as “One of the Best Overlooked Books of 2011″.

The author’s short stories have been published by Bay Laurel, Everyday Fiction, and This Zine Will Change Your Lifeand he has also been a feature contributor for The Good Men Project.

One Gay American is his second book with Coffeetown Press and it was chosen as a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the Indie Excellence Book Awards.

You can learn more about our host and guest at http://worldofinknetwork.com

Listen to the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork/2013/06/24/the-writing-mama-show-with-guest

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday on June 17th Author Dr. Aaron Chokan will be Our Guest on The Stories for Children Show at Blog Talk Radio

 Join Host Virignia S Grenier as she talks with Halo Publishing's debut children's book author Aaron Chokan.

Dr. Chokan has been a successful, practicing foot and ankle specialist for 10 years.  Currently, he is owner and founder of Ohio Foot and Ankle Center with 4 locations in Northeast Ohio.  He lives in Hudson, Ohio with his loving wife and 5 children: Hunter, Reece, Finlay, Calais and Lucia and their dog Paisley.  Dr. Chokan is an avid golfer and tennis player.

You can find out more about Dr. Aaron Chokan, his picture book series and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/clmogvy

Follow Dr. Aaron Chokan at http://tinyurl.com/clmogvy
Facebook http://facebook.com/lailaiandchubchub

The Adventures of Lai-Lai and Chub-Chub is a sweet picture book series about friendship and growing up.
ISBN-10: 1612441505
ISBN: 9781612441504 Hardback
Written by Dr. Aaron Chokan
Illustrations by Amy Rottinger
Genre: Picture Book
Halo Publishing, Int.

Show link http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork/2013/06/17/stories-for-children-show-with-debute-author-aaron-chokan

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Book Review Thursday: One Gay American

Title of Book: One Gay American
Author: Dennis Milam Bensie
Publisher: CoffeeTown Press
ISBN-10: 1603811532
ISBN-13: 978-1603811538
Price $13.95
Publication Date: September 2012
Genre of Book: Memoir

About the Book:  Dennis Milam Bensie is One Gay American. Born in the 1960s and raised with traditional values in Robinson, Illinois, Bensie desperately wanted romance, a beautiful wedding, and a baby to carry on the family name. He denied his sexuality and married a woman at nineteen years old, but fantasized of weddings where he could be the bride. The newlyweds "adopted" a Cabbage Patch Doll and ironically witnessed a Cabbage Patch Doll wedding (a successful fundraiser staged by a local women's club) where the dolls were granted the type of grand ceremony off-limits to gay couples.
In search of his identity as a gay man, Bensie divorced his wife and stumbled through missteps and lessons that still sting his generation: defending against bullies, "disappointing" his parents, and looking for love in gay bars, bath houses and restrooms. He helped his straight friends plan their dream weddings and mourned his gay friends dying of AIDS.
Although true love has not yet come his way, Bensie has learned to love himself. Bensie is the author of the much-lauded memoir, Shorn: Toys to Men, which recounts his battle with paraphilia. One Gay American tells the rest of his story and draws parallels to gay history, decade by decade, with newspaper headlines and quotations. Bensie is the gay neighbor that you either love or hate. Either way, he's got a lot to say and says it with no apologies.

BOOK TRAILER:

Overall Thoughts:
I love reading memoirs as they are the raw truth (or perspective) in one’s life. It gives me pause about how I look at my own life and my world around me. Sometimes I am given hope and then there are the few occasions I am saddened by our world, but no matter, what I have a new outlook and my eyes are opened just a bit more.
Dennis Milam Bensie is one of those authors who not only brought back many of my own childhood memories but also gave me a new insight to the world I grew up in. I (only being about ten years younger) remember many of the same things happening in the media and politics of my youth. I didn’t really focus on them as much as I am not gay, but I do remember the effects it had on some of my friends who were gay.
One Gay American is not only a memoir about a man growing up, discovering who he is in the world and wanting the American Dream. It is also about a country trying to understand, grow and change to a new population it tried to hide and pass shame on for many years. It is about a population here in America who will no longer stay a slight voice among their peers and will continue to fight for their civil rights to be recognized by all. “I’m gay! I’m queer! We are here!” is a shout I still remember ringing out from Hollywood Blvd as I sat in my office at Frederick’s of Hollywood during one of the Gay Right Parades in the 1990’s. No matter if you agree or disagree with this lifestyle, Gay Americans are people with rights and I commend Dennis for sharing his struggles and joys as One Gay American in this heartfelt memoir.

About the Author: 
Dennis Milam Bensie grew up in Robinson, Illinois where his interest in the arts began in high school participating in various community theatre productions. Bensie’s first book,  Shorn: Toys to Men was nominated for the Stonewall Book Award, sponsored by the American Library Association. It was also a pick in the International gay magazine The Advocate as “One of the Best Overlooked Books of 2011″. The author’s short stories have been published by Bay Laurel, Everyday Fiction, and This Zine Will Change Your Lifeand he has also been a feature contributor for The Good Men Project. One Gay American is his second book with Coffeetown Press and it was chosen as a finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the Indie Excellence Book Awards. He was a presenter at the 2013 Saints and Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans. Dennis lives in Seattle with his three dogs.

You can find out more about Dennis Milam Bensie, his memoirs and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/lhtvxyt

To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com

Friday, June 7, 2013

Interview Friday with Dr. Aaron Chokan


Dr. Chokan has been a successful, practicing foot and ankle specialist for 10 years.  Currently, he is owner and founder of Ohio Foot and Ankle Center with 4 locations in Northeast Ohio.  He lives in Hudson, Ohio with his loving wife and 5 children: Hunter, Reece, Finlay, Calais and Lucia and their dog Paisley.  Dr. Chokan is an avid golfer and tennis player.


VS: I want to thank you for being my guest here on The Writing Mama today. What do you do to help balance your writing life with your family life?

Chokan: In my life, I have such a wonderful wife who is able to care for our children and keep our life in order. She is the glue to our whole family. My writing life seems to be able to keep it separate since it does not consume me. My kids are my palate and my template that I follow and without them, I have no stories.

VS: How long have you been writing?

Chokan: About a year.

VS: What inspired you to write your book?

Chokan: My inspiration was my daughter Calais.  She has a beautiful soul and she is truly such a love in the family.  She loves her dog Paisley so much that her “pet” name for her is her “chub-chub” She wears her heart on her sleeve and is so giving and caring that she was the perfect person to write about.  One day I told my wife that I was going to write a story about her and the dog (lai lai and chub chub).  It is a reality and she loves to read it every night.

VS: What is a typical writing day like for you?

Chokan: Typical writing day for me consists of working and seeing patients and then getting home to put all my kids to bed, have some dinner, give them all kisses goodnight and then I turn off the TV. and sit with my computer and start to jot some ideas down. 

VS: Is your family supportive of your writing?

Chokan: Very, they are even supportive by helping me with marketing them.  They love the idea, I am the first to write a story and become an author.

VS: If this isn’t your first publication, what was the first thing you ever had published?

Chokan: This is my first and there will be others.

VS: Can you share with us a little about your current book(s)?

Chokan: My book is about the struggle of a little girl to name her pet dog.  She watches, listens and uses nature to help her choose a name for her pet.  She finds it difficult and even uses audience participation to help her find the perfect name and the overall joy that she has once she chooses the name.

VS: What did you find to be the most challenging part of writing your book(s)?
Chokan: The most challenging is getting it started and then tying in the ending of the story.  I do find it difficult to use the best wording that is not too challenging for the reader to read.

VS: What part of your book do you feel really stands out to you personally?

Chokan: The main part that stands to me personally is the audience participation and the pictures are all charactures of my family.

VS: Do you have any other works in progress? Can you share a little about them?

Chokan: I have another start of the second book titled:  Lai-Lai and Chub Chub’s Fairy Secret.

VS: What tips can you give writing parents with children at home to help them see publication?

Chokan: I would think that you really have to have dedication, time and heart to make this happen.  Understand that you and your children will love the final product and to just have hope that the end is near. 

VS: What do you think are the basic ingredients of a good book?

Chokan: Imagination, emotion and a great story.

VS: What is required for a character to be believable? How do you create yours?

Chokan: I think what makes the character believable is how it is perceived.  Make the story heartfelt and real.  I created mine because I live with her all day and it makes it easy for me to talk about such a beautiful person like Calais.

VS: What do you feel as parents we need to do to help our children see success?

Chokan: I think that if we show great examples and to be excited about everything in their lives makes them understand success.  There will always be failures and losses but we need to make sure that we over exemplify the successes and the excitements in their lives.

VS: Where can the readers of The Writing Mama find out more about and your writing?

Chokan: www.amazon.com and also on my facebook page.  www.facebook.com/lailaichubchub

About the Book:
The book Lai-Lai Meets Chub-Chub is a book about a young preschool girl (mirrored after my daughter Calais) who struggles to find the "perfect" name for her new puppy. She spends her day outside learning how nature can truly give her ideas for a name. She also asks for listener participation by asking the reading audience for some help. She finally comes up with the name Chub-Chub and is delighted.


You can find out more about Dr. Aaron Chokan, his picture book series and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at http://tinyurl.com/clmogvy

Follow Dr. Aaron Chokan at http://tinyurl.com/clmogvy


To learn more about the World of Ink Tours visit http://worldofinknetwork.com