I first came upon Ben Lieberman when his book kept on showing up
on the Amazon page for my first novel, "A Touch of Deceit." Apparently readers were buying his book quite a bit, because it stayed on the first page for a very long time and it's been wildly successful.
Ben Lieberman is a 20 year Wall Street
veteran and well aware of his industry’s reputation. While working in this
volatile environment as an institutional bond trader, he was also anaspiring author. And nearly ten years ago, fiction writing became
Lieberman’s refuge while Wall Street melted around him.
But working full time and raising three children didn’t leave much
time for his new hobby, so Lieberman did the bulk of his writing
every day before work in a coffee shop across the street from
his Wall Street office.
Writing his first book this way took more than six years, but the
Odd Jobs, from WritersNewsWeekly.
I'm very glad he found time to play 5 questions with me.
1- What caused you to go from bond trading to writing fiction? Was it a longtime burning desire?
That depends on the time of day you ask me. Often, I believe it was a longtime burning desire and often I believe it's a birth defect that just can't be corrected. There are so few things I enjoy more than getting a positive reaction to a piece of writing. This "Jones" kept developing with each situation. For example, I was taking creative writing classes at Columbia University after work. During classes and workshops when anything clicked and made people laugh out loud or get a reaction I was aiming for, I swear it felt like I just hit a three - pointer for the Knicks.
2- You received some blurbs from Donald Trump and James Patterson. The Patterson blurb is worth it’s weight in gold—How did that come about?
That blurb is worth more than its weight in gold because it goes way beyond sales. First and foremost, here is a guy that has reached every level of success and was willing to help a stranger. That in itself set an example beyond writing and how to be a person. After Mr. Patterson read the manuscript he spoke to me about the my writing, the marketplace and his writing - that is worth more than its weight in gold . Then, oh yeah, having his endorsement will give me some credibility and improve sales. Who would have thought that last point would come in third place?
I would like to say the endorsement came about over some wild story, but it came about simply because I had the chance to meet Mr.. Patterson and have a discussion. I nervously asked for a blurb and he said he would "take a look." A few days later he actually called me to discuss. It was surreal.
3- Kevin Davenport is your average guy lured into unusual circumstances once he discovers his father’s murderer. Was it a conscious decision to create a protagonist who was an average citizen, rather than a homicide detective or a forensic scientist?
Yes, it definitely was a conscious decision. This story was written in the first person, present tense, because I was hoping to put the reader in the middle of the action for each punch taken and thrown. If I was going to do this right, anyone reading this could either be Kevin or know a Kevin.
4- Is the success of “Odd Jobs,” allowing you more time to write, or less?
I wish it was creating more time but if I'm going to be honest, its less time. The desire to write more is there but the reality is that some conflicts have developed which can make it more difficult. When I wrote Odd Jobs there was no type of marketing or presentation to worry about. It was all about filling the pages. As you know, it takes a lot of effort to support your work and unfortunately, the effort to maintain and market can conflict with creating new work.
5- If you aren’t already, is it a goal to become a full time fiction writer? And what are you currently working on?
Being a full time fiction writer is definitely the goal. I don't know how realistic it is but if you are asking about goals or even dreams, full time writing is certainly up there. Creating stories and entertaining people seems like a great way to spend a day to me.
I'm working on a follow up to Odd Jobs and really like how the story is coming along. I definitely learned a lot from my debut work and enjoy improving and developing. I'll let you know when it's ready.