Interview with Ben Ferguson

When did you first start writing?
English wasn’t my favorite subject in high school but each semester we were required to research and write a 1500 word “theme.” The paper required proper research, format, footnotes, bibliography, and file cards. Writing then was a CHORE but that discipline was the foundation for writing.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a small farm in Texas where we frequently dealt with the harsh realities of the farm life solving the problems of daily life. I came home from Ag class one day and told my dad, according to the textbook, it was time to plow the corn. I remember clearly him saying “Son I plow the corn when it needs to be plowed not when a textbook says it needs to be plowed.” On the farm I learned simple is better than complex and practical trumps the theoretical. Frequently when facing a situation, in my mind my dad’s words of wisdom still resonate.
When do you prefer to write
The most productive time for me is not at my desk but in bed. The clearest expressions of an idea wake me up in the middle of the night and if I don’t write the thought down my morning recall isn't nearly as clear or crisp. I prefer writing early while the house is quiet and the world is still asleep.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
I am new to Smashwords so I don't know yet.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
The greatest joy comes when someone “gets it.” A close friend, after reading the book, said “I can hear you saying what I’m reading” or another friend who wrote: "You have a "folksy" style of writing and I feel like we are talking over a cup of coffee.”
What are you working on next?
A compilation of one page devotionals I've written for deployed chaplains. The tentative title "A pause to Refresh" which is a take off on an old Coca Cola ad campaign.
What do you read for pleasure?
I rarely read for pleasure.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Years ago a doctor friend told me “More people die in bed than anywhere else.” It’s true but what inspires me to get out of bed is Adopt-a-Chaplain, a ministry to military chaplains who are deployed to combat zones. My role in the ministry is a chaplain to chaplains providing them a source of communication outside the military where they can feel safe to share their struggles without fear of it affecting their career. The first thing I do each day is check my email for messages from our chaplains. Most messages are routine but some chaplains are struggling and in need of a kind word and a place where they can vent.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Oh yes! I still have the partially the completed manuscript I wrote about my Navy Boot Camp experiences in 1956
What does your desk look like?
It’s not as messy as Einstein’s desk was, but its close.
What is the story behind the book?
As a young pastor I devoted many hours counseling members of my church and the local community in their struggle with – forgiveness, disappointment, temptation, depression, boredom, loneliness, guilt, worry, fear, and death. The title God, I’ve Got a Problem came out of a particularly difficult problem a member was facing when he asked “Does God have an answer for my problem?” I found myself approaching each counseling session with that question in mind.
How do you approach cover design?
I visit a bookstore and browse through current books not looking at titles but for covers that grab my attention. I try to imagine a picture that will capture the theme of the book. In the case of God, I’ve Got a Problem it’s the struggle to keep the problems of daily life from getting the best of us. With an image in mind I search the web for a picture or image that best illustrates the theme. Selecting and arranging the words for the cover is easy.
When you're not writing how do you spend your time?
A good part of each day is communicating with our chaplains who are serving with our warriors in a combat zone. They frequently comment it’s good to know someone is caring for them as they walk with their warriors through the valley of the shadow of death.
Published 2013-09-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

A Pause to Refresh
Price: Free! Words: 35,480. Language: English. Published: September 17, 2018. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Life / Devotional, Nonfiction » Inspiration » Spiritual inspiration
This series of 52 devotionals is designed to give a pause to refresh your soul each day. Read one brief chapter, then return to it each day for a week before moving on to the next chapter.
God, I've Got A Problem
Price: Free! Words: 36,210. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Ministry / Counseling & Recovery, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Christian Ministry / Pastoral Resources
God has the answer to all of our problems. This book provides Scriptural ways to deal with forgiveness, guilt, loneliness, worry, disappointment, depression, temptation, boredom, pride, and death. Practical and easy-to-read, God, I've Got a Problem can be used a reference for dealing with a specific problem, or it can be read in its entirety as a guide to Christian living.