Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I am the father of four Princesses and a Superhero. Raising these five beautiful, smart, independent children has inspired and challenged me to use creative and original ideas to teach them important life lessons. The Flip and Friends series are stories I originally created to educate my own children in a fun and relatable way. As an early writer of poetry, the transition to children’s books was a natural progression of life as parenthood is its own form of poetry. I have several books written which will be published once the artwork is completed.
I am very excited to finally take these stories that had such a huge impact on my own children’s lives and share them with the world.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
“Do You Have Any Patience?” is the first book in the Flip and Friends books series. My late brother, Philip (Flip) Stern was always the life of the party and doing everything possible to make people smile. The entire Flip and Friends series is named in his honor and memory. He also had a long struggle with Epilepsy and there is a link included in the book for our readers to donate to the Epilepsy Foundation in his name.
This first book was inspired by my 5 amazing children. As you can imagine, raising 5 kids takes patience from both the children and their parents. One long car ride and a little too many, “Are we there yets” spurred a moment of inspiration which is now “Do You Have Any Patience?” to teach them the importance of a little patience.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Interesting question. I don’t know if this is unusual, but I can write an entire book in my head on a long drive. As soon as I get to my destination, I grab my phone or a paper and pen and write it down. I am always thinking and it seems those long drives let my mind focus on all of those ideas rolling around in my mind until inspiration hits.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I didn’t realize it until recently that Shel Silverstein’s Where The Sidewalk Ends was a huge influence on my early writing which was mainly poetry. Dr. Seuss’ unapologetic style of not caring for the norms and rules of writing has always been an inspiration.
What are you working on now?
Book number 2 is already written and being illustrated as we speak. The story is focused on the importance of being able to get out of your comfort zone. This lesson is even more important nowadays when schools are closed and children are stuck at home.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am still trying to figure out the book marketing landscape. We have created a free downloadable coloring book based on the “Do You Have Any Patience?” coloring book available at http://FlipandFriendsBooks.com/#signup which has helped us grow a reader base we can keep in constant contact with about new books, promotions, and more. We have also been testing Facebook, Amazon, and Google Ads and keywords. Lastly, there are several Facebook Groups catered toward children’s books which we have become very involved in.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t give up. Don’t be discouraged. Publishing your first book is just the beginning of the journey. Once you publish your first book and learn the process, let your writing machine take control. Books that you publish will be your legacy, and not many people are able to successfully join the author club. If you feel the desire to write and share your words, just do it.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Wow. I would say it came from my mother. My mother always said to me, “There is no such thing as trying, only doing”.
What are you reading now?
I’ve actually just started reading David Baldacci Will Robbie and Jessica Steel series.
What’s next for you as a writer?
I am of course constantly working on the rest of the Flip and Friends series which also includes translating the books into multiple languages. English, Spanish, and Portuguese are already available with Dutch, German, French, Chinese, Russian, and more on the way. I would also like to publish a poetry book inspired by Shel Silverstein.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
I would have to say my unpublished book of poetry because of all the memories, How to Survive on a Deserted Island, and a diary so I could catalog my life.
Author Websites and Profiles
Ben Stern Website
Ben Stern Amazon Profile
Ben Stern’s Social Media Links