Saturday, August 26, 2023

Interview With Author & Veteran Jonathon “Jack-Jack” Benjamin


1. What inspired you to write this book? I was inspired by and wrote this book for the countless wounded warriors I crossed paths with through my own recovery—the Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Soldiers. I needed to express my story in a way that could convey the immeasurable pains and ultimate joys that wounded veterans experience when recovering. This book was originally a screenplay and, later, became my memoir.  

2. What exactly is it about and who is it written for?  A quintessential first-person account of an American veteran grappling with PTSD, physical and emotional traumas, the veteran healthcare system, and the pressures and misconceptions that veterans face from their families and society as a whole.

This memoir is a must-read for every American.

Although vastly underreported to the Veterans Administration, 23 veterans take their own lives every single day in the United States. A retired Airman and wounded veteran of the United States Air Force, Jonathon Benjamin was told that he would never walk again after a catastrophic car crash overseas left him with a severe traumatic brain injury and lingering deficits that took more than 5 years to overcome.

Still, against all the odds, Benjamin received a degree from George Washington University at the age of 24, under the GI Bill. It is luck, fate, discipline, and, tenacity that kept him from giving up many times, even when he saw other veterans fall victim to their own demons and felt like he did not belong in this world – including an instance that would have made him part of the statistic. This veteran’s story is illuminating and heartbreaking, but it should not shock the public. The veteran suicide epidemic continues to rage in the United States. This narrative focuses a hot lens on the difficulties that our service members must face when they re-enter the real world, especially when support is unavailable and civilians can’t begin to understand their plight.

3. What do you hope readers will get out of reading your book? This book began as a tribute to all the men and women in uniform who serve and are affected by their sacrifice to this country. Now, I hope that American Airman can inspire and move any reader, regardless of their connection to military service, to believe in themselves and follow their hopes and dreams without fear or giving up.  

4. How did you decide on your book’s title and cover design? I am a veteran of the US Air Force and one of the first things I learned was the Airman’s Creed. It is the backbone of the tenets of military service in the Air Force and serves as a template for how I live my life and why I wrote this book.  

Airman’s Creed

I am an American Airman.

I am a warrior.

I have answered my nation's call.

I am an American Airman.

My mission is to fly, fight, and win.

I am faithful to a proud heritage,

A tradition of honor,

And a legacy of valor.

I am an American Airman,

Guardian of freedom and justice,

My nation's sword and shield,

Its sentry and avenger.

I defend my country with my life.

I am an American Airman:

Wingman, leader, warrior.

I will never leave an Airman behind,

I will never falter,

And I will not fail. 

The image, colors and, tone of the cover give a glimpse into the light and darkness of service to one’s country.

5. What advice or words of wisdom do you have for fellow writers – other than run!? Other than quickly and expeditiously ‘popping smoke’ (get out/away fast), I would tell my fellow writers that this art, this ability we have to affect lives for the better or even simply just entertain our readers is a great gift. Like in the Spiderman films, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” If you’re called to write even just one story, do it with passion and conviction. You never know how great or how much that story may mean to a reader.  

6. What trends in the book world do you see -- and where do you think the book publishing industry is heading?  I think that the book world is heading to digitization. Audiobooks, eBooks and AMAZON are the new ways that writers are reaching their audiences.  

7. Were there experiences in your personal life or career that came in handy when writing this book?  As a veteran of the Air Force, an African American and playwright, all these things informed and made my book better. Coming from an abusive childhood and a hard-earned way into adulthood, I think that my experiences have made for a more compassionate and freely giving author and book.  

8. How would you describe your writing style? Which writers or books is your writing similar to? My writing style is very much born out of my foundation in playwriting. I always get feedback about my use of dialogue and characterization. From the average reader, I hear that my writing is very vivid and almost feels like they are watching a movie as they read.  

9. What challenges did you overcome in the writing of this book? 

  • The inherent sense of the need to conceal and protect my privacy, especially from other civilians. 
  • The vulnerability of the truth and being honest about myself and my sense of who I am in the world.
  • I had to quickly overcome and gain a thicker skin, learning to adapt to feedback on the narrative during the editing process. 

10. If people can buy or read one book this week or month, why should it be yours? This is a story written for anyone who is battling something in life. Whether that battle is against something physical, or against the unseen, this story is for you. I believe that this story can and has given hope and compassion to its readers.

 Jonathon Benjamin is an author and playwright. He studied at George Washington University in Washington, DC. Having grown up in a military family, he enlisted in the Air Force. But, after a nearly fatal accident, he was retired, having served 5 years, 12 days and 4.5 hours. He began playwriting as an undergraduate and his first play was produced by the John F. Kennedy Center in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. That play became this book. Jonathon currently lives in Seattle, Washington and enjoys being back in the Pacific Northwest. Form ore info, please see: or


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Brian Feinblum should be followed on LinkedIn. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2023. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog, and El Chapo, a pug rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.4 million pageviews. With 4,600+ posts over the past dozen years, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby  and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Todd Duncan, Susan RoAne, John C. Maxwell, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, Independent Book Publishers Association Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, APEX, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:  



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