Today I’m talking with Chris Bent. So, Chris, tell me a little bit about why you started writing.
I guess it was for…no…six, eight years ago, I started to think about my kids, and did they really know me. ‘Cause kids really don’t know parents. They think, they think they do, but they don’t. It’s only when you get older do you understand a little more about life. Well, now that I’m 74, I want to make sure that there’s a record of who I was. Not just a stupid, conventional eulogy; there has to be more there. So in a way, this book started…I started to write letters to them.
Some of them became letters to the editor of the local paper, some of which were printed. And because they were going…possibly, in the paper, they had to be limited in length, which means 200, 300, 400 words. And we’re all used to writing things at 700, 800, 1,000 words I guess. I mean we just think when you write something it has to be long, or chapters in books are long.
But there was something about writing it short, forced by the newspaper that added a new dimension. I’d come up with a subject, a silly subject…it could be “beer belly”…and it just comes to me out of nowhere, and I’ll throw the title down and I’ll just start writing. And it flows. I don’t know where it comes from, but it comes from somewhere. There’s always humor, and there’s always wit, and it’s always short, and it finishes, hopefully, with a strong message.
In the course of writing it became value driven, meaning as we all know today…getting values, planting values in kids is really difficult, and it’s hard for parents, especially with the whole social network…networking cancer that’s eroding the family structure.
So a lot of what I write is geared to those of us who are concerned, but a lot of what I write, because of my SEAL background, can reach the hearts of kids. I can…I become an authority of good. And that’s what my mission is, to reach them.
You’ll find that there’re no real allusions to religion, or to God in it, but we’re talking about core values. And if I can get one kid to stop and think about doing things the right way, and the unselfish way, and get them into the joy of helping others then I’ve accomplished what I’m setting out to do.
But it all happens really spontaneously. I mean, if you saw the list of titles I’ve yet to write, you’d laugh. My new book is going to be called 1-800-For-Women-Only. And why? I don’t know. It’s like…why not? So titles that I’m working on, or have already done are “Skirt Sense,” “Pay Scale,” “His Mother,” “Marry me,’ “Divorce Me,” “Nail Salon,” “Old Woman,” “Just A Minute Honey,” etcetera, “Is There A cell Phone Signal,” “Monday Night Football.” Well, who would ever think that these would be valid topics for anything substantive or serious? But I’m dead serious, but as the writing starts, it just starts, and it’s over in 300 words.
Actually, when it’s over 300 words or so you start repeating yourself, and you’re boring the reader. My books, 1-800-I-AM-UNHAPPY, series Volume 1 and Volume 2 …you can go into that at any page, any chapter, and just grab a little vignette, and you don’t have to feel like you’ve gotta read the book. And every one of them has a message. So I’m excited about it. I’m pretty sure it’s unique, but I don’t know, but I’m just doin’ it.
New from Chris Bent; the book series 1-800-I-AM-UNHAPPY
Author of the 1-800-I-AM-UNHAPPY series