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Marlan Warren is a free-lance publicist who promotes entertainers and book authors (Roadmap Communications and Book Publicity by Marlan, respectively). She is also a film maker (Roadmap Productions), Reiki Master/Teacher (Light Hands Reiki Studio and Institute), Screenwriter, Novelist, PhotoJournalist, Tai Chi practitioner. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: LUKE BENOIT - "ALL STORMS PASS NOT FOR STUPID"






Title:                              ALL STORMS PASS: The Anti-Meditations
Author:                          Luke Benoit
Date published:            2012 by CreateSpace
ISBN-10:                         0615520138
ISBN-13:                         978-0615520131
Author’s Web Site:       All Storms Pass
Available on Amazon:  Amazon: All Storms Pass

SUMMARY: Author and Life Coach Luke Benoit knows from personal experience what it feels like to rise up from the ashes like the mythical Phoenix, and lives to help others do the same. His book has helped me in my own dark times.

all storms pass

 and happiness will always be a decision
even when I feel like I can’t make it.

 I can learn to stay out of my own way
no matter what has happened to me
or where I’ve come from
or what I’ve done or not done
in the past.

 and I can let the good inside me
take and carry me

and let that shape be
revealed
to me

    - All Storms Pass:  The Anti-Meditations by Luke Benoit


“You’re not going to get this book if you’re stupid,” said author and Life Coach Luke Benoit during a chat about his new book All Storms Pass: The Anti-Meditations. “You’re just not.”

I would love that on a t-shirt. Hope they come out soon.

Taken out of context, this statement may sound a tad arrogant, but what author hasn’t thought that about their book and kept it private? In context, Benoit was saying different people will get different things out of his book and some may never get it. The way he said it is typical of his straight-from-the-heart / take-it-or-leave-it style that forms the spine of All Storms Pass which opens with this “Statement of Self-Esteem”:

 “If anyone ever told you that you were less than wonderful…they lied.”

Okay, so what about Hitler? Shouldn’t he have listened to people who said he was less than wonderful? But this proves Benoit’s point. The stout-hearted narcissistic sociopaths (aka “stupids”) of this world will never seek wisdom, humility and healthy self-esteem. You won’t find them searching their souls in a 12-Step or hiring therapists or “life coaches.”

Benoit has alchemized tried-and-true “recovery” maxims, pop culture sayings and lyrics, and a dollop of his own raw honesty to create a series of healing “poems” that move the reader and stimulate contemplation. On the back cover, he acknowledges the book's similarities with classic meditation books such as Melody Beattie’s The Language of Letting Go, but advises his meditations are “very different.”

All Storms Pass has only been out a few weeks, and is already gaining popularity as it garners great reviews, including one Midwesterner who admitted Fear of Californian Superficiality before actually reading it and finding resonance.

I also reviewed the book favorably, so it was a pleasure to be able to pick Luke Benoit’s brain about the book’s process and publication. Before we launch into the interview, Benoit expresses happy exhaustion: “It’s like having a baby!”

Q:  Are you from the West Coast originally?

A:   I was born in Providence, Rhode Island. Prep School educated. Escaped at 18 to be as far away from every part of my life as possible. I came to Los Angeles to go to USC Film School and study screenwriting. But as the B-52's said, "Remember, wherever you go there you are..."


Q:  Where do you live now?

A:   Orange County, California.


Q:  Tell me about the Anti-Meditations.

A:   They are called the Anti-Meditations because they are very different from meditations that you would read in traditional meditation books.  A lot of them are dark or challenging, and some of them are like poems.  But they're never simple and they don't necessarily give you a simple answer or tool for a "one day at a time" solution.  Because sometimes I think life just isn't like that.


Q:  How did you come to write this book?

A:   Well,  All Storms Pass is me.  It just came out of me.  It has my personality.

I had a lot of different trainings in Recovery and the 12-Step Program, and in mental health and personal therapy and reading and reading and lots and lots of work on myself. I suppose it sounds big-headed but it just truly a reflection of who I am.


Q:  How long did it take you to write the book?

A:   Two-and-a-half years. I didn't have too much of a plan.  It was actually something that just happened. I started writing these things down for people I knew and some clients that I was working with, and then it turned into a real discipline, and I was doing it five and six days a week. I was getting a lot of positive reinforcement and feedback, and people kept telling me that I should put them together and make a book out of them; and I really liked that idea and then POOF there was a book.  Although there was nothing POOF about it at all.  It was a huge amount of work that went on and on forever but I always loved it.  Even during the whole process.  I just wished it was shorter.

Q:  Can you tell me a little about what you were going through at the time you were writing? Were you suffering at the time you were writing these Anti-Meditations?

A:   I did end up going through very hard times when I was writing this book.  And it was strange when I was writing them that they did turn into a kind of diary but most people didn't really know or recognize that this was going on. It was almost like I was writing in secret, you know?

Q: How did you get into Life Coaching?

A:   I took the training because it sounded interesting and like it might open up some options for me. I already had a background in Mental Health and many years of recovery.

Q:  What’s the difference between being a therapist and being a life coach?

A:   Therapy is based on a pathology model.  The idea is that you are dealing with people who are sick and who need to get well, generally from experts and outside healing. Life coaching assumes that people are basically well and that they just need someone to help them solve their problems.

Q:  What do you mean by “expert”? What’s the difference between an expert and a layperson?

A:  Like a surgeon. Not equal to the patients.

Q:  Any favorite passages?

A:   It's funny because I love almost all of them but sometimes I open up the book and it's like I sort of don't remember writing them, and then I'll say, ”Oh, yeah.  I remember this one."  I really like All Storms Pass. And I also really love The Self-Esteem Statement --that's just a part of who I am.

Q: What would you say to people who might say there's othing left to say about recovery? Why should they read your book? What can it give them?

A:  First of all, Recovery is the bomb.  The 12-Step programs are the bomb.  They have saved my life 20 times over and that's no exaggeration.  But I'm not sure that I'd really call this just a “Recovery Book,” even though it deals with a lot of Recovery tools and issues. This is more a book about struggles and going through struggles and people who have been in Recovery or a Program have had lots of that. I see this book as something to enjoy just because you relate to it so much that you see yourself in it. 

Q:  If you could sum up in a word what you got out of this book, what would it be?

A:  Self-esteem. It made me feel like I was creative and smart. Because I knew they were good, and people told me that I was good at this, and I could say: "Well at least I am good at this and I am REALLY good at something.” And that gave me hope and it empowered me.

It was a very strange experience yet very empowering at the same time.

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This 2012 interview was originally published on my blog: