We had the good fortune of connecting with Ben Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ben, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for them?
The main impact I have had with my daughter is through my availability. Until the pandemic, I worked nights, starting late enough that she would be in bed before I would leave. Concerning books and movies, I always believe family first. I slowed down my writing process to naps and after she slept on my nights off. With the filming of Fanboy, we almost always shot on Sunday so it wasn’t a problem for my wife Monique or another family member to watch her. My daughter is six now and we hang out all the time and get along famously, and I’m sure the time we’ve spent together has a lot to do with that.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
A few years ago some friends and I were shooting a short film. On the last day of production I talked them into making a feature length film. We are all musicians, so we agreed the story should center around a band or bands. A few weeks later I showed them the rough draft of Fanboy. We filmed for 2 & 1/2 years, everyone already having families and jobs making it a long process. Then post production, which is wrapping any day now, has taken another 2 years. I had no idea of the long haul it was when I began, and I am very thankful for that. One thing that sets me apart is raw enthusiasm. A film about music needs to involve crowds, and with sheer rah rah power and zero budget I managed to flesh out a film with 45 speaking roles and 250 people including extras. I have my job at Casbah as Bar Manager and minority owner to thank for that. Another thing has been my diverse body of work. I’ve long been a touring musician, but before my daughter was born I had transitioned into writing. After two novels the movie thing happened, making the books slow way down, which was also affected by my daughter being very young, as I have discussed. Now with the movie nearing completion I have returned to book three, which I anticipate being done very soon also. That would make my body of work include a feature that I wore many hats to complete, and a trilogy of books. I’m sure there are people who can say that, but none come to mind.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take my best friend through the myriad canyons to the southeast of Balboa park, which I often do with my best friend and other out of town guests. Look on the maps and go have fun!

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A huge shoutout to my wife, Monique Motley. Over the years she has unquestioningly supported my artistic endeavors, from touring with bands to writing novels and now through the making of a feature length film. A tireless worker, she is a constant inspiration. A couple years after our daughter was born she switched careers into real estate, and is making quite a name for herself. I would not be the man I am today in any respect without her. She even saw me through quitting drinking fifteen years ago, which many people from my former life would never have seen coming if it weren’t for Monique.

Website: https://www.amazon.com/kindle-dbs/entity/author/B00KI0D5L8?_encoding=UTF8&node=2656022011&offset=0&pageSize=12&searchAlias=stripbooks&sort=author-sidecar-rank&page=1&langFilter=default#formatSelectorHeader
Instagram: benjohnsonbooks@instagram.com
Twitter: @grammaticalb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/benjaminjrabbit

Image Credits
Tim Fears took both photos

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