INTERVIEW: “Live Like A Fruit Fly” Author Gabe Berman
Gabe, thank you so much for spending some time with The Whirling Blog today. I’ve already shared with you that your book, Live Like A Fruit Fly, has inspired me and changed the way I look at my life, all life, really. I want to thank you for writing it and sharing your gift with the world. I tweeted at you and told you that if I had Oprah-like money, I’d buy hundreds of copies and give them to everyone I knew and to people on the street. That’s how important I think your book is.
You write in LLAFF how you always knew you wanted to be, or were, a writer but didn’t do anything about it. This is something that so many creative people go through. Can you give us a little bit of a glimpse into this time of your life and why ,at this point, you were a writer that wasn’t writing? What was blocking or stopping you?
This is a difficult question to answer because when I look at it with a macro perspective from where I sit now, all I see is providence and perfection.
Everything worked out the way it needed to and I am grateful.
Back then in the trenches of high school hell, I was just trying to pass my disgusting math classes while worrying if I’d ever get a date for the prom. I wasn’t writing because it wasn’t time to. I had the eye of a writer, but didn’t feel the burn to get anything on paper.
Maybe if I’d forced myself to write, I would have failed too early and wouldn’t have been able to deal with the incredible amount of rejection a writer may face. And then you and I wouldn’t be talking right now. But then again, maybe I would have already won a Pulitzer. Hmmm, do you have a time machine I can borrow?
We run into problems as adults when we feel the burn to be creative but put that on the back burner for a day which may never come.
Once you did start writing, were you just writing for the sake of creating, of doing what you loved to do? I ask because so many of us, especially creatives, put off doing what we love if it isn’t clear that we’ll succeed doing it, so we just sorta sit there with our talents . . .
After college, I was fired from or quit about twenty jobs. I knew it was time to start writing but who ever gets published, right?
All I would do is complain about wanting to write until a friend became fed up with me and gave me the push I needed. I literally owe everything to her.
I was writing just to write and that seemed to send a signal to the universe. Doors started to open (some of which I had to kick open).
One purpose of LLAFF is to give the same push to others my friend gave me.
How did the idea for the book, to live our lives like a fruit fly, come about? Did you study insects and have a knowledge of their life spans & thought processes and go from there or . . . . ? Because it’s so on point and true but I would’ve never thought I’d learn that from a fruit fly!
The only thing I know about bugs is that I hate them. I’d rather take my chances fighting a lion than even be in the same room as a spider.
The only thing I hate more than bugs is having to be somewhere where I don’t want to be. I was sitting at one of awful sales jobs, watching my life pass by, and I literally said to myself, “I really need to live like a fruit fly.”
There’s a lot of humor in the book, in fact, I kept on laughing out loud throughout but, the central message of the book is really quite a sobering one, isn’t it? Or shall we say, an awakening, snap-out-of-it one? I’m intrigued by how you were able to mix the two: the humor and the seriousness of the topic. Did one lead to the other?
LLAFF isn’t about death. It’s about life. But they’re pretty connected, aren’t they?
I didn’t intend for the book to have a serious or humorous direction. Actually, I had no intentions at all. I just knew I had to write it so I sat in front of my computer and waited for the words to come.
To me, soulful writing comes from a balance of surrender and effort.
I have to tell you that one of the reasons, one of the many, many reasons the book resonated with me, is your writing style because reading the book feels as if you, Gabe, are speaking directly to the reader. You even interrupt yourself, and us, in the middle of a chapter. It’s very real, very human . . . Was this something you thought about before writing the book or did it evolve organically once you started?
Bruce Springsteen can sing to thirty thousand people yet everyone in the audience feels as if he’s singing only to them.
Was this part of the plan? Was it organic? Yes.
You’ve mentioned that you didn’t want the book to be preachy. This is something that I also adhere to when writing for The Whirling Blog and that I tell all my contributors. I feel that a message is always heard more clearly when the person relating the message, knows first-hand what they’re talking about from experience.
I wrote a book I’d want to read. I don’t want to be preached to, talked down to or sold a bill of goods.
I know that life is short and I want to make the most of it. Thankfully my readers feel the same and I always consider the reader when I write.
The sequel to LLAFF is already in the works. What can we expect from The Fruit Fly Strikes Back?
Gunfights and sex scenes.
Or maybe not. I’ll probably stick to the fruit fly stuff and tell you, without doubt, that your life can become a self fulfilling prophecy because it has for me and I’m just like you (maybe just taller).
MUCH taller! Thank you Gabe for spending these precious, fruit fly minutes with The Whirling Blog. And thank you for sharing some of your wisdom with our readers with your article Active Appreciation and Instant Karma. I wish you much success and thank you once more for writing this truly inspired & important book!
Purchase Live Like A Fruit Fly here: Amazon
Visit Gabe here: GABEBERMAN.COM