Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Straight Chatting from the Library - A. William Benitez

Browse through RELATIONSHIP by A. William Benitez at The Library as part of her virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

What is the favorite book you remember as a child?
Hemingway’s Nick Adams short stories.

What is your favorite book today?
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran because of the impact it has had on my life for many years.

Tell us about your current book in 10 words.
Notes on maintaining happy and healthy relationships from personal experience.

What are you reading right now?
I am reading several books on book marketing to help me market all the books I have published.

What books do you have on hold at the library?

Do you have any bad book habits?
No, I like books and take good care of them.

E-Reader or print? and why?
I mostly use a Kindle Reader because I like to read several books at once and it’s much easier to have them with me with an e-reader.

One book at a time or multiples?
Fiction one at a time. How-to in multiples. I always have eight or ten how to ebooks in my kindle and jump around and make notes for future reference.

Dog-ear or bookmark? (don't worry—Librarian Judith won't hold it against you—much)
When I start a print book I grab one of my business cards to use as a bookmark.

Least favorite book you've read this year?
The Goldfinch

Favorite book you've read this year?
A Long Hard Look

When do you do most of your reading?
In the evening after dinner and on Sunday afternoons.

Favorite place to read?
Our Sunroom because it looks out on our backyard and four bird feeders so I can relax and watch the birds when I tire of reading.

Favorite genre?
Fiction – Mysteries and Epics Non-Fiction – How-to

Do you loan your books?
Rarely. I would rather give them away and not worry about them being returned.

Favorite book to recommend?
The Way To Love by Anthony DeMello

How do you keep your books organized?
I have book shelves set up by genre mostly but now most of my book are on my Kindle and in my archive.

Re-reader or not?
I do re-read books that I really like. I usually wait a year of more but I will read them again if I really enjoyed it.

What would make you not finish a book?
I have finished some books that I really didn’t enjoy believing that sooner or later they would redeem themselves but it seldom happens and I wind up disappointed but I seldom quit once I have started.

Keep books or give them away?
If I really enjoyed it I will probably keep it on my book shelf but some books I give away and I do buy and give books as gifts it they are really good.


When I decided to write this book on relationship, my wife Barbara was surprised and cautioned me by saying that she would not dare write such a book because it was such a varied topic with so many nuances. That scared me because she is certainly more qualified to write about relationship than I am. I hesitated for a while but then I jumped in.

I have written about relationship before but was not satisfied with the results but now, for some unknown reason, I felt ready to tackle this huge topic and feel good about this book. I don’t see myself as an expert on relationship but I definitely have a lot to share that may be helpful to others.

The book contains ten chapters including What is Love, What is A Good Relationship, Fostering and Nurturing Relationships, Harming Relationships, Mutual Respect, Boundaries, Marriage, Breakups and Divorce, Helpful Tips, Final Thoughts, plus a Preface and an Introduction.


Mutual Respect

After several conversations about respect I realized there might be some confusion regarding its exact meaning. It seemed like a good idea to address that confusion and settle on a clear definition of respect before writing this chapter. This turned out to be a task that was much easier said than done. It seemed that mutual respect would be an “I’ll know it when I see it topic,” and that just wasn’t good enough. I thought about it for a while and decided that I needed to look back to my past and do a little research before coming up with a meaning with which I was comfortable.

My first lessons in respect came from my father who commanded respect from everyone who knew him. He strongly believed that you never allowed anyone to take advantage of you or your family. He told me that, if anyone did attempt to take advantage or put you down, the immediate response had to hurt enough to ensure they would never do it again. Few people tried to take advantage of him, and no one did it twice. That may be a form of respect, but it seemed to cross over into fear and it didn’t seem a good lesson for mutual respect in intimate relationships.

As I looked back, many situations with family, friends, acquaintances, flirtations, and partners came to mind. Some were pleasant and definitely reflected mutual respect while others not so much. It was obvious there were many times when I could have been more respectful and brought about a better outcome. Even though no one can change the past, it can be a source of valuable lessons and helped to write a definition of mutual respect to share with others.

All those experiences over the years gave me many ideas about respect and by adding a small amount of research I realized that mutual respect had various meanings. Based on all of this effort I was able to develop a definition and when this book mentions respect it is based on that specific definition. I couldn’t come up with a short definition so here is a list that defines respect for my partner and others.

Regard your partner with consideration, appreciation, and acceptance just as she is, not as you believe she should be.

Accept and value your partner’s point of view even if it differs from yours.

Honor your partner’s right to privacy by not intruding, interfering, or spying.

I spent most of my adult life self-employed after being born into the construction business. I
worked with my father and then spent more than ten years as a general contractor, building
homes and commercial buildings in Tampa, Florida.
For more than twelve years, I worked as a government official running housing related programs
for the City of Tampa and then operated a publishing and consulting business on housing
rehabilitation. During this time, I testified on this subject before the Housing Sub Committee of
the U.S. Congress.
For several years, I operated an active woodworking business in Tampa, Florida and then in
Austin, Texas. My cabinets, furniture, and carvings can be found in private homes, businesses,
churches, and public buildings in both cities.
In 1996, I began working for the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas and am now the IT Manager.
In 2007 I established a new writing and publishing business called Positive Imaging, LLC and
now write and publish how to books.
My first marriage ended after 17 years and I remained single for 14 years before marrying
Barbara. We have been married over twenty-three years and share a happy and healthy
relationship. We now live in Austin, Texas.
I learned a great deal from my first marriage and other relationships. However, my years with
Barbara have been my most valuable learning and growing experience and definitely the
happiest years of my life.
All the information in this book is based on my first-hand experiences, a small amount of
research, and discussions with other couples. I sincerely hope that you will find it of real value in
your own relationships. If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for hosting my new book on Relationship. I hope to respond to many comments and questions today.

  2. I definitely believe that mutual respect is critical for a happy and healthy relationship. I would appreciate comments on the excerpt above. Please read it and comment. At the end of the day I will select the comment on mutual respect that I like most and send that person a free autographed copy of my Relationship book. Please comment. Thanks.

  3. Older people deciding to write books really warms my heart. And what a cute cover!

    1. Thank you. The cover has a story. I hired an artist from elance to do the cover using a photo that I had. He did the job with the background and sent me the Photoshop file. I later realized that the photo was taken by a professional at a wedding and I was concerned that I did not have the right to publish it. I asked the artist to create a drawing to replace the photo and just keep the background which I really liked. Unfortunately, he failed to deliver and I was stuck with just the background. I used Photoshop to complete the cover using a picture for which I had the rights and it turned out even better.

  4. I enjoyed the interview, it was fun learning more about you. Glad to hear you don't Dog-ear a book, that drives me nuts. lol

  5. Thanks Rita, I don't like to write in or even highlight books. I prefer to just take notes on a pad or notebook.

    1. I take real good care of my books, they look brand new when I finish reading them.

  6. Interesting interview--usually it's the other way around with fiction and how-tos!

    Trix, vitajex(At)Aol(Dot)com

    1. Fiction is for enjoyment but how-to is for learning to improve your work or your life. I read the fiction to relax.