Friday, October 24, 2014

Straight Talk from the Library: Benjamin DeHaven on Critique Groups

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


I’m not even sure I know what a critique group is, if I do then I have only been in one that was amazing and it was during a screenwriting class. The point of the group is to build strength and give you a voice and sounding board. So many people bring nothing to the table, but criticism. And some people come to re-assure that they are correct. There is much to be learned, but don’t be crafted into something you’re not by any remarks. So my take is: Take what value you can, and leave the rest behind, because other people are doing it, where you are still critiquing what it is you’re supposed to be doing.


A ghost, a philanthropist, a con man, a devout Catholic, a gigolo, a savior, an heir, a common man, and an addict are just some of the words used to describe Michael Enzo, who some sources credit with ghost-writing more than 108 self-help books on behalf of celebrities, politicians and business leaders. After failing to make what he considered to be a positive impact on society he began to destroy those closest to him including Benjamin DeHaven, the author of this book, and former collaborator. Defrauding an industry for almost 20 years by exploiting people's insecurities and profiting from them, more than likely these friends contributed more to the field of self-help, while profiting from it, than they will ever know. Believing they could only understand people's problems by suffering along with them, they lived on the razor's edge. If you've ever picked up a tell-all biography of a celebrity or a title from the self-help section at the bookstore, certainly you would question the source.This is an inside look at the mind of Michael Enzo and it is the author's hope that people will start helping themselves again after reading it. Discover what turns someone from preaching salvation towards seeking its destruction. You won't believe this could be true.


A Graduate of Columbia College in Chicago, Benjamin DeHaven keeps his heart in Chicago and his soul in New Orleans. He holds a MBA from Tulane and a film degree from Columbia. Once ejected from a community college for arguing Frost cried out for acceptance in Birches, he has since written screenplays, traded futures in Madrid, and was Editor in Chief of the Nola Shopper Newspaper, a free art newspaper and the 2nd largest monthly paper in the New Orleans, MSA. . He also has a "shout out" in a Jay "Z" Song.

DeHaven, who currently resides in Las Vegas began his writing career with Stone United, a Chicago based Film Company, which works primarily in independent film. As an unknown fiction writer, he feels the best description of himself, is a sarcastic one and is as follows:

Benjamin W. DeHaven was born on a pool table after a Waylon Jennings' concert in 1977. His personal success is outweighed only by his stunning good looks and adherence to unwritten moral guidelines. He has been described as a thinking man's Tucker Max as well as an idiot's Hunter S. Thompson. His goal is to die from an unwavering commitment to be more like Hemingway.

He and Michael Enzo were friends.

Amazon Author Page: Goodreads:

Buy the book at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I really enjoyed your interview. I think it is something all writers should read,

  2. Thanks so much for hosting me today! Excited and hope some great readers find some Amazon Gift Cards

  3. This sounds like a really interesting book

  4. Good critique groups are definitely hard to find. Sometimes you can get great critiques from people totally unfamiliar with the genre you're writing in, while other times your critiquers will just exasperatingly write question marks over your entire manuscript with no explanations. I'm in a critique group right now that takes everything pretty seriously, which is awesome. Which reminds me... I have to get back to writing my next excerpt!

  5. Loved the excerpt sounds really interesting! entering under the name of Virginia