Spotlight Interview with Author Gabe Berman
Every now and then I pick up a book that not only touches me but causes me to rethink a few things about myself. Such is the case with Live Like A Fruit Fly by Gabe Berman. I read this book after meeting Gabe on Twitter and I have to say that his unique look at life and what drives – or doesn’t drive – most people was a breath of fresh air. Gabe’s book isn’t your usual “self help” fodder, or even a formula memoir. He gives the reader a look at his own life while imparting the lessons he himself learned by making most of the same mistakes we all do, but which multitudes never have the insight from which to learn. His experiences paralleled my own in many ways but Gabe told his story with a candid, revealing lens aimed directly at himself, and the result is a book that was endorsed by Deepak Chopra.
Gabe relates to his readers through his wit, his charm, his down to earth dialogue, and more than a sprinkling of pop culture references that most everyone will recognize. As usual, whenever I read a book this eye opening, I feel the need to know as much about its author as I can. So I wrote to Gabe and asked him for an interview. He happily accepted and we had a very nice exchange. He’s open, honest, and extremely engaging. I came away feeling that I’d made a new friend. And ready to try to “live like a fruit fly” myself.
CP: Welcome, Gabe. Thanks for visiting with me.
GB: Well, I owed you for saving my life at Normandy.
CP: (Laughing.) I’d like to begin by asking what was the impetus behind the comparison with a fruit fly for your book?
GB: Fruit flies are born, buzz around a bit and then are gone. Usually within ten days. They don't have time to sit around and worry. Neither do we.
CP: Tell me what motivated you to write this?
GB: The Fruit Fly concept came to me during one of my lame sales jobs. The boss was pissed at me for figuring out the path of least resistance in the sales cycle. I honestly thought I was going to get a pat on the back. But alas, such is life in Corporate America. I then knew it was time to start following my passions. And, for the record, I was fired before I had a chance to quit. The Universe was looking out for me.
CP: You’re very revealing in the book. Were you hesitant to talk about your personal life so extensively?
GB: I wasn't hesitant at all. And I'm convinced that's why my book works. People connect with it. If not, it would just be another bland, preachy self-help book. And we've all read enough of those. And by "read" I mean skimmed through.
CP: What was your goal with Live Like A Fruit Fly?
GB: My goal was to write the best book I could. To cut no corners. Only then would it help people to live the lives they hoped for.
CP: Do you feel you achieved this?
GB: Yes, it's my Catcher In The Rye.
CP: You use several pop culture references in the book. Were these things that meant something to you personally?
GB: How could I not make references to Star Wars? It's become part of our collective consciousness. Luke Skywalker was just a farm boy with a bad haircut who ends up saving the universe from evil. We're all capable of greatness.
CP: Deepak Chopra endorsed Live Like A Fruit Fly. How did that come about?
GB: I saved his life at Normandy. Actually, the nationally syndicated radio host Alan Colmes found my book on Amazon. Thankfully, he loved it and gave it to his friend Deepak Chopra who thankfully loved it as well.
CP: And did this add to the validation of your mission?
GB: Yes it certainly added validation to the mission. If you build it, they will come (if it doesn't suck.)
CP: What do you see as the most important tenant for others in Live Like A Fruit Fly?
GB: Forget about "seize the day.” Instead, seize THIS day.
CP: What do you hope readers take away from the book?
GB: Life is too short not to be extraordinary. And if you're just a little more kind to yourself and to others, that's extraordinary enough.
CP: Are you working on another project at the moment? And if so what can you share about it?
GB: The Fruit Fly Strikes Back. I thought I'd get the pop culture reference out of the way from the get-go.
CP: (Laughing.) What other publications do you write for?
GB: I wrote for The Miami Herald for eight years. And now I write for www.Alan.com from time to time.
CP: Any regrets about Live Like A Fruit Fly?
GB: I have no regrets about anything.
CP: What do you like to do in your ‘Gabe’ time?
GB: You can find me in a Starbucks, in a bookstore or on the beach. One day I'll get around to sleeping. I've heard a lot about it.
GB: I'm holding out for Diane Lane.
CP: Any children?
GB: How can I have children when I'm still a kid? Wait, I'm almost forty? Really? You're joking, right?
CP: (Laughing.) What are you reading right now?
GB: A Thousand Names For Joy by Byron Katie. For the seventh time.
CP: Favorite place?
GB: The house I grew up in. I visit often. And the new owners are always like: "Who the hell are you and why are you naked in our kitchen?" (Joking - my parents still live there and I'm never naked in the kitchen).
CP: (Laughing out loud!) Favorite food?
GB: Hotdogs (although I've been a vegetarian for five six years - I remember the taste well).
CP: Favorite movie?
GB: Just one? Dead Poets Society. And Tree Of Life. And Good Will Hunting. Caddyshack.
CP: Personal preference: long sleeves or barefoot weather?
GB: I live in flip-flops.
CP: What advice or wisdom would you like to pass along here?
GB: Follow your gut. It will never lead you astray.
CP: And what are you most proud of?
GB: Following my gut. Always.
Gabe’s book does what few others like it do: it delivers. Live Like A Fruit Fly makes the reader feel that he’s right there with Gabe, learning the lessons for himself, instead of simply reading about them. It’s that good. So how about it? Are you ready to “live like a fruit fly?” You won’t regret it and you won’t look back either.
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