Brandi Benson had only recently come into her new life as a soldier in the U.S. Army when she was sent to wartime Iraq, just months after basic training. She forms a mental picture of the threats she might face, composed of M16s, hand grenades, and land mines. Her first encounter with a dangerous threat comes during an aeroplane ride to a hospital in Germany and ironically propels her toward an internal battle that leaves her reeling in shock. To Brandi’s surprise, this threat does not appear in the form of men with machine guns, but on a medical scan that reads, Ewing’s Sarcoma. Once a vibrant 24-year old wearing the picture of fitness and perfect health, Brandi faces a different type of war that requires new weapons: hope, faith, and strength.The Enemy Inside Me is a poignant, yet true account of a young soldier’s fight with cancer, that begins miles away from enemy lines. Her journey is a gripping reminder that every moment is a gift and every breath is a blessing.
Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Brandi Benson whose book The Enemy Inside Me inspired and moved me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend this book to all of those that love inspirational memoirs but really the book can be read by anybody as it is flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight for Brandi Benson, a biography of the author and an interview between us both will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Brandi Benson!
Brandi Benson is a speaker and author, and the founder of the premier employment service company, Resume-Advantage. Ten years ago, after being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, Ewing Sarcoma, Brandi fought to overcome her diagnosis, heal after her treatments, and to reclaim her life through therapy, physical activity, and other healthy living practices.
After writing a memoir chronicling her experience, she created the Brandi L. Benson fundraising campaign, dedicated to raising money for the Ewing Sarcoma Foundation and spreading awareness of the importance of good mental health practices when recovering from traumatic events. Through her speaking engagements and appearances, Brandi seeks to transform the lives of her audiences by encouraging them to pursue the avenues of therapy available to them and to take charge of their healing. Her goal is to provide a blueprint of strategies and resources for survivors and their loved ones that will help improve their overall mental health and decrease the likelihood of mental decline.
Brandi lives and works in Savannah, GA. She is active in her community, taking part in organizations like The Livestrong Foundation and volunteering time to individuals diagnosed with and recovering from cancer. Brandi is a board member for the Future Minds Literacy program and provides public relations and marketing services for the Ella Foundation, an organization working to aid those who have been affected by violence, mental illness, and the criminal justice system.
Brandi endeavors to bring her message on the importance of mental wellness after trauma to audiences across the United States and abroad.
Now, how wonderful does Brandi Benson sound?! The author is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between us both, I hope that you enjoy the author’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!
Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself?
Born in the dry valley climate of southern San Bernardino, California on September 13, 1984 to Tippi Benson and Andre Hill, her mother, who was just sixteen at the time, Tippi went on to raise Brandi and her younger sister Michelle with a burgeoning career as a hair stylist. Brandi’s father, who died in 2000, was a talented artist and musician. It is perhaps from her father that Brandi received her own creative talent.
Brandi has been an adventurer and sports enthusiast since birth. At the age of 13, she began playing on varsity basketball and soccer teams, and participating in Olympic Development Program (ODP) and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Unfortunately, part of treating her Ewing Sarcoma required the removal of the left Adductor muscle in her leg. But Brandi’s battle with this rare cancer, which ended her military career and her ability to excel further in sports, later sparked a life full of service and adventure. Now a 10-year cancer survivor, Brandi has become a gym enthusiast and has taken up salsa dancing, yoga, Pilates, and painting. Her brush with Ewing Sarcoma also awakened the traveler in her and she has taken her sense of adventure to places such as Spain, Belgium, Ireland, Iraq, Hungary, the Bahamas, and Costa Rica and she is constantly looking for new places to visit.
Brandi lives in Savannah, GA with her Jack Russel/Yorkie, Maddie and is making plans for her next adventure, training for the Paralympics Games, Olympic events for athletes with disabilities.
The work you are doing is amazing and it is so exciting that you are training for the Paralympic Games! Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?
This book originally started as a journal for my nephew, Donavin. He was two or three at the time, and I wanted to leave something behind that he would at least formulate a picture from my entries. He was very young, and I did not think he would remember me very well if I just as a memory told from my family.
These journals eventually became a way to express my deepest fears and myself as well. This was an excellent outlet for me; I was petrified of death and starring it right in the face old solidified my concerns.
After I realized that I was not going to die, I made a promise to myself that I would turn these pages into an actual book to not only share my story but spread the awareness about this type of rare cancer – Ewing Sarcoma.
Thank you so much for sharing this with us. What would your advice be for aspiring writers?
I would tell aspiring writers to read what they love, study the authors they love and write everyday even if it is a page.
This is great advice! In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book?
The subject is the most important ‘thing’ in a book, but I also feel like details are as well. Being able to describe in great detail is the KEY, and that is what I am great at doing.
My goal for this book was to deliver a story that has been told before a million times in a different way. Sure, we all know someone who has cancer, but the question is, how are you doing to tell the story different, and how are you going to keep the writer’s interest … the answer is details. The details will keep the reader glued to the book. And that is what I did in my book.
What is your writing process like?
I have many different writing processes. If I am going to write an essay on something that is nonfiction about my childhood, I will listen to music from that particular time frame; I will call family members that can help stirrup memories for me, I will read other authors who have written material that I am trying to conjure up. I try to take myself back to that time, and back to those spaces … I listen to what my memory says and my emotions that come flashing back. I do this for all my topics.6) Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, and David Foster
Great choices! Lastly, when can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?
I am going to write a prequel and a sequel to my book The Enemy Inside Me. I want to give the readers more of who I was before cancer, a bit more about my particular treatment, and life after cancer. I am a 10-year survivor. That is a massive milestone with someone who has had this type. It would even be safe to say, it is rare.
Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Brandi Benson! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more about Brandi Benson, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.
Goodbye for now book lovers,