Yep, that’s right…we are starting the year off in a bang. We had the pleasure of sitting down with an awesome awesome writer and Daddy who many of you know, Ben Mezrich. Ben has authored fifteen books, with a combined printing of over 4 million copies, including the wildly successful Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, which spent sixty-three weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and sold over 2 million copies in fifteen languages. His book, The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, a Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal – debuted at #4 on the New York Times list and spent 18 weeks in hardcover and paperback. The book was adapted into the movie The Social Network –written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher – and was #1 at the box office for two weeks, won Golden Globes for best picture, best director, best adapted screenplay, best score, and was nominated for 8 Oscars. Now, Mezrich is Hollywood’s next big thing.
Tell us about your kids. What’s it like being a Dad?
I’ve got two kids, a 4.5 year old Tasmanian devil of a boy, and a perfect little 2.5 year old girl. They like each other most of the time, which is good, and they have tons of energy, which is why I am in near constant physical pain. Truthfully, they are awesome, I didn’t realize I’d like having kids as much as I do. Being a dad is much harder than being a writer, but it’s incredibly fun, most of the time.
Talk to us about your parenting style.
I’m the pushover, and my kids know it. I don’t have a tempter at all, and really can’t get mad even if I should; when the kids are bad, I have to call in mommy. When I try and fake being mad, they usually see through it. Overall, I try to keep things fun and safe. I read a lot about dealing with kids, so I know all the tricks; usually I can foresee a problem and cut it off before it gets too crazy. Both kids are really into books, which is great. We travel a lot, and they are pros on planes.
What is the one thing you cannot live without as a Dad?
My mancave. My office is in the same building as our apartment, so I can sneak down in the middle of the night and work, or play poker, or sleep. I also am pretty liberal with the Ipads/Iphone, sometimes the kids just need to stare at a screen so we can get things done. Probably not the best medicine, but it sure as hell works.
From a tech standpoint (apps,websites, gadgets, etc), what are the two things you cannot live without?
Like I said, Ipad, Iphone. The 4.5 year old has mastered netflix, and we try to keep him into the age appropriate stuff. He’s also managed to find youtube on every device no matter how hard I try to hide it. I’m not so thrilled about that, since he gets to things that he shouldn’t see. Other gadgets are a wake-up light, which we’ve had varied results with. And lots of timers, timers work well with our kids to get them to transition from thing to thing.
From Bringing Down The House to The Accidental Billionaires to now Seven Wonders, you’ve penned some amazing books. What is the latest news for Ben Mezrich?
I’ve actually just published an ebook, Q, a sort of dystopic sci-fi thriller about an ebola like virus and the quarantine response when it hits new york. You can get it on kindle! Summer, I’ve got another big nonfiction book coming out, called Once Upon A Time In Russia, but it’s still pretty secret.
You are a busy man. How do you juggle your career demands with the family responsibilities?
It’s crazy, and exhausting, but also it seems to be my most productive period. I don’t know how or why. When I’m working on a book, I pretty much write every minute I can, all night long. My wife is a great supporter of my work, and helps with my research. We have a fantastic nanny as well to help out during the week. I try not to travel too much away from the family, but sometimes it’s unavoidable, so we do a lot of facetime when I’m gone.
What authors/books have inspired and influenced you the most?
Hemingway, Hunter S Thompson, and Michael Crichton.
What’s on your bedside table now?
I’m reading a book about the Japanese Yakuza by the daughter of a former crime boss. I can’t remember the title but it’s pretty good.
“The Chronicles of a Hip Daddy” seems like a pretty great name and idea for a book. Any interest? ha.
Sounds good, I’m happy to give you a blurb!
For more on Hip Daddy Ben, follow him on Twitter here.
Photo Credit: CHRISCLOSE.COM