This Blog: Welcome to Story Life, a blog about writing, creativity, adventure, and all things in between.

About Me: My name is David Ben-Ami, but some of my friends call me Dave.  I’m a twenty-seven-year-old writer and (not so) recent graduate from Vanderbilt University with a double major in English and Economics. I currently live in DC.  In February 2019 I left my job at a consulting company to pursue my dream of becoming a fiction author, and I’m currently working full-time on my debut novel. Outside of writing, I love every single D.C. sports team, going out with my friends, watching great TV and movies, traveling, and going to the gym. Of course, I also love my dog and my girlfriend (in that order).

I started this blog several years ago because I was supposed to ‘build an author platform.’ I lost the thread of it several times, only to find it again, and now it’s much more than it used to be. I keep blogging because I love it. I love the people I get to meet, the way I get to express myself, and the accountability of blogging. Writing a blog post that really shows a piece of who I am makes me happy. I think that there are worse reasons to do something.

Why Writing?  There are a lot of way to answer this, but the simplest is that I’m obsessed with a good story.  Not only in books but in movies, TV shows, and even plays.  I think that Game of Thrones (the books and the first 6 seasons) is some of the best entertainment ever created; the first season of Westworld is such a masterpiece that I could watch it 20 times; even shows with smaller budgets like The Magicians (based on Lev Grossman’s novels) hit a vein of truth with some episodes that is to be admired; the musical Wicked makes me laugh and cry every time I see it.

There’s something about a fictional story that can capture some special piece of human existence even better than real life can – stories make you realize things about yourself and ask the tough questions. Stories can be a study on larger things like right and wrong, society, memories, forgiveness, the nature of evil.  I guess that it’s the chance to write a compelling story, and capture something more than just the thrill of the ride in it, that keeps me fascinated and keeps me going.  It’s important to have balance – not a story so heavy on message that it’s slow, but also not a story so exciting and quick that it’s too thin.  I think the best books are the exciting ones you read without being able to put down, but can’t stop thinking about after you’re done.

If I were to cut out all the geekiness above, I’d just say that stories are really freaking entertaining, and I love them.

If you want to ask a question or just say hi, send me a private message from the ‘Contact’ page in the menu header.  You can also follow me on Twitter or Instagram (@Dibenami) for more posts, links, and quotes about writing.

Here are a few more, sometimes random, things about me:

Where are you from? I’m from Rockville, Maryland. When people ask me where I’m from I usually just say DC because it’s easier. I graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, which is at the top of my recommendation list of cities for people to visit. I came back to DC to work at a consulting company, where I spent 4.5 awesome years and wrote during my free time. Since February 2019 I’ve been writing full-time, still living in downtown DC.

Did you want to be a writer growing up? Nope. Not even close. I didn’t start entertaining the idea of being a writer until 9th grade. Through my entire childhood I always wanted to be an NFL running back – a dream I held onto until I realized I broke a bone pretty much every time I played a contact sport.

What is your favorite book? What a stupid question to ask me, David. It’s obviously Harry Potter.  If anybody dares say anything other than Harry Potter I am prepared to fight them.  (The tier right below Harry Potter is littered with books from The Stand and The Shining, to A Song of Ice and Fire – the Game of Thrones series, to The Silence of the Lambs. Honorable mention to His Dark Materials).

What is your favorite movie?  Another no brainer. Star Wars, although that’s actually six movies (kind of funny that I wrote this initial About Me page before they rebooted the franchise).  I just can’t stop admiring what an incredible story and universe that series created.  But perhaps my favorite thing about it was how they humanized Darth Vader in the form of Anakin Skywalker in the prequel movies (even though the original trilogy was miles better).  You really understand the choices he made and see the tragedy behind the way he was manipulated.  If I had to choose a single movie I’d choose Inglourious Basterds (yes, that is how the movie is actually spelled).  I took a class on War on Screen last semester, and if you’ve watched that movie less than three times you’re really missing out.  I laugh more at that movie every single time I watch it. Honorable mention to The Dark Knight.

What is one other thing that people should know about you?  I love people.  It sounds obvious, but I’m serious. People are great.  I love my family and my friends.  I love going out with them.  I love sitting on the couch watching sports and laughing with the guys.  I love the jokes you can start to make when you spend a lot of time over consecutive years with the same people.  I love the random people I meet in DC. I love imagining things about groups of people I pass on the sidewalk. I love the characters I create.  I love the characters I read about.  I find it hard to write because it’s a solo activity, so I spend my time working at it furiously and concentrating hard because I know that once I finish I’ll be able to go hang out with my friends and have a great time.

157 comments on “About”

  1. Thank you so much for “liking” my recent Uncle Ken’s Book Club post on A Bloggy Mess. Perry Morgan is probably my favorite work yet, and I have written copious amounts of “literature”. I appreciate it, and I can’t wait to start reading your blog.

  2. Thanks for stopping by and for the like. Great to see your blog, I look forward to exploring it more.

  3. I tagged you as part of the Character Blog-Hop. Basically, you introduce two characters and answer a few questions about them. You can find the list of questions on my blog: http://thepaperbutterfly.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/character-blog-hop-meet-zack-and-kyle/ There is no rush! I would love to hear more about your characters, especially the ones from “The Man in the Black BMW.” If you don’t want to participate let me know 🙂

  4. Great thanks! I’ve also been tagged in a writing process blog hop that I’ve been meaning to get to, so hopefully I’ll be able to do both of those this week. I really appreciate that you thought of me

  5. Thanks for regularly checking in on me and my 3words story. I hope you enjoyed. And I hope you might consider participating in August?

  6. The Harry Potter books are the standard I measure all other books by. And I don’t even know how many times I’ve seen the first (Episode 4) Star Wars movie. Love your blog!

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I enjoy yours, and especially approve of your list of favorite books. I’ve read them all, and they’re all excellent choices!

  8. Hi. Thanks for reading one of my posts, glad you liked it. Loving your blog and have followed – looking forward to more great writing tips in the future.

    PS The only thing I can’t agree on is the handling of Anakin’s story arc in episodes 1-3 ! I thought all the elements were there but that Lucas never quite put them together convincingly enough. Could be an age thing – I was 5 when Ep 4 came out so the original 3 have a particularly strong hold on me…

  9. David, Thanks for “liking” my post “Advice to Aspiring Poets: Creativity as Spirituality” on “The Shelton College Review.” You’ll find there several other excerpts from the interview with David Smith. I hope you’ll give them a try. Like you, I am addicted to writing and I love hearing from anyone who has found something in one of my posts. You are named after one of the greatest poets of all time, you know.

    Larry Ellis

  10. Harry Potter is probably my favourite book (set of books). I actually reread the first 5 chapters of the 1st book just to see if I loved it only as a kid, or if the writing was truly that amazing. And of course, it was the latter. The writing was so captivating, what amazing detail and imagery. Not to mention how humorous it was. Thought I’d let you know you are not alone on that thought!

    I also had a question about your writing process: I find when I try to write a novel, I just start writing. I think that has not worked too well for me, I think I should sit and make a plan from beginning to end, leaving room for details to be added as I write. I know this sounds logical, but I didn’t realize it until now lol. Do you map out the process or just dive in? Thank you!

    Jk = )

    1. Thanks for the question – and glad I’m not alone in how I feel about Harry Potter.
      I’ve done both before, planning vs. just starting to write. I also find that just diving in doesn’t really do it for me because I’ll end up struggling in the middle. I map out the process – the characters, the setting, the plot. I get really detailed, too. If you just set down the beats of the plot you often miss out on the flow and continuity that a lot of writers who simply go with the flow often have. So I get really into it, as if I’m actually writing, and put down all of the relevant details so when I come back to actually draft the story I know what I was thinking.

  11. I believe Harry Potter to be the standard of which all other books should be measured against. And I totally agree with you about Star Wars! I was lucky enough (which means I am really old) to see the “real” first Star Wars in the movie theater. It was a life changing experience! Keep on writing and stay happy!

  12. Thank you for dropping by my post on http://www.rebirthofsanity.com. This will probably be the only book I ever write, so I’m going to make my son, in heaven, totally proud that I didn’t let his death drag me into the hells of insanity forever…Harry Potter? Yes, read every book in the institution and once I got my own apartment with a little extra money, I now have the entire movie collection as well…love it! I also love Star Wars and sometimes feel like Darth Vader in the sense that I was once on the “Dark Side”; however, there is still some hope and positive good things in me yet. Hope you have a chance to stop by again and it’s great to meet you!

  13. David, thanks for stopping by my newest blog and giving it one of the first “likes.” I appreciate it greatly and hope you continue to stop by, read, and comment if so inclined.

  14. Hey there David, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to “like” my recent post! I didn’t particularly favor the idea of WordPress having a like option at first because it seemed a little too Facebooky to me. That being said, there’s a significant difference between someone “liking” what you’ve written on a blog post and “liking” a picture of your cat, so many thanks again! 🙂

  15. What a great About page, not the least of which is because I agree wholeheartedly. I’m glad that you liked my post “Heeeere’s….Father Francis” and hope that you’ll stop back by. Keep writing and being happy.

  16. Thanks for reading my blog….I’m new to this (new being last january) so I’m not sure what I am suppose to do other than write which I’ve always done….and get out and about on my yellow bicycle…. oh and stay well, and now i’ll disappear for a while and read your blog….take care 🙂

  17. Hey there, thanks for stopping by and liking my Anita Shreve book review at prelovedbooksblog.com. Looking forward to exploring your site. -Deirdre, Ireland

  18. Thanks for the “like”. While I liked the Harry Potter series, I preferred Lord of the Rings (and thought Peter Jackson did a creditable job with the movie).

  19. Thanks for visiting my blog this evening and for liking my latest post. Your site is terrific and I can use all the enlightenment about writing that I can get. Thanks

  20. Hey! Thank you for liking my latest blog post! I am intrigued by your blog and will definitely be catching up with it over the next few days! This blog definitely seems like something I’ve been looking for, so thank you for reaching out to me!

  21. Dear Dave,

    I just wanted to take a moment and say a HUGE Thank You to you. Thanks to your encouragement to one of my short stories I had on here, I took the step and tried publishing it online on a Self-Publishing Page. And yesterday, my first two Short Stories finally found their way onto amazon, iBookstore, Google and other E-Book-Selling Platforms. I’m not selling them for a lot and there won’t be coming much out of it, but it doesn’t matter, because it’s a big deal nevertheless for me, and I just think that it’s partly thanks to you. So THANK YOU for giving me a slight shove in the right direction, I am beyond grateful.

    Kindest regards from Germany,

    P.S. I’ll add the links to both of the short stories into this post as a proof (and it’s up to you if you want to share it, I’ve already shared it on my facebook and twitter, anyways) that this isn’t a hoax or anything 🙂 And for you to realize how proud you can be of yourself to encourage and help people like me so much with your blog and opinion.



    1. Tanja,
      Wow, congratulations! I remember reading ‘Reprisal’ and I’m so glad you went ahead and published it! It’s such a huge step to take, you should be really happy and proud. And also thanks so much for your kind words – knowing that you enjoy my blog and opinion means a lot to me. I hope you keep writing and have a lot of success with it (and everything else, too).

  22. Hi David, Thank you for the like on my blog, it’s very much appreciated 🙂 I’m enjoying your blog too – ‘Write like a river’ – what a great way to describe how it feels. xx

  23. Good to ‘meet’ another English Major=) Every time I say I’ve my Bachelors in English, I’m asked if I want to teach and then get a blank look when I say I’m a writer. *Sigh*. Such is life. Best of luck to you in your writing endeavors, David=)

  24. Hi David,
    I think your chances of making it as a writer are a bit higher than as an NFL running back! Keep writing for in words we find ourselves and God!

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