I’ve written professionally for going on twenty years. In that time, I produced thousands of articles, hundreds of essays, eight books, and a dozen screenplays. I also edited the newspaper I cofounded for eleven years … until COVID shuttered us in Summer 2020. The upside of a midlife career change? More time for my true love—screenwriting! If you want more carefully selected and completely biased autobiographical tidbits on me, and who doesn’t?, check out the properly third-person-stuffy puff piece below.
Born in 1975 in Cheboygan, Michigan, Benjamin J. Gohs has lived in over a dozen Michigan towns from Bay City to Indian River and a number of points in between.
From his first job as chief cook and bottle washer for his five brothers and sister, when he was quite young, Gohs developed a taste for variety in work and a penchant for minor misadventures.
Before becoming a professional writer in 2003, Gohs worked as a dog training attack dummy, dog-poop-picker-upper, landscaper, babysitter, house painter, cook, blackjack dealer, roulette mucker, truck driver, welder, mechanic, waiter, vacuum cleaner salesman, Easter Bunny, telemarketer, car salesman, and stay-at-home dad.
Despite being devastated that his poem did not win a school-wide competition in 1985—apparently, rhyming “money” with “honey” was not a genius move—Gohs continued to jot stories, ideas and rhymes while avidly reading sci-fi, comics, mysteries, horror stories and even a few shirt-rippers before rediscovering a love of literature.
A lifelong scribbler of poems, short stories and essays, Benjamin quit his job as head cook and kitchen manager of a family restaurant in August 2003 with the goal of becoming a professional writer within a year.
When he finally realized his chances of earning a living as a poet were somewhere between “Ha!” and “Go f— yourself,” he decided to look into the more viable work of news writing. Well, once upon a time it was a viable career.
By December of that year, he had landed a freelance gig with the local newspaper.
Soon, Benjamin was writing for three newspapers—in the cities of Petoskey, Charlevoix, and Traverse City, Michigan—including publication of an essay in the L.A. Journal—and writing advertising copy (website, brochure) for several local businesses.
In May of 2005, Benjamin was hired as a full-time reporter for the Charlevoix Courier Newspaper, a subsidiary of the Petoskey News-Review.
His articles continued to be published in the Courier, News-Review and occasionally in the Gaylord Herald Times up until May of 2010.
It was in 2005 Benjamin wrote his first humor column.
When torch-wielding townspeople did not break down the front door, the editor suggested he continue writing weekly columns.
Some readers compared him to some other more famous essay writers—which was pretty cool—and asked for more.
Some readers said he should stick to flipping pancakes … but what do they know?
Pretty soon, Benjamin was writing columns centered on humor, politics, and other nonsense on a nearly weekly basis.
In April 2008, Benjamin was named Editor of Charlevoix Courier Newspaper.
Over the years, he tallied numerous awards for both news writing and his columns.
Benjamin left the Courier in late spring of 2010 to help operate the Boyne City Gazette as its news editor.
In 2010, Benjamin also created a short-run men’s humor magazine best described as a cross between MAXIM and MAD magazines.
During his tenure as editor of Boyne City Gazette, Benjamin has earned over a dozen awards for news writing, page design, and humor/opinion columns, as well as editorials.
For nearly seven years, Benjamin also made weekly appearances on a local morning AM talk radio show where he discussed news, politics, and general tomfoolery with his signature brand of jocularity and snark.
2015, the year he turned 40, Benjamin began work on what would be his first novel.
He wrote this practice novel—think Dan Browne meets Stephen King playing checkers at Edgar Allan Poe’s grave—to see if he was capable of producing such a lengthy manuscript.
What resulted was a not-too-bad but not-too-good book which gave Ben the confidence to sit in Starbucks practically daring people to ask him what he was working on.
There’s more but if you’re still reading this you’re probably a creepy stalker and you should find a support group or something.
Benjamin writes from Michigan, where he shares an apartment with one very patient woman and two spoiled dogs.