http://www.digitaljournal.com/entertainment/music/mark-bego-opens-up-about-new-aretha-franklin-tribute-book/article/530419

Mark Bego opens up about new Aretha Franklin tribute book Special

Posted Aug 26, 2018 by Markos Papadatos
New York Times best-selling author Mark Bego chatted with Digital Journal about his new book, where he pays tribute to Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul."
Aretha Franklin's hits spanned the genres  from soul to R&B  gospel and pop
Aretha Franklin's hits spanned the genres, from soul to R&B, gospel and pop
Saul LOEB, AFP/File
"My new book, the 2018 'Tribute Edition' of Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul (Skyhorse Publishing) is actually the third update of my original book I wrote in 1989," he said. "I interviewed Aretha at her home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan and I asked her if she wanted to write a book with me, but she declined. I knew right then and there, her fascinating story had to be told, and I was the writer to do it. It is my tribute to Aretha, and it has already topped on the charts in Amazon."
Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul (Tribute Edition)
Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul (Tribute Edition)
Mark Bego's book cover art, courtesy of Skyhorse Publishing
Bego shared that he loved the "sassy side" of Franklin. "When she recorded the Luther Vandross song 'Jump To It,' she is heard gossiping on the telephone to her girlfriend Kitty. In the lyrics of the song, when she asks Kitty, for the '4-1-1 on who drop-kicked who?' That song remains one of my favorites because it really showed off the fun side of 'Ree Ree.' Aretha told me that when she and Luther were working on the two albums Vandross produced for her, they would come to the recording studio with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. Can you imagine Franklin, Vandross and Colonel Saunders in the studio together? Aretha was one of a kind."
On his future plans, Bego said, "I already have my next two books written and sold. One is a colorful photo-filled coffee table book with Mary Wilson called Supreme Glamour. I also wrote a book with millionaire hotel owner Efrem Harkham, called Living the Luxe Life about how to achieve your career dreams. I am also collecting recipes for the sequel to my 2017 best-selling all-star cookbook Eat Like a Rock Star."
Digital transformation of the book publishing industry
On the impact of technology on the book publishing industry, Bego said, "When Amazon.com's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook electronic book readers came about, I nearly freaked out. I feared that was the end of my book writing career. Now, in the publishing world, things have settled into a pattern of sales percentages: people who want to read my books on an electronic device have that option, and people who want to hold classic printed book get to have that too. Everyone wins."
Regarding his use of technology in his daily routine as an actor, Bego said, "When I wrote the first version of Aretha Franklin's biography it was on paper using an IBM Correcting Selectric typewriter. When I had to 'cut and paste' paragraphs, it literally involved a pair of scissors and Scotch tape. Then I would photocopy the taped-together pages. Then I would spend hours at the library doing research. Computers sure changed that. Thanks to technology, the first thing I do is check my emails, get the news, do research, and plan my day."
For his readers, Bego concluded, "This new version of Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul is a labor of love for me, and the most in-depth and entertaining book possible. I interviewed so many of the important people in her life. I discuss Aretha's triumphs, her songs, her accomplishments, and what she means to the world of music. On the other side of the coin, I also write about her roller coaster personal life, her abusive first marriage, the two children she had before the age of 16, her often outlandish fashion sense, and her feuds with Natalie Cole, Dionne Warwick, Diana Ross, and Beyonce. There was no one quite like Aretha. She truly was and still remains: The Queen of Soul."