Lewis Kempfer

Award-Winning Author

New Book Coming June 2023

Basic Training for the
Self-Publishing Battlefields

Basic Training for the Self-Publishing Battlefields doesn’t regurgitate all the self-publishing tips and tricks contained in other books out there, nor does it tell new authors every single step to publish with KDP.

The author’s concept is that the book’s first-person narrator is an Army drill instructor who’s putting new authors through a written boot camp with plenty of fun military lingo to keep things interesting. It’s a combination of  learnings from Lewis’s first two books and an overview of the necessary steps to truly self-publish (rather than just hire an overpriced firm).

It is an appealing little “field guide,” a slim book and a quick read. Topics include: Companies to avoid; a brief grammar review of the Top Ten bugaboos; hiring freelance designers; author websites; licensing, ISBNs, and copyright; promotions; and much more.

Recipient of 4 Awards

120 Seats in a Boiler Room

The Creation of a Courageous
Professional Theater

Most start-ups struggle to thrive.

But here’s how one small theater company turned obstacles into a rousing success.

A dilapidated boiler room filled with debris and four theater friends looking for a home for their newly created theater company. What could go wrong? Better still, what could go right?

The intriguing story of Nashville’s “scrappy little theater that could,” 120 Seats in a Boiler Room: The Creation of a Courageous Professional Theater, retells the tumultuous journey of the award-winning Boiler Room Theatre from conception to closure. This hybrid memoir journeys with readers, show by show, through the company’s first five burgeoning years as well as offering valuable “Hot Tips” for new and seasoned theater owners and managers alike to boost their expertise. BRT’s boldest undertakings are retold with a renewed spirit by seven-time award-winning author and co-founder Lewis Kempfer. Readers also enjoy unique perspectives from a wide assortment of guest authors who enrich the company’s history with their own accounts, spotlighting the local treasure the Boiler Room Theatre evolved to be. An inspiring reflection on hardship, determination, and triumph, 120 Seats in a Boiler Room provides a vibrant portrait of how four visionary co-founders transformed a decades-old boiler room at The Factory at Franklin in Tennessee into a beloved, theatrical beacon.

An all-in-one entertainment archive, delightful how-to guide, and heartwarming memoir spanning the history of the Boiler Room Theatre from birth to final curtain call.

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Recipient of 7 Awards

Don’t Mind Me,
I’m Just Having a Bad Life

A Memoir

Lewis Kempfer nearly destroyed himself searching for something that would make him happy. His battle with self-hatred began with physical and psychological abuse from the trusted male adults in his life and continued into adulthood when the church rejected him for being gay. Traumatized and suicidal, his only salvation came from getting himself on stage. Moving from city to city in search of fame and love, he lands in the dog-eat-dog-world of Hollywood showbiz.

But a terrifying diagnosis casts a dark shadow on a promising Tinseltown career, and he falls into a downward spiral of dangerous liaisons and hardcore drug addiction. It will take a near-death overdose in his blackest hour to find strength from the last place he ever expected. Kempfer’s memoir is a raw, rapid-fire account of one man’s frightening journey to self-acceptance. From dicey sex clubs to crystal meth motels, Lewis holds nothing back in this bittersweet tell-all. His emotional tale of love, loss, and redemption will move anyone who’s ever felt alienated or outcast. It is a shockingly candid true-life story. If you like authentic narratives, stories of triumph, and surmounting the challenges of being LGBTQ, then you’ll be enthralled by Kempfer’s riveting memoir.

The writing is fluid and filled with humor, the descriptions allow for clear and powerful images, and the author does an incredible job of exploring the dark despair that stole into his soul many times…Lewis Kempfer’s writing is filled with wisdom and insight, a story that is shared with unusual honesty and a voice that is irresistible. Official Review — Reader’s Favorite 2020 International Book Contest — Silver Medal winner for Autobiography

The author shares his storied rough-and-tumble life, and smartly invites the reader into his world via sensory experiences like stomach churning and spinning. All realism is intact. Very well done. I enjoyed author’s instinct to not over-describe… Here again is an example of how the author writes such good descriptions concisely that dialogue is not necessary. Well done. — Judge’s Critique, Writer’s Digest 2020 Self-Published eBook Contest

A candid, bare-it-all, and highly engrossing memoir. Kempfer’s confession is well-written, lucid, and utterly candid… The book explores difficult themes…which make it an uncomfortable, dark read, but Kempfer’s uncensored voyage into his own consciousness as a sex and drug addict, is extremely absorbing and hard to put down. With its authentic narrative and moving prose written with utter honesty, the book offers the story of a man who is deeply flawed and extremely vulnerable, yet he makes readers root for him. —The Prairies Book Review

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