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Don't Mind Me,

I'm Just Having a Bad Life:
A Memoir

Available Online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

A horrifying childhood. A devastating disease. In his darkest despair, he finally found hope…

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...


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


Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Having a Bad Life 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 Lewis Kempfer’s riveting memoir.


Buy Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Having a Bad Life to see beyond tragedy today!


Official Review from Writer's Digest

February 2, 2021

by “Judge, 8th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published eBook Awards.”

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. He’s naked, drugged and sick, sliding away, and he calls on God to save him. It’s a shout from a path of darkness and loss, a fine dramatic opening with feelings of dread. Author handles a time jump to earlier days well, seamlessly carrying continuity to the earlier stage. Well done. All realism is intact. Author sets the date wonderfully though the types of toys he had. He mentions the Water Wiggle and Slip N Slide, and we’re treated to sensory details about these toys. It’s a surprise, then, that the joy of these throwback toys is so quickly tamped down by the author’s revealing statement of, “is it even possible to be depressed when you’re four years old?” It’s as if the pace screeches to a halt, all color drains from the elation of lawn sliding toys, and the depressed child grabs hold of the reins for all. Author does a nice job of creating life scenes depicting the grip of depression. I would have loved to see more setting details throughout, like “back in a rental townhouse in our old neighborhood.” Settings are a goldmine of views and sensory details. Everything down to the degree of street repairs to the crispness of fall leaves on the trees, to the scent of a neighbor’s flowering trees plays a part in setting the scene, creating realism for the scene and adding depth to characters. Speaking of depth, author creates a beautifully effective scene when he says that Sundays are the worst days not only for being long and boring, but he needs to be out of the house and away from Ruben. Excellent use of an expected reason (boring) used as a springboard for a driving force in the author’s life. Very well done, and a great instinct for advancing the story. The ‘“sugary love letter” that the author writes to [actor] Matthew Labyorteaux opens the doors to author’s idealization of “Little House on the Prairie” and shows a simpler life – as he sees it. We could think up a hundred ways that prairie community living would not be a dream come true, but the author holds this up as a model for how he wishes to feel. Very effective. We’re able to join him on his path through establishing his gay identity, and author creates energized settings here such as the club where he sets a scene for Chickenhawk Night, with “Lucky Star” playing. We can feel this club, with the author’s well-chosen details and soundtrack for the scene. Very well done. I enjoyed author’s instinct to not over-describe. We can feel “the pushing part” of his relationship history, a symptom of unease and lack of self-confidence that author tops with “a bit of sugar-coated pleading.” Here again is an example of how the author writes such good descriptions concisely that dialogue is not necessary. Well done. Overall, lots of realism and connection to the author throughout.

Praise for Don't Mind Me, I'm Just Having a Bad Life

Readers Are Raving!

 “Such a joy to read Lewis’s fluid writing!
Wonderful vibrant dialogue and images. His is a vivid and very honest voice. Bravo!"
— Martin Moran, author of The Tricky Part and All the Rage
"Kempfer’s brutal honesty was both shocking and riveting. His bravery in writing this memoir is truly commendable. I loved the humor that Kempfer used to distract the reader from the gross nature
of most of the scenes. His thoughts, in particular, were quite humorous that I always found myself bursting into laughter. The author has a way with words that kept me entertained
as I kept moving from one page to another. Therefore, I give Don’t Mind Me, I’m Just Having a Bad Life 4 out of 4 stars."
— Reader, Online Book Club
“Incredibly strong … riveting.”
— John Kazlauskas, TV writer 
“Deeply raw and revealing, and I imagine, freeing all at once. It’s a fast read because it’s so compelling. In a world so superfluous, it’s refreshingly honest. Reads like Catcher in the Rye.”

— Dave Earick

 “Lewis brings forth so many incredible challenges and visions of a world that teeters just on the edge of stereotypical normalcy, yet then descends into incredible challenge… Crazy powerful.”

— Ray Robinson, Dog Ear Publishing

“Nice storytelling… really authentic and homespun."

— Flynn Falcone, author of The Pegasus Project


Scenes from the Book

With or without a hat, the country singer deal fell flat. Chapter 27

Who let me out of the house like that? On the fire escape of my first apartment as mentioned in Chapter 20.

The blonde-haired senior show choir singer circa 1984. Those parachute pants were something else.

With or without a hat, the country singer deal fell flat. Chapter 27


Lewis Kempfer

Lewis Kempfer grew up in Denver where he began his acting and singing career. With the opportunity for a country-music record deal, he relocated to Nashville in 1995, and in 2001 co-founded the Boiler Room Theatre. While directing and producing at the Boiler Room, he wrote book and lyrics for the hit original musical That ’60s Christmas Show.  In 2006, his theater work and award-winning, self-promotional short film, From Concept to Completion, led to a dream job with a major entertainment company in L.A. He currently lives in the Denver area. 

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