Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Interview with S.B. Redstone, STARDUST DREAMS

Can you give us a brief overview of your latest book? Is it part of a series?
Stardust Dreams is an epic love story. Lance Forrester is a dreamer and after a celebrated career as an astronaut and engineer, he is about to take off in a secret spacecraft to seek his destiny in the stars. Not wishing to go it alone, he hopes to convince a skeptical high school acquaintance to join him on his quest to reach an advanced alien civilization and immortality. Sage Saint Charles lived a wild and notorious life in Hollywood before she became a social recluse. Sage has regrets, more regrets than a person should have. The story begins in the near future, takes place in a beautiful friendly alien planet, and returns back to Earth two hundred thousand years in the future. Unfortunately, true life is not a Hollywood movie. If Lance and Sage are each to achieve their happiness, they must first overcome the emotional scars of their pasts. It might one day have a sequel.

Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
The sad, frustrating, and happy truth of becoming a published author. I first wrote short stories and had success in having them published. Thinking I was now a somebody, my first novel, a horror story, never interested an agent or any publisher, and it is still on the sidelines. Glum. My second novel, A Sinister Obsession never attracted an agent, but was accepted by an independent publisher. Hurray! They went out of business a week later. Glum. Next independent publisher accepted A Sinister Obsession with promises of great edits. Lie! Humiliation. Took back my novel. Back to ground zero. Finally, Black Opal Books saw my novel’s merit and that’s the frustrating history of this writer with a happy ending.   

What factors influenced your decision to go with a particular agent or publisher?
I went with Black Opal Books because they are a professional independent publisher that keeps its promises. They do a double edit with great editors who have raked me over the coals for my inadequate knowledge of grammar and style, which I am forever grateful. They are always assessable and always looking to help. Jack, their graphic designer is highly creative. His covers are amazing.

If you used a graphic designer/publisher’s designer, how involved were you during the creative process for your cover?
As I just mentioned, Jack is a terrific graphic designer. His book covers are highly creative. But, he didn’t mind consulting with my son who is a prodigy artist and assistant art director on a top show on NBC, and with me. Together the three of us designed two highly emotional and poignant covers for my two novels that are so expressive of the nature of the stories.

What is your writing process? Do you listen to music or do you like silence?
I split my time between south Florida and New York. I cannot and will not write at a desk, staring at a wall. In Florida I look out on a pond with white egrets, cranes, herons, and ducks. I like a comfortable chair or couch with my laptop in front of me with a cup of coffee, cookies, and candy. I prefer very quiet music: classical, folk, or instrumental. My wife is very considerate and is generally a quiet person. I don’t mind being distracted as I always worked in noisy environments in my therapeutic careers.     

Do you outline your story or just go where your muse takes you?
I don’t put any words on a computer screen until I’ve written the entire book in my head first. I need to know the beginning, middle, and ending to see if the story is feasible or not. The main characters are designed in my head as well. Once I have them in place, I make a chapter by chapter outline and what should take place in each of them. Generally, I do not write out of sequence, however, I always end up adding or subtracting scenes that make the story more or less interesting. The style I’ve chosen is based on Shakespeare’s plays and film. Like a canon blast, I present the crisis, crime, or conflict and let it evolve for the rest of the story. I’m not in the boring readers business. I hate boring story openings, so does my wife, and we’re quick to dump a book. It might become interesting at page 200, but by that time, you’re so annoyed, who cares. Furthermore, I like to be succinct, a style I developed from writing short stories. My dialogue can be tense, witty, or warm, or biting. I keep the action intense and moving. The last is mystery. I always keep my readers guessing and on the edge of their seat.        

What kinds of marketing [twitter, facebook, blog, forums] are you involved with for promoting your book(s)?
Marketing is my life now. No day goes by that I am not involved in some aspect of marketing. I am doing it now. You can find me at Facebook, Twitter, My Blog, Goodreads, Shelfari, Google +, and many, many more places. I am using Goddess Fish Promotions to run my blog tours. I am an active blogger and spend as much time connecting with other authors and readers as I do writing. If I don’t no one will find my books.

Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Difficult is an understatement. I once told my therapist that I couldn’t live in a 24 hour day. I needed a 36 hour day. That hasn’t changed. Doing marketing and writing is tiring, each taking many hours, besides all my other responsibilities needing to be done in my life. At the same time, there are only a certain number hours I can stare at a computer screen. I usually write in the morning when I am fresh. And then for the rest of the day and evening, I am marketing my books.  

Besides writing, do you have any other passions?
Since childhood, through adolescence, into my mature years, I’ve had a life of passions. Everything I’ve done has only been done because of my passion. That’s been the problem for my writing. I loved being a school psychologist and clinical social worker in private practice. I loved doing large home improvement projects, building furniture, art, golf, tennis, bowling, fishing, and photography. I love shopping. If there’s an outlet mall you’ll find me there. How many shirts and shoes can a man own? Due to my passions, my main characters have great passions in their lives and that’s what makes my characters so outstanding.   

What’s next for you?
I am writing focusing on romance and relationships now. This novel involves a magical fifty-five and over retirement community in south Florida where its residents have the opportunity to live life over again. It is a comedy and tragedy. My first. A new passion. It is heartfelt in that it examines the lives of senior citizens, which I am part of, and so many of the problems that seniors face in their lives.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Steven Rosenstein, penname S. B. Redstone, had a career as a school psychologist and private practice Licensed Clinical Social Worker on Long Island. Always seeking the truths of human nature, he wrote a personal improvement book, Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning, published by New Horizon Press Books. He has written articles on human nature and relationships, given lectures, and appeared on radio shows. Always having a vivid imagination, he first became a successful writer of short stories. His mystery thriller, A Sinister Obsession, was published by Black Opal Books.

As an expert in the field of human psychology, he has an exceptional ability to develop realistic and exciting characters in his novels. Many of my characters have been taken from his clinical experiences. Stardust Dreams is his first romance novel, although romantic relationships stand out in his other works. He is a member of the International Thriller Writers Org and Romance Writers of America. He resides with his wife in New York and Florida.

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