Interview with S. B. Redstone (Plus Giveaway)
What genre do you write and why?
I have little tolerance for sameness. I am easily bored and new challenges are the thrill for me. When I was into art, I learned how to create landscapes, then portraits, abstracts, and still life paintings. Since Shakespeare, Hemmingway, and James Patterson can write in genres of their choice, I felt comfortable doing the same. I had no interest in being a Stephen King, who writes only horror for success. So far, I’ve happily written in the genres of horror, mystery thriller, romance, science fiction, and currently comedy. My approach has been to study and learn each style through other authors as each genre has a particular style. I do research, take endless notes, and practice.
Tell us about your latest book.
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.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
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 media places. I hired 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. However, for success to occur word of mouth is so important.
What's the best thing about being a writer?
How about the best two things. First, I achieve great satisfaction creating imaginary worlds and imaginary characters. Second, I love to interact with readers and fellow writers from around the world.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
Let me change the question slightly as well, if you wouldn’t mind. In Stardust Dreams, I cannot honestly say, between two main characters I have a favorite. You’d think Lance Forrester would be my favorite, since he is the closest to me. He’s the dreamer, the explorer, and the seeker of eternal happiness. But, I love Sage Saint Charles, the actress, who must overcome such bitter memories and face her demons if she is to achieve her happiness. There is a great courage within her personality.
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
All my works start out like a canon blast. From page one I present a crisis, heinous crime, or conflict and build from their with so many mysteries to uncover that the readers are held spellbound until the last pages. As I’ve said, 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. Stardust Dreams is my second novel. There are more than enough mysteries to the very last page of the final chapter to keep you up all night until you finish. As a therapist, human nature and relationships are my areas of expertise, allowing me to make very real and dynamic characters. I’ve made this story so realistic and heartfelt, you’ll probably imagine you’ve gone along with Lance and Sage on their grand adventure.
What is your work in progress? Tell us about it.
I am working on a comic/tragedy fantasy about senior citizens in a magical fifty-five and over retirement community who have the opportunity to live life over again. The novel explores the lives of senior citizens: marriages, relationships, personal hardships, and grand parenting. Even as a therapist, I knew seniors had problems in life, but seniors really have problems in life! Most everyone has issues with life threatening illnesses, family troubles, financial troubles, marital problems, and depression. I could have written a work of non-fiction, but I chose fiction as the venue. There are two younger characters as well who hope for a happier life as well.
Who or what inspired you to become a writer?
I had a childhood full of imagination. When I watched a cowboy movie, I created stories of cowboys and Indians, and I was always the star. I was Superman, an astronaut, Tarzan, policeman, and every other action hero. During my era, there was no creative writing in my school. I hated boring school. Writing was school work. Reading was school work. I hated school work. I did it. but I hated it. I grew up with friends, engaging in the hobby of the week, always new fun projects, sometimes success and sometimes failure. It’s easy to try new things when you don’t worry about criticism. I had one friend who are a creative artist. Envy had me choosing writing in our competition. From the moment I wrote my first creative sentence, I was hooked. Despite attaining a college degree, two masters’ degrees in school psychology and clinical social work, a post-graduate degree in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, working days and evenings, with a growing family, and home projects, my desire and imagination never faulted. Words eventually landed on paper.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
I am retired. I live in sunny Florida and culturally alive New York. I am an avid sportsman. Golf is number one and is always mentioned in all my stories. I play tennis, bowl, and fish. I love a good movie and shopping in both states, but in New York you can find me in museums, art galleries, and in eating artsy restaurants. When home, with the television on, you can find me screaming at supposed pundits on news programs espousing idiotic fictional psychology.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Write interesting stories. Don’t bore your readers. Don’t be mundane. Trite. Confusing. Readers grab a book and they read a page or two, or they read the synopsis, if you didn’t hook them, the book is tossed aside. In this visual world of a constant intensifying exhibitionism, boredom sets in quickly. I believe in emotional impact. It’s in my art and it’s in my life. Passion fuels my work. And to achieve this, the writing and the story have to drive home your passion. I grab the attention of the reader and I don’t let go. Never let them go. In addition, learn to write. Write short stories first. If you wish to tackle a novel, perfect an opening chapter. Show people. Get their opinions. You wouldn’t want to write a hundred thousand words and then realize it’s unworthy.