What? No opening picture showing where this week’s interview is taking place
Well…here’s the thing. I went to the author’s home to pick her up for our world travel and when I asked where she would like to go to conduct the interview, she said to follow her.
I did. Through the house…to her bedroom.
“Whoa!” I said. “You’re not serious.”
“Yes,” she said. “This is where I write and I could think of no better place to talk.”
“But…it’s your bedroom. If you’re husband comes home…”
“He already knew you were arriving this morning.”
I wipe my brow and try to find a suitable place to sit…not the bed…
I guess I’ll stand.
1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?
Ho ho, I am definitely NOT the most fascinating person in my city, but I am interesting in that I was a working actress who then morphed into a Ph.D. in clinical and forensic psychology before finally settling into the career I should have pursued to begin with (with the psych doctorate I have right now, of course) writing. I think all those careers added to the writing and certainly made me more curious, happy and complete as a writer.
2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a nervous wreck. I always have been. I kid around that I’m one valium below par, but the truth is, I worry about everything. Time demands don’t make me nervous and nothing “real” makes me nervous—but considering the future and what I’m doing with my life and whether I’m accomplishing important work, that keeps me up at night.
3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as rock star?
Ha, again. I sing like a crow so rock star-ing was not in the stars. I used to play the piano, badly and when I was ten my father decided I should play the violin. He practiced with me and I’m seriously surprised we weren’t kicked out of our flat. Writing was actually something I had a flare for and I loved telling stories and engaging people.
4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?
I would have loved to have dinner with anyone of a bevy of playwrites including most of the 1950s. I loved the old real-live television writers, too.
5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book(s) be great company?
I would hope my books made you laugh, chortle, enjoy and look forward to the story’s ending. I would hope they would encourage you to let go of stress, anxiety and anything else that would be stopping you from your trip or while on your island. Like I always say, my protagonists scrunch up a Kleenex and throw it in the air and let it land where it may—that’s the kind of “who-gives-a-shit” attitude I’m hoping you’ll feel, so that what isn’t so important won’t be made more important or fearful than it really is.
6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.
All of that is so individual. With HOT SHOT, it took me two years and why I just don’t know. It’s a gambling story, so I did go to Vegas (ah, poor me) and spent two days at the Rio Hotel which is off the strip but is the center of the World Series of Poker, and talked to everyone who would talk to me, went behind the scenes, sat at one of the tables in that HHHHHUUUUUGE arena where too many tables to count sit under hot overhead lights with lots of cables and wires and who knows what. It’s quite an experience and I know that the people I see at the final table when I watch the tournament on television, took a long and hard time to get there. They played a lot of poker.
As far as plotting and characters, I always start with a character, his/her background, way of being in the world, sense of being and then throw them into some untenable situation and watch how they might get out of it. I always outline. I find that if I do, I’ll see the inciting incident and it’s ramifications so much better than just panstering. My schedule is: I go to the gym in the morning, then come home and eat lunch with my husband and write for the rest of the afternoon. I do research on the computer and Google, but I like to talk to people involved in my story, too.
7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”
Sure. Just start writing that first sentence. Another sentence will follow and another and pretty soon your story will come to you. You never go to it anyway, it always comes to you. The unconscious you know.
8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?
Do the best you can with your talents, don’t compare yourself to anyone else, and just keep truckin.’ I wish I could follow my own advice.
9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?
No, I’ll never stop writing. If I couldn’t type my stories, I’d dictate them into a cassette. I have a three-book series called The COUNTERFEIT series about a would-be actress, Lily Handy, who uses her talents as an actress to solve horrendous crimes the big boys can’t even break the ice on. But she’s totally unaware that she’s done that. Her profiling is so weird, but complete, the crime solves itself.
10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?
First and foremost, my publisher, FierySeasPublishing.com and Amazon, B & N, and Kindle. There’s a pre-sale right now for the book, but I’ll definitely have giveaways, too. Oh, and my own website is http://www.sastolinsky.com
November 1, 2016
Payback is a powerful thing…
Actor and bartender, Tyler West experiences a sudden streak of luck — winning poker games. Determined to change his life, he enters the World Series of Poker. His life is suddenly turned upside down when the Russian mafia fronts him 1.5 million dollars to play at the tables. And then…he loses…
Now on the ride of his life, deceit and deception are his key to uncovering the truth. He must recoup the money, but will it come at a price? Can he stay alive long enough or will his time run out?
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/cc3b8xb7sl8
Fiery Seas Publishing Amazon
Tyler pushed his long, blond hair back with one hand and slouched. He knew she found him attractive. “I’ll tell ya,” he began, hoping to make it last, keep her interested. “I pretty much need the start up money right now.”
Ah, too fast.
“Start up money? Now? You think I got a stash under my bed upstairs? We should go up and find out. My, my we’re in a hurry aren’t we?” Elsie pushed Tyler into an oversized easy chair covered with brown mohair. A black cat with white paws jumped off it as Tyler slammed down.
“Easy kid. That’s the trick. You don’t wanta look too desperate, know what I mean? Well, you are good lookin’ I’ll give you that,” she said. “What ya got there?”
Tyler gave her a certificate.
“Made this up on my computer. It kind of sells land.”
“Bullwhippie,” Elsie said as she tore up the certificate and put it in a glass ashtray on the glass coffee table. “The only thing that makes a lot of money fast is ass, kid.”
“One point five million?” Tyler asked.
“You’re good looking, but honey your ego’s getting away with you.”
Elsie sat in her chair, a plush, pink armchair with multicolor pink pillow and a foot stool in front. She leaned toward him.
“Listen, baby. This is just between you and me, got it? I’ve been a madam longer than I can remember. I work on the sly sometimes, and my parole officer comes around, but he don’t bother me. You know why?”
A still crestfallen Tyler looked at her.
“Because I got the goods on all those assholes, that’s why. I got the video. Don’t ever do porn without a video somewheres in the bedroom. Ya got me?”
Elsie continued without noticing. “I’ll never tell where I hid the original, but believe me I got plenty of copies. Got a friend on Grand that does the best photography in the city. I had a couple of tapes made and almost sold ‘em to TV—the porn sites. So I been thinkin’ real hard about how I can re-establish my rep. And here you come.”
Tyler finally opened his mouth but it was only to use his tongue to wet his lips, they felt parched and he was sure they would crack it he kept his mouth closed any longer.
“Yes, Ma’am,” was all he could think to say.
“I’m gonna start up the biggest whore house in the state, sonny. This time? With men. You know how much a good male hooker can make? Two thousand a night. Now—depending on your stamina…”
“Yeah, I get the picture,” Tyler said.
He wasn’t in to older women, but he had to admit, Elsie was beginning to look visibly younger with the excitement she was projecting. Some people love their work. Her gray roots were beginning to look more like silver blonde streaks and her smile was widening. Her teeth, perfect in what were undoubtedly caps, glistened.
“A male whore house. I don’t think it’s been done before,” Elsie repeated.
Elsie was spry for a woman her age, but she had become overweight and as Tyler checked out the flat, it looked like she’d just moved into the place. She no longer looked like a professional, but that was probably the point. On a small table next to Tyler there was a silver framed picture, a studio shot of a glamorous woman, her head tilted back, full makeup and blond hair, her fingers just touching her chin and a large, pearl necklace around her neck and thick jeweled bracelets on her wrists. Tyler realized it was an old shot of Elsie maybe forty years ago.
“Women in their eighties still masturbate, you know that?” Elsie asked noticing him admiring the photo. She looked like she might jot down his answer in an interview. “And what a shame that is when guys like you are just running around willy-nilly.”
“No, ma’am, never really thought about it,” Tyler said.
“You sure do look like your pa. He was a crafty one, but always good to my girls. You work out, huh? I got a boob job in my seventies. Hell, nothing stays up forever. They’re just starting to sag again now. Thinking about getting ‘em done again, so this is a good time we connected.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Tyler wasn’t sure where this was going, but he was pretty sure he didn’t want it to go much further.
“Thirty percent on my end,” she said.
“Huh?” Tyler realized his eyes had widened and tried to relax so he wouldn’t look so stupid.
“That’s a lot of money, Ma’am,” Tyler said, when the hole in his stomach shrunk slightly. “I mean I’m desperate, like you say, but that’s a big cut.”
“Listen, kid. A man looks like you, your age, your height, your…face, could make more than two thousand dollars a night, okay? It’s not gonna last forever, so you better grab it while ya can.
About the Author:
Stefanie Stolinsky, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and forensic psychologist with a private practice in Beverly Hills, California. She specializes in trauma, adults sexually, physically and emotionally abused as children, and PTSD. She is an international speaker and has taught training seminars in overcoming the aftereffects of child abuse. She has also taught licensing examinations to candidates for both marriage, family and child counseling and for the psychology licenses.
She began her career as an actress in motion pictures, television and stage and created a unique therapy combining acting exercises with psychodynamic psychotherapy to help survivors of all kinds of trauma overcome the aftereffects of abuse. The first edition of “ACT IT OUT” was a top seller for over nine years. A second edition of the popular book was launched in April of this year and is available on Praeclarus Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.
She is also the author of several award-winning short stories including her newest short story anthology, DATE NIGHT, and numerous comedy mystery. Dr. Stolinsky lives with her husband in Los Angeles.