On this cool Friday November morning I use the transporter to pick up this week’s featured author at her home. Instead of traveling to some far off exotic location for the interview, she wants to stay at home.
“Great,” I say, thinking we’ll sit out on the porch or in the kitchen, drink orange juice and munch on blueberry muffins.
“Follow me,” she says and leads me to-
“Uh, ma’am, this is your bedroom,” I say as watch her prop three pillows behind her back and lean against the wall.
“Yes, this is one of my favorite places to write.”
“Yes, is there a problem?”
No, of course not. She wants an interview in her bedroom, fine. I start in, keeping one eye outside the door in case her husband shows up wondering why some strange guy is in the bedroom with his wife… Oh boy!
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. The book is on sale right now, 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
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.
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