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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Author Interview – George A Bernstein


What writing are you most proud of? I think the response I’ve had, with over forty 5-Star & 4-Star reviews (many from professional reviewers and book clubs) for my first novel, Trapped. Not just that they loved the story… that they couldn’t put it down (one reader wrote me she couldn’t get her housework done, another that she read the ending THREE TIMES, she loved it so much)… but the frequent complements on how well I write. There are many reviews citing how they loved the way I describe and build the characters, how I drew them into her love and her terror. One reader I know said, “I want to marry Kevin,” and she’s a married woman. It’s wonderful to feel so validated about the real quality of your writing… not just your ability to tell a story.

What’s the hardest – getting published, writing or marketing? How about all of the above? Well, not so much writing. That generally comes pretty easily for me, once started. But it took 22 years to get my first novel, Trapped, published, and that only happened after I won TAG Publishers “Next Great American Novel” Contest. Prior to that, I had probably 80 rejections from agents and editors. Small potatoes, compared to someone like Louis L’Amour (Americas greatest Western Writer, with 89 novels published), who was reputedly rejected 350 times! But it’s still not easy to get conventionally published. Agents really aren’t interested in you unless you’ve got a track record, and that becomes the classic Chicken or the Egg quandary.

Marketing is tough, because most of us are writers, not publicists. It’s hard work to develop the experience and skill to market your work, and publishers do next to nothing to help. My first novel, Trapped, has had Best Seller review response, and in fact, did jump into the Amazon Top 100 in November, 2012. Still, sales aren’t reflecting the praises it’s received, and it’s a struggle to get public recognition. Readers may leave reviews at Amazon and Goodreads, where it also has loads of 4 and 5-Star reviews, but until they start pushing it on Facebook, Twitter, etc., sales aren’t keeping up with those praises.

How often do you write, and when do you write? When I’m into a novel, I usually write even day for a few hours, at least. I prefer writing in the morning, after breakfast. That’s when I seem to be most creative. When I’m in a “zone,” I’ll often write past lunch-time, without stopping. I’ll keep going until I’m too hungry to think.

I use the afternoons for editing and story review, and follow-up on any other projects I may have underway at the time. Then I need some time with my wife and the rest of the family.

Do you have any advice for writers? As I said earlier, learn the craft. Don’t think, because friends tell you how good you are, that you’re ready to be a published author. In the world of self-publishing, and especially now with little or no expense to publish an e-book with Kindle or Smashwords, there is a lot of poorly written stuff out there. If yours is one of those, it will cloud your reputation in the future.

Again, there are few better places a neophyte, or even an experienced writer, can get expert help than by attending good writers conferences. Many are attended by agents and editors to whom you can pitch your story. But understand, very few authors are actual signed at these conferences. Agents have admitted they go more to network with their peers than find a hidden gem. The main thing is attend the writing classes. You’ll find more than you’ll have time for, including sessions about promoting your work, and how to query agents and editors. There’s a lot to learn about what makes good ACCEPTABLE writing, and you aren’t going to discover it on your own.

And finally, write because you love it. The odds of making a real living as a novelist are minimal at best. Non-fiction authors , with a real platform and strong bona fides, have a much better chance at making money at writing… if they put in the work they need to promote themselves. And you need to be lucky.



Ashley Easton rescues a badly abused horse, deciding to return to show jumping, the passion of her youth. The animal gives unquestioned love, something lacking from her husband, Keith. But when Ashley begins to compete, she is terrified as the show course seemingly changes into an old forest and the jumps appear as real walls, fences and trees. Her thoughts spill through her head in elegant French. As she attacks the fences with an unfamiliar, fearless abandon, she begins winning every competition.

Craig Thornton, an avid horseman, happens upon Ashley’s first competition, entranced as he watches her jump her horse, Injun. Mystically drawn toward each other, it’s as if they knew the other…but from where? After several missed opportunities, they finally meet, becoming fast friends, their love of jumping horses a mutual bond.

Ashley seeks therapy to address a strange terror swamping her whenever she’s intimate. During hypnotic regression, she’s stunned to find herself in two apparent past lives, first in the 17th Century, on a fox hunt as the fearless French horsewoman who fills her head while jumping, and again, 150 years later in Philadelphia, a shipping tycoons daughter. Both times she is fulfilled by glorious romance, followed by the terror of their brutal murder while making fervid love in a forested glade!

The doctor says these are figments of her subconscious, but he’s shaken, knowing the truth. He realizes those were real past lives, and their killer may be lurking again, nearby.

Ashley and Craig soon discover more than friendship. As these two newly rediscovered lovers struggle to free themselves from broken marriages, others plan to fulfill a 300 year-old legacy of death.

Buy Now @ Amazon

Genre – Romantic Suspense

Rating – PG13

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