Wednesday 16 September 2015

Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway - Stardust Dreams by S. B. Redstone

Stardust Dreams
Author: S. B. Redstone
Genre: Romance

Book Description:
Lance Forrester is a dreamer. After a celebrated career as an astronaut and engineer, he and a friend build a secret spacecraft to seek their destinies in the stars. But his friend dies and Lance is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Desperate not to succumb to his fate, he convinces an acquaintance, ailing actress Sage Saint Claire, whom he hasn’t seen since high school, to join him on his quest to reach an advanced alien civilization which can heal them both.

Unfortunately, true life is not a Hollywood movie, as much as Sage might want it to be, and problems abound. Mistakes in the past have turned Sage into a bitter old woman, and she turns out to be a less-than-perfect traveling companion which no amount of optimism, youth, or good health can cure. Can these two intrepid octogenarians-turned-immortals overcome the emotional scars of their pasts and achieve true happiness, or are they doomed to suffer for their mistakes, no matter how far from Earth they go?

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Author Interview

1. What inspired you to write your first book?
Adolescent envy. I had very creative friends in high school and their creativity impelled me to express my creative self as well. My father was talented and creative, but didn’t advertise it. Despite having a vivid imagination, fueled by films and television shows, I never thought of putting words on paper. I was involved in learning a career. First college, then graduate schools for school psychology and social work, and finally post graduate studies in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. I had a wonderful family to be part of and homes to do construction. So, with the little free time I had, I became an accomplished artist, but, my inner stories demanded satisfaction. It was time to write. Since I was a fan of Stephen King, I did some research on demons in the library, and conjured up a plot. What if a uniquely designed succubus with the ultimate goal of world domination possessed President John F. Kennedy who was a serial adulterer and took control of him? What would happen if pure evil ruled America? This story has not yet been published. Maybe one day.  

2. Do you have a specific writing style?
Yes. A big fan of Shakespeare, I understood his style. Many writers do. Create a powerful beginning: a crisis, situation, dilemma, or an event, and have it become resolved throughout the story. Impact is very important. Don’t bore your audience. Films have taught me that as well. So, many people pick up a book and read ten or twenty pages and see no point of reading further. I do. My wife is notorious for doing that. And that makes her so mad. She’s wasted her time. Most important for me, I prefer a 1940’s style of character interaction that was famous in film. Big stars in loving, contentious, or competitive relationships. Never a dull moment between them. I love creating that.  

3. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Stardust Dreams is a romance with a science fiction background. It involves two senior citizens who seek immortality in the unknown galaxy. They are dreamers. And they are dreaming of a second chance to seek their happiness. So, my mind had to think seniors, stars, and dreams. I remembered Woody Allen’s film, Stardust Memories. And Tinker Bell sprinkling Pixie dust on Wendy Darling. So, logically Stardust Dreams came alive.  

4. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Oh, for sure. Never give up on your dreams. I didn’t. Once I wanted to be a successful author I never realized all the impediments in my path, most of my making. Soul searching forced me to make a decision and that decision was to write well and make every effort to find a professional publisher. I’ve been lucky. My dreams have come true. However, as a therapist, I came to understand most people don’t know their dreams, deny their dreams, or easily give them up. It’s sad. During a patient’s first visit, I’d always ask. What are your dreams?

5. How much of the book is realistic?
I made a choice in my writing that there was far too much repetitive banality in films and books and I’d have none of it. People want success and think that copying past formulas will give them that success. That’s the sorry state of the firm industry today. Just look at most of the television shows and books from traditional publishers and they have no intention of stretching the limits of one’s creativity. So, I wanted to distinguish my writing from those repetitive themes. There’s little reality in my book. My books are about what if. However, what I make highly realistic is the interaction between the characters. As an expert in human nature and relationships, the characters are highly realistic and their interactions dynamic and sometimes bombastic.

6. What book are you reading now?
Who has time to read? Between writing and marketing of my two novels, being there for my wife, relishing my interactions with my kids and little grandchildren, and playing a round of golf a week, I’m done. There is only a limited number of hours that I can stare at words on a computer. My eyes tire. So, I watch some depressing and outrageous news on the television, which will irritate me, resulting in my designing a new novel book about a character’s desire for world change! 

7. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I just don’t have the focus right now. I have many writer friends and would love to read their books, but they’ll have to wait. To learn my craft better, I do read similar books of my genres, but I don’t recall a name. I read about science, history, and world events on the Internet.

8. What are your current projects?
Although I’ve been asked to write a second novel involving my paranormal female detective Aubrey McKenzie, I’m staying away from violence, and focusing on the senior world, of which I am part of. This novel, with a working title, Fifty Five And Over, is pure joy to create and write. La Bella Vita is a magical community where dreams can come true, or not. It is a comedy, my first, and tragedy. It explores the lives of senior citizens and grandparents and all the travails we face each day with families and ourselves. Obviously, retirement isn’t all fun and games and my novel dramatizes that.

9. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
What I’ve learned from writing this book and my others—trust your instincts. Stretching one’s creativity is scary. It’s scary to venture into new realms of writing and storytelling, without your feet solidly on the ground, and yet, keep yourself from shying away from the unknown. Giving up on your passion. I never thought I’d write a romance. I wrote a romance. I’m a funny guy, but I never thought I’d write a comedy. I’m now writing a comedy. I don’t write the ordinary. Venturing into the unknown can have one second guessing that your readers will love it. I’ve learned to live with my insecurities and fears. And—since much of the novel takes place on an alien planet, I had to learn far more about science and technology.

10. What were the challenges (research, psychological etc) in bringing your story to life?
My talented son taught me, as a set and production designer in film and theater, if you put something into a scene that doesn’t belong, someone will see it. Go on IMBD and there’s a blog for movies where people find the smallest mistakes in films. So what I’ve learned, don’t assume anything. Check out all your information for accuracy. Cryogenics is in the story. That was knowledge to learn. Luckily, I found that cells can explode with cold, and there is a chemical that can be put in blood to keep cells from exploding. Who knew? The psychology is the easy part for me. That was my business for forty years. And I wrote a book on human nature and relationships that eliminates fictional psychology.

About the Author
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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  1. Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

  2. Good morning Mai T

    Thank you for your question. I write the entire book in my head for months, while working on a present book. Only when I feel I have a great story with highly interesting characters do I finally make an outline of all the chapters. Then, I write by stream of thought. I just type away and let my unconscious and imagination take me into the story and that's where I live. When that is complete, the editing process begins and the real hard work of creating terrific dialogue, poignant paragraphs, and powerful emotions. Lastly, changes can occur at any time. Being fixated on an idea that doesn't work will not work.

  3. I forgot to say I will be stopping by periodically, responding to all comments and questions. I'd love to hear from everyone.

  4. I really enjoyed the interview as well as the excerpt, thank you!

  5. Congrats on the publication of Stardust Dreams! Great interview. Who is your favorite character from the books you have written?

  6. Thank you Rita and Betty for your kind thoughts. I worked hard at making it interesting and truthful.

    Hi Booklady,

    I must be honest, I love them all. I love them all so much I sometimes forget that they are my characters and think I've met them in real life. I even love the day players who enhance a scene with the stars. Both women and men are so much fun to create. In my head are dozens of characters demanding to come alive in a story. Should you read one of my novels, let me know if you love them all, good and evil, as I do.

  7. Great interview! I really enjoyed reading your post, thanks for sharing.

  8. A very interesting book description.

  9. Good morning
    Thank you Victoria and Mary for your kind thoughts. Have any questions I'll be here to answer them. I'm happy you liked my book description, and the novel doesn't disappoint either.

  10. I loved the description and the interview. Thank you.

  11. Hi Ree-Dee and Angie D
    Nice to hear from you and for your kind thoughts. If you have any questions, I'm still hanging around.

  12. I enjoyed the interview and excerpt.