by S.A. Stolinsky
Publishing Date: November 1st 2016
Publisher: Fiery Seas Publishing
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
MY INTERVIEW WITH S.A. STOLINSKY
How would you describe you style of writing to someone that has never read your work?
I’m hoping that my style is simplistic, easy to read, and economic. I like the way Robert Parker wrote. Economically. He always said he didn’t waste too much time with language, and quoted Harold Pinter as the great compressionist. I also write about the people I’ve met, the things I’ve experienced. I’m a forensic psychologist, so the people I interview have quirky and unusual ways of thinking. When I was doing comedy, the idea was to turn simple things into crazy, out of whack things that would make people sit up and go, “whoa, I didn’t see that coming.”
I try to say a lot with the fewest words I can. And like John Irving, someone who’s work I love, I do write the last chapter first so that I can see where I’m going. I also have recently started writing the most pivotal scene that will be in the book, first so that I can visually see the “arc” of the character, how he or she changes and what makes him or her change.
I construct a careful outline of the story, chapter by chapter, and see everything. When you do that, you see the “inciting incident” and you see how someone’s backstory will influence how he or she reacts to the current situation. An outline forces you to flesh out the whole story. So that's the way I write.
The character always comes first with me, even though I have a good idea of what the plot will be. I have to know someone and really understand what would turn their life upside-down, and then construct a plot that will turn their lives upside-down. Once I know that, I know I’ve got a great hook that can really grab the reader.
What mindset or routine do you feel the need to set when preparing to write (in general whether you are working on a project or just free writing)?
I write every day, 7 days a week. I get lazy like right now. I’m in the midst of finishing the second book in the Counterfeit series and I’m trying to get through the middle of it. For some reason, I want more to happen. I usually get up at 8:30 in the morning, have breakfast with my husband and then write for the entire morning. I’ll have lunch with him and then go to the show. I get enthused by reading something I love like Mikey Spillane. His language and plots and character foibles can really get me going.
Do you take your character prep to heart? Do you nurture the growth of each character all the way through to the page? Do you people watch to help with development? Or do you build upon your character during story creation?
I have already “People-watched” in order to get the backstory of my character and I most certainly take him or her to heart. The character usually grows due to the circumstances of my plot and will build on his or her own sense of self-worth and empowerment.
Have you found yourself bonding with any particular character? If so which one(s)?
I’m not that old, but from the time I was an actress in the middle 70s, I liked a character I called, “Mrs. Heffleby.” She was a crusty old woman (at least 50 years older than I was at that time) and I remember my acting coach, Jack Garfein, telling me to work on that character. I think she shows up in some guise or other in every piece I write. She’s always “the Greek chorus” commenting on what’s going on and how it’s disturbing her peace, busting her serenity. I just love that character. In HOT SHOT, my newest comedy/mystery, she’s a madam.
Do you have a character that you have been working on that you can't wait to put to paper?
I pretty much get them on paper. But I would love to put someone like a Sally Ride, the late astronaut into a book about perseverance, love, commitment and self-reliance. I’d love to put her in a situation where she connected to the simple-minded man and worked through a really difficult time with him. When the guy finds out who she is, he feels blessed and special.
Have you ever felt that there was something inside of you that you couldn't control? If so what? If no what spurs you to reach for the unexperienced?
I have terrible ADHD. I have very little ability to delay gratification and that causes terrible havoc with me. When I studied with famed coach, Stella Adler, she told me it would take me longer to accomplish what I wanted because I had no patience. She was right about that, but I did persevere.
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.