Welcome back! Don’t mind the mess, I’m in the midst of edits and final word counts. (Haphazardly stacking piles of paper and multi-colored pens into a teetering pile). Oh, and a little dash of research before we begin our preparations for our travels to the Big Easy in May. (Shoving a couple of books under a couch cushion).
Today’s guest is the perceptively diabolical S.B. Redstone and he’s bringing along his dark, paranormal mystery, A SINISTER OBSESSION, along. His timing is impeccable considering my latest string of reading titles. I’ll share only because I have the excuse that I’m an author and this is research. I just finished up with Dr. Stout’s THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR (which really doesn’t make you want to meet your neighbors) and I’m getting ready to start with John Douglas’s MIND HUNTER, which is all about the FBI’s Serial Crime Unit.
It’s RESEARCH, people (and kind of fun!).
But, enough on my quest for criminal motivation, let’s talk to someone who’s created a terrifyingly fantastic read for all you readers looking for a great novel weaving mystery, suspense, and dark fiction, with a paranormal female detective, a combative 1940’s style romantic relationship between detectives, a hot social topic viewed from a humanistic perspective, complete with an elusive killer whose narcissistic obsession leads to heartless murders and a diabolical scheme to achieve personal happiness. Yep, it’s all here in A SINISTER OBSESSION published by Black Opal Books.
I bet you want your own copy, uh? Well, here’s how you can enter for a chance to win your very own e-copy of A SINISTER OBSESSION. Click on this Rafflecopter link and/or share with us in our comment section what fascinates you about your favorite villain and you could be our winner. Don’t forget to add your email so we can connect with you! Will make our announcement on Tuesday, Mar. 25th!
My enthralled crowd, I give you S.B. Redstone!
As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?
I wanted to be Superman. As a child, I watched this superhero on television and I wanted to fly, leap over tall buildings , be the strongest person on Earth, help people, and beat up all the bullies that were annoying me! And—I wouldn’t have to take anymore crap from my parents, teachers, and grownups. Even now at my age, I still wish to be Superman, and save the world from human folly, but instead for a career, I helped people as a School Psychologist and Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
–I was more of the Wolverine type–claws, growls, snarls…
If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?
Detective Sergeant Aubrey McKenzie – “Don’t piss off this bitch!”
Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior). Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?
Rory McIlroy, the young professional golfer, replied to a question during a television interview. He was asked if he was intimidated by the more experienced golfers? He answered honestly. He was a professional golfer. If he didn’t think he could beat everyone, he wouldn’t be on the PGA tour. That’s my attitude. Not wishing to appear arrogant, I am a professional writer. I don’t give any thought to famous authors or who sold more books than me, which is just about everyone right now. I know I write well. They write well. I know my stories are interesting and have merit. So do they. Hopefully, the only difference between us; they just started before me. The better than 4 star reviews for A Sinister Obsession attest to storytelling skills. If all my reviewers worked at Simon and Schuster, my books would be piled up at the front door of Barnes and Noble. If or when I meet a famous writer, I’d probably ask if they played golf. With that said, I’ll share a time when I was intimidated by previous writers. Not fiction writers, but eminent personality theorists: Freud, Jung, and Ellis. As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, I was formulating a different view of human nature and relationships, which placed our natures in the natural world. While sharing my thoughts with colleagues, they encouraged me to write a book. A bolt of anxiety hit me. I said, “Who would care what an obscure therapist in Plainview Long Island thinks?” My colleague looked at me and said, “Everyone!” I wrote Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning with a great deal of trepidation published by New Horizon Press Books, Steven B. Rosenstein, LCSW, MS.
Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere? Inquiring minds want to know: what was your first attempt at writing and how old were you?
How did you know? I was a teenager when I was writing poetry. I don’t know why I chose that creative form as I was a terrible writer. Most of my interest was in sports and old movies. But I enjoyed doing it. Showed a few people and they liked it. I think I can blame my creative desires on an old friend who was an excellent artist. I was envious of his talents and I wanted to be just as creative. I will admit to being a highly competitive person. Nothing I do doesn’t involve some form of competition, even if the completion is with myself. My first novel I wrote, when I didn’t know how to make two adjacent sentences coherent, was a horror novel. I sent it out to agents. Rejected! I put it away, and every year or two, edited it again and again. Recently, its main characters screamed at me to send out queries to independent publishers. I hope they’re right!
–Ahh, teenage poetry, the perfect outlet for angst…
We all have favorite characters, either main or secondary, and there are always bits and pieces of them we don’t share with our readers, but keep close to our hearts. Choose your favorite from your cast of characters and tell us a couple of things that you haven’t shared in your books/writing.
There are few secrets that I haven’t shared with the readers about my characters. If I think it goes down on paper. I don’t hold back. Like it or not, the character gets revealed. For Detective McKenzie, she likes to physically hurt those she hates. That’s who she is. I could have made her less reactive and aggressive, but she wouldn’t have accepted that. I didn’t share with my readers that she’d like to bullet in the heart of most of the criminals she captures. There’s another character I dare not name to ruin the mystery, but he is really far more despicable than I made him. I didn’t want to tarnish every aspect of his personality, so the readers wouldn’t hate him as much as I do.
–I think a great many writers won’t share everything about their character with their readers, but if you do it right, you’re readers manage to uncover it all between the lines.
What’s some of the funniest/sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?
A reader said, reacting to a murder scene, “I’ll never look at a knitting needle the same way again!”
Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys. Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting). Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?
I’ve never hit a snag on a story and had to give it up because I write the entire story in my head, for months, before I ever think of having it appear on a computer screen. If it doesn’t have a great beginning, middle, and end with fascinating characters, I give it up. Ninety percent of my stories bite the dust. However, here’s a masochistic moment. A bit different that your question but the situation left me devastated. Many years ago, I saw the movie Amadeus. I thought it would interesting to write a screenplay about Beethoven, who had an even greater difficult life, but no one had done before. I did months of research. Wrote the screenplay, which took we nearly a year with the little free time I had. Just when I finished it, and was thinking about what to do with it, my wife comes over, and says gently, “Immortal Beloved”, is coming to the big screen. Oh, noooooo! Here’s my advice to writers. Never write a screenplay about a famous person!
What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?
Young adult. I’d have no clue how they think. What they think about. I can’t watch their movies or their television shows. What they think is funny has me staring blankly at walls. I don’t understand paying hundreds of dollars for jeans with tattered holes. They’re a great generation, but not my generation, and if I dared create characters of that age, they’d sound like old people with braces on!
Share if you dare, one of your favorite research experiences. Did you join a ghost hunters group? Did you step outside your comfort zone and into the wild world of your characters?
My favorite research experience wasn’t very exciting. In my horror novel, President Kennedy, is a background character. I went to the library and read every biography on him. I expected to read about his presidency and policy and couldn’t believe I was reading about the secret life of a sex addict. He had an insatiable appetite for sex. His long list of women included Marilyn Monroe, a Soviet spy, and prostitutes in the White House. Now my novel about a succubus seeking world domination, through demonic possession, during a sexual encounter had the powerful punch I was seeking!
–It’s amazing what you discover about public figures if you dig deep enough.
You all ready for our BULLET LIST? Alright, SB, it’s all yours…
Blades, guns, fists or feet?
Fists – I can’t really hurt anyone.
Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?
Peter Pan – Flying would be fun!
Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?
Only two, but they’ve been by my bed for over a year.
Crazy Horse, The Strange Man of the Oglalas by Mari Sandoz
No Easy Way by Mark Owen
Greatest one liner of all time?
“Here’s looking at you kid!” the movie, Casablanca
Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?
Sarcastic witticism – I love one up-man-ship.
Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?
A paperclip with a plastic yellow heart on it. I have no idea where it came from.
Favorite supernatural creature?
Much thanks to SB for coming and spending time with us, we always love meeting new writers and getting a small peek into what makes them tick!
A Sinister Obsession can be purchased at Amazon and all booksellers in kindle and paperback formats.
A psychopathic killer on a quest leaves behind a string of brutal murders, and to find the Who, the police must first discover the Why…
Detective Aubrey McKenzie has been assigned to investigate the murders. A lovely, fabulously wealthy, dark-haired Scot, whose iron will was forged in the inferno of human tragedy, Aubrey is stymied by the lack of solid clues. Now she must rely on her paranormal ability to apprehend the killer—an ability that has been invaluable in her police work but has made a disaster of her social life. Fate teams Aubrey with Detective Joshua Diamond, a handsome, talented, and compassionate man who is more than happy eating a greasy bacon-cheeseburger and wearing clothes that should have been thrown out with the trash. In a race against time, Aubrey and Joshua must overcome their vast differences—and their attraction for each other—and discover the identity of this elusive killer, and the quest this fiend is on, before more lives are destroyed.
I write under the name S. B. Redstone. I began my career, after graduating from Hunter College, as a caseworker for the New York City Department of Social Services, Protective Services, investigating the horrors of the abuse and neglect of children. After attaining master’s degrees in Social Work and School Psychology, and then completing a post-graduate education in Psychoanalytic Therapy, I became a School Psychologist in the New York City Department of Education and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in his private therapy practice on Long Island. treating adults, adolescents, children, and couples. Always striving to improve his understanding of human nature, I researched and then wrote a personal improvement book, Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning, which offers remarkable insights into behavior, societal institutions, and relationships. I have written articles on the web concerning human nature, relationships and the abuses of societal institutions, given lectures, and appeared on radio shows.
Always having a vivid imagination and a desire to write fiction, I developed my writing skills by becoming a successful writer of short stories, all of which have been published on the web and in print. As an expert in the field of human psychology, I have been able to develop realistic characters from the dark side of human nature where my villains don’t aspire for happiness through personal achievement, but rather from their demented narcissistic schemes. Many of my characters have been taken from my clinical experiences. I have two additional novels seeking publication. I am a member of the International Thriller Writers Org and Romance Writers of America.
I can be found at http://sbredstoneauthor.com and at Goodreads, Shelfari, and Bloglovin.