I’m interviewing author George Bernstein on my blog today! George wrote a romantic suspense novel titled “Trapped”, which is currently touring with Enchanted Book Promotions. “Trapped” sounds like a great read!
What’s the hardest part of being an author?
First, receiving rejection after rejection from agents and editors. You spend hours researching who likes your genre and claim to consider new, unpublished authors. Then your digest multiple articles on writing the perfect query letter, and even solicit feedback from professionals before sending out your masterful query. Then the rejections come back, usually form letters from agents who should be interested… rarely a personal comment to show they’ve actually READ your query. But that’s the game. Look at the now famous authors that struggled for years, seeking representation. Louis L’amor, America’s top western author, with 89 novels (How the West Was Won, Hondo, etc.) was reputedly rejected 350 times. It took Trapped winning the “Next Great American Novel” contest for me to finally break through, after maybe as many as 100 rejections… and the novel is getting Best Seller reviews, and in fact, made it into Amazons Top 100 in November of 2012.
The other thing is marketing. That’s a tough haul for authors, 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. As I said, Trapped has had Best Seller review response, but 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.
Can you give us a synopsis of TRAPPED?
Trapped is a novel of love, disillusionment, terror, and ultimately, retribution.
A car accident leaves Jackee Maren paralyzed, able to move only her eyes, a condition called “Locked-in Syndrome.” Her physical therapist, Kevin, teaches her to “talk” by blinking her eyes. Soon she finds she can sense others thoughts, but tells no one but her sons, unsure who she can trust. Then she learns her car accident was no accident, and vows to expose the person who wants her dead. Exercising her psychic skills, she finally learns who masterminded the accident, but feels helpless to stop them from trying to kill her again.
Fading physically, she embarks on a psychic plan to not only ensure her boys are safe forever, but to exact revenge on her would-be murderer. Jackee vows not to rest until this killer understands what it is to be TRAPPED! But she must hurry, with only months left to live.
Is this part of a series, or stand-alone?
Trapped is the first of my two stand-alone novels. The second, recent released, is A 3rd Time to Die, a Paranormal Romantic Suspense dealing with past lives, murder and rebirth.
I’ve written two other novels as the beginning of a series, featuring crack Miami-Dade homicide detective, Al Warner, and I’ve two others in that series in the works. Working with my new publisher, I hope to publish the first of those, Death’s Angel, by the end of 2013 or early 2014.
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
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.
What is your favorite book?
That’s hard to choose. Recently, it may be Stephen Kings, “11/22/63” about time travel and centering on the Kennedy assignation. Years past, it could be “The Marathon Man,” that was made into a good movie with Dustin Hoffman. It was probably under 300 pages, but the author dragged you from one chapter and thrust you into the next, almost forcing you to keep reading. That one was an inspiration for my trying to do the same, and I’ve apparently succeeded. The two most frequent comments I get for Trapped are: “I couldn’t put it down,” and “I loved the ending.” Readers complained about not getting to their housework, or resenting walking the dog. And one said she read the ending THREE times, she loved it so much. Comments like that make everything worthwhile.
What are you working on now?
As I mentioned, I’ve already written four novels. My second published novel, A Third Time to Die, is a story of passion, brutal death (twice!), rebirth (twice), and surviving finally, in the 21st Century. I’m working on promoting that, too. It’s already garnered many 5 and 4-Star reviews on Amazon.
In between doing promotion for Trapped and A 3rd Time to Die, I’ve begun work on preparing my two Al Warner detective series novels (think Patterson’s Alex Cross) over the next year, and possibly will begin writing two others in that series that I’ve outlined and begun.
Author: George A. Bernstein
Genre: Romantic Suspense
The darkness is still, silent. Jackee Maren’s heart pounds reverberating through her body as fear sears her veins. Someone’s coming. No way out. This time they will kill me. Her breath is short, her chest burns. Must run. Faster. Faster! Her eyes fly open, her heart still racing with blinding fear. Jackee breathes deeply with relief and stares at the ceiling desperately trying to calm herself. The same dream. Something, someone is watching… and waiting.
A tragic car accident leaves beautiful, vibrant Jackee Maren completely paralyzed, mentally alert but trapped in “Locked-in Syndrome,” able to move only her eyes. Jackee’s husband, Phil, is devastated and her two young boys left with nothing but a shell for a mother, but still, Jackee senses the foreboding of an evil presence and knows time is short.
Slowly, Jackee learns to communicate with her physical therapist, Kevin, by blinking her eyes. As evidence comes to light that her car accident was no accident, Jackee knows she must expose the person who wants her dead before they get a second chance.
While Jackee works her mind to put all the clues together, she discovers she has the ability to sense the thoughts of others, but she hides this talent from everyone but her sons, not knowing whom she can trust. By actively exercising her new psychic ability, Jackee finally learns who masterminded the accident but seems helpless to stop them from trying to kill her again.
Slowly a psychic plan forms to not only ensure her boys are safe forever, but to exact revenge on her would-be murderer. Jackee vows not to rest until this would-be-killer understands what it is to be TRAPPED! But she must hurry, with only a year to live.
George Bernstein is a youthful seventy-seven-year-old, with a B.A. from Northwestern University, now living in south Florida with Dolores, his wife of 54 years. He is the retired president of a publicly held Chicago company.
George’s main interest now is as a serious novelist. He has attended numerous writers’ conferences and seminars, including that of famous fiction agent, Donald Maass, and he has worked with independent editor, Dave King, all with the goal of improving his craft.
George’s first novel, Trapped, is published by TAG Publishers, after being a finalist in their Next Great American Novel contest. Dee Burks and her staff really love the story, and have put a lot of effort into comprehensive editing and revision suggestions, making Trapped the best it can be. Trapped was also a finalist at the 2012 Florida Writers Association RPLA fiction contest, and has since acquired over seventy 4 & 5-Star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
George has also recently released his 2nd novel, A 3rd Time to Die, which has been received with several 4 & 5-Star reviews. The most common comment for both novels is: “I couldn’t put it down.”