by S. B. Redstone
Crystal: Today I have the pleasure of hosting S. B. Redstone. Welcome S.B. I'm so excited to have you here today. Would you share a little bit about yourself with us today?
S. B. Redstone: In a way all my careers have been involved with helping people have happier lives. Eons ago, I was a caseworker in NYC, Protective Services, investigating the horrors of the abuse and neglect of children, doing my best to save lives. After attaining master’s degrees in School Psychology and Clinical Social Work, and post graduate training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, I worked in schools, social agencies, and private practice. Chutzpah had me researching and writing a book that transformed our understanding of human nature and relationships Taming Your Inner & Outer Bullies: Confronting Life’s Stressors And Winning published by New Horizon Press Books. For my happiness, fiction writing no longer took a back seat to art and home improvement projects. After writing short stories, I wrote a mystery thriller, A Sinister Obsession, which was published by Black Opal Books. Recently, my second novel, Stardust Dreams, a romance, has been put on virtual bookshelves. I am a member of the International Thriller Writers Organization and Romance Writers of America. Should you read my novels, you’ll notice golf is in all my work. It’s a passion that can’t be separated from all other aspects of my life. With my kids grown, I live with my lovely wife in New York and Florida, and see our grandchildren often.
Crystal: Do you have a favorite scene you would like to share with us?
S. B. Redstone: This is just one of my many favorites. It reflects the theme of all my work. Dreams. The power of determination for having a happier life. Lance Forrester, scientist and astronaut, has terminal cancer. He is about to follow his dream by going into outer space to seek an advanced alien civilization that will cure him and grant him immortality. He asks Sage Saint Charles, a high school girl he had a crush on over seventy years earlier to join him. She was an infamous bad girl in Hollywood and social recluse. The scene takes place in hospice care where she only has days to live.
Lance is speaking. “Yesterday, when I was at the checkout counter at my local supermarket, I just happened to glance at the rack of celebrity magazines. And there was your story in bold lettering. At first, I just thought that chance focused my eyes on the headline, but I was wrong. It was fate. You are the chosen one. I have no doubt about that.”
Of course, she found my fanciful thinking funny as her head shook in such a way as to say, “You’re a certifiable idiot.”
I held her cold, fragile hand. “Come on, Sage. Don’t fight fate. Be curious as to why the gods in the universe chose you. I certainly am.”
“I can’t.” She pulled her hand away. “I’m sorry.” Her tone of voice hardened. “You know, Lance, throughout in my life I had a theater full of people who told me to trust them. And when I believed
their blarney, I had nothing but disappointment and heartache.”
It wasn’t her fears that I was battling against, but a lifetime of distrust. My confidence in a successful mission collapsed. “Of course, you have no reason to believe a word of what I’ve told
you. You don’t really know me, except through my noted accomplishments. But I can’t disappoint you because I’m only offering friendship and hope.” I pushed my point harder. “Sure, we can die here on Earth. We can die in space. Or we can awaken on a remote and caring world that saves us! We are the captains of our fate, not the Grim Reaper—yet!”
She looked away because I think she feared any further emotional connection between us would have her relenting. “Good luck on your adventure,” she said sweetly, choking back her tears. “I’ve accepted God’s final judgment on my life. There’s no future for me now.”
She was deceiving herself, but not me. I shook my fist at her unrealistic fears and protested her doomed outlook on life. “I remember a determined and assertive teenager who fought in the
classroom for excellent grades and fought on the soccer field against rival schools to win. Come on. This is no time to give up your fight for life just at the moment you need to fight the hardest to hold on to it!”
Crystal: Where did you come up with the idea for Stardust Dreams?
S. B. Redstone: Having grown resistant to creating more violence, with so much violence in entertainment and in reality, I just didn’t want to add to it again. If Shakespeare and Hemmingway could choose different genres, so could I. While writing A Sinister Obsession I got hooked on its romantic sub-genre. That was more fun to write than murder. Making a decision to write a romance novel, I chose to focus on what I knew. Human nature and aging. As a senior citizen, I am keenly aware of what we seniors care about, which is immortality, good health, love, lost dreams, family, and happy relationships. Once I made that decision to write a senior romance, my second love came into the picture. Astronomy. I am fascinated by every new discovery in our universe. All the new planets discovered around distant stars hold promises of intelligent life. My unconscious took control and a number of captivating stories came into consciousness. One caught and held my attention. Lance Forrester: astronaut, scientist, and dreamer. Stardust Dreams is about destiny, adventure, and the seeking of immortality in the wondrous universe.
Crystal: What are you currently working on?
S. B. Redstone: I am working on a comic/tragedy fantasy about us senior citizens and grandparents that takes place in a magical fifty-five and over retirement community in south Florida. Even as a therapist I knew seniors had problems in life, but seniors really have problems in life! Most everyone has issues with life threatening illnesses, family troubles, financial troubles, marital problems, and depression. I could have written a work of non-fiction, but I had written a book on human nature and relationships and I wanted a stronger impact. So, this novel was born. What if? What if you woke up in a magical fifty-five and over retirement community where you could live life over again, but wouldn’t know what fate had in store for you.
Crystal: Do you have any special routine that you follow when you are writing?
S. B. Redstone: I don’t. But I do have some compulsive behaviors. I must play computer card games until I feel relaxed and my mind sharpens. I go from one game to another until I win. It usual takes at least fifteen minutes to feel my mind has cleared of its cobwebs. I can write any time of the day or evening, but when I play golf, and intend to write afterwards, I need to take a short nap. I don’t write when I’m tired or rushed. If I limited time, I’ll do more marketing. Hours of marketing makes me more tired than writing, so I’ll write first.
Crystal: Did you have to do a lot of research for this book or any other? If so do you have a fascinating fact that you have learned you would like to share with us?
S. B. Redstone: First and foremost, if you want to be thoroughly humiliated, then all you have to do is put inaccurate facts in a novel. I research every last detail. Fortunately, the Internet has made my life easier. When I first took up fiction writing, I needed to go to the library and check my facts. I needed to have an atlas to verify roads and terrain. In my horror novel, it centers on President Kennedy and his sex life. That was an eye opener. I had no idea he was a serial adulterer. During a final edit, I doubled checked Marilyn Monroe’s life, one of his girlfriends, and to my surprise, I had her alive on a given date, and she had died months earlier. Oops! I would have been vilified. When presenting an accurate understanding of human nature and relationships, fortunate for me, I don’t need to spend hours of doing research, as you now know, I am the expert.
Crystal: Who are some of your favorite authors that you like to read?
S. B. Redstone: I am not a big reader. I am a movie watcher. If I had a choice between being a successful author and screenwriter, I’d be a screenwriter. But, in all honesty, I’d have a better chance of reaching Jupiter in a spaceship than having a screenplay accepted by a studio. I used to read Stephen King and other horror authors, but like too many authors their later books were more about the money, and I became bored. I now read many books on the genre that will be my next project, so I can learn my craft better. I read books on nature, astronomy, physics, and paleontology.
Crystal: Is there a genre you haven't written that you would like to try?
S. B. Redstone: I’ve written non-fiction. I’ve written a horror novel that is yet unpublished. I’ve written a suspense thriller, and recently a romance, which entailed hours of study concerning language and writing style. My next novel, nearly finished, is a comedy. Now if a writer wants to have his or her insecurities and anxieties reach the stratosphere, then this genre will do it. I’m a funny guy, but there’s a difference being funny and writing funny. You’re the only one laughing at your jokes as your fingers type. You have no idea what your audience will feel until you give it out for reads. Basically, my writing has followed my oil paintings. I always found myself attempting new styles. Always something new to learn. I never have my feet on solid ground.
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?
Lance visits Sage in Hospice Care. He is dying at well. Inspire her! “Your sympathy is appreciated, but I have no immediate plans of kicking the bucket here on Earth.” Hear goes. “On New Year’s Day, I’m traveling into the galaxy in my private spacecraft with the hope of reaching an advanced alien civilization that will extend my life. I would be honored if you would join me.”
First, Sage gave me a look as if she’d just bitten into the foulest tasting food, then a burst of anxious laughter erupted from her unenthusiastic face. “That’s your hope?” She tried to hold back her mocking smirk, but couldn’t. Her defiant nature hardened to ice. “Now, why would I want to do that?”
Lance and Sage awaken on an alien world. “Hi, Sage,” I said calmly. “It’s safe. You can come out. No monsters. Just friends. He doesn’t bite.”
Despite my attempt to relieve her mounting worries, she was still wary and stepped cautiously out on the patio, her head nervously jerking about. She was wearing blue jeans and a pink blouse. “We’re on Earth---right? We’re back home?”
My laugh was kind. “No Sage. We’re on the friendly planet of Pirodinos, some eight thousand light years from Earth.”
“Bullshit! I know Earth when I see it,” she said nastily, apparently thinking I was deceiving her.
“Then, you better take a good look. Look at the tree bark. The sky. I don’t believe the last time you were on Earth that it had more than one moon.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
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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