George A Bernstein
1. When did you decide to become a novelist?
When I was semi-retired and looking for something to do, other than playing golf, I thought of a neighbor from my past, who, through a surgical accident during plastic surgery, became comatose. I always did well in writing classes and decided to craft a novel around a woman that suffered a similar event. She became the basis for my novel, TRAPPED.
2. What process use to construct the story?
Once I had my main characters, I imagined a story of love, terror, disillusionment and revenge. Then I created scenes to fulfill those ends.
3. How long did it take you to write?
TRAPPED took 6 months to initially write…and 20 years to perfect! I studied writing books and attended several conferences and seminars, with the goal to improve my craft. As I developed and refined what is called “my voice,” I frequently revisited TRAPPED to deepen the plot and broaden the connection to the main character and contempt for the villain. During that time, I also wrote 3 other novels.
4. What was your experience in trying to get published?
Although I constantly refined my submission letters, agents and editors seemed unwilling to take a chance on a first time author. Of Course, ALL authors are initially “First Time Authors.” Despite a bevy of rejection letters, I kept pitching. Three of my novels were finalist it major writing contests, so I was confident of my skills and knew many now-famous authors had been heavily rejected before getting their first break. Among them John Gresham, Louis L’Amore and J.K. Rowlings.
5. How did you finally succeed?
I entered TRAPPED in several writing contests, including TAG Publishers’ Next Great American Novel Contest. Editor Dee Burks and her staff loved my story and offered to publish it, if I allowed them to make editorial suggestions. I’ve always appreciated expert advice and was willing to revise most of their concerns. It became a dialog between us, with some give and take on both sides, and TRAPPED ended up something of which I believe we’re both very proud. So, TRAPPED is now out and available for public approval, and I’m eager for that response.
6. When will you next book, after TRAPPED, be available?
I’ve written three additional novels, and now that TRAPPED is on the market, I’m working with TAG to publish the next one…another unusual suspense. I expect it to be available by the Spring of 2013.