Name Sylvia Stein
Where are you from
I was born and raised in Brownsville Texas and I moved to Raleigh NC in 2003 and now I reside in the city of Fuquay Varina NC with my wonderful husband Jeremy and our three children, Paul, Michael and Connie.
A little about your self `i.e. your education Family life etc.
Well I am a girl from Texas born and raised in Brownsville. I grew up bilingual since my parents came from Mexico, I grew up speaking Spanish and English Fluently then as I got older I worked towards a Bachelors with a major in Spanish and a Minor in English and I was a teacher for 7 years I taught both English and then Spanish when I moved to Raleigh in NC and obtained my North Carolina Teaching License in 2003. Then I married my husband Jeremy in 2004. He was in the military and saved in both the Army active duty for 3 years and then the national guard for 6 years. We have three wonderful children and after teaching for several years and a hiring freeze that happened back in 2008 I began looking at other careers but my love of Writing was always there so I joined a Writer’s group on linked in and obtained my Master’s of English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University last August of 2015.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest news is that I am working on my third solo book which a prequel to my first novella Closure. It is called the Diary of a Broken Father and this time the father who was one of the protagonist in Closure tell his story from his point of view. I also started a small podcast through podbean.com which I hope to build more of a following. I started it in January and I focus on Promos for my books, other authors promos, interview with authors, writing tips I called it the Syl Author Channel and you can download it for free on iTunes and podbean.com
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have always loved writing I began as early as 5 years old. I also loved reading. I always wanted to create stories that would transport me into different places and create characters like those that I had read. However, I loved using my imagination to create many different ones which I thought others would want to read. I just loved it so much.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Well I really did not see myself as a writer until I was in my early 20’s. My sister and our friends always said I had a gift for writing from creating my own plays, screenplays, and short stories.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The inspiration for my first book came from writing a short story in my first creative class at SNHU. I called it Closure and I wrote it in first person initially and it was about a girl named Sara James who is having a hard time mending a broken relationship with her father because of all the abuse he put her through as they dealt with her mother’s death. He became an alcoholic and puts her through so much. I remember writing this story and my Professor telling me what a great novel it could be. Therefore, after talking with other writers I had worked with on Linked in for several anthologies I had published with them I started working on Closure. I also had other SNHU colleagues and writers encouraging me. I went for it and published it in July 31, 2014 of the following year.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
No, I do not my writing changes constantly I usually just write my drafts and I do not stop to correct anything. I begin and then after I am done then I will go back and edit the grammatical errors etc., However now I do take more time to work on writing better transitions that will tighten up my story, this was not the case when I began on my first book.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Closure just came to me after I began to see what the story would be about and once I saw it was about a daughter deciding if she was going to forgive her father for all he is done when he requests to see her and it is about their journey closure just fit.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
All my novels have messages. Closure is about being able to forgive those that hurt us and can be and should we? Now for Chasing Clarity this is more about grief and how one young woman comes out of it after losing the love of her life and can she rebuild her life? Then when the opportunity comes for her to move on to New York what will she decide? It is all about what the main protagonist does to try to pick up the pieces after losing so much?
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I always try to add elements that are realistic maybe not in my own life but in others I know. For example, Closure is all fiction but I decided to focus on the subjects of alcoholism due to the fact that alcohol existed in my own family. My father God bless him and may he rest in peace was an alcoholic for a very long time and although he was not an abusive man towards us this ruined his marriage to my mother and we went to live with my grandparents and we struggled. He could not hold down a job and my mother got tired. They made up later and he did stop drinking but it was too late. Sadly, they never got back together but they did become great friends. So I drew upon that and I had another friend whose Father went way out of control with his alcoholism and I drew upon that when I wrote my story.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
The Books that have shaped me are:
The Bible because faith is foremost in my life and without God there is no purpose.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee that book was one of the first books I read that made me think how unfortunate it is to be discriminated against and it was a book unlike any I had ever read.
My mentor was my English 5 teacher Mr. Erickson which I found out passed away last week on May 4, 2016. He was my high school English Teacher and taught me so much about the arts, literature, and classical music. We read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby another amazing book, A Street car named Desire by Tennessee Williams, Of Mice and Men, Etc., and not to mention the classical music of Bram’s, Beethoven, Dvorkak, it was one amazing class.
He also taught us about the arts, Van Gogh, Monet, Michelangelo, Rembrandt etc. he was one of the best mentors I could have gotten.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Yes, there are so many from my favorite author which is Jodi Picoult, I just think she is one exceptional writer and the way she draws you into her world and the emotional journey within her characters is just so brilliantly written. Also Melissa Foster she is another person I consider a mentor, I think the way she paves the way for other authors is just amazing and brilliant she is able to write in so many forms and she was one of the first people I met on social media through fb who always encourage me and even now that she is a Best Selling author she still takes the time to talk to all of us and I met some other amazing Author through her Melissa’s Awesome Support Team like author Chrissie Parker she is just one amazing writer she can write a thriller on the one hand like her novella of Integrate and Temperance and then write Historical fictions such as her amazing novel Among the Olive Groves. Also Emerald Barnes who writes YA and her books, especially her book Entertaining Angels she is such an inspirational author her messages are beautiful and her faith is also a big reason I love reading her books. I also must mention Stephen King he is one of the most influential writers of our time.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Well that would have to be besides my husband and family the Writer’s Linked in 750 for which I owe all of my beginnings too also. They pushed me to write short stories and I did and thanks to them I was able to publish my first short stories back in 2013-2014. They all were amazing headed by the amazing and wonderful Heather Marie Shultz
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I always wanted it to be back when I was in school teaching, but something always got in the way of it at the time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No I would not I stand by all my books and I am proud of the work that came out of each draft.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
My interested in Writing originated as a child and being able to create my own world since my family life was in turmoil due to my dad’s constant drinking.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Well right now my current work is Chasing Clarity since I am not releasing My Prequel till later this summer.
What happens when you lose the love of your life and are left to pick up the pieces?
Mia Gerard is about to find out.
Mia has just lost Leo Dancy, her best friend and soul mate. His absence seems unbearable, but suddenly, an opportunity that she can’t turn down arises. She’s offered a teaching position in The New York Dance Academy of Performing Arts. At first, she’s overwhelmed, still dealing with the loss of Leo. But eventually, she allows herself to heal when she meets Henry Watson, a painter with aspirations of having his own exhibit one day, or does she?
As Mia and Henry become closer, Henry develops feelings for Mia, but she’s still unable to love. When Henry can’t have what he wants, he decides to move back to London with his agent and friend, Trina Michaels. Mia may lose him forever, and she’s faced with having the clarity to chase after Henry or let him walk away. Which will she choose?
Chasing Clarity Copyright 2015 by Sylvia Stein
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes, I have to say the challenging part is the editing portion of it. Once I am done with the first draft it takes me more than several revisions then I sent it to my editor and then back to getting it just write. But other than that I just think it is about getting the story to where it needs to be to let all my readers enjoy it.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not too much I mostly have been working online and doing events through that venue. However, this next year I am going to be on some book events out of town to push myself more and maybe go into local libraries and book stores for some readings.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My amazing cover designer has been Natasha Brown, she is an amazing designer and an author. I met her through the World Literary Café which was founded by best selling author and someone I consider a mentor Melissa Foster.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing my books let’ just say this latest one which was a YA called Chasing Clarity. Is that it dealt with grief and picking up the pieces of your life when one experiences that. I cried so much when I wrote it as I dove into the character of Mia Gerard which is my main protagonist.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Yes, I was able to research and learn about the various stages of grief and connect with others who emailed me about how this book really touched them.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Oh I would love for my books to become movies. For my lead in Chasing Clarity I would love Shailene Woodley to be my lead she is a very strong actress and I loved her in the Fault in our Stars and I think she would be able to do a good job as Mia.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
The best advice I can give writers is to write everyday whether it is for 15 minutes and hour a day etc. never stop writing and have a passion for what you write.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I just want to tell my readers thanks for inspiring me to create stories to bring out to them everyday.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading an amazing book by author AJ Brown entitled, dredging up Memories which is a must read book.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes, I do it was Dr. Seuss Green Eggs and Ham.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh all the time my family especially my husband and kids are constantly making me laugh but I usually laugh to a comedy movie like the old classics Blazing Saddles, I love Lucy etc. Mr. Bean love him. I tend to cry when I watch emotional movies. I am a crier at heart. I cry with sad movies or when I watch something sad on the news.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to have been able to have met Mother Teresa because she helped so many and was so giving.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
“Loved one another as I have loved you.” My faith carries me and I live by what Christ teaches us.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I love singing, but I actually plan on making it into another career since I also write songs.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My favorite TV shows vary but write now it is the ones on ABC on Wednesday, The Middle, The Goldberg’s, Modern Family and also Jane the Virgin on the CW. I also enjoy the Big Bang Theory.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
My favorite foods are Southern, Fried and grilled chicken, Hamburgers, Mexican food and a good Cobb Salad. My favorite colors are Blue, Green and Red.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
If I were not a writer, I would have loved to have been a singer or be on the radio with my own show.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? Yes, I do.
Here it is:
Thank you so much for having me.
Author Sylvia Stein began her path to writing when she joined the Writer’s Group on Linked in 750 in 2012.
She continued her journey by creating short stories, which were published, in the Giant tales Anthology series.
While obtaining her Masters degree at Southern New Hampshire University online author Stein built a solid foundation with her colleagues who encouraged her to continue on her writing. That’s when Closure was born.
Closure was published this past July 2014. Now author Stein is working hard to bring you her latest YA novel entitled Chasing Clarity. This novel will be out in February 2015. “ This will be another one of many books I hope to bring you.”