February 11, 2014

Interview with George Bernstein, Author of A 3rd Time to Die

Reading and Writing Addiction was able to catch up with George Bernstein, Author of A 3rd Time to Die for an interview. We are excited to share this interesting interview today with our readers.

RAWA: When did you first discover that you were a writer?
George Bernstein, Author of A 3rd Time to Die

GB: In High School. It was always my papers that were read to the class in English. I’ve always had a vivid imagination, partially sparked by my sister, Iris, who made up interesting stories to tell me when I was younger.

However, it took attending classes at several writers’ conferences and a seminar by ace fiction agent, Donald Maass, to sharpen my skills and show what made great writing. Talent alone isn’t usually enough… a sad lesson infrequently learned by self-published debut authors

RAWA: What is your favorite part of writing?

GB: Getting emotionally involved with my characters. When I can cry and laugh with them, and choke up at tense moments in the story, I know I’ve done the job well.

RAWA: What do you think is the most challenging aspect of writing?

GB: As I said, setting aside ego and learning is what makes great writing.  An exciting story can fall flat if you don’t understand how to bring it all together, maintain pace and tension, and knowing when to give your readers a chance to catch a breath.

The other thing, which most writers struggle with, is promoting your work. We’re authors, not publicity agents, and it often is a struggle to find readers. My first novel, “Trapped,” has hundreds of five and four star reviews and best seller-like praises, but until there’s a groundswell from readers, it’s still just plugging along. It’s the author’s job to try to create that buzz, but it’s a daunting task that few of us are skilled at.


RAWA: Tell us about your latest release.

GB: Two souls struggle to fulfill their destiny together. They discover magical love as a French Countess and an English Earl during a fox hunt in 17th Century England, and again as different souls in 19th Century Philadelphia. In each of these lives, they are snuffed out by brutal murder, just as they are fulfilling their first acts of love. Reborn a third time, in the 21st Century, Ashley and Craig meet at a horse show, becoming fast friends, their love of jumping horses a common bond. As Ashley begins competing, the show ring seems to morph into an old, oaken forest, filled with real stone walls, streams and hedgerows, and an elegant French voice tumbles through her head. She is simultaneously filled with terror and joy, becoming a far better rider than she should be.

As the two new friends’ unfaithful spouses destroy their marriages, Ashley and Craig discover much more than friendship. Fate has again brought them together… and once again their ancient killer may be stalking them!


RAWA: How did you come up with the title of your book?

GB: I had a different working title, the Recurrence, that I felt just didn’t “hit it.” After some brainstorming, “A 3rd Time to Die” seemed a natural way to go. It perfectly describes what the story is all about.


RAWA: Who are some of your favorite authors?

GB: Dean Koontz, when he strays from the paranormal, with titles like “The Good Guy” and “The Husband.” He’s a great story teller. And anything by Leon Uris and Michael Chrichton. Also, James Patterson, when he does the writing. I actually dislike most of his “co-authors.” As a kid, I loved the adventure novels by Edison Marshall, like “The Viking.” He wrote exciting, multilayered stories


RAWA: What do you think has influenced your writing style the most?

GB: Probably the combo of the authors, listed above. I learned the benefit of short paragraphs and short chapters from Patterson, and how amp up tension from Koontz and Chrichton. There was much to learn from all of them


RAWA: As a writer what is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

GB: When a reviewer praises not only the story, that “I couldn’t put down,” but the frequent comments on how they love my “voice” and the way I develop characters and the plot lines. And the statement they can’t wait to read my next novel. High praise makes the hard work all worthwhile.


RAWA: How did you get published?

GB: I won a small publisher’s “Next Great American Novel” contest with my first novel, “Trapped.”  It only took 22 years and about one hundred rejections from agents and editors before I found “instant success.” Once” Trapped” became an Amazon Top 100 novel, other small publishers were interested in my next work, “A 3rd Time to Die.”


RAWA: Do you have any advice for writers looking to get published?

GB: Put in the time to really learn the craft by attending some writer’s conferences and seminars. And if you are intent on self-publishing, spend the money to get at a professional editor to at least do a Content Edit. There are computer programs that can help with spelling, grammar, clich├ęs, etc.

A book like Dave King’s “Self-editing for Fiction Writers” it is a big help. Don’t rely on friends and family for serious feedback. Few will risk offending you with honest appraisals. Luckily, my wife, Dolores, is an exception, but that’s rare.


A 3rd Time to Die by George Bernstein is published by GnD Publishing, LLC and is available online Amazon, Createspace and Smashwords.

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