Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Sylvia Stein, Author

Sylvia Stein, Author
Sylvia Stein will soon release (Oct. 8) her young adult drama romance book, CHASING CLARITY, a story to guide healing for those who have lost a loved one. This is Stein’s second book, and she admits that she does want her books to “carry a message.” Although a romance, Stein adds that the subject of loss makes it more “dramatic” than “romantic.”

When she is not writing, Stein likes to spend time with her husband and three children. She plans to publish a prequel to her first book CLOSURE, and in her spare time she enjoys writing song lyrics. 

Q: Would you place your new Young Adult book, CHASING CLARITY, in the “romance” and “drama” genres?  Why? Do you consider it a “modern” romance? If so, how does it differ from traditional romances?

Sylvia Stein: I would say my YA CHASING CLARITY is a drama and romance. It has a  bit of both. The story is a drama because it deals with a young woman who is dealing with the loss of her love. Then later you see her trying to rebuild her life and try to move forward. I think this is modern romance because it deals with a young woman who has graduated high school, and it has been a year since she lost her beloved Leo who was everything to her. She is dealing with the loss and Mia is also a dancer who had to defer from entering into The New York Dance Academy and then decides to take a leap to start over. I believe it is not a traditional romance and is more dramatic because of the subject of loss.

Q: CHASING CLARITY is your second book that describes how to heal from “hurting.” Your first one, CLOSURE, deals with overcoming the results of abuse. Is “healing” a key theme that you like to discuss? Why?

Sylvia Stein: Yes, healing is a big theme for me in both books although different. I always want to tackle these subjects because I want to bring books that carry a message. 

Q: In CHASING CLARITY, your protagonist is a dancer. Do you have experience with dancing? Why did you choose this profession for your protagonist?

Sylvia Stein: Yes, Mia is a dancer.  No, I am not a professional dancer but I have always loved dancing, and one of my favorite things is to watch the ballet and contemporary dancing.  I also researched dancing when I worked on CHASING CLARITY  to make sure I brought the character of Mia and The New York Dance Academy of Performing Arts believable.

Q: Did you write CHASING CLARITY purely for entertainment, or did you hope to guide young adults or deliver some key messages?

Sylvia Stein: I wrote Chasing Clarity to deliver the message of hope and renewal when a loss comes. I wanted to show how Mia overcomes the tragedy of loss and how she moves forward. It is about moving forward and taking a leap on life.

Q: How do you engage readers to want to follow what happens to Mia, your protagonist? What do you consider to be key attributes of an engaging protagonist?

Sylvia Stein:  Well, this is my first YA, and I thought I would engage them by keeping the story in First person so they could connect her feelings and the journey she goes through.   I think the key attributes of an engaging protagonist is to be able to take the reader and have them follow the character’s journey. Then they can feel all the ups and downs as they are going through it. 

Q: What are the attributes of a “romantic” relationship? How do you develop the relevant relationship in CHASING CLARITY? 

Sylvia Stein: For me, the attributes of a “romantic relationship” are being great friends, being able to laugh with one another, and being able to show affection for the one you love. The way I show the relevant relationship in CHASING CLARITY is by having Mia share her love for Leo what happens when he is gone.  Then having her move to New York and meeting Henry Watson for the first time and being confused over her feelings for him.  

Q:  How helpful is humor in developing your characters or plot?

Sylvia Stein: Humor is important in my characters because I always add elements of people I know to make them real to all of my readers.

Q: Does the concept of “hero” versus “villain” apply to your CHASING CLARITY? If so, is Mia your heroine? And who is the villain? Or is the story less about heroes and villains and more about living life?

Sylvia Stein: CHASING CLARITY is less about heroes and villains.  It is the story of Mia Gerard and the journey of what she goes through when she loses the love of her life, and she has to learn to pick up the pieces. It is more about learning to live her life again.

Q: What’s next? 

Sylvia Stein: Well, right now it is all about CHASING CLARITY.  Then next month I begin to work on my prequel to CLOSURE entitled, “ The Diary of a Broken Father” which will be published in December.

Q: Tell us something about Sylvia Stein. What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

Sylvia Stein: When I am not writing I am a mom to three beautiful children and I like to spend time with them and my husband Jeremy.   My other passion is writing lyrics to songs that I create in my head.   I hope to be able to get them published one day. 

About Sylvia Stein

Author Sylvia Stein began her path to writing when she joined the Writer’s Group on Linked In 750 in 2012. She also started to connect with other authors through the World Literary CafĂ©. 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 writing. That’s when CLOSURE was born. With the help of her editor, CLOSURE grew from a short story to a full novella that Author Stein is excited to share as her first debut novel published in July 2014. She released her first YA novella, CHASING CLARITY, on September 30, 2015.


What happens when you lose the person most important to you and are left to pick up the pieces?

Mia Gerard had always wanted to be a trained dancer yet she has just lost the love of her life in a tragic accident. Leo Dancy was her best friend and soul mate. As she tries to deal with losing him, she finds his absence unbearable and she feels lost without him.

But then a great opportunity arises for Mia that she just can’t turn down. She is accepted into the New York Dance Academy of performing arts. At first she is overwhelmed but once she gets there she begins to allow herself to heal.

This is when she comes across Henry Watson, a painter with aspirations of acquiring his own exhibit one day. While she ponders her feelings for Henry, will she be too late? Or will she find the clarity she needs and chase after him?