Sunday, July 10, 2016

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Sylvia Stein, Author

Sylvia Stein, Author
Coming soon! Sylvia Stein's A DIARY OF A BROKEN FATHER, a prequel to her first novella, CLOSURE. She wrote it in response to reader requests to understand the role of the abusive father in her original novella. She wanted to show how he became an alcoholic that caused him to abuse his daughter. 

Stein is now working on her first thriller and, when she’s not writing, enjoys spending time with her husband and three children. She has also published a Young Adult novella, CHASING CLARITY.

Q: Why did you decide to write a prequel to CLOSURE? What inspired you to write A DIARY OF A BROKEN FATHER?

Sylvia Stein: I decided to write a prequel to CLOSURE because when I wrote it I had many readers ask me about Garrison and how they wanted to learn more about his alcoholic journey and try to understand him more.  I thought about it and came up with his story and the inspiration was to try to show his journey and perhaps bring him into another light with readers.

Q: Garrison James, the “broken father,” does not seem to be a likable person. How do you engage readers to care what happens to him?

Sylvia Stein: I wanted to show what led him to become the awful and abuse father in CLOSURE and by sharing his AA journey I wanted the readers to decide for themselves by hearing Garrison share his journey.

Q: Alcoholism and abuse are complex subjects to understand and present to readers. How did you create credible issues and characters? Did you have to do extensive research?

Sylvia Stein: I wanted to show the stages of AA through Garrison’s struggle.  I did research this and I wanted to make the character of Garrison believable so yes I researched AA and I also reflected upon people I know who dealt with this issue.

Q: Do you consider your protagonist, Garrison James, a hero or a villain?

Sylvia Stein:  I consider Garrison both a hero and a villain as he goes through this pain he admits to himself the wrong he is doing and decides to try and emerge from it so I would say a blend of both but in the end he is just human and he makes mistakes.

Q:  How helpful is humor to develop your characters or tell your story?

Sylvia Stein: Humor is important.  However, I mostly brought this story from a dark place. I got really into the life an alcoholic and humor was not a big part of Garrison’s story.

Q: Did you write A DIARY OF A BROKEN FATHER primarily to entertain readers, or did you embed some messages in the story?

Sylvia Stein: I wanted to show a message in this story.  I hope the reader will see it that way. 

Q: What is the significance of the title A DIARY OF A BROKEN FATHER? Does Garrison keep a diary? NOTE: Do not explain if it’s a spoiler!

Sylvia Stein: I can’t give it away without spoiling it but I do cover it so the reader will see it.  The title idea came from a good friend and writer Christopher Bartlett he helped with it when I went over it with him. 

Q: How relevant or supportive to telling your story was the setting? Could A DIARY OF A BROKEN FATHER have occurred anywhere at any time?

Sylvia Stein: Since this was taken from Garrison’s perspective I felt the setting was a part of it but more importantly for this was Garrison’s account and the dates in the book.  I think it could have taken place anywhere but for this story I made it appoint to keep date to keep it consistent with Closure which was the first novella. 

Q: What’s next?

Sylvia Stein: Currently, I am an editing intern for Stitched Smile Publications where I am also a marketing intern, I am also a guest contributor for the Huffington post Blog focusing on Writing Tips, promos, Book reviews and my own books, and also I have a podcast on Podbean, “In the Artists Realm with Sylvia Stein”, and working on my first thriller for next year. 

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

Sylvia Stein: I actually love spending time with my amazing husband Jeremy and three adorable children Paul, Michael and Connie.  We love taking them to the movies, going out to eat and vacationing. 

About Sylvia Stein

Sylvia Stein is a published author with several anthologies with her Writer's group 750 on Linked In. Stein obtained a Master's Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University in July 2015. She is a mother of three children and resides in the city of Fuquay Varina with her husband.

Stein has also published two solo books; one was her first novella CLOSURE which she worked on while attending SNHU and published in July of 2014. The other her first YA CHASING CLARITY published this past October 2015 and was created during National Novel Month (Nano) in 2013. When she is not writing she enjoys time with her children and husband.


Garrison James could still hear the screams of his little girl, Sara, like it was yesterday, “Daddy, daddy, please forgive me!” He messed up his life and  hers as well. How can he make it up to her? As he struggles with his alcohol addiction, Sara leaves him with her aunt and later goes to college to pursue her own dreams, leaving him behind.

In this gripping tale and prequel to CLOSURE, Garrison tells his life story and the struggles that he faced during his alcoholism and the acceptance of Sara’s need to find her own path in life. Can he ever make it up to Sara? Can his daughter ever forgive him?  More importantly can he forgive himself?  

Follow his journey in this heartbreaking but uplifting story.


Garrison James had it all. A terrific home life and a loving family. Together, he and his wife built a successful ranch and
construction company. His world changed the day he lost his wife to cancer. He turned to the bottle and became a monster. Sara, his daughter, tried everything to please him.

After years of abuse, Sara’s aunt visits. She recognizes the abuse and removes Sara. The frail girl begins the delicate journey of find herself, while struggling to leave her father and the monster behind.

Despite the emotional and mental scars she carried, Sara manages to start a new life. She is finally happy.

A phone call changes everything.

Will Sara continue her new life? Can she face the monster, or will she find closure?


Twitter @sylvia_stein07


Links for Closure

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