The Writing Life with Thriller Author George A. Bernstein

George A. Bernstein is the retired President of a Chicago appliance manufacturing company, now living in south Florida. He spent years attending writing seminars and conferences, learning to polish his work and developing a strong “voice.” Bernstein is acclaimed by his peers as a superb wordsmith. He works with professional editors to ensure his novels meet his own rigorous standards, and all of his books are currently published by small indie press, GnD Publishing LLC, in which he has an interest.
Bernstein’s first novel, Trapped, was a winner in a small Indie publisher’s “Next Great American Novel” contest, and received high praise, gaining many mostly 5-star reviews at Amazon (reaching their “Top 100”) and Goodreads. His 2nd novel, A 3rdTime to Die (A paranormal Romantic Suspense) has also garnered mostly 5-Star & 4-Star reviews, with one reader likening him to the best, less “spooky” works of Dean Koontz & Stephen King.
The Prom Dress Killer is the third of his Detective Al Warner Suspense series, with the first, Death’s Angel, and the second,Born to Die, already garnering rave reviews. Bernstein has the fourth Warner novel already in the works, to be published in late 2017. Readers have likened Bernstein’s Detective Al Warner to Patterson’s Alex Cross.
Bernstein is also a “World-class” fly-fisherman, setting a baker’s dozen IGFA World Records, mostly on fly-rods, and has published Toothy Critters Love Flies, the complete book on fly-fishing for pike & musky.
All of Bernstein’s books can be found at: and

What’s inside the mind of a suspense author?
To envision a story that is uniquely challenging, filled with danger and mystery, and to create  characters, both good and bad, who are compelling. You want your readers so invested in the story that they groan when things go bad, cheer when thing go right, and whose eyes fill with tears at poignant moments.

What is so great about being an author?
Being able to do all of the above, and have readers and reviewers tell you about it. Great sales don’t hurt, either.

When do you hate it?
When a few readers just don’t “get it.” When readers en masse don’t understand what you’re trying to do, that’s the author’s fault. But when just a few don’t, I feel a bit sad, even though I know I did the job right for most.

What is a regular writing day like for you?
I begin writing usually after breakfast. That’s when I seem the most creative, especially since I often have a story epiphany at night as I’m awaiting sleep. When I’m really “cooking,” I often find that lunch time has passed two hours ago. My afternoons are usually left for chores and sports.

Do you think authors have big egos?
Some, I suppose. I know I have an ego, but I also am confident enough to take constructive criticism and make my work better. If an author isn’t confident about his talent, he probably doesn’t have much. On the other hand, I’ve run into many mistakenly confident self-published authors who have no idea how lacking their work is.

How do you handle negative reviews?
I ignore them. My favorite phrase, is, “That’s way Baskin & Robbins makes 31 flavors.” You can’t please everyone. I have to admit, though, that I’m sometimes shocked at how diametrically opposite a few readers can be from the vast reading public.

How do you handle positive reviews?
I use them during promotions and in Media kits, especially those 5-Stars from top professionals like The Midwest Book review, and Reader’s Choice

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?
It varies, but most have that “Oh, yeah,” attitude, not expecting much. It really great when they read one of my novels, sort of out of obligation, and then they won’t leave me alone while telling me how surprisingly great the book was, and asking which of my other ones should they read next

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?
I never force things. I work in my wood shop (I built most of the doors, cabinets and furniture for my house) or tie flies for my next pike fishing trip to Canada.

Any writing quirks?
None that I can think of. I follow a plan when writing a novel: character creation (each gets his/her 4 x 6 card with all their details), chapter outlines, and then I write. Maybe it’s a ‘quirk” that my characters always take over the story and lead me to place I never originally expected, and the people change and grow into living beings.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?
Shrug it off. Their opinions don’t make me who I am, and don’t demean what I do.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate? 
Nope. I just enjoy it. The thing I probably dislike the most is trying to be my own publicist. Few authors are any good at that, unless they’ve already developed a famous name and a big following.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?
Not for me. The reality is that maybe 1 in 10,000 authors make six-figures. Most self-published authors don’t sell 100 books in its lifetime. I just enjoy bringing my readers pleasure.

What had writing taught you?
That I’m one hell of a story teller. The praise I get from professional reviewers and other published authors for my wordsmith abilities, voice, and the unique plots I devise makes me proud to do this so well.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.
If you want to be a good writer, you can’t do it alone. Attend writers’ conferences and go the myriad classes offered there; interact with agents, editors and other authors, and learn what makes really good, compelling writing. And get an editor. Your spouse can’t do it for you.


Title: The Prom Dress Killer, A Detective Al Warner Novel
Genre: Suspense/thriller
Author: George A Bernstein
Publisher: GnD PublishingLLC
Purchase link: TBA

About the Book:
A psychopathic killer lurks in Miami’s shadows, snatching and murdering young auburn-haired women. Strangely, they are killed without trauma and left clad in frilly prom-style dresses.
Miami’s crack homicide detective, Al Warner, is on the case, but the killer has left few clues. Why were these girls taken and then executed? Was he intent on killing redheads, or was there some other connection? And why were their bodies so carefully arranged in peaceful repose, wearing prom dresses?
Warner’s hunt for this clever psycho is stymied by a lack of clues as he desperately searches for the latest victim. The suspense ramps up when the murderer finally makes one tiny error.
As Warner and the FBI doggedly zero in on their fleeing prey and his newest captive, the action escalates. Unlikely players are drawn into a tense, deadly game. As the stunning climax plays out, Warner is trapped in a classic Catch-22. In order to snare this lethal psycho, he must make a decision that may haunt him forever.

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