Sunday, June 24, 2018

Steve Rosner: The IAN Interview

Steve Rosner is a self-professed “Steve of All Trades.” Born and raised in New York City, he holds an B.S. from Brooklyn College and an M.A. in psychology from Hofstra University, but his early career was business and computer related. He was a former vice-president at Salomon Brothers during the mid-1980’s.

In the late 1990s, Steve was an independent consultant, specializing in Y2K related issues. Moving to Iowa in 2000 he wrote several large scale works in the mental health field. His Guide To Mental Health & Developmental Disabilities In Iowa was the first ever Educational Manual for those with advisory or decision making authority in that arena.

Steve has written articles about computers, Wall Street, and financial management and has two published short stories to his credit. He also produced, directed and starred in Grandmother Tales, four comic one-act plays of life in the depression, written by his father Nathan.

In 2015, A Guide to the Psalms of David was released, featuring the first index categorizing each of the 150 psalms, and a heartfelt English translation. He says the best compliment he ever received was when a clinical psychologist told him, “Your rendition brought tears to my eyes. For the first time, I could feel David’s heart breaking.”

In 2016, God is Good was published, and God and Man: Love on the Rocks was released in April, 2018.

Steve lives in Brooklyn, with his talented wife Audrey, returning to NY from North Carolina in 2007 to take care of his dad and mom so that they could remain in their Manhattan apartment. Both have passed away, (mom at 97, dad at 106) but not until after they celebrated their 77th wedding anniversary!

According to his wife, “Steve is a kind and caring person. He is a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He has a strong sense of honesty. He will not tell you what you want to hear, but will tell you what is in his heart. His soul abhors deceit, so he often gets depressed observing the lack of integrity in our culture.”

IAN: Please tell us about God and Man: Love on the Rocks.

Steve Rosner: “On the Rocks,” was originally a phrase used for ships which ran aground and broke apart. But nothing could be a better metaphor to describe God’s relationship with man—hence the title of this book. For God created us with love and gave us His heart and soul:

And God created Man in His Own Likeness;
In God’s image created He him; both male and female.

Alas, ever since Cain slew Abel, our relationship with God has been on the rocks. Throughout the Millennia, we have totally failed to act in accordance with His relatively few requirements. At best, we have ignored Him, but mostly mocked, disparaged, and treated Him with disdain. We have abrogated our responsibility, whether as an individual or nation, have engaged non-stop in the worst evil imaginable, causing Him untold suffering.

Is it any wonder then, why God is estranged from us; why there is unrelenting havoc in our lives; why the world is falling apart; why suffering is prevalent at every level? Terrorism is a daily occurrence—no individual, no nation is immune! Isn’t it time we re-evaluated our behavior and altered it—to repair our relationship with God and gain His many blessings.

But to understand how, we need to know something about God, something about ourselves, something about religion, and something about history.

This book provides that understanding: It covers Scripture and science, God and His attributes, and Man—including his Free Will, Soul, Body and Mind. It addresses Good and Evil, and the nature of each. It reviews six major religions, and asserts at their core, they are virtually the same.

We will learn that God desires very little of us—regardless of our culture, religion, or ethnicity. In simple terms, He wants us to be righteous, do justice, and love compassion. He also longs for a relationship with man, and we will document not only multiple examples of Divine Providence, but how to engage God real-time!

You will find that while God may be ineffable, He is not unreachable!

We assert He wants to do our Will, and only wishes to shower us with blessings—provided we deserve them.  Finally, you will discover that one person—you—can save the world!

IAN: Is your book published in print, e-book or both?

Steve Rosner: God and Man: Love on the Rocks is a 328 page paperback, listed at $12.95 and can be purchased on-line at Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, etc., or ordered at your local book store. A Kindle version is available as well at Amazon for $.99

IAN: Where can we go to buy your book?

IAN: What inspired you to write the book?

Steve Rosner: In my latter years, to make up for the folly of my youth, I wanted to use whatever time I had left, to try to help make this world a better place—if one reader at a time—using the gifts God gave me.

IAN: Do you have a specific writing style?

Steve Rosner:
Not really. Over the course of my life I have written in over a dozen genres. Besides my books, I have written short stories, poetry, plays, essays, business articles, user guides, legal briefs, song lyrics, exposés, and three unpublished—as yet—Sherlock Holmes pastiches.

IAN: How did you come up with the title?

Steve Rosner: It seemed like the perfect metaphor to describe God’s relationship with man. Just as a marriage is a partnership, I believe Man’s relationship with God is one as well. And just as couples, too often, are at odds, and their marriage is “on the rocks,” so too with humans and God.

But a marriage can be repaired, as can Man’s relationship with God. The fact Neil Diamond wrote a song with that title for The Jazz Singer clinched it, as the expression would be familiar to most Americans.

IAN: What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

Steve Rosner:
A strong desire to give it a positive review on Amazon!  (only half-kidding).

IAN: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Steve Rosner: God! He not only inspired me with words, but any number of times, He led me to sources for the subject I was working onoften, out of the blue. I know it was no accident!

IAN: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Steve Rosner: Humans—at least this human—tend to be lazy. The biggest challenge was getting to the computer and writing even when my mood was melancholy. Also, painstaking research was always difficult for me as I tend to be impatient.

IAN: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Steve Rosner:
I knew there was is a lot of evil in the world, but never realized just how much. The Third Section in my book entitled “Love on the Rocks” has seven chapters devoted to conflicts and wars throughout the millennia. Research and writing those chapters was often very difficult, and at times I couldn’t go on emotionally and had to take a break, although the words were there in my head.

IAN: Who designed the cover?

Steve Rosner: My wife, Audrey Rosner, has designed all my book covers. She is exceptionally creative, but most importantly, her traits of kindness, integrity, and sense of responsibility are her best qualities. A graphic artist by vocation, formerly designing textbook covers for a major publisher, she is a gifted artist, used to kayak, and plays the fiddle. Recently, Audrey, who has multiple sclerosis, fulfilled a life-long dream that took 28 years, by completing her B.A. in Judaic Studies at Brooklyn College—with straight "A"s!!! As a result of her MS, she is passionate about health, and is constantly researching emerging technology for healing. Finally, often volunteering to help others, her attitude when she meets someone new is "What can I do for that person," not "What can he/she do for me!"

IAN: Do you have any advice for other writers?

Steve Rosner: I deem this the most important question of all!

First:  I follow the advice of David Westheimer, author of a number of novels, including Van Ryan's Express, which was made into a movie. He said, “You need only do two things to write a novel: put one word after another; do it one day at a time.” This is great advice not only for a novel, but for any book, short story or essay.

Second; The most important thing in writing is the idea. They are so precious! Don’t lose them! When one or more ideas occur to you—day or night—stop what you are doing and jot it down on anything handy. (Best keep a small pad with you.) Later, when you get to your computer, put it on the last page of your document and write as much about it as you can. As you proceed with the book, you’ll know when and where to add it. At that point, cut it from the back of your manuscript, paste it where necessary, and get it in shape.

Third: When composing, if you are like me—-a bit obsessive—wanting to get the part I am working on perfect, fight that tendency! Every sentence/paragraph you put down does not have to be complete the very first—or second/third—draft. Trying to make it so, will waste unbelievable time. For example, if you cannot find the exact word (or sentence) to describe something, use a related word, adding “”xx” at the end. Then your  “spell check” will pick it out as many times as necessary, until the best word/description comes to you.

Fourth: Find a good copy editor to make your book literate. No matter how good you are as a writer, or editing works by others, you will miss any number of problems, incorrect usage, spelling, grammar, etc., in your manuscript. And a book that is poorly written, even if the author is brilliant, will turn off readers, reviewers etc.  For any book I plan to publish, I write my editor:  

Please do not be afraid of hurting my feelings. Any suggestion, however, trivial is not only welcome, it is your job! I have no ego invested in how I express myself! Even the suggested removal or addition of a comma will be greatly appreciated! If you don’t find 75-100 problems in my manuscript, I’d be shocked.

Fifth: Believe in yourself and your work! Literacy aside, writing is extremely subjective. No one has the right or wisdom to tell you, that overall, your book is of poor quality, or “you’ll never amount to much as a writer.” Any suggestions about improving your book should be specific and tactful, such as, “I believe there are inconsistencies in the plot,” or “You might want to double-check your sources for what you state on page 93.”

Anyone daring to criticize you personally is an imbecile. He/she could be the chair of the English Department in a major university; which, alas, is unfortunate for those majoring in that subject matter. 

Sixth: The hardest task is to write from your heart! Do not try to figure out what your readers and/or the publisher expects. It is your work, not theirs! It is not only a waste of time, but readers will sense when you aren’t committed to what you are stating, and be turned off. Writing a book is to express oneself, not to make a million dollars. If you want to make money, get a job on Wall Street.

One last thought: So-called “Writers Block” is a complete fiction!  Don’t spend thousands for therapists who supposedly will help your overcome it. If you get to a point, where the ideas stop, you mind is muddled, and you can’t seem to write, don’t beat yourself up and spend hours trying to get through it.  Play golf, go bowling or dancing, see a movie or go to a Bach concert . . .  get away from your book for a couple of days.  Your creativity will return when you least expect it.
You see, WB is actually an early-warning system! It is a safety valve, like the overflow tube in car radiators. It is your soul knowing and informing your ego that what you are planning to write is not worthwhile, and not part of who you are. WB prevents you from writing that which you will regret later. If you try to force yourself to write, whatever you put down you’ll regret. Again, get away from your book; within a few days you will have clarity.

IAN: What were the challenges in bringing God and Man: Love on the Rocks to life?

Steve Rosner: The major challenge was forcing myself to write at least something, when I was melancholy. Also if I woke up 2:00 in the morning and ideas flowed through me, as tired as I was, I forced myself to get out of bed, go to the computer, and put them down.

IAN: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Steve Rosner: First and foremost: May God bless you in all your endeavors!

Whatever your faith, culture or ethnicity, try to become a little more compassionate, look for opportunities to be kind, have integrity—don’t use the excuse “everyone does it”—and consider that God knows everything you do and everything you think.

Know all you do will come back to you. When you go out of your way for another, God will go out of his way for you!

Also, if you find my book worthwhile, please tell your friends. I determined the list price. For a 328 page book, I priced it at 12.95—as inexpensive as possible. My royalty for each book is little more than $1.00, so it is not about making money, but inspiring as many people as I can to be better humans.

IAN: Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand-alone?

Steve Rosner: Having written three books related to spirituality/religion over the past four years, currently I am concentrating on marketing them; hopefully getting reviews, doing radio/TV/internet interviews, giving talks, etc. I hope to talk to as many people as possible to discover what is missing in their lives. Perhaps a new book will evolve as a result of gaining more insight into others’ lives.