I started writing when I was thirteen years old and actually got a short story accepted into the San Francisco Examiner. I thought I was Dostoevsky at that point. Alas, I had a reading disorder (dyslexia) that stopped me from reading enough to be able to learn how to write well. That disorder has improved with tons of reading and I am now a licensed Ph.D. in clinical and forensic psychology who must read constantly!
I was already a published author when I came upon the Gotham ads. I am the author of a how-to book based on my psychology practice, Act It Out: 25 Expressive Ways to Heal Child Abuse, which was published by New Harbinger Publications, Inc. in Oakland, CA and that book was in print for nine years. It is a very well respected publishing house, but I thought I could just make the transfer to another genre without problems.
After enjoying many thrillers and mysteries, I came on John Grisham and decided "I can do that!" Oh, yeah, sure. I started writing, copying his style and believing I would put out a book such as one of his. Un un. You actually have to learn the craft no matter how inventive and interesting your story. After five long years of stopping and starting and finishing two novels, with three others "In Development" meaning in various stages of being a mess (but with interesting, disjointed scenes), I came upon the Gotham ad and decided to take a chance.
Boy am I glad. I got wonderful, terrific, unbelievably talented (you think I'm overdoing it? I'm not) Carole Bugge, who kindly, lovingly and thoroughly set me straight about plot, character, logic, words and researching my story. It was thrilling in itself and my last novel was presented at Thrillerfest in New York.
Since that time (although I will be taking her class again as well as another-I'm hooked on Gotham), I got a short story sold to the prestigious Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, and have gotten both a manager and a “possibleâ? agent. I have learned so much in these last five years and have enjoyed the process so much I cannot even tell you. I am most grateful to the teachers and staff at Gotham and intend to continue working with the school many years after I've "made it" in the publishing world. Thanks so much.
Stefanie Stolinsky, Ph.D.