Book Lovers: Michael R. Stern
REFLECTION ON STORYTELLING
I don’t remember having many books in our house. Books were a rare commodity and I think my love affair with books started when I was about three. My grandfather never read us a bedtime-story, because books were hard to get your hands on, but each evening he will tell us a story, and next day we were making wild guesses about the next story. One day I asked my mother: “ Where are all the stories coming from?“ and she went quiet for a while and said: “From your heart”.
Aunt Stephania and uncle Avram, were running a school in a little picturesque village, in the outskirts of the capital, and during the three month summer holiday I was their only student. My childhood was a blissful time, and I know now how lucky I was, but at the time, I thought it is normal to be happy with no reason. I still do. I left my beautiful childhood behind, long ago, but,somehow, the child inside never left, still here, looking up to the stars and dreaming with my eyes open… I was reading and writing by the time I was three. I remember writing little poems in my very first ‘notebook of poems’ which I received from my wonderful aunt and uncle, when I ‘graduated’ the summer advance class for STARDUST. After one summer my parents enrolled me to the Kinder-garden- the most horrific experience I could imagine. The teacher was never leaving her chair and we all had to go to be slapped, waiting in a queue where we had to give her a reason for a good slap. I told her that I wrote another poem called ‘Yellow roses” because there were yellow roses outside my grandmother’s living room and she asked me to put my hand out to be slapped, like all the other kids before me: “Don’t lie! You can’t write anyway, and the roses are red, not yellow. Go to your seat and don’t dare to move till I tell you to move”. That was the daily ritual.
Apart from my kinder-garden’s years, I had an amazing childhood, full of love and abundance and when my mother found out what was happening, she went begging the headmaster of our local school to enroll me two years early. I never looked back since. I always kept my distance from people ‘with power’ as I could see myself punished for writing a poem about ‘yellow roses’ (there are still plenty of people for whom roses could only be red!) or for writing a poem when others didn’t.
Absolutely convinced that there is a Stardust Child in each one of us, five decades later, with sixty two books I wrote in the last six years, but way behind on my dream of writing 1,000 books before I die.
Here I am, reaching out to your star, and if you are a Book Lover at heart, bring along your notebook…
My next Special Guest on Book Lovers is Michael R. Stern.
Michael R. Stern is the author of seven books including the award-winning and best selling "Reflections on a Generous Generation" and the Quantum Touch series.
Michael Stern has said that he would like to be remembered as a great storyteller. “I’ve been telling stories since childhood. I still love a good story, no matter the source.” Since he began writing as a career later in life, he has learned how difficult good writing can be, and strives to improve his grasp of the nuance of powerful storytelling. “Many good writers ply their trade, but few are great. Many good writers are financially successful because they write stories that captivate an audience at the right time. Great writers transcend time, at least in part because they speak to the human condition regardless of time or location. They create memorable characters, thrust them into conflicts internal and external, and take the reader to emotional attachment found only in a well-structured story.”
Mr. Stern began his writing career at the confluence of tragedy and opportunity. The death of his father led to his first book, “Reflections on a Generous Generation.” Initially intended as an anecdotal remembrance for his family and friends, his research expanded his appreciation of the lives of not just his father, but of a generation that changed the world, and left a blueprint for future generations to follow. After his award-winning first book, his focus turned to learning how to write fiction. “I thought that meeting people from the past, and learning from them firsthand would be a fascinating experience. Alas, as they say, once you’re dead, you’re dead. I’ve been a history buff my entire life, and one figure stood out for me—Robert E. Lee.” His interest in the American Civil War has been life long, so a time travel story seemed a reasonable next step. His Quantum Touch series begins with “Storm Portal,” a best-selling and award-winning story of a high school history teacher whose classroom door opens a portal in space-time. Not only does it open to the past, but becomes a passageway through the present, a kind of “Beam me up, Scotty” moment.
“As a student of history, I am a follower of current events, and being able to move from event to event by stepping across a threshold grabbed hold from the start. My protagonist, Fritz Russell, is the history teacher who accidentally meets the President of the United States by barging into the Oval Office through the portal. Thus begins the relationship that continues through the series. In addition to the president, the cast of characters represent everyday people who are thrust into roles requiring courage and thoughtfulness, as well as a willingness to step beyond personal safety and security in the betterment of the world.” Quantum Touch is an adventure, wrapped in political suspense and mystery, with a science fiction underpinning.
Mr. Stern lives in New Jersey outside Philadelphia with his wife, Linda, who is also an author. A graduate of Cornell University, he has pursued writing as a “perfect ending to a successful career.”
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