JoeyPinkney.com Exclusive Interview
5 Minutes, 5 Questions With…
Alysia Stern, author of Good Friends Are Hard To Find
(Desantis Stern Lehry Publishing)
After a night out in Starry City, Vincent and his friends discover that being selfish and saying mean things can hurt. But in the end, they learn the true meaning of friendship.
Joey Pinkney: Where did you get the inspiration to write “Good Friends Are Hard To Find”?
Alysia Stern: Vincent Van Mouse was originally created back in the late 1990’s. When his creator, Anthony J. Desantis called me a few years ago to continue the series with my writing and his artwork, I humbly agreed. Constance Lehry and I had already created our own character line which included Maison, Maggi and Spencer. Their stories are geared for a younger generation.
The Vincent Van Mouse collection allowed me to create a storyline based on today’s life topics, such as bullying, frustration and pre-teen life lessons. “Good Friends are Hard to Find” explains true friendship in a child’s eye view.
JP: What sets “Good Friends Are Hard To Find” apart from other books in the same genre?
AS: My writing style is unique, and my characters are hand created by two of the top artists on Long Island. We did not just write a book, we created a storyline and fictional characters that come to life. My words are like musical lyrics that are embedded in a child’s memory with the artwork of my colleagues.
JP: As an author, what are the keys to your success that led to “Good Friends Are Hard To Find” getting out to the public?
AS: Perseverance, self-investment of time and money, sleepless nights and years of having the door shut in my face. I never gave up. I held the dream of being an author, in my heart, since I have been nine years old.
I have been pressing forward since 1999. I had this unwavering faith to shoot for the gold. Life did get in the way, as did finances and giving birth to twins ten years ago. But I never lost site of my vision. Fourteen years and eight published books later, here I am on Joey Pinkey’s site.
JP: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish “Good Friends Are Hard To Find”?
AS: I have a gift when it comes to children’s books. I wrote “Good Friends are Hard To Find”, well the rough draft, in three days. My first book, “My Nanny Georgeanne”, was written in less than a week back in 1999.
When I put my mind to something or I get an idea, I am like a pitbull. I can’t sleep or eat until my work, my heart, my soul is poured out onto paper and I am satisfied. My writing process is simple.
I tour NYS and read my books at different schools and charity events. I teach the children how to create stories by using the following sentence: I Saw Olga at Walmart. ( Intro – Subcategories – Outline – Afterthoughts – Write it ) I use this when someone asks me to write a story. It makes it easy to gather thoughts and keep them uniformed. Otherwise, I just write from my soul.
JP: What’s next for Alysia Stern?
AS: On top of being an author, I am a journalist. I write for several venues doing celebrity interviews, restaurant reviews and relationship articles. I have my own Promotional business called The Rendezvous Show Incorporated. Through this, we do PR for artists and my partner Cris Melendez and I also host a radio broadcast called The Rendezvous Radio Show with Cris and Alysia. We interview Indie artists, celebrities and sports figures. I also have my own TV show called Rendezvous with Alysia which airs live on Saturday mornings at 11AM. I am planning on re-vamping that. We are under talks for a day time show.
I am also hoping to continue my acting career. I’ve been on Dirty Little Secrets on Investigation Discovery and will be filming more short episodes with other cable stations. Acting is completely new and awkward to me but, I want to get my foot in the door with as many people as possible. Life is too short to let fear stop me. The possibilities of creativity are endless if you allow yourself the drive and the ability to dream. #dreambig. Expect Great Things.
“I could not have done any of the above, if it weren’t for God. I have to thank an old friend Jeanie Fan Fan for encouraging me to revisit my faith and pursue my walk. It is amazing the miracles that can occur when you finally let go and truly let GOD.” ~ Alysia Stern
“Faith is not something to grasp, it is a state to grow into.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi