Posted in contest, e-books, fiction, Giveaway, Guest Post, romance on June 19, 2013

Today I welcome author Peter Silverman to StoreyBook Reviews.  He is the author of Acting Obsessed which I will be reviewing in July.  Today Peter gives us his perspective on becoming an author later in life.

Author bio:

Peter Silverman attended Reed College, Indiana University, Drexel University, and Spring Garden College. Careers have included librarian, archivist, factory manager, and computer programmer. He has performed with semi-professional dance companies, and helped found a local chapter of Families With Children from China. He was born in New York City but has lived in Philadelphia since early childhood, with a brief sojourn in Los Angeles. He has two daughters. Acting Obsessed is his first published novel.

AO Cover

 Act Your Age!

At my thirtieth birthday party an older friend told me, “Peter, the way to stay young is to always act as immaturely as possible.” Joe was a funny man who dispensed good advice. Many years later, my teenage daughter, trying to break out of the cocoon of childhood, asked my mother to “stop treating me like a child.” I sympathized with young Jennifer, but my mother told her, “I’ll treat you like an adult when you start acting like one.” This ticked off Jenn even more, of course, and it made me think about the concept of acting your age.

When you write fiction you deal with human nature in two spheres. In one are your characters; in the other is yourself. Let’s forget about me for now (maybe that’ll be a topic for another blog) and talk about fictional characters. You can make a character as mature or immature or in-between as you like, but they must be believable and work (whatever that means) in the story. When it came to the two protagonists in my novel Acting Obsessed, Ginger and Winston, I realized that the question of maturity might not be as simple as I thought at first blush.

Ginger, an actress, is a creative artist who succeeds or fails in her profession depending on how she projects emotion to her audience. Winston is an IT professional, a hard-nosed, rational vocation where the people who hire him measure success in dollars and cents. So can Ginger get away with not acting her age, while Winston’s demeanor must project maturity? I was also a computer professional at one time, and I worked for plenty of hard-nosed, ramrod-up-their-butt managers, so I knew what Winston was up against. (There was even one ex-Marine VP who walked around the office carrying a swagger stick. One day I was bent over a printout on a table and he swatted me. He didn’t like it when I shot him a dirty look, and I was not surprised when, a month later, they laid me off together with about one-third of the staff. Six months after that the IRS raided the place.)

So who needs to act his or her age (besides that VP)? Actually, it’s the one who wears her heart on her sleeve and needs to emote on the job, not the one who must wear a rational face and bite his tongue about the idiots who run the company (maybe I would not have been laid off if I had stoically kept my eyes on that printout).

Here’s why: There are a lot of immature but successful computer programmers out there; in fact I’ve worked with some of them (and maybe one of them was me). At the same time, the artists I’ve known were required to think deeply about human motivation and emotion. That takes maturity, which a computer programmer does not need. Heck, I’ve seen programmers put up illegible web pages that do the opposite of what the end-user expects and wants. Equally insensitive quality control nerds let the project out the door, and hundreds, maybe thousands, of disgusted customers become frustrated and angry before the problems are corrected.

Of course, an actress or writer can also mess up, but they’re most likely going to learn about it long before any real damage is done. The director, the editor, the gallery manager, or the friend will bring the artist up short. It can be painful, but only to the suffering artist, and believe me it can be painful. And don’t tell me about a movie or play that flops, for example John Carter or Heaven’s Gate. Those are examples of collective brain freezes; if the producers had any sense to begin with they would have realized how bad things were from the start.

My grand insight, which I know you have been holding your breath for, is that you can be an IT professional and an emotional dunce who revels in childishness, but if you are an artist you must have insight, compassion, and wisdom. Surely those qualities are at least part of the definition of “acting your age.” I claim none of those qualities. In fact, I assert that I have been following Joe’s advice for a long time and I feel pretty young. Wait . . . where did that pain in my hip come from?

You can find Peter’s book on Amazon


Acting Obsessed: a novel of romance and drama, stalking and violence, mystery and intrigue in the historic heart of Philadelphia. In Ginger Brossard’s life the line that divides obsession from passion seems especially thin and easily crossed. As a young and talented actress with a burning ambition to be on the stage, she embarks on a career with a theater company in Philadelphia. An actor in the company soon displays an unwanted interest in her. When she turns his advances aside, meets an intriguing new man, and then receives a costly and beautiful gift from an anonymous admirer, Ginger finds herself entangled in a web of unanswered questions from the past, lethal danger, and the obsession of an unknown person who may have the power to devastate her life. In the end, she comes face to face with betrayal and violent death.


Peter is generously giving an eBook copy of Acting Obsessed to a lucky reader of my blog.  Just sign up via the rafflecopter below and you’ll be entered!  Open internationally to anyone that can receive a book via Amazon.
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