Author Stephen Schochet is a professional tour guide in Hollywood who years ago began collecting little-known, humorous anecdotes to tell to his customers. His new book Hollywood Stories: Short, Entertaining Anecdotes About the Stars and Legends of the Movies! Contains a timeless treasure trove of colorful vignettes featuring an amazing all-star cast of icons including John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Walt Disney, Jack Nicholson, Johnny Depp, Shirley Temple, Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando, Errol Flynn, and many others both past and contemporary. Tim Sika, host of the radio show Celluloid Dreams on KSJS in San Jose has called Stephen, “The best storyteller about Hollywood we have ever heard.”
What inspires you to write?
I think taking a fun piece of material and presenting it a unique and entertaining way inspires me more than anything else. I describe Hollywood Stories as a mixture of history, biography and lore; this story about Marlene Dietrich is good example of what I am trying to do, where the personal facts about the person are used to build up to the punchline: Marlene’s Wartime Regret Marlene Dietrich found her true calling entertaining the Allied troops in
1943. The forty-two-year-old actress, who never enjoyed making movies, got a crash course in how to talk to audiences. Nothing could be tougher or more fulfilling than performing in front of young men who might die in battle the next day. The Berlin-born American citizen overcame suspicions that she was actually an Axis spy, and was proud of spurning Hitler’s request to return to Germany. After World War II ended, she enjoyed being a lusty cabaret singer for many years and tried never to take herself too seriously. Marlene, whose long list of romances ranged from John Wayne to General Patton, once mentioned to her husband that she should have married Hitler back in the thirties, and then there would have been no war. She laughed when he agreed and stated that the Fuhrer would have killed himself much sooner.
Tell us about your writing process.
Hollywood Stories went through different phases; first it was seat of the pants and then it turned into a more organized outline. Telling the stories as a tour guide really helped me to carve them down and make them economical as far as using few words to hopefully get a lot of cross. And when one gives a tour its kind of sloppy, the subject gets changed, you don’t always finish what you are talking about, there’s traffic and distractions, so i saw the book as a great opportunity to compete my thoughts.
What advice would you give other writers?
Get someone you trust for feedback, get a great editor, never be unwilling to improve your text, keep polishing and make sure you have an excellent cover.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I am very entrepreneurial so self-publsihing just seemed like a natural thing to do. With the advent of eBooks I think it is a better fit for me than the traditional route. If one enjoys marketing self-publshing makes sense. And if one is going to write a book in my opinion one should try and enjoy it.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
eBooks are the key; that market will likely grow around the world. I love doing interviews, I have been on major shows like Coast-to-Coast with George Noory and they can be productive. But a good kindle promotion, either the free giveaway or a Kindle Countdown, combined with some effective online advertising IMO is the most effective marketing you can do at this point.
What do you use?
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
Stephen Schochet Home Page Link
Link To Stephen Schochet Page On Amazon
Rick Bettencourt says
I particularly like your advice about book promotions.
My work-in-progress may interest you: “Take a cup of Bette Midler, a scoop of Barbra Streisand, add a smidge of Aretha Franklin and a couple tablespoons of Janis Joplin. Stir. Bake for a few decades and you have Carolyn Sohier.”
Best of luck with your writing!
Stephen Schochet says
Thank you Rick and best of luck!