An Interview with Dale Stanten: Author
Sylvia: Welcome Dale. Please give our readers an introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Dale: My name is Dale Stanten, and I am the author of “The Hooker’s Daughter.” In 1950s Jewish Boston, my mother established a home-based business as a prostitute to remedy her husband’s inability to provide for his family. At age six, I was answering the front door for johns. Kids were forbidden to play with me and even the Girl Scouts asked me to leave. What a terrible irony, in a family with so many strange and twisted realities, my gay sister, “coming out” at age 16, was the only thing my parents focused on as contemptible.
My memoir is a story of survival driven by an ability to extract positive qualities from a dysfunctional life.
While raising my young family, I obtained my RN degree and practiced psychiatric nursing. I parlayed my medical and extensive sales experience to become CEO of my Destination Management Company which for twenty years organized conventions, corporate events, and meetings for local, national, and international guests. I have conducted numerous educational seminars and assisted in developing a tourism college degree program.
Sylvia: Wow, Dale, how difficult it must’ve been for you as a child. What inspired you to write your first book?
Dale: I started writing this book 12 years ago so my children would understand their mother’s background. This book began with my efforts in a writing group which met in the back room of a local bakery-café. The group was both fascinated, shocked by my story as it emerged, and eagerly awaited each new installment. I was touched by this unselfish outpouring of interest and found welcomed motivation in their support. It was a difficult decision to expose myself by publishing this memoir. What would people say? Am I being foolish? Why am I doing this? I had periods of doubt and anxiety and many sleepless nights. However, making my private life public finally devalued the impact of the gossip and embarrassment and the baggage I didn’t pack. No more secrets.
Sylvia: Well, I commend you! Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Dale: My book is not a novel. It is a memoir and it is all true. Wounds and anxieties of the past often leave us scarred, feeling unworthy, and defeated. Our lives are full of pitfalls. However, emotional pain is a phenomenon which can enable us to grow. We can either be consumed by it; or accept the past, seek the lessons it holds, recognize the potential for growth, and become successful because of it. I felt that I can offer something to people who are suffering and struggling. I want to show that it is possible to overcome dire circumstances and inspire people not to be victims.
As the Old Testament says: “If you save one person, you save the world.”
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Dale: A new writer should take a writing class (I did not). A writer should try to develop an outline and objective. (I did not)
The words organization, structure, message, big picture did not enter my head. If I had been logical, I would have written an outline and taken a writing course. I worked completely bottom up and later found a number of common threads to tie it together.
However, writing the book is only the beginning. Marketing can absorb a great deal of time and effort. I love marketing! I built my original business from nothing and understand that personal contact and follow thru is very important. What I didn’t know was that it should start at least 6 months prior to publication.
Sylvia: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Dale: The most successful marketing technique, I have found, is making presentation/book-signings for book clubs and organizations. This can be a full time job. I have been able to obtain these gigs first through personal contacts (friends) and later by cold calling organizations (Clubs, religious groups, charities, etc). I have determined that there is a symbiotic relationship between organizations and a good presenter. The organization has a need for a social program and, in my case, I have a great story to tell and, I have been told, I am a very compelling speaker. And, of course, I want to promote my book. Creating the talk can take a lot of work initially, but it improves the more you do it.
Everyone told me to use Facebook since it would go viral. It is true that you do get some response from your friends but the rest of the world is unaware of your posting. The reality is there are a great number of web sites oriented towards books and readers and they seem to generate more responses.
I post descriptions of my book on various blogs, however, I have not developed my own blog, since it required a lot of work to keep posting on the blog and trying to increase readership. I would rather put my effort into personal contacts rather that electronic contacts.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Dale: It is a great story! To my knowledge there has never been a memoir written by a child of a prostitute. My memoir describes a child’s journey into womanhood and reveals a family embroiled in prostitution, shoplifting, stolen cars, homelessness, homosexuality, and terminal illness. This candid and shocking memoir delivers a stunning account of shame, survival, and triumph. My hope is to provide inspiration to others facing difficult situations.
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Dale: Not really. I did most of the writing in my office.
Sylvia: What projects are you currently working on?
Dale: Marketing my memoir
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Dale: Courage. As Christopher Robin said to Winnie the Pooh: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Sylvia: Dale, thank you for sharing your story… for your bravery in overcoming your adversities! Please share your social media and book contact information.
Dale: My web site, www.TheHookersDaughter.com, provides a Synopsis, Author’s bio, Info on how to buy the book, info on Book Tour and Testimonials , Reviews, and Contact Information.