Author: Gary Goldstein
Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest Gary Goldstein author of Jew in Jail. Gary graduated from Long Island University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism and before his criminal conviction, Gary worked for both CBS News and Sports, and NBC Sports, as a researcher/producer, and has also worked at other media outlets and sports production companies in the Tri-State area as well. Since his release in 2004, Gary has also been employed in the construction industry, but he is now retired from that, and is now focusing his talents on his writing and motivational speaking.
Good day Gary and thanks for participating in our interview
Could you tell our readers what crime did you commit that landed you in prison?
I was convicted, upon, my
plea of guilty, to three counts of Robbery in the Second Degree.
What was prison like and did you learn anything from being in prison?
Prison was a place that I
found to be both very depressing and degrading, but fortunately for
me, I took this time to turn my life around by not only regaining my
self-esteem and self-confidence through introspection, but also by
learning the computer, working out, reading, tutoring other inmates,
and, of course, writing Jew in Jail!
What motivated you to write Jew in Jail and can you share a little of the book with us?
I wrote Jew in Jail as my way of honoring my beloved late father, Irving Goldstein, who sadly and unexpectedly passed away from the effects of lung cancer and emphysema while I was still on Rikers Island waiting to be sent to a New York upstate prison. The book details the way I was living at the time with addictions to alcohol, drugs and gambling, and how, once incarcerated, I finally decided to turn my life around.
How did you come up with the title Jew in Jail?
I came up with the title by myself, since I felt so alone behind bars, and distanced from my religion amongst the rest of the inmates I was locked up with.
What was your creative process like in writing Jew in Jail? Was your book improvisational or did you have a set plan?
I merely chronicled my
daily life as an inmate, and when I came home, took all the notes
that had accumulated and formulated them into “Jew in Jail,” with
the express purpose to provide an example of how it is possible for
one to turn a negative experience into positive change.
What do you want your book to do?
I want my book to
demonstrate that it is never too late to turn one’s life around and
battle the disease of addiction, so that anyone in a similar
situation can see that changes can be made, and anything in life is
possible to achieve through hard work, discipline, and dedication.
What was the most difficult part of writing your book?
Maintaining my privacy to
keep notes while living in an open dormitory setting upstate.
In fact, there is one chapter in my book that describes the day that
my cube area was searched by a correctional officer, who then
proceeded to confiscate my papers and write a misbehavior report, or
ticket, charging me with “Possession of Contraband.”
However, after initially being found guilty, I later went on to get
it reversed, and my papers were then returned to me!
What does your family and friends think of your book?
They are extremely
supportive, and pleased that I have successfully turned this most
unpleasant time in my life into something positive, and proud that I
am now a motivational speaker helping other addicts as a free man!
What was one of the most
surprising thing you learned in writing Jew in Jail?
That I am actually a very
good writer who should not dwell on past mistakes, but just accept
the fact that my addictions are a disease like any other, and through
hard work, I can overcome them to be successful at whatever I put my
Do you hear from your
readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
My readers ask me when the movie version of Jew in Jail will be coming out! Other than that, they also congratulate me for overcoming the many obstacles I’ve had to be where I am in my life today.
What are you upcoming projects?
I would love to see Jew in Jail turned into a movie so that more people can receive my message. I also am focusing more now on my motivational and inspirational speaking, including having recently completed “returning” to Rikers Island to speak to the current detainees there on three separate occasions. In recovery, there is a saying that “you can’t keep what you have been given unless you give it away,” so I would like to touch as many lives as possible to show them that it is NEVER too late to change.
Where can our readers find out more about you and Jew in Jail?
My WEBSITE, and once there, readers can find additional links to learn more
Is there anything else you wish to add that we have not covered?
I just want to thank you for this opportunity to get my message out.
Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors