Bruce Bernstein

Bruce Bernstein is a fourth-degree black belt in karate with extensive training in the martial arts. Before recently retiring, he had a solo law practice dedicated to protecting the rights of employees while working part-time as an administrative law judge in New York City. Bruce is a life-long resident of New York City who also happens to be a licensed New York City tour guide. 



Joining LitPick for Six Minutes with an author is Bruce Bernstein, author of You Gotta Have Heart, a book that has received the LitPick Top Choice Book Review Award. Bruce is also a fourth-degree black belt. An excerpt from his book can be found in the interview. Be sure to pick up your own copy today (  

***How did you get started writing?

Like many other people, I always wanted to write a novel. As I got closer to retirement, I decided to give it a try. I worked slowly but steadily for more than a year. You Gotta Have Heart is loosely based on a screenplay I wrote years ago.

***Who influenced you?

No one actually influenced me to write this novel. I just wanted to do it and as I got older, I decided to make it a reality. I didn’t want to look back and say I should have done it but didn’t. There’s a line in the book where one of the main characters says: “Life is not made up of all the things you wish could come true. Sometimes it’s just made up of all the things you didn’t do.”

***Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting? 

I’ve been reading a lot since I was kid. I can’t say I have a favorite book or subject. My reading interests are rather broad. I mentioned books in the novel such as The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton and The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham. Those are two of my favorite books. I also like mystery novels by authors such as Thomas H. Cook, James Lee Burke, and Robert Parker.

***What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?

I think this paragraph from the book sums it up best:

“You’re going to have good days and bad days. Maybe you don’t pass a test or make your school team on the first try. Maybe you lose out on the job or the promotion you wanted. Those things happen in life—but you owe it to yourself to try your hardest to succeed in whatever you want to accomplish. When you get knocked down, you just keep getting back up. You keep trying. You never give up.” Sensei paused for a moment and spoke louder. “That’s what takes real guts.” He then stared at Alan intently. “You know, sometimes

failures are your stepping stones to success."

***Where is your favorite place to write?

I have a fairly small apartment in New York City. I write on a table that I also use to eat on!

***What else would you like to tell us?

I enjoyed the entire process of writing You Gotta Have Heart. I worked hard to do the best job I could.


Bruce, thank you for joining us. We are so glad that you took the chance to write You Gotta Have Heart. It is impacting many people. We hope you continue writing and sharing more books.



Bruce Bernstein