BOOK CORNER: Actor shares story of redemption in ‘Gangster’s Guide to Sobriety’

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By Marissa Wells

Contributing Writer

“The Gangster’s Guide to Sobriety: My Life in 12 Steps,” by Richie Stephens with John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, chronicles Stephens’ life’s journey through crime, addiction and his road to redemption and success.

Stephens was led to write his book following the feedback he received from sharing his story at 12-step meetings.

“Many people have told me that I should write a book about my experiences so eventually, I decided to do it,” said the author. “I thought that it might be helpful to others who may be struggling with addiction or their family members who don’t understand the problem.”

The book is made up of 12 chapters that coincide with each of the 12 steps.

“The ‘A’ storyline is about how I got sober in 2010 and my experiences in recovery and the ‘B’ storyline is flashbacks to the craziness of my past,” Stephens said.

“The Gangster’s Guide to Sobriety” is intended for an adult audience and will be relatable for some readers.

“I think that anyone who enjoys a good story will like this book; it’s not just for people in recovery,” Stephens added. “If you have a dark sense of humor like I do, you would definitely like it.”

The book could be inspirational and bring hope to readers as it presents a powerful story of redemption.

“The story is important because it shows that it’s possible even for someone who is a hopeless case to get help and turn their life around,” Stephens said. “It’s also unusual in the sense that most people who have drug or alcohol problems don’t go to the extremes that I have in the past; if someone as crazy as me could get their act together then there’s hope for anyone.”

In addition to being an author, Stephens is an actor. Some of his acting credits include “NCIS,” “Blue Bloods,” “Days of Our Lives,” MacGyver,” “Major Crimes” and “Criminal Minds.” Stephens is based in Culver City. For more information about the author and his work visit


“The Gangster’s Guide to Sobriety: My Life in 12 Steps” is available for $28 (hardcover) and $9.99 (Kindle) online via Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart and Audible. It’s also available in stores at Barnes & Noble and Walmart.


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