The Heroine’s Journey of Gabriella Messina

What is the best thing that I love about my work? What I love the most about my work, about my writing, is being able to learn. Whether it’s history, or religion or science or folklore, or even learning about new people and new ideas through the connections I make with other authors, readers and creative people… that is the most satisfying thing about it for me.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Being present, living in the moment, and not in a careless way but in an aware way. Appreciating the little things and the big things alike… and looking back on every day with a certain satisfaction that you lived today, and tomorrow you get to do it again.

What is my greatest fear? I don’t know as I’m truly afraid of much. I think fear, or what we call fear, is often other feelings… disgust, annoyance, discomfort… and we apply that word to it. If I had to pick one thing… no, I don’t think I could… And even if I could, I certainly wouldn’t tell anyone… *smiles* Gives other people too much power over you.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself? Sometimes I care too much about other people being happy, and I allow myself to be stepped on in the process of maintaining that peace. I often wish I was stronger, and braver, and more willing to stand up and speak up when things like that happen.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire? Most people would probably pick a big name, but I most admire, collectively, the indie writers out there now. What we do, as a group, is show the world, show our children, that you can accomplish this… you can write books, and publish them, and get them read and noticed… that you as an individual are capable of doing that.

What is my greatest extravagance? I’m not one for extravagance at all. Maybe music and such on iTunes, but… I really am not a big spender.

On what occasion would I lie? To protect someone I care about, that I love, either from the harmful words of others or even myself. But if there is anyway to tell the truth in a constructive and not hurtful sort of way, I’ll always opt for that.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work? Everything that happens after you type “The End.” The marketing, the selling… I’m not a forceful person, I’m not pushy, so getting my work out there in a lot of ways is so foreign to me, so against my nature. I would love to not have to worry about that aspect at all… just write them and send them on their way.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work? I’d say any moment when I learn how to do something… Whether it’s how to place page numbers so they look professional, or making a brilliant cover, or even those moments when you write a scene and then go back and read it and it makes you laugh or cry like it wasn’t even yours… those moments make it all worthwhile.

If I could, what would I change about myself? I’d want to be able to organize my time better, be more patient in what I do and sometimes what I say.

What is my greatest achievement in work? Every time I’m able to complete and publish another book, work that I can be proud of… every time is the greatest.

Where would I most like to live? New York City. I lived there before and it has always felt like home to me, even before I ever set foot there.

What is my most treasured possession? My time. I have so little time that I can dedicate to myself or my writing, so when I have the time, I treasure it… I positively wallow in it!

What is my most marked characteristic? Hmmm… Not sure… I’m really quite ordinary, you know? I guess, what I’ve heard most remarked upon is that I’m kind. I suppose that sounds kind of generic, but I really try to be kind to everyone. Actually, I don’t have to try hard, but often to continue to be kind to people even when they’re dismissive or rude can be difficult. But I always try to see their side of the situation or experience and not judge their behavior based on what I feel.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Being outside, whether it’s walking in the small wooded area nearby, or going to city park and watching the fountain in the pond… It’s quiet and peaceful, yet you can still hear traffic and horses and such nearby… I get some of my best ideas when I’m out walking.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink, in my city? I rarely go out to eat, but drink-wise… Iced coffee from the coffeehouse… It’s only a few steps from where I live, so it’s easy to grab one on the way out to walk, or whenever.

What books influenced my life and how? Michael Shurtleff’s “Audition”… when I was in college, I studied theater. Towards the end of my sophomore year, I decided to take a break from my studies… I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do it anymore… I wasn’t getting cast in things, I was getting relegated to the backstage and scene tech aspects, and I wasn’t happy. So I took a break, went to Florida, and while there I found this book and an acting workshop. I read this book and it honestly taught me more about acting than any class or experience I had had up to that point. So much so that I was actually able to perform a monologue in the acting workshop that made the instructor cry. The book made me realize I could do it, and it gave me the courage to try doing other things as well, including writing.

Who are my favorite writers? Elizabeth George, Agatha Christie, Conan Doyle… They each have a unique style of mystery writing, and as a mystery writer I love seeing how some of the simplest stories yield the most dramatic and dynamic tales. Jane Austen… as I get older, her wit and unique take on being a woman, being single, make more and more sense.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen on my last day? I don’t think I could settle on one type… classical, new age, 80s, I like it all… So it would likely be a big mixture of music on my iPod.

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Elizabeth Bennett, from “Pride and Prejudice”… She’s such as strong character, by no means perfect, but her heart is good and loyal… She has powerful convictions and assesses people and situations quickly and concisely, although she sometimes comes to the wrong conclusion… When she is shown that she was in error in her judgement, she acknowledges and accepts her fault quickly… She feels strongly, passionately, yet is the person everyone looks to in a crisis because they know her head is on straight and she can handle things, even if she is suffering doubts and turmoil internally… She wants love, a great abiding loving, with a man she can look to as equal and call friend as well, but she is not willing to compromise herself simply to be a wife, and is more than willing to be single if she can’t find what she wants. *laughs* I guess I like her because she reminds me of me.

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My heroes… Everyday people who are gutsy… who say what they believe, mean what they say, and never pretend to be someone else, even if it means they stand alone. I admire people who endure, even in the face of unspeakable odds, and who find joy in the simplest things in a way that all of us should aspire to.

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime? “Lawrence of Arabia”… It’s my favorite movie, and I believe with the turmoil happening in the Middle East, provides a beginning understanding of a world and cultures that we really don’t understand well at all.

What role plays art in my life and work? Art is inspiration, it’s comfort, it’s a window to other places and lifestyles I may never see… It is a source of new ideas and familiar insights… Art is like music for the mind.

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? Hmmm… I think there are a lot of people that would fit into those categories in one way or another… I’ve met so many authors, readers, personal assistants, photographers, during the course of this past year, it’s really difficult to narrow it down to just one or two people… They’ve all left an indelible mark.

Whom would I like to work with in 2017? Well, there are a number of author friends who are poets… I’d love the opportunity to work with them, perhaps contributing to a poetry book or including a piece of their work as an intro in one of my future books.

Which people in my profession would I love to meet in 2017? I’d love the opportunity to meet April White… I just finished the last book in her series, “The Immortal Descendants”, and I enjoy her friendship through our Facebook profiles as well. She’s just amazing, and I’d love the chance to chat in person. Outside of the book world, I’d love the chance to meet “my muse”, although I’d probably be nervous as can be! When I wrote my first book, BLOODLINE, I stalled out around chapter 6… I was going through a lot of stress at the time, had a baby to care for, and I just couldn’t see my story anymore, couldn’t get it down… Then one night I watched a film and saw an actor named Aidan Turner, and like lightning he became my main male character. Everything fell into place, I was writing furiously and managed to get the book published in no time. I just published the second book in the series at the end of March, and I’ve never written anything quite so quickly, thanks again to the “muse”. I’d love the chance to meet him though, and, odd as it may sound, to thank him for the inspiration his work provided.

What project, in 2017, am I looking forward to work on? Well by the end of the year I’m hoping to have book three of the BLOODLINE SERIES done or nearly done. I’m also working on my mystery series, Kate Gardener Mysteries, and plan to have two more novellas in that series out by the fall.

Where can you see me or my work in 2017? My books are all available on Amazon.

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? To me it means that no matter what stage of life you are in, your interest in learning and creating never needs to wane. As we age, our interests change, our skills grow and develop, and we need to always be open to new experiences and new adventures.

Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? April White, author of The Immortal Descendants series; Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental Mysteries series, and more; Sarah King, author of the Wings of Life series, and more.

How can you contact me? The best way to reach me is on Facebook or Twitter… I also have a website, and Amazon author page and a page on Goodreads. Website: Amazon Author Page: Goodreads: Facebook: Twitter: @girlieclown


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