Please welcome Gabriella Messina to the blog. She is the author of the Bloodline and Kate Gardener Series, as well as many other books. Her genre’s of choice are Mystery, Fiction, & Paranormal.
Thanks for sitting in the hot seat for these 6 very difficult questions!
I appreciate you taking the time from your busy writing schedule to answer for me.
1. Do you aim to complete a set number of pages or words each day?
It depends… If I’m doing something like NaNoWriMo, I’ll have a set amount, or if I’ve set a personal target date to finish, I’ll try to reach a particular number every day. I’ve had goals as high as 2k words per day, and as low as 500… it just depends on what I’m writing and on what’s going on around me. I try not to push too hard… I know it puts me at some disadvantage when so many authors turn out books so fast, but the way I write… I’m kind of a perfectionist, so my drafts don’t need a lot of editing when I’m done. I go for quality rather than speed.
2. What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?
Hardest thing? Finding the time can be really difficult. Between work and my design business starting out and my child, there can be days when your mind is just drained, and you can’t get anything down.
3. Did you ever think you would be unable to finish your first novel?
Oh, jeepers, yes! My son was really young then and I had to spend a lot of time holding and carrying him, he was so fussy. At one point, about 6 chapters in, my inspiration just dried up… I couldn’t see or hear the characters at all. It was like that for about six months, and then I saw an actor that just embodied my man male character, and something clicked, and I could see and hear everyone again and finished the rest of the book over the next five months or so.
4. Do you read any of your own work?
During editing, of course. I have gone back, though, when I get my paperbacks. I have to say it’s pretty cool to look at those familiar words on paper, with formatting and such, and appreciate it in another way, in a finished way. Gives you the same chill that writing it the first time did… You just go, oh, that is really cool!
5. Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Absolutely. My experiences, my worldview, find their way into the characters and situations in my stories. The grandfather character in my Bloodline series is essentially my late grandfather, even down to the silly story about the lentils. In my Kate Gardener Mysteries series (book 7 coming out in May!), there’s a lot of personal experience and viewpoint that I bring in through the characters and situations.
6. What books have influenced your life the most?
Pride and Prejudice/ Jane Austen… Witty writing, multi-dimensional characterization, and the archetype for nearly every leading man I’ve ever loved, whether I wrote them or not.
The Godfather/ Mario Puzo… I’m Sicilian, in part, so in many ways reading this book, while fiction, is like reading a history of family. It’s also a brilliant picture of organized crime and the immigrant story in the early part of the 20th century.
Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc/ Mark Twain… This book is certainly not what you would expect from Mark Twain, but seriously no one else could have done it better. It’s not a religious book and it’s not a history… it’s just truth. He spent years gleaning the information from the trial records. It’s a remarkable biographical work about a young woman who changed the world, and the people around her who loved her best.
About the Author –
Gabriella Messina grew up in Northwestern Pennsylvania, where her early ventures in writing consisted of 30-page book reports. Though her writing began in prose, it was screenwriting that first captured her attention. After a trip to the UK during her sophomore year in college, Ms. Messina began teaching herself the basics of screenwriting. By 2005, she had completed her award-winning first screenplay, “The Devil Inside”, which she later adapted into her debut novel, “Bloodline”. recently, she published the second book in the Bloodline Series entitled “Quicksilver”, and will be penning a third book as well.
Ms. Messina is also the creator of the Kate Gardener Mysteries, a series of stories revolving around an American forensic photographer cracking cases with London’s Met Police. The series is based on the television series “Yard Work”.
In addition to her creative writing, Ms. Messina writes freelance articles and web content. When not writing, she enjoys reading, catching up on favorite films and television series, traveling and spending time with her family.