• January 3, 2012
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A Day in the Life with Fiction Author Greg Messel

A Day in the Life is Literarily Speaking’s newest feature. Here we get a glimpse into our favorite author’s day-to-day life! Today’s guest is Greg Messel, author of the novel, The Illusion of Certainty (Yorkshire Publishing).


Greg Messel 3A Day in the Life of Greg Messel
by Greg Messel

I live in Seattle, which is a beautiful, wonderful place to live. I live two blocks from the beach of the Puget Sound and I love to be outside enjoying it all.

However, it is now November and most days it’s rainy, blustery and cool. This is why cups of coffee are very important to Seattlelites. It’s that kind of vibe and that kind of weather. Put on your sweater, grab a good cup of coffee.

Maybe go cozy up to a good book or go see a movie–two other favorite past times of people who live in Seattle.

As the leaves turn in the fall and the rains move in, that’s when I get some serious writing done. I usually spend the summer contemplating and planning my next novel.

Then as the weather turns cool and rainy, I become immersed in the new world I’m creating in my novel. This is my favorite part of the entire journey as an author.

Marketing not so much, but when I’m creating a new world and new characters it is a magical high. I can live in a time and place where I’ve never been.

The Illusion of CertaintyThe world which now exists in my mind is 1957 in San Francisco. As I research what life was like in that time and place,it’s amazing to realize how much the world has changed.

I did live in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1957 but I was eight years old.

In my new novel I’m attempting my first detective story. It’s a mystery than unfolds on foggy nights in San Francisco of the 1950s.

I’m about halfway through the first draft. I expect to spend the rest of the winter finishing it and polishing the story. I love that process, especially where the story starts evolving and starts writing itself.

I’ve heard writers describe the development of their book as somewhat “organic.”  I was always a little puzzled by that term in regards to writing but this time around I have discovered what that means.

I started with a basic outline of where I thought I wanted to go with the story and characters. However, now I’m off the outline and the chapters are tumbling out. The story and characters are going places I did not imagine.

It is hard to describe how that happens to someone who is not a writer. I heard a story about a wood carver. He was asked by an admirer how he made these wonderful carvings. The wood carver simply explained, “I take a piece of wood and just start making some chips.”

I’m at the point where the chips are flying on my new novel. Ultimately, I hope it will be the best thing I’ve ever written. Next summer, I hope it’s finds an audience and readers enjoy it.

However, for now, it’s that wonderful time in the process of writing, when the story and characters live only in my imagination. They are my private property for a few months this winter. Then they will become public and everyone will start giving their opinion of my story and the characters.

This process is what keeps urging me on to write on these rainy fall and winter days in Seattle. It’s magic.

Greg Messel has written three novels and three unpublished memoirs. He published his premiere novel “Sunbreaks” in 2009, followed by “Expiation” in 2010 and “The Illusion of Certainty” in 2011. Greg has had a newspaper career as a columnist, sportswriter and news editor. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist. Greg also spent many years in the corporate world as a Financial Manager. He now devotes his energies to writing at his home in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, where he lives with his wife, Carol.

You can visit his website at www.gregmessel.com.  Connect with Greg on Twitter at www.twitter.com/gregmessel or Facebook at www.facebook.com/greg.messel.


About The Illusion of Certainty

The Illusion of Certainty follows two parallel storylines. Marc is a successful businessman who seems to have everything—a great job, a beautiful wife, a house in an upscale neighborhood of Portland, Oregon and two great kids who are preparing for college. But something is not right. Marc is unsettled by the sudden change in his wife, Aimee, who seems distant and unhappy. What’s going on with her?

The second storyline involves a successful young attorney, Alexandra Mattson. Alex, as she is called by her friends, meets a handsome young cop, Sean, during an unexpected crisis in her neighborhood. Sean and Alex seem made for each other and begin to merge their futures in a world of uncertainty.

The only certainty in life is that we will face uncertainty. Despite all fo the technology and controls available in the modern world, sometimes the only comfort comes from the human touch.

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