HEIDI'S PICK SIX: Carrie Gessner



1. Which of your characters is your favorite?
I like all of them for different reasons! But just in The Dying of the Golden Day, even if I lean toward Aurelia, I have to go with Mira. She’s smart, funny, confident, and badass enough to have conquered an empire. She’s kind of everything I want to be (yes, including the empire conquering!).

2. Tell me about your travels.

3. Coffee, tea, or milk?
Tea! My favorite is black Earl Grey.

4. What else can you do besides write?

5. Who are you reading right now?
For a writer, I have terrible reading habits and hop between a bunch of books at once. My primary books right now are The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aimatov, The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, and Bombshells Vol 1: Enlisted by Marguerite Bennett and Marguerite Sauvage.

6. Pop culture or academia?
7. What is the toughest scene you ever wrote?
8. Where do you find your inspirations to write?

9. Food you could eat every day.
Pizza. I have simple tastes.

10. Are you into sports or other physical activities?

11. What kind of music speaks to you?
Sometimes it’s hard for me to classify music genres, but I’d say my favorite is folk-pop or folk-rock, I guess, because the lyrics are often poetic and thoughtful. Stuff like The Waillin’ Jennys and The Swell Season. Right now, I can’t stop listening to the Waitress Broadway soundtrack by Sara Bareilles. It’s fun and sweet, but it also has more serious moments that make me think about life and happiness and all that. While writing, I listen to film and TV-show soundtracks to help keep me focused.

12. Do you outline your stories or do they just take you along for the ride?
Outline. My writing sessions are more productive when I know where I’m going with a story. It’s worked so well that my outlines have been getting longer. My outline for The Dying of the Golden Day was a page. Very bare bones. The outlines for my current projects are all at least ten pages!

13. Celebrity crush.
14. Who are the biggest influences on your work?
15. Do you still watch cartoons?

Carrie Gessner received a BA in English from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She writes speculative fiction and literary fiction and drinks a lot of tea. When she's not writing or reading, she likes to go for walks in the park with her greyhound.

Marked by gray eyes that prophesy the death of magic, Aurelia seeks to avert her destiny by serving as advisor to the prince of Sunniva, but a chance to reunite two broken kingdoms soon forces Aurelia to decide where her loyalty lies--with her prince or with her magic. Meeting Brennus, the first male born with magic in centuries, further complicates her choice. When Edana, the first seeress in generations, receives a vision concerning the end of the kingdom, she embarks on a mission to locate the subjects of the prophecy only to stumble upon a threat to all those with the gift of magic. As prophecy becomes clearer and the future darker, they discover there are two sides to every coin--good and evil, hope and destruction, fate and chaos. Only they can restore balance, and only they can plunge the world into eternal darkness.


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