The Author: Bridget Messi
A licensed esthetician, Bridget has been writing since she was a young girl. When not writing, she can be found reading too many books and binge-watching Disney movies. She lives in the midwest with her dog Alice.
The Book: Red Siren
Ariel doesn’t want to kill men, like her sisters. Once she becomes of age, she will sing the legendary song of sirens, which will bring out her murderous instincts. If Ariel doesn’t sing, she will face becoming an outcast and death soon after. But until then, Ariel has a much more human heart and refuses to take innocent lives. In an attempt to be free from her destiny, she turns to her grandmother, who transforms her into a human.
Ariel soon meets Cassie and Carson who then get caught up in a quest to end all siren life, but at what cost? Ariel must make a decision that will change the world forever, even if she won’t be around to see it.
What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book?
My characters and how they like to take control of the story. You always hear about authors talking about their characters as if they were real people and its incredible to see what they were talking about! I will have the whole book planned and then Ariel will waltz in and be like…no we aren’t doing that.
Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
I would love to share a tidbit on how there’s a mini quest in the novel and magic is heavily involved. I absolutely loved that scene and it’s my favorite to this day.
Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
Gosh, all my characters hold a special place in my heart. I know everyone is going to expect me to say Ariel, but its actually Carson who I have a soft spot for. He wasn’t planned at all and in the first chapter when he literally runs onto the page I knew it was his story I was telling more so than Ariel’s.
What was the inspiration for the story?
I was scrolling on pinterest and came across a photo of Ariel holding a knife and being surrounded by Ursula’s eels. It made me want to know who this badass princess was and from there I wrote the first chapter. The rest is history.
What is the key theme and/or message in the book?
The theme of the book I would say is courage. Ariel has to stand up and say no, this isn’t how I want my future to be which is terrifying to anyone and it takes a great deal of bravery to do that as well as do the things she does in the novel.
What is the significance of the title?
The title plays significance because well…her hair color is significant. She is the only siren with red hair ever to be born. I’ll let you guys read the book to find out what it means J
What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel?
The future of the characters is very up in the air! (evil laughter) There will 100 percent be a sequel and I am actually working on my first round of revisions for that book. Readers also get to meet a whole cast of brand new characters that I am having a ton of fun with!
What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book?
Oh gosh. Probably plot. I am really good with one idea, but you need a couple plots within a plot and that sometimes is so difficult!
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Everwhere! Music and art mostly.
Who is your favorite author and why?
I have too many to choose lol! I love anything from Maggie Stiefvater or Jennifer L. Armentrout.
What are you reading now?
So currently, I’m reading a cookbook lol, but for my nightly reading I am in the process of reading the Elfstones of Shannara
What is your favorite book/story you have read as an adult, and what was your favorite book when you were a kid?
My favorite book as an adult so far would probably be Circe by Madeline Miller. I don’t know why, but that book just was perfect and whenever I think about it I get warm and fuzzy inside. My favorite book as a kid would probably be The Penderwicks or Ally Carter’s Gallager Girl series. To this day I am literally Cami lol. I always scare people even if they are standing right in front of me. I just blend in!
What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I love to cook and watch movies! I’m usually on the couch with a bucket of candy and popcorn watching Disney plus. (Great visual, I know)
What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?
Write everyday. Even if you just write for five minuets—write. Act like it’s your job and show up at your desk daily. Also—read everything you can.
How do you handle writer’s block?
Oh gosh. Writers block sucks! I usually try to take a break if not on a deadline and read, watch movies, and just hang with friends. But if I do need to write I sit myself down and just do it! The hardest part is sometimes just starting! I usually struggle for an hour and then its super easy from there.
What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
I think voice is super important. I need to feel like I’m in the characters head or that these are REAL people if that makes any sense. I also think that allowing you characters to have flaws and fail every now and again is good too. You need to make relatable characters, not superman.
What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?
Characters hands down. I am usually always a pantser! I let the characters guide the story to where it needs to go. But with sequels there’s usually intense plotting.
Describe a typical writing day.
Writing days look different depending on where I am in the writing process. If I’m drafting I usually write from like nine in the morning till one in the afternoon. If I am editing I usually edit all afternoon till dinner.
What is the most difficult part about writing for you?
Not getting distracted and focusing. One word in front of the other friends!
Do you hear from your readers much? What do they say?
I actually don’t! But when I do its always how much they loved the story!
How do you do research for your books?
Since I am writing fairy tale retellings I have an entire shelf on my bookshelf dedicated to fairytale books! I usually crack on open weekly and fall into a story.
When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood? How do you deal with the emotional impact of a book (on yourself) as you are writing the story?
I am such an emotional person that I hate feeling/showing emotions lol! I usually end up sobbing and having to walk away from my computer. I sometimes will just sit there and let myself really feel how that character is feeling. It’s not the most fun thing lol
How do you handle literary criticism?
With a grain of salt. At the end of the day I am a good writer. Weather someone liked it is different. You cant please everyone so I focus on making myself proud by improving as I write and always learning from literary teachers. I take classes on writing and creative writing even though I am out of college! You can always improve yourself, but focus on just being happy with the progress you’ve made.
How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?
Depends on the book, but since I am mainly a pantser—none
Where can readers find out more about you and your book, and are you on social media?
Readers can find me on social media via Instagram @authorbmessi, twitter @bmessi5 and my website bridgetmessi.com. I love to interact with my readers so make sure to say hi if you stop by!
Thank you so much for having me! it was super fun!