Name: Gissel Brito
Fiona: Where are you from:
This is one of those questions I have always had a hard time answering. Here it goes. I was born in Miami, Florida, to an Ecuadorian mother and a Portuguese father. And I have no idea where I’m really from! Split between the three? Nah, I’m from this world—the easiest answer.
Anyway, I spent my childhood in Miami and my teenage years between Quito, Ecuador and Lisbon, Portugal.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I remember winning a poetry contest when I was ten; I wrote about the Nile River. But then, somehow, I lost interest in writing and dedicated my time to the exact sciences. And it wasn’t until last year, after taking a writing class in college, that I re-discovered writing and fell in love with it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The moment I began spending most of my day writing; that was when I knew, for sure.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I am passionate about the universe and alien life—it has to exist. So I wanted to see where the idea of an emotionless alien species interested in weaponizing human emotion would take me. And while the story is mostly dark and heartbreaking, I had a great time writing it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
No. I don’t like routine.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It was a feat! I wanted a title that resonated with my story, and before coming up with The Universe Between Us, I had in mind these titles: Iridescent, Desensitized, Taken, Beyond the Stars, Faster Than Light, Across the Stars, and Starlight. While all of them appealed to me greatly, my current title is the best choice—I think. I often wonder, though, if I made a correct decision because the title sounds so romantic, and while my story does have a romantic subplot, the ‘Us’ in the title doesn’t refer to my conflicted lovers but to my main character, Eliza, and her younger sister, Iris.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, my main themes are forgiveness and the balance between emotion and reason.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I had a difficult childhood, so reading was my escape. Harry Potter by J.K Rowling has to be my major influence. It was in her books that I found refuge.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I always feel tempted to break my book apart and write a new story with the same characters. But I believe this is shear fear. Is my book good enough? Is it too dark? Too brutal? Will my readers like it? Then I remind myself that I loved writing it, and I had envisioned the story as it is now. There has to be someone out there that will feel the same about my work.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The Universe Between Us brings together aliens, conspiracies, sibling love, and romance.
This is my blurb:
When aliens ambush nineteen-year-old Eliza on her way home from work, her incredible life becomes a hellish nightmare.
Now imprisoned in an underground facility on an alien planet and subjected to torturous medical trials that serve a sinister cause, the only thing Eliza can do, realistically, is wait for death.
But when Anzu, the cute and charismatic alien pilot who flew her to her nightmare, begs her for help, shares his terrifying secret, and promises to help her escape, freedom seems to be one step ahead—for both of them. Until she discovers the aliens have abducted her beloved younger sister as well. Eliza, traumatized and suffering, is left unsure about Anzu’s true intentions.
And when Anzu fails her, Eliza is determined to use Anzu’s secret as blackmail to coerce him into helping she and her sister escape, even if it costs him with his life. But doing just that positions Eliza on a chilling collision course against Zaoni’s dreaded commander and leads her towards disaster as she unveils a haunting conspiracy.
Then she becomes mankind’s last hope. But the aliens don’t want her running. They want her dead.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead
Oh, I’d love Keira Knightley to play my beautiful Eliza.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Always believe in yourself, write what you love, and read.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss, one of my favorite.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I love trees (a big motif in my book), so I want a tree to grow from my remains, a leafy one, a willow would do. And carved in the bark, I would love ‘Forever Stardust’ to be written.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I like everything that’s vegetarian except for peas and raw tomatoes. My favorite colors are red and green. As to music, I listen to anything that sounds good to me.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My books are available for purchase at Amazon: http://amzn.com/B01DQB0L4E
I’m also on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/gisselbrito88
And, finally, my Goodreads profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15113592.Gissel_Brito