Interview with Greg Messel, author of ILLUSION OF CERTAINTY

Greg Messel has written three novels and three unpublished memoirs.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.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life, Greg. Can you tell us how long you’ve been writing and how your journey led to writing your latest book, The Illusion of Certainty?

The Illusion of Certainty is my third novel. My first novel “Sunbreaks” was published in 2009 and the second book “Expiation” was published in 2010. I have been writing since I was a child and I supported myself through high school and college covering events for local newspapers in the San Francisco Bay Area. After college, I resumed my newspaper career as a reporter and columnist for a Wyoming daily newspaper. I later became the news editor. I left the newspaper business eventually and had a career in the finance sector of the corporate world.

Q: I love your title. Can you tell us why you chose it?

“The Illusion of Certainty” describes the condition that exists in our life. We think that we are in control and planning our present and futures. Technology and our iPhones, e mail, Blackberries and other devices add to the perception that we are in control of our lives. However, just below the surface of our lives lurks much uncertainty. The uncertainty manifests itself in the form of unexpected deaths, the breakup of marriages, economic downturns and sudden illness. That is why the “certainty” in our life is only an illusion. Life can change quickly and in unexpected ways. The characters in my novel are attempting to cope with these changes and much of the story is set at the time of the economic downturn of 2008 and its aftermath.

Q: Why did you believe your book should be published?

Some have described this book as a love story and some have said it is a business fable. I think it is both. I believe this story speaks to the anxiety that people are experiencing in 21st Century America. The book is full of interesting characters and situations that will speak to readers. Personally, I feel it is my best book.

Q: We all know that publishers can’t do all of the publicity and that some lies on the author. What has your publisher done so far to publicize the book and what have you done?

My publisher has sent out weekly press releases and made review copies available to a number of book blogs and media outlets. There is also a planned ebook launch on September 15th with a contest and giveaways. The ebook launch will center on Amazon. “The Illusion of Certainty” is now available in softcover.

Q: What book on the market can it compare to? How is it different? What makes your book special?

I am not sure what compares to it. I think it is a fairly unique story. It is suspenseful but there are no vampires or serial killers or vampire serial killers. The story explores several dilemmas of modern life. Your life, which you feel is under control, can suddenly change by way of an accident, a medical diagnosis or a reversal of fortunes economically. The characters in the story are impacted by the devastating economic downturn of 2008 which adds significant levels of uncertainty.

Q: Open to a random page in your book. Can you tell us what is happening?

I turned to page 232 and one of the main characters, Marc, is visiting his son in Los Angeles. His son, Josh, is attending UCLA. Marc, after suffering through the breakup of his marriage and losing his job, is hoping that he and Josh can reconnect and even take a trip together. Marc begins a conversation with his son on this page where they discuss for the first time the divorce.

Q: Do you plan subsequent books?

Yes, I have plans for at least two more books. I anticipate beginning to write my fourth novel this winter.

Q: Thank you for your interview, Greg. Do you have any final words?

Thank you for the opportunity. The ebook will be available for $2.99 in September and I hope readers will try “The Illusion of Certainty.” You can follow other developments and discussion writing with me at my blog at www.gregmessel.com

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