Monday, January 01, 2007

Make-Believe Mondays with Gerri Russell

First I'd like to wish you all a Happy New Year! It's hard to believe it's been a whole year since I started Make-believe Mondays. Your response has been so strong that I have decided to continue this blog for many years to come. Monday is always a difficult day of the week, returning to work after an enjoyable weekend and it is my hope that this blog brings a smile and a good start to your work week. Thank you for making us a part of your Monday.

Today is also a very special Monday because today my friend and ATII sister Gerri Russell, winner of the American Title II contest is here with us on Make-believe Mondays. This is a day all the ATII sisters have been waiting for and I'm thrilled to be able to announce that Gerri's book The Warrior Trainer hits the bookstores tomorrow!

Gerri, for some writers, dreams play a role in creating fiction. Has this been true for you? Have you ever dreamed a scene or an image that later wound up in one of your books?

Gerri: The kind of dreams that play a role in creating fiction for me are not the kind you have while you're asleep. I'm an active dreamer. One thing I have always been grateful for is that my mother, and other very influential people in my life, never set limits for me. I was never told I had to be any certain thing--only my own dreams could hold me back. So I grew up dreaming big dreams. And definitely one of those dreams was to become an author.

I feel that it is our dreams that give our lives focus and drive. I've had the desire to become an author for so many years, and have actively pursued that goal for the past thirteen. Finally seeing that dream become reality with the publication of my first book, The Warrior Trainer, has been one of the most amazing moments of my life.

Many people have asked me lately, "where will you go from here? What's your next dream?" I would have to say, the next big dream is to have a career as an author and to keep writing stories that touch people's hearts, fill their lives with joy, or bring them hope during difficult situations.

Debra: Gerri, you're an inspiration. You've achieved a dream and your story will motivate hundreds of authors to follow their dreams of being an author. I'm sure you'll achieve every one of your goals.

As a child did any particular book or author pull you into their imaginary world?

Gerri: I grew up reading everything and anything I could get my hands on. Favorites of mine will always be the classics: J.R.R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, but also when I was younger I used to devour mysteries featuring Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I'd say my reading tastes now are very eclectic at best! I'll read science fiction, and romance, and murder mysteries, and autobiographies with the same passion.

Debra: If there were no categories for books, no reader expectations to meet, and you could create the wildest work of imagination that you could think of what kind of story would that be?

Gerri: If there were no rules but those dictated by the imagination, I'd probably be writing what it is I write now. As a writer, I've evolved over the years to write about characters who are trying to figure out who they are. Mix that with a bit of the mystical and a bit of legend and a bit of fantasy, and that's the kind of story you'll get from me.

Debra: And that is a story I can't wait to read. I'll be first in line at my local independant book store tomorrow!

Gerri, thank you for visiting us here on Make-believe Mondays to share a bit of the magic of writing with our readers.

You can find Gerri on the web at or at

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