Interview with Gisele T. Siegmund

What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are essential in (hopefully) providing positive & constructive criticism. Fans are what inspire a writer to push him/or herself. I hope to be honest in my writing, and maybe connect with the reader or fan (via a similar experience or idea). Without an audience it is pointless to write-there has to be a purpose. Whether i aim to entertain through a short work of fiction, or share a glimpse into a moment in my life when i felt strongly about something (through poetry), it is always important for me to be honest with myself, and the fan.
What are you working on next?
I just finished a collection of short stories entitled Don't Take My Sunshine Away. It is now available at Smashwords. I am currently working on my next book of poetry, and a modern mythology based novelette (or novella).
Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite novelists are Anne Rice, Laurell K. Hamilton, Neil Gaiman, Kim Harrison, Mary Janice Davidson, Charlain Harris, Joyce Carol Oates, among others. In addition, my favorite poets are Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allen Poe, Sylvia Plath, William Shakespeare, and William Blake (to name a few).
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The curiosity of what a new day will bring. Additionally, the responsibility of everyday life. There is always something new to be done; whether it's a new book i want to read, a workout I want to try, or movie to watch. When my (non-writing) day job is concerned, as a teacher, I have young minds to inspire-and who sometimes rekindle an interest in an old work of writing I haven't seen in several years. I believe we inspire each other in the world-whether it is people,or nature.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When i am not writing, i am reading, or spending time with my loved ones. I like to spend time with my daughter and husband at a park, go to the movies (usually horror or sci-fi). I also like to work out (usually yoga, dance, or jogging). I like to go to Manhattan-there is always something to do there. I also travel in the summer, usually Connecticut, Salem,or New Orleans.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I usually find ebooks based on my interests. I like to read poetry, horror, Sci-Fi, historical fiction, and memoirs. Sometimes I friend of mine will recommend a book as well.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I first made up stories in the form of songs (yes-i also like to sing) when i was around four or five years old. My daughter now does the same. It's amazing how genes work! Additionally, when I was around ten or eleven, i was reading a series (The Babyitters' Club-I know, a little embarrassing), and decided to make my own serial stories. I created quirky titles, and wrote simple stories on loose-leaf paper stapled together-the book cover was made of construction paper.
What is your writing process?
When i write poems, i generally write how i feel at that particular moment, or about someone or something i was inspired by (such as a character from a movie, or book), and when i work on a short story, i usually brainstorm some ideas first, then draft, re-visit later, and re-write a few more times until i am satisfied. I also like to read a lot-it help to inspire me to write about a topic or genre. I like to write about different things, whether it is vampires, or a memoir about my life.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember reading Dr. Seuss when i was really young, sitting at the pediatrician's office, and thinking that the characters were unique & weird. His intricate rhyme scheme, and made up words stood out to me. This book made weird acceptable & interesting. Growing up, i always felt different from some of the people that i was around. I was not largely outspoken, and kept mainly to myself, or a small group of people. I guess, this is why i had some time to think, and reflect on what i did, and what other people did. I like to come up with things that make some people think, or something that they can relate to. Dr. Seuss' books stood out for me at a young age. As a young adult, I thought Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire was incredible.Not just the subject matter, but also the way in which she wrote-amazing prose.
How do you approach cover design?
I love artwork, and nature. Anything that captures the eyes (and mind), and relates to what i'm writing about.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Interview the Vampire by Anne Rice because of the human-like quality and culturally (New Orleans) rich nature of her characters. She does research, and takes great care to write amazing prose.
Night by Elie Wiesel due to its significant subject matter. I always enjoy reading about people's lives-especially when it comes to overcoming adversity.
Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley because it is empowering for women, and a modernized re-telling of an Arthurian story.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley because it is macabre, and also delves into the idea of humanity and creation (and good versus evil).
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka because it leaves it to the reader to decide what goes on with the character. It is surreal, and grotesque (in a good way).
I am inspired by these authors. I like different genres, depending on my mood.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read Fitness RX-for health & fitness. It is fairly straightforward in the presentation of useful information. I like to read anything by Anne Rice, and dicover new authors from different genres. In between the horror stories, i like to read memoirs, such as When Men Become Gods (about FLDS-polygomy).
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have WattPad at the moment.
What book marketing techniques do you think are effective?
I think social media is very helpful. I am currently working on my facebook page (re-vamping), and Twitter. I am also beginning to use Pinterest.
Describe your desk
Organized & lots of sticky notes!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Brooklyn, & different parts of Queens, NY. I am now in Nassau County. It has helped me be around different types of people from various cultures. I feel like it i important to go outside the box, and learn as much as possible. This has impacted my writing in the sense that I can write about different topics (from vampires to arriving to a new country as an immigrant-my family is originally from Nicaragua, and my husband is German Irish).
When did you first start writing?
When i was around ten.Nothing serious, simply made up stories.
What's the concept behind your latest book?
My latest book is a collection of poems i wrote over the course of several years. They are versatile, and reflect a variety of ideas. It exemplifies a plethora of emotions.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have been writing for years, and never seemed to have the time to actually publish. I feel like as long as one is breathing, it is never to late to try. I also feel like I can relate to other aspiring authors, and readers.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
By allowing me to reach my goals; giving me a medium in which to write.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Writing about something that matters; self-expression; conviction; and sparking interest in someone's life.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Posting information on new book releases on my website, facebook page, twitter, and goodreads.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I am currently working on a small collection of short stories, and my next collection of poetry.
Published 2016-02-23.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Time to Say Goodbye
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,270. Language: English. Published: December 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
In this short story, Yessie was raised by her grandmother after her parents died in a plane crash. Although she was raised in a loving environment, she felt that something was missing and consequently lost her way.
Rise of the Phoenix: Poems
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,080. Language: English. Published: July 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry, Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
This is a collection of thirty-three poems that reflect a sense of hope.
Let There Be Light: A Collection of Poems in Memoriam
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,030. Language: English. Published: March 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
This collection consists of thirty poems that relate the notion of love, loss, and hopelessness. The verses contained herein presents the struggle to find ourselves after a moment of despair threatens to engulf us
Don’t Take My Sunshine Away: A Collection of Short Stories
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 21,850. Language: English. Published: February 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
This is a collection of five short stories. The first story illustrates the struggle of a young girl living in the dark, the second story depicts a young girl’s experience of trying to make sense of both life and death, the third story is about self-realization, the fourth story denotes a young funeral director, and the fifth story is about finding love even though it may seem too late.
A Day of Dreaming: A Collection of Poetry
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 4,750. Language: English. Published: December 6, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
These thirty-nine poems have been written over the course of several years, and reflect a variety of ideas and emotions about life. Sometimes life seems surreal or dream-like, as we journey through the unknown.
The Big Easy: A Collection of Poems Inspired by New Orleans
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 3,670. Language: English. Published: July 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » American poetry, Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs
These poems have been written over the course of this year, and reflect an admiration and love of New Orleans. This is a collection of thirty poems that highlight some of the places that the author has been to pre and post Katrina. These poems reflect the people, places, or things as they pertain to the history, and culture of NOLA.
Gothic Poetry: A Collection of Dark Poems
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 5,830. Language: English. Published: June 7, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » American poetry, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Some of the poems reflect emotions as they pertain to feeling alienated, misunderstood, or different, Gothic subculture, desire, morbid curiosity, and a love of all things dark.
Athena's Words of Wisdom: A Collection of Empowering Poetry for Women
Price: Free! Words: 6,310. Language: English. Published: May 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Female authors, Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
This is a collection of 81 poems. Some of the poems reflect emotions as they pertain to being a woman, feeling judged, abused, inadequate, but also powerful after confronting inner demons; goddess imagery; nature.
So Sings The Siren
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 6,610. Language: English. Published: March 23, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » American poetry, Fiction » Poetry » Female authors
This is a second edition. It includes an additional ten poems (additional mermaid based poems have been added). This is a collection of 88 free verse poems. The format for this book is comprised in the following 5 parts: mermaid poems, love and love lost, nature and myth, poems about life, poems about death and darkness.