How did you know you wanted to be an author? I knew I was a writer from childhood. The first time I held a pencil I knew it was the thing for me, even though I didn’t know what I would use it for. I remember a great sense of relief flooding through me. In my teens I wrote fiction and was also the editor of my school newspaper. Alas, in my early twenties I let my self-doubt and the criticism of others stop me from trying to be published. I even stopped writing! For ten years my muse “hibernated”—until I had my sons. I started thinking about my mortality, and wanted to leave them something as proof of how much I loved them. I decided to write a book and dedicate it to them. Once I started writing again, my muse awakened and magic happened! I appreciated it so much, and will never stop writing again. It is my passion, and my path.
What is your advice for aspiring authors? Don’t let criticism take you down—including self-criticism. No one is born published. However, you must learn your craft. I recommend reading BIRD BY BIRD by Anne Lamott. She says, it can be overwhelming to think of a book project in its entirety. Instead, one’s daily goal should be to write enough to fill a one-inch picture frame. I found this advice so liberating, and it was one of the techniques I used to finish my first book.
Do you have any writing rituals or practices? I try to write first thing, because otherwise I can lose the day. I edit while drinking coffee, because facing a blank screen is intimidating! I live on the water, and love to write on my deck. I find inspiration in nature. When I’m out, I carry a few printed pages in my bag, which I can pull out and line-edit while I’m on-line at a store or get a few free minutes. Every moment of the day is precious!
What message to you want readers to remember? Gandhi said, “You must be the change you wish to see in the world,” and this quote is what I live by. For me, that change is love. We must act out of love, not fear. We must help, not hurt each other. And we must love ourselves. Sophocles said, One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: That word is love. LUNA RISING carries this message.
How can fans get in contact with you? Please write to me through my website: SeleneCastrovilla.com. There’s a contact form right on there, and I’ll write back. You can also “like” my Facebook author page (Selene Castrovilla), where I post frequent updates. I’m also on Instagram (Selene Castrovilla) and Twitter (@SCastrovilla). If you reach out to me through any of these, I will also respond, though sometimes I don’t spot a message on social media for while. (I do my best!) I love to hear from fans! Thanks for your support—it means the world me!