I managed to grab a quick word with Sabina Gabrielli Carrara, author of the murder mystery novels ‘Field of lies’ & ‘Black Souls’, for a short interview…
Q: Why do you write? What motivates you to write?
Sabina: Simply because I like it, I always did.
Q: What kind of books did you love growing up?
Sabina: As a child, I liked fantasy. “Little Women” was indeed one of my favourites along with the “The Canterville’s Ghost,” but then as a teenager, I discovered Agatha Christie and Stephen King. In my twenties, I started to read Scandinavian authors like Peter Hoegg and fell in love with their culture.
Q: Locations and life experiences can really influence writing. Tell us where you grew up and where you live now?
Sabina: I think so, yes… As a writer, you write about what you know and what you see. I grew up in Italy in a little touristic Seatown, but I never really felt I belonged there until my family moved to the countryside. I knew that was my real home since the beginning, and still is. I feel this way each time when I go back to Italy. We kept the place in the Seatown, but that is just a holiday home for me now.
I lived and worked a few years in Milan too, but didn’t like it at all: too grey. So, I escaped to Ireland and never looked back. I lived a couple of years in Dublin and then moved to the countryside. Again, I loved it. We also have the sea just around the corner, and every day while I’m driving around this beautiful place, I feel blessed and inspired as this dormant countryside is the perfect spot for murders. 👁🔪🪓💣🔫
Q: How did you develop your writing style? Have you ever considered to write humorous fiction (example: humorous thriller, humorous murder mystery)?
Sabina: I write murder mystery because this is what I like to read, and this is what I think about when I go around the green Irish countryside for inspiration. My blog, instead, is pure humor. It didn’t start as a humorous blog but developed that way. I love to blog, thinking someone will have a good laugh at my stories, but I am not sure I could write a full book like this. I think the blog works because it is autobiographic. Also, I am an incurable optimist – I tend to see the positive and laughable in every situation.
Q: How do you work through fear, doubts, and writers’ block?
Sabina: I never experienced writers’ block. My problem is the opposite – my brain never stops, and I have plenty of ideas for stories. Maybe not all good, but they are there…
Fear and doubts, instead, – yes, I have them and probably always will. A few years back, they would have stopped me from trying. Now? I simply tell myself that I am too old to hold back my dreams. In the end – what do I have to lose? Still poor selling and bad reviews hurt a lot, but as dear Scarlett O’Hara used to say: “tomorrow is another day.” I hope for the best, always!
Q: What is the hardest: plotting, writing synopsis and blurb, writing, submitting to publish or promotion and marketing?
Sabina: As much as to write a decent (not too long or not too short) synopsis always bugs me, the most challenging part is promotion and marketing.
Q: How do you write (longhand or laptop), where and what time of the day?
Sabina: When my husband understood that I was really serious about going back to writing, he bought me a MacBook, and this is my writing companion. Most of the time I write in the morning when the kids are in school, but there are good days when I can use the afternoon as well. I never write in the evening, but I might write during the weekend.
Q: Tell us about your new book? How did you come up with an idea, characters?
Sabina: The new book had developed around an old idea I had a couple of years ago for a short story. As for the characters, they usually just pop into my mind. In this case, there are a couple that has been inspired by real people.
Q: You have ‘killed’ quite a lot of people in your books. If you could kill one more – who would it be? Why?
Sabina: Actually, in the book, there is already an unplanned murder…one particular character was not supposed to die, but then he did without me being able to stop it, ha ha. 😂😂 I would write and leave it like this, but (here comes a secret) there’s one more death in the grand finale.
Q: When writing “Black Souls” did anything stand out as particularly challenging?
Sabina: The plotting was a bit hard because I had to link two locations, and also the challenge to make sense of all the connections.
Q: What do you have in mind for your next project/book?
Sabina: I am already plotting away, and it will be the book two of the Sea cross Mysteries. Sgt McCabe will be back to discover a very dark side of his community, but I can’t say more right now… 🤐
Q: When you are not writing, what are you doing? How do you relax?
Sabina: Normally, when I don’t write, I do house chores or drive my girls here and there. I walk the dogs, but none of these activities is relaxing actually, they sound pretty desperate, and maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned them, but it is a big part of my non-writing time… Jokes apart, I get my energy through yoga – at least four mornings a week. I relax reading before going to bed or with some trip to the city on my own unless the weather is bad. Knitting or cross-stitching helps to empty my head of all the thoughts: good or bad.
Q: Two favorite quotes of your choice.
Sabina: 1) “Some people are old at 18, and some are young at 90. Time is a concept that humans created.” Yoko Ono and 2) “A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.” Tom Wilson
Q: How can readers discover more about you and your work?
Sabina: These are my social links and would love for everyone interested in my work to follow me, whether you like crime or humor. Via link tree you’ll find me and my blog, and where to buy my books:
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