Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! Today we're featuring author Tressa Messenger and talking about her novel, THE PROTECTOR. Tressa is a seasoned health professional in Polysomnography as well as an author. She lives outside of her hometown of New Bern, North Carolina, with her husband and daughter.
I have always loved to write ever since I can remember. Then it was mostly poetry, songs and letters. I think writing letters was my favorite thing. Sometimes they were even to myself, and usually I wouldn't even give it to the person, but rather burn it or throw it away. It was a great was to get out emotions.
Tell us about THE PROTECTOR. What’s the story about?
After reports come out of a another mysterious death, Anna-Marie climbs her way out of despair as she throws herself into a search for the assailant, who is callously tearing so many lives apart. During Anna-Marie’s search, she has a chance encounter with a mysterious man who flips her world upside down once again. Alessandro Pierre, the deadly son of the vampire leader of the Brotherhood Order, appears to be just as normal as the next guy, but he is far from it.
The further Anna-Marie digs into Dylan's death she is plunged into a world she isn’t quite prepared for. She gets caught up in a deadly game from her worst nightmares, and eventually learns that it is her own world as well.
How did the idea of the story come to you?
The story just kind of happened. I had tried to write a book a few times in the past, but they never took so I was nervous that the same thing would happen with this one. I had no clue what I wanted to write, all I knew was I wanted to write something, but once I started, it took on a life of its own.
Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I send it to one or two very close friends to review it. They are good with giving me their honest opinion. I’m very good with accepting constructive criticism. My mom actually proof reads all of my stuff. I figure who better than someone who knows me the best. After she is done I send it to my mother in-law who writes grants and such for a government agency.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
Kind of both I guess. When I get a story idea I type it out, but I usually don’t even look at it again. I know it seems like “what’s the point” but I tend to remember how I want the story to go.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
While writing my first novel, Protector, I found out that I am dyslexic. My mom was going through it and kept having to rearrange my sentences to make them make sense. I always knew that I wrote sentence structures backwards and it would even come out when I spoke sometimes, but I never knew it was a thing; I actually thought I was just dumb. School was NEVER easy for me and I loathed it so much. I even dropped out in 9th grade and got my GED. I did go back for a medical degree after the birth of my daughter, but even as an adult, it still wasn’t easy. I guess I know why now.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
It seems to change all the time. While writing my 1st and 2nd novels I had to listen to music while writing; screaming metal in my ears. Here recently I was given a few crystals that are supposed to promote creativity and prolong attention span, which I think is awesome. I do believe in the power of crystals. I have had a Quarts crystal with me for the past 14 years and it has really helped me through the years.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Oh gezz, there are so many, maybe read minds. I’m a nosey person by nature so it would fit me
What's the weirdest thing you've googled?
While doing research for my murder mystery I googled autopsy reports. I really didn’t think I would find actual reports but I did. It was pretty trippy.
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: protest, tendency, and dance.
I have the tendency to protest the notion that everyone should conform, I am unique, and you are unique so be you and laugh a lot and dance.
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
Working or taking care of my family. It’s who I am and what I do.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
I want to thank my mom who taught me that I can be myself and dream big. You let me make mistakes and have always stood by me.
My husband for always pushing me, sometimes kicking and screaming, to be better than I am.
My daughter who I strive everyday to be the person she can look up to.
My mother in-law for helping me make my stories perfect.
Nancy Hudson Hall who lit a fire under me.
Devyn Dawson who showed me the right path.
You all are AWESOME!
And finally, where can people find you and your books online?
My books can be found on all electronic book sites, and for those who don’t have an e-reader, they can be found on amazon.com as physical copies.