Author Monique Gliozzi on how her work as a psychologist inspired storylines for her fast-paced thrillers
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Dublin, Ireland, and due to my father’s position in the diplomatic service, I travelled the world while growing up. This allowed me to learn different languages and enjoy an array of cultures, while attending a variety of schools. I used to write short stories as a youngster but never thought I’d write or become an author. My time is devoted to medicine, but I also have a passion for aviation and work as a senior flight instructor on weekends. Somewhere between this and a busy family life, I find time for writing. I would describe myself as quite physically active, enjoying playing sports and exercising on a regular basis.
2. You work as a psychiatrist in Perth, Australia, and only recently began writing and publishing your work. What ignited your passion for writing?
My father started writing after retiring from duty. He asked me to read some of his work and provide feedback on ideas, plots, storyline and characters. He writes in Italian and published five books in Italy. This process awakened my interest for literature and thus took me down an unknown but worthy and creative path.
3. What inspired you to write Foresight, Hunted and Vestige?
I found that my interest for fast-paced suspenseful stories inspired me to start writing my first two books. Vestige was inspired by my own ghostly encounter in an old section of the hospital that I work in.
4. You have published three books. Can you summarize what each book is about in a few sentences?
Foresight: This is my first book – it’s about a young girl (Isabella) who in addition to becoming orphaned, sustains a head injury during a natural disaster in Mexico City. After adoption she grows up in the USA and realizes that she has a gift not only for anticipating the future, but also an intuition for past events. As an adult she becomes a successful criminologist. Her family is proud but her enemies try to discredit and destroy her. She is stalked and almost killed by a chain of events beyond her control. She manages to solve a crime but doesn’t realize that one of the killers escapes, until it’s too late.
Hunted: This story is a follow up to Foresight, where Isabella puts a task force together (including Interpol) to capture the fugitive (Peter Steil), who reinvents himself as a pilot and mingles with the rich and famous. This story takes the reader on an action packed adventure through the Swiss Alps, Italy and Austria. Isabella’s mission is to capture him before he kills again.
Vestige: This is a ghost story, involving a child psychologist (Dr. Maxwell Stein) and the main character, Olivia Croft, who now as an adult pays him an unexpected visit. She delivers a diary to him, setting off a chain of mysterious and ghostly events. The doctor becomes so obsessed with the little book that he questions his own sanity. It’s a story full of twists that keep the reader guessing.
5. How has your work as a psychiatrist influenced your stories?
Having a medical background and an interest in forensic sciences and psychiatry, helps me make my storylines credible (despite these being completely fictional) by having a better understanding of human behaviour. This allows me to shape the characters and their motivations easily.
6. Have you had more time to write now, or less, during the coronavirus outbreak?
The current pandemic has kept me busy as a therapist, but due to social distancing I’ve not been doing any flying. The latter has given me a little bit of extra time to write short stories, which I share with my writers’ group.
7. Will the theme of a virus outbreak weave its way into a future story perhaps?
Funny that you should ask this, but I have written a short story around the behaviour and panic seen here in my hometown of Perth, Australia. It was a way of dealing with my own internal dialogue about what was happening in the early stages of the outbreak. I don’t think that I’ll dedicate an entire book to COVID-19.
8. What are you doing to promote and market your book?
I’ve been working hard on marketing all three books using different social media platforms, holding book events, reading small snippets from my books and posting these videos online under “authorship”. I’ve also been accosted by U.S. radio talk show hosts (Ric Bratton & Benji Cole), and have taken the opportunity to be interviewed. My website and blog site have also given me a bit of traction. There are a number of strategies explored by my marketing consultant, Tellwell’s Katie Hennessey.
9. How has COVID-19 impacted your book marketing activities?
To be honest, I have had to work even harder to keep my friends and readers intrigued, offering support as well as a bit of entertainment (hence the mini video clips on Facebook & Instagram). It’s been a lot of fun!
10. Which successes involving your books and work as an author are you most proud of?
All three works have had a share of success; however, Vestige is the one that has given me the most public exposure to date. It has been written as a screenplay; hopefully it will get some interest and be made into a movie. That would be a dream of mine.
11. You recently produced an audiobook with Tellwell. How was that experience and how is the finished product?
I was initially hesitant to consider an audiobook format, due to my own lack of understanding on how popular these are nowadays. The actual process was fun and Vestige, being a ghost story, lent itself well to be in this format. The final product was excellent. I was mesmerized by the narrator and was very happy to have taken this good advice from my publishing consultant, Philip Grey.
12. What has been the highlight of the publishing experience so far?
There isn’t one thing that I would say is the highlight of publishing. It’s a process that is engaging, and made exciting by working with a team that is efficient, honest and well meaning. I’ve learned quite a bit about myself as a creative writer during the last couple of years.
13. What advice do you have for authors considering self-publishing their book?
If you choose Tellwell, you will not be disappointed. It’s a company that will guide you every step of the way, allowing you to explore different things in the publishing arena.
14. What are you working on now? What’s next?
I am working on several short stories to be published as a collection, hopefully by early next year. Diversity is the title.
15. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I would like to thank my family, fans, avid readers and Tellwell Publishing for encouraging me to continue in this creative quest.