Born in Northern California, Gabriel Constans lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his beautiful wife Audrey. Their home was once occupied by many voices, busy feet, meddling hands, and laughter from five children (2 adopted, 3 from birth) that bore them four grandchildren. However, it is quieter to write these days with only Gabriel, Audrey and their beautiful black cat named Amore left to inhabit their home. “It’s gotten easier with the children grown, and working part-time. Previously, when there were more people living at home, and I was working full time, I would write late in the evening (after evening shifts at work), before going to bed, and caring for kids during the day.”
If you follow or find Gabriel on Twitter, you will learn that he has an expansive resume. Though, when filling out the interview questions, he excluded his professional and personal accomplishments.
#Author, #screenwriter & #parent. #Teacher of #mindfulness, #body & #mental #health. #Writer #journalist & #ukelele #lover.
Instead, he humbly chose to mention what he cares most about when he is not creating books.
“The things that receive most of my attention outside writing, is playing the ukulele, working in the garden, spending time with family and friends, reading, supporting the Rwandan Orphan’s Project, and teaching classes on mindful meditation in prisons, jails, recovery centers, hospitals, health programs, and in private practice.”
Constans has a masters in Pastoral Counseling and a doctorate in Death Education and has written about 14 books (fiction and nonfiction). “They can all be found on the books page of my site http://www.gogabriel.com/books.html.”
How does he find the time to take a moment for himself? It doesn’t seem to be a requirement for this husband, father, and grandfather, whose various accomplishments have kept him quite busy. With 14 books on many different topics in his portfolio, I wanted to hear his thoughts on the subject of being a writer and he took the time to indulge me.
Interviewer: Tell us about your book, A B.R.A.V.E. Year: 52 Weeks Being Mindful.
Constans: A B.R.A.V.E. Year: 52 Weeks Being Mindful is the outcome of having taught these classes to people who may otherwise have not ever been aware of the benefits of meditation, or how to do it. “B.R.A.V.E.” stands for “Before Reacting Access Validate & Explore.
Interviewer: This blog is an indie author platform that shines the light on unknown Indie Authors. How do you identify with indie authors?
Constans: I’ve been fortunate to publish with large, medium-sized, and small traditional publishers, as well as self-published 4-5 books. They each have their advantages and disadvantages.
Interviewer: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
Constans: Both. My stories and issues are usually familiar to readers, but I try to add something not usually seen, or provide an unexpected twist or two.
Interviewer: How do you select the names of your characters?
Constans: I usually use the names of people I know, have known, or have always liked the sound (and or meaning) of.
Interviewer: What is your preferred genre?
Constans: A specific genre is difficult to pin down. In fiction, I've written romance, historical, satire, and family. In nonfiction, I've written many articles about inspiring people around the world, for various magazines, newspapers, and websites, and books that include biography, self-help, education, and inspiration.
Interviewer: What does literary success look like to you?
Constans: Literary success, to me, is something written that holds up over time and is still relatable and relevant to the present. For example: ”To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, ”There Eyes Were Watching God”, by Nora Zeale Hurston, and ”Another Country”, by James Baldwin.
Interviewer: What are the hardest things you find about writing?
Constans: Selling it. Even though it is the hardest, I actually don’t mind working on getting my books seen by as many people as possible. I know that is the exception for most writers.
Interviewer: What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters of the opposite sex?
Constans: It has not been difficult to write characters of the opposite sex, because we aren’t really that ”opposite”. I also worked with 99% women colleagues, grew up with 9 sisters, and read a lot of women’s literature.
Interviewer: What was one of the most surprising things you’ve learned in creating your book(s)?
Constans: That I know a lot less than I thought previously about the process AND that I know a lot more than I anticipated too.
Interviewer: What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?
Constans: When I was the editor of an alternative newspaper in high school. We advocated against the Viet Nam war, for more information on health and sexuality in the schools, and have more empowerment for students.
Interviewer: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Constans: It helped me to be more thorough and to research ahead of time the right markets for a specific book.
Interviewer: What’s the greatest lesson you’ve learned from being a published author?
Constans: That writing, like most anything, doesn’t just happen, and the more I’ve written, the better I’ve gotten. It is also interesting how other people, who haven’t written anything, think it’s easy to do.
What inspires Constans?
Interviewer: What is your favorite motivational phrase? “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon.
Interviewer: What is your favorite book and why?
Constans: There Eyes Were Watching God by Nora Zeale Hurston. It takes me to a place, time, and person, with whom I have no present connection, but makes me feel like I belong there. Brings me to a world I had never known so intimately and portrays a woman who is able to empower herself and live with a certain amount of freedom, in a space and century where that was against all norms.
Interviewer: If you could meet one author, known or unknown, who would it be and why?
Constans: Alice Walker
Interviewer: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Constans: Hiring a good editor. They make all the difference in the world.
Interviewer: If you could tell new writers anything, what would it be?
Constans: Write, write, and write. Write some more, and read, read, read. Always have someone else read your writing before you submit it anywhere, and not just a friend or family member (unless they are very honest and able to correct grammar).
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