The Literary Vixen presents…
Joining us today is D.S. Fisichella! Her debut book Dreamer, released on August 1st 2021.
How long have you been writing?
Eighteen years if you count my first poem written in the fourth grade. At the time I’d only been in the USA for a little over a year and, with English being my second language, I suppose that would make my first shot at poetry somewhat significant. My teacher typed it up and printed it out. I felt so validated. I’ve chased that high ever since.
What gave you that final push to publish your book?
I think it was the timing of everything. From my first draft to the publication date it was a four year process for me. Silly me, I thought it would take me a year. *Rolls eyes.* It started out as a hobby to pass the time and get my mind off my morning sickness when I got too pregnant to work, but it turned into a passion, and… well, a dream.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
That I could do it! Up until I wrote Dreamer, the longest thing I ever wrote was a research paper in college. It was ten pages double spaced. I’d published poems and short pieces but never in a million years did I think I had it in me (the patience and otherwise) to take on such a massive project! I learned to evoke emotion, to inspire, to make laugh, or even cry. An author friend of mine confessed that he cried while writing a death scene and he said something like, “it’s strange, isn’t it? To become so attached to something that’s not really real?” To which I replied, “No, it’s not. It’s real to us.”
What do you hope your readers take away from this book?
When my readers reach the end of my book, I want them to suspire and make the inner connection that, no matter what they’re going through, there is always hope because their story is not over;
Also, I want them to know there’s nothing they can ever do to disqualify them from being fully loved, accepted and forgiven by God.
What is the significance of the title?
The title of my book is “Dreamer,” and really, you’ll spend the whole book finding out what it means to the MC, and then you can decide what it means to you.
The title holds a special significance for me because for twenty years, I identified as a DACA Dreamer, the undocumented child of immigrant parents.
I won’t give you the long story, but I did eventually get my paperwork in order and became legal through all the right channels, but my life prior to doing so left deep seated scars that went on to sculpt my mental health, and even contributed to trauma and PTSD.
I pulled from all of those things to craft my main character, Elleni Salgado. I also pulled from my support system and healthy coping habits to help her out and set a good example for my reader. For personal reasons, I didn’t meddle in the immigration topic with Dreamer. When people read the story I didn’t want them to see it as the story of an immigrant. I wanted them to just see a girl. A girl like me. Worthy of love, acceptance, and friendship no matter how she got to where she was.
If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Creative, Loving and Intense. Haha!
But seriously. Ask anyone who’s known me more than a day.
What was the highlight of writing this book?
The response! To put something out into the world, namely, your whole heart and soul, you wrap it inside some binding and hand it over to be published… *exhale* is such a vulnerable but rewarding experience. To see that my art has made people think, has made them laugh, or cry, or get healing! Man! What an amazing privilege that is. What a freaking honor! You could say that writing Dreamer was a ruse to get to meet people. Especially young and hurting people like my MC. If I could, I would hand deliver every copy and give each recipient a big hug and gift basket!
Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with me?
I can’t say much, but the Dreamer story will pick up and continue! I’m already having mini panic attacks about the subjects I’m being led to write. God and I have exchanged some words. But anyway… that’s how I know it’s going to be good.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Stay true to your vision. You need to believe in your own dream before anyone else can do it for you.
Be patient. Anything worth doing is worth doing well!
Find your place in the writing community and hang on for dear life!
When it’s time, publish the thing! Don’t delay! (Just make sure you get a professional edit and cover before you do.)
Grow thick skin! ‘Nuff said.
What is the one thing you want people to know about you and your books?
I don’t want people to make the same mistakes I’ve made. Be it in my relationships, in my writing journey, or with my mental health, I am always looking to grow, to improve, and to teach others to be better than me.
Everything I wrote in Dreamer, everything I write in my articles, everything I ever write comes from a place of love.
I am crazy about you!
You are a soul with a body… a mind, a will, emotions all beautifully crafted and marked by the fingerprint of God.
To those who struggle with their mental health:
You are worth being well, darling. The stars deserve to see your eyes. If anything I say or do can help you understand how truly amazing you are, how cherished, even in the midst of your imperfections, then I’ve done my job!
Thank you D.D. Fisichella for chatting with me! I will include her information down below. Check out her book, Dreamer today!
On her thirteenth birthday, Elleni Salgado lost her childhood friend to a devastating tragedy. The years have passed and despite the gaping hole of loss in her heart, Elleni seems to have found comfort in her hilarious Hispanic family, a wacky southern counselor, and her faith in Christ.
Now a talented songwriter on the verge of seventeen, Elleni is plagued by nightmares which send her running to “The Spot,” her childhood haven. It is there that she unexpectedly meets the handsome Julian Rossi, a young drug dealer convinced he has no reason to live.
When Elleni’s youth group makes plans to embark on a road trip to Grace Place Camp, one state away, she thinks it the perfect place for Julian to find the answers he’s been looking for. But she will have her own truth to dig up, a secret that, until now, she thought had been buried four years ago…along with her best friend.
D.S. Fisichella is an award-winning poet and bestselling author of the Young Adult Christian Fiction Novel, “Dreamer” and a member of the Saint Pete Arts Alliance. D.S. writes articles about faith, dating, and mental health, and she’s a mentor to teens and young adults. When she’s not singing, writing, or attending her home church, she can be found making memories with her husband and their two adorable children. D.S. reads all of her reviews and she loves connecting with readers!
(Website, Articles, Dreamer on Amazon and more)