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Author Q&A with Houstonian Gissele Trussell

Cindy Burnett
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The Edentians

Houstonian Gissele Trussell had a vision in mind for her cover, so she passed on the cover designs from her publisher and designed it herself.

Houstonian Gissele Trussell’s debut novel, The Edentians, published in the fall. The Edentians extrapolates conflicts from Earth’s present condition and compels readers to wrestle with the origin and purpose of human existence. From Paris and the Vatican to the Egyptian pyramids and the Teotihuacan ruins, the author takes readers on a thrilling speculative journey that untangles webs of corporate greed, political treachery and terrorism against a cosmic, multi-layer plot that examines and challenges modern beliefs about religion and reality.

Gissele Trussell was born in Mexico City, the daughter of a successful fiction publisher. Her childhood was full of writers and artists. This atmosphere stimulated her imagination and at an early age she began writing short stories. She moved to the United States in her teen years and attended university. Fascinated by foreign cultures, she became fluent in four languages, became a legal and technical translator, and continued her research in Hermetics, comparative religion, philosophy, and Kabbalah. The upsurge of public consciousness that ‘we are not alone in the universe’ motivated Gissele to write her first novel, The Edentians, a metaphysical adventure about the connection between mankind and cosmic forces. When not writing fiction, Gissele paints and travels the world with her husband, Conn Trussell.

Gissele answers some questions that I posed to her about The Edentians:

1. What inspired you to start writing?

The compulsion to tell stories is what inspired me. I have always been an observer and live in constant awe of what surrounds us. This world of ours is a very exciting place. When we consider the components of our present everyday life, we can’t help but be astounded at the intrigue, adventure, romance, and tragedy that composes the stage of our existence. I have been most fascinated by that which eludes us; our connection to higher powers and the awareness of the role they play in our ordinary lives.

2. What kind of research did you have to do?

I have read numerous books on philosophy, Hermetics, ancient history and religion, studied Kabbalah and The Urantia Book. For many years I have been immersed in sci-fi books and have followed all recent archeological discoveries in Egypt, Gobekli Tepe, Mexico, Central American ruins and subterranean installations in Antarctica, trying to connect the dots between ancient civilizations and our present culture. I also try to keep up with reports from NASA and their cosmic research. For my understanding of neuroscience and its cosmic connection, I have followed authors like Michio Kaku, Carl Sagan and Robert Lanza. For medical research, I have consulted with my M.D. friends.

The Edentians is Gissele Trussell's first novel. She was inspired to write it by the growing public consciousness that ‘we are not alone in the universe.’ 

3. What do you hope your readers will take away from your book?

Confirmation that we are not alone. The Edentians is a book about the world we live in, its technological advances, its political treachery and threats, but also its innumerable incidents of love and redemption. I have simply added a touch of magic to mankind’s story. It is a reminder of our celestial connections; a suggestion that there might be other supernatural beings among us, that we don’t recognize; but who are connected to a higher dimension, and are here to protect us or manipulate us for their ultimate purpose.

4. Do you have any say in what your book cover looks like?

I knew I wanted a cover with a vision of the cosmos and perhaps a hint of someone watching. My publisher provided two possible covers, but they were not what I had had in mind. Therefore, I requested to be allowed to design the cover myself and they complied.

5. Share something that your readers wouldn’t know about you.

I am also an artist. While I kept the writing to myself since I was very young, I majored in art and fashion design. I have worked as a fashion illustrator, art teacher and fashion designer. Danielle, the main character in The Edentians is an archeologist, who works at the Met and is an art collector. Having spent years in the fashion world, another character is a fashion magnate and part of the story of The Edentians takes place within the fashion industry in NY. Now I love to travel, and visit museums and ancient monuments in Europe, always trying to piece in my mind the real history of our civilization. Did we evolve on our own or did we have the assistance of extraterrestrials?
6. What are you reading now and what have you read recently that you loved?

I have just started reading The Collector by Daniel Silva, whose spy thrillers I find captivating.  The Three-Body Problem series by Cixin Liu is thought provoking and one of the best trilogies I have ever read.

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.

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