Second Wind: Today, we have a special guest. Gabriella Deza is here to talk about the novel “Indian Summer” by Dellani Oakes. Gabriella, thank you for speaking to me today and welcome to Second Wind. To begin, what is your story?
Gabriella: I haven’t much of one yet, I’m only just 15, but what there is of it is told in “Indian Summer.”
SW: Who are you?
G: I am Gabriella Deza, youngest daughter of Governor Ferdinand Deza.
SW: Where and when do you live?
G: I live in the village of St. Augustine, Florida territory. The year is 1739.
SW: Are you the hero of your own story?
G: Me a hero? Heavens, no! That would be Manuel Enriques, my father’s aid du camp and the love of my life.
SW: What is your problem in the story?
G:Quite by chance, I found out a terrible secret. A British spy is trying to overthrow my father, capture the fort and take over the town!
SW: Do you embrace conflict or do you run from it?
G: I’ve never wanted to embrace conflict, but one must face it bravely. Troubles are sent by God to test us. Am I going to argue with Him? I never run when I can fight.
SW: How does the author see you?
G: Headstrong, demure, capable, passionate, honest, loving.
SW: Do you have a hero?
G: My father, Manuel and Sailfish are my heroes. They are all so brave and noble. Though, in their own way, all men are heroes, don’t you think?
SW: Do you have a goal and why that particular one?
G: My goal is to marry Manuel as soon as possible. I love him more than I can possibly express. I want to be with him forever. He is my own, true love.
SW: Do you have any special strengths?
G: My faith in God is my greatest strength. My faith has seen me through very trying times. I would not be the woman I am without it.
SW: What are you afraid of?
G: I’m terrified of losing Manuel. If he were to die, what would become of us? Papa says only he can save us in this troubled time. If I lost him, I would have no reason to live.
SW: Has anyone ever betrayed you?
G: Yes, the man who spies on us, using our friendship against us. He betrays me, my family and my home. I hope I have a hand in bringing him to justice.
SW: Have you ever failed anyone?
G: I hope not. I will only have failed them if I do not find the spy and send him to God early for judgement.
SW: What is your most prized possession? Why?
G: My peso necklace, because Manuel gave it to me. Though my parents gave me pearls for my birthday, the peso shows Manuel’s love for me. He can’t ask me to marry him yet, it wouldn’t be proper, but that shows each of us our promise to wed.
SW: What is your favorite scent? Why?
G: Sandalwood., because that is the scent of Manuel’s soap.
SW: What is your favorite color? Why?
G: Apple green, because it was Mama’s favorite as well, and I am most like her of all three of us girls.
SW: If you had the power to change one thing in the world that didn’t affect you personally, what would it be?
G: I think I’d like the Spanish and the English not to hate one another so much.
SW: What makes you think that change would be for the better?
G: There would be less fighting and conflict in the world.
SW: If you were stranded on a desert island, would you rather be stranded with, a man or a woman?
G: Do not think badly of me of saying this, but I would want to be stranded only with Manuel. I can think of no one else with whom I have enough in common to spend any period of time. Only if we were married, of course. Anything else would be scandalous!
You can read more of Gabriella’s story in “Indian Summer” by Dellani Oakes, available at Second Wind Publishing.