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Character Interview: Amelia Ryan from Greg Messel’s new mystery romance novel ‘Last of the Seals’



We’re thrilled to have here today Amelia Ryan from Greg Messel’s new mystery/romance novel, Last of the Seals. Amelia is a 25-year-old TWA stewardess from San Fransisco, California. It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Beyond the Books!

Thank you so much for this interview, Amelia.  Now that the book has been written, do you feel you were fairly portrayed or would you like to set anything straight with your readers?

I do like the story in “Last of the Seals.” It’s a fair depiction of how I met the love of my life, Sam Slater. I like how the book also touches on my long time passion for adventure and flying. In 1958, being a TWA stewardess was one of the only ways for a woman to have a glamorous job where she could see the world.  I had to put up with some grabby guys and older businessmen on my flights flirting with me, but the benefits far outweighed the challenges.

Do you feel the author did a good job colorizing your personality?  If not, how would you like to have been portrayed differently?

I think he accurately portrays my personality. He knows that I love flying and Elvis and Sam–not necessarily in that order.  I didn’t realize how much I talk about Elvis and his music. I guess I do. It’s a little embarrassing to see that in the book.  One thing that makes me uncomfortable in the book is all of the detail about the things I do with Sam. I mean, we aren’t lovers yet but we are pretty passionate with one another. I am doing things with Sam that I’ve never done with any other guy. I have a key to Sam’s apartment and I like to come to his place on Saturday mornings. I crawl in bed with him…I’m fully clothed of course…and kiss him good morning and it gets pretty intense. It’s a nice way to start the day. Then I make him a nice breakfast. But what if my mother reads this book? She has no idea about all the things I do with Sam. My mother is still under the impression that I’m a good Catholic girl.

What do you believe is your strongest trait?

Hmm, I think loyalty. Despite all of the passengers, pilots and other guys who hit on me when I’m traveling as a stewardess, I’m always true to Sam. He’s the only guy I want.  The pilots call me the “ice queen” behind my back. They say that they can’t get to first base with me. I told Sam about what they say. He was glad to hear that I have that reputation.

Worse trait?

Sometimes I can be awfully bossy and cranky with Sam when I get back from my long week of flying across the country. Sam says it’s because I’m tired but he’s being nice. I think I’m too hard on Sam sometimes and he’s always so good to me.

Do you have a love interest in the book?

Oh, yes. I met Sam Slater in the fall of 1957. I had just got home from a flight to Chicago and was wearing my stewardess uniform which always seems to attract attention. Two disgusting drunk guys started roughing me up and wanting me to kiss them. Sam came out of nowhere and rescued me. We’ve been together ever since.

At what point of the book did you start getting nervous about the way it was going to turn out?

There were gangsters after us who threatened to kill me and Sam. I became very worried when we were hiding out in a motel room out of town, hoping the mobsters wouldn’t find us.

If you could trade places with one of the other characters in the book, which character would you really not want to be and why?

I don’t think I would want to be anyone else. I love being Sam’s girlfriend, living in San Francisco and being a stewardess.  Some of the other people in this book have some serious problems.

How do you feel about the ending of the book without giving too much away?

I’m very happy with how the first book ends. Sam and I have fallen deeply in love but there is more trouble for us ahead in the next book. Sam kept me safe from harm in “Last of the Seals” but it wasn’t easy.

What words of wisdom would you give your author if he decided to write another book with you in it?

He is writing another book about me and Sam. There are more adventures ahead of us including a creepy kidnapper who becomes obsessed with me. Sam and I are now secretly engaged. My family knows. They love Sam and my mother, who was afraid I was going to be an old maid, is happy that I’m getting married. However, I have to keep my engagement and pending marriage a secret from TWA. They will force me to resign if I become engaged or married. I’m torn. I love my job and I love flying but I love Sam. I guess I love flying because…well, I guess you know  I was named after Amelia Earhart.  When I have to choose I will choose Sam of course.  I hope the author keeps Sam safe from harm. I worry about him so much when I’m out of town on flights, leaving Sam alone in San Francisco.

Thank you for this interview, Amelia.  Will we be seeing more of you in the future?

Oh yes. There are several books planned about my life with Sam.  I hope I’m ready for the things that are ahead of us. I do love a good mystery and I love helping Sam on his cases.


The year is 1957 in San Francisco. Sam Slater is a lifetime minor league baseball player for the San Francisco Seals. The Seals have just one more season left as San Francisco is about to become a major league city. The Giants are coming to town in 1958 and the Seals will be displaced. Sam has come to the end of his baseball career and is going to join the private detective agency of his best friend. When his friend is brutally murdered, Sam must go it alone and try to find out why. Along the way he is swept off of his feet by a beautiful Elvis-obsessed TWA stewardess named Amelia Ryan. Sam and Amelia try to unravel the mystery together. Sam’s best friend, Jimmy inadvertently saw something he shouldn’t have. Sam and Amelia have pictures in their possession that have crime families in San Francisco and Chicago very worried. Then a young woman Sam has been searching for is found dead on the beach. Suddenly, Sam and Amelia find themselves in danger. On dark and foggy San Francisco nights, trouble is lurking just around the next corner.


Greg Messel has written four novels and three unpublished memoirs. He published his premiere novel “Sunbreaks” in 2009, followed by “Expiation” in 2010 and “The Illusion of Certainty” in 2011. “Last of the Seals” is the first in a series of mysteries which are set in 1957 San Francisco. The second book in the series “Deadly Plunge’ will be published around Christmas of 2012. Greg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and has had a newspaper career as a columnist, sportswriter and news editor. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist while working for a daily newspaper in Wyoming. Greg also spent many years in the corporate world as a Financial Manager. He now devotes his energies to writing at his home in Edmonds, Washington on the Puget Sound just north of Seattle, where he lives with his wife, Carol.

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