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FTUIY Episode #66: Kristina Smeriglio

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

Written By: Dr. Jaime G. Raygoza

Writer Kristina Smeriglio reveals how a single piece of art catalyzed her riveting novel and personal transformation in a Finding the Unicorn in You podcast interview. Her captivating book Falling Into Fire originated from an assignment to depict a setting as a main character.

About Kristina

Kristina Smeriglio is a writer and editor who has always been fascinated by the complexities of the human experience. She strives to understand the roles of the mind and the heart, particularly how our psyche and emotions are affected by our environment and experiences. She explored this theme and others in her novel, Falling Into Fire, a fantasy exploration of self where Hieronymus Bosch's The Garden of Earthly Delights served as the backdrop for her catharsis.

Inspired by a Painting

When prompted to create an imagined place, Kristina envisioned herself within the fantastical world of Hieronymus Bosch's famous triptych "The Garden of Earthly Delights." This Renaissance painting sparked her creative spirit and she began crafting a short story by following a character she identified with.

Turning Fiction into Personal Insight

What started as a class exercise evolved into Kristina's master's thesis, and eventually a full-length novel. By fictionalizing the emotional struggles she faced, Kristina gained profound self-knowledge. Her fantasy setting allowed her to safely process painful experiences.

The Healing Power of Writing

Kristina believes writing this novel aided her recovery from past trauma, including emotional and sexual abuse. Transforming real events into an imaginary tale provided perspective and empowerment. She advises others to write honestly as a path to acceptance, integration, and moving forward.

Uncovering Hidden Perspectives

A simple suggestion from her advisor revealed subconscious biases in Kristina's early draft. Questioning even small details proved crucial for holistic healing. She uncovered how cultural upbringing shaped her beliefs and impacted her healing journey.

The Unicorn Lesson

Kristina shows how being open to feedback and examining our implicit biases is key to growth and self-discovery. Like a unicorn reveals hidden springs, be willing to uncover and transform your inner perspectives.


Kristina Smeriglio shows how a single painting sparked a voyage of understanding through the creation of her novel Falling Into Fire. Her story reveals writing's power to heal wounds, gain self-awareness, and transform perspectives.

One image ignited her journey - what inspiration will launch yours?

Find the full episode of the Finding the Unicorn in You Podcast on Spotify, YouTube, and all major podcast platforms

Connect with Kristina:

Buy Kristina's Book:

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