Here is my interview with Sophie Barnes

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Thank you so much for having me!

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

My name is Sophie Barnes. I’m 40 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from Copenhagen, Denmark.

Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).

After completing the International Baccalaureate in Copenhagen, I studied fashion design in Paris and New York. I’ve been married to my husband for almost eighteen years. Together we have two wonderful boys.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

The third (and final) book in my Crawfords series now has a cover and a release date: April 28th, 2020

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing while I was living in Ghana, Africa. My husband was there for work and I’d put my fashion career on hold to take care of our kids. But eventually I felt like I needed something to do while my kids were napping and later while they were in day care. My initial plan was to write a historical fiction novel, similar in style to the books written by Margaret George. I still plan on getting back to that project one day, but the research involved turned out to be too overwhelming at the time. So I put it on hold and tried to think up a story relying solely on my own imagination instead. Writing a novel has always been a bucket list item for me – just something I planned on doing one day for fun, mostly to prove to myself I could. I never dreamed I’d one day make a career out of it.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I sold my first novel to Avon Impulse. That made it real. Before that it felt like more of a hobby.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

One day, roughly ten years ago, I walked into a bookstore in Accra and discovered Julia Quinn’s novel, Romancing Mr. Bridgerton. I fell in love with that book and immediately decided to try writing a historical romance of my own.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

My publisher did and I really wasn’t crazy for it, but it seems like it did pretty well from a marketing standpoint.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

Because I write romance, there’s always two protagonists. I like alternating their POV’s from one scene or chapter to the next in order to offer the reader an insight to both of their thoughts and feelings. My books are written in the third person and always involve characters who try to do the right thing, no matter how difficult this might be for them, so I don’t have heroes and heroines who deliberately keep secrets from each other, unless they are unaware of it. For the most part, I think my writing style is light and fluid with a touch of humour. The hardest part about writing in my genre is of course the research. Like most writers, I’m always challenged to find the right expressions (to create a more visceral experience), especially for deep emotions which play such a large role in romance novels.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think most of my books are realistic in the sense that the events taking place are possible. The only unrealistic one is a novella I’m currently working on which is going to be a Gothic inspired Regency romance where one of the secondary characters is a ghost. I don’t usually incorporate experiences I or other people I know have had, but many of the locations and buildings I describe are based on places I have visited.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

No. Never. That is to say, I have travelled extensively during my life. I’ve visited countless castles, mansions, cathedrals and museums, so I usually draw inspiration for this and either google the rest or turn to one of my research books.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Several artists have done so. While I was still at Avon, they had their art team put everything together. Some of my covers were designed by John Paul, some by James Griffin and most recently by Chris Cocozza. Chris has also created the covers for my indie published Crawfords series and when Avon dropped my Diamonds In The Rough series before I was ready, I commissioned him to create the cover for The Forgotten Duke so it would match the prequels. The rest of my indie covers are created by The Killion Group.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I suppose the importance of honesty and respect in a relationship prevail, along with standing up for what you believe in, having the courage to go against the grain, and to be yourself no matter what anyone else thinks.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

I haven’t really noticed any new authors. I think the romance industry is pretty tough these days. Publishers are taking fewer risks and orphaning a lot of the writers who don’t have high enough returns on investment. Mind you, I’ve also been so focussed on my own career this past year it would have taken a serious advertising campaign for me to pay attention to any new writers in any genre.

It’s impossible for me to pick a favourite writer. In romance, it has to be Julia Quinn. Her wit and style are unparalleled. But I also love Ken Follet. His Pillars of the Earth series was phenomenal. And Wilbur Smith is another favourite of mine. I especially loved The Courtneys and River God. Oh, and then of course there’ Stig Larsen. What a pity he only managed to write that one trilogy.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Other published authors. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. I do it full time.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I would probably have plotted it slightly differently for improved scene structure, but I’m still very happy with how it turned out and will take what I learned about scenes and sequels with me to the next books.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Yes. Since part of the plot hinges on the heroine’s parents forcing her to marry a fourteen year old boy, I had to look into the English marriage law in use during 1820. The age of consent to marry was fourteen for boys and twelve for girls. See, Lord Hardwick’s Act.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Matt Lanter would be cast as Carlton Guthrie, Scoundrel of St. Giles and Gabriella Wilde would play Lady Regina.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Designate a writing time to yourself and a daily word count. Before you know it, you’ll have written a book.

It helps to end your writing for the day at a point where you can easily pick up the next day, instead of at a spot where you feel like you’re banging your head against the wall.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

You’re amazing and I love you. Thank you so much for your constant support. It means the world and allows me to keep on crafting my stories.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Once Upon a Christmas Rogue. It’s an anthology I’ve put together with seven other writers so now I’m reading the novellas they’ve included.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Picture books aside, because the only one that comes to mind is Curious George, and I know there were others, but as a chapter book, I think it was The Twitts by Roald Dahl.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My husband has the best sense of humour. He always makes me laugh. Adaptations of a Nicholas Sparks novels, or something similar, will generally get me to reach for the tissues.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Jane Austen

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I love to bake, even though I don’t do it often enough. And I draw as well.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

The Blacklist is one of my favourite shows. I also enjoy Dr. Who, The Resident, Superstore, Supernatural and Elementary, to name a few.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Thai and traditional Danish Christmas food, red and blue, and such a wide variety I don’t know where to begin. I like Pink, James Arthur, Zac Brown Band, The Chainsmokers, One Republic, Alan Walker, most things 80’s and so much more.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I would probably become a publicist. One of the things I’ve learned a lot about during my writing career is marketing, and I actually quite enjoy it.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

With my family, going for a walk in the woods, eating out at my favourite restaurant, dancing, joking and listening to music.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

No clue, but I do know I’ve always wanted a white stone angel watching over my grave. Simple words would suit me best, like:

Forever in our thoughts

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Yes, its www.sophiebarnes.com

Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/Sophie-Barnes/e/B0079A1N8W/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_2

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sophie-Barnes/e/B0079A1N8W?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1576356275&sr=1-2

Here is my interview with Ramie Wolf

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

My name is Ramie Wolf, and I’m 43 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in South Dakota, was raised and spent my formative years in Nevada, and have lived in Minnesota all my adult life.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

Not much to tell. My family is all gone, as is my husband’s. I’ve been with him for going on 25 years, and married almost 21.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

While I have been dealing with a severe case of writer’s block this past year, I have finally found myself becoming obsessed with a project. One that will combine a serious love of mine with my writing.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been daydreaming as long as I can remember and writing since I was thirteen. It started as a love of history and historical romances and blossomed from there.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve always seen myself as a writer. To quote a movie, Sister Act 2 (yes, I’m a nerd), “If you go to bed thinking about writing, and wake up the same, then you’re a writer.” So, I guess I’ve always believed I am a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Honestly, the story itself. Short stories don’t work; not enough room to develop. I grew up on novels that were 500+ pages – I can’t write anything extremely short. If my readers truly enjoy my characters, they won’t want the story to end anyway. At least, I hope.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Once I came up with the final title for my debut novel, Nights of Sin, the other two, Wages of Sin and Eternity of Sin, pretty much played out organically.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I never use outlines, and very rarely write in order. Often, I’ll write the last quarter of the book before I ever get to the first. It helps knowing what WILL happen, in trying to figure out what IS happening.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

For the most part, it’s pure, wild imagination. I can say in all honestly, each of the central four characters display facets of myself.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

No. While traveling is nice, I read A LOT, and can envision for myself.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Someone I once considered a very close friend, a sister. Unfortunately we no longer speak, so any future covers will be done by me alone.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That while dark and sarcastic, and extremely graphic, beneath all that lies the story of a love more powerful than anything determined to destroy it.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

I’ve been reading a lot of nonfiction lately, as well as Jean M. Auel. As for favorite author, that would be J.R. Ward and her Black Dagger Brotherhood.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

From the start? An old high school friend, Summer.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

At this point? No, I’m sad to say. But I won’t give it up.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not in the third book. In the first? So much.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned the true depths of despair. It was intensely difficult to write.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

No comment.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

I’m not really the one to be asking for advice. All I can say is, never give in. Eventually all stories meant to be told, will be told.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I’m very sorry I haven’t written anything new in a while, but that will soon change.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Clan of the Cave Bear

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I do. I was 4 years old and read the entire Little House on the Prairie series.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My husband makes me laugh hardest. Animal abuse and testing make me cry and furious

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Abraham Lincoln. Because he somehow managed to keep together a nation determined to stupidly rip itself apart.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Reading, music, and of writing, of course

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I watch natural disaster and medieval history documentaries.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Chinese food, especially shrimp. Gray and pink. Anything hard rock, especially Shinedown and Godsmack

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I imagine I’ll figure that out when the time comes

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

With my husband and fur babies.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

Here lies a woman who loved with all her soul

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

I’m on Facebook under Ramie’s Wolf Den, https://www.facebook.com/groups/113767642811246/ in the group Paranormal Hunger, and Author Ramie Wolf. https://www.facebook.com/ramie.wolf

Buying Links

USA https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0798XGSTC?notRedirectToSDP=1&ref_=dbs_mng_calw_0&storeType=ebooks

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0798XGSTC/ref=series_dp_rw_ca_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1576322989&sr=1-4

USA https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DQKQVHH?notRedirectToSDP=1&ref_=dbs_mng_calw_1&storeType=ebooks

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07DQKQVHH/ref=series_dp_rw_ca_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1576322989&sr=1-4

USA https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KDL2G9N?notRedirectToSDP=1&ref_=dbs_mng_calw_2&storeType=ebooks

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07KDL2G9N/ref=series_dp_rw_ca_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1576322989&sr=1-4

USA https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DYJCWYY/?ie=UTF8&keywords=Ramie%20Wolf&qid=1576322786&ref_=sr_1_4&s=books&sr=1-4

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Legion-Sin-3-Book/dp/B07KKMGSYD/ref=sr_1_4?keywords=Ramie+Wolf&qid=1576322989&s=books&sr=1-4

Here is my interview with W.F. Ranew

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie. 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age? 

My name is Frank Ranew. I write under my legal name, W.F. Ranew. I will be 70 on January 1, 2020.

Fiona: Where are you from? 

I grew up in Quitman, Georgia, U.S.A. My father was a printer and newspaper editor. My mother worked as a bookkeeper.

Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).

I majored in philosophy and spent much of my career as a newspaper reporter, news photographer, and editor. Later I worked as a speechwriter and communication counselor. I’ve dined with Desmond Tutu, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Jimmy Carter, Sarah Ferguson, and many lesser luminaries.

I married a beautiful woman, and we have three daughters and four granddaughters. We have homes in Atlanta and St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news. 

I published Rich and Gone, Red Farlow Mystery No. 1, with Tirgearr Publishing on May 29, 2019. My second novel in this series—Blue Magnolia—is due early in 2020. I’ve completed the third Farlow manuscript and currently working on the fourth.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in high school but wasn’t very good at it. As a freshman in college, I covered sports for a weekly newspaper. I also wrote feature stories and a weekly column. The column taught me very quickly that one’s opinion about a topic can draw an opposing viewpoint. Sometimes that was painful, but no one ever attacked me.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

In my sophomore year in college, someone pulled me aside and told me they thought I had become a decent reporter. This person said my writing had improved since my first year with the newspaper. I give credit to an English professor, Dr. Daniel. I took a literature course under him, and he put me through the rigors of sentence structure and grammar. He also instilled in me the notion that you have to have something to say in your writing. Other than that, I have the Associated Press style manual to thank for keeping me on a righteous writing path.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

A desire to make a statement about how and where I grew up. Schoolhouse Man was the result.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

That was easy. My protagonist lived in an old school.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging? 

My writing style evolved from my newspaper editing and reporting days—short but descriptive sentences, correct word usage, and memorable characters.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I don’t write to factual events. People and events in my life inspire some characters and locations. Also, I rely on my vivid imagination, which seems to get me over any plot humps.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process? 

Many travel destinations over the years play a role in my writing. These include Taiwan and South Korean, Europe, Mexico, Canada, and South America.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Cora Graphics designed the cover.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Rich and Gone is about a man’s actions, the consequences, and the justice he ultimately has to face.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

I mostly read established authors, many of whom are dead. Dickens, Hemingway, and Mark Twain rank among my favorites. Their books pull you into the plot and hold you. They also develop memorable characters with compelling stories to tell.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Robert Coram, a novelist from Georgia, has inspired, advised, and supported my publishing endeavors for many years.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. Only wish I’d start writing fiction earlier in my life.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not a thing. Understand, I’m still working on the fourth Red Farlow manuscript and editing the numbers two and three. I change a great deal in the editing process.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Yes, i did. You need a publisher. I am grateful to Tirgearr Publishing for taking on my novels.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Stephen Root should play Red Farlow. He’s a southerner, a requirement for the role.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write. When all else fails you, write. When you hit a block, write. Write even when you don’t feel like it.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I hope they take some time to know Red Farlow well. After Rich and Gone, the next three books will take them on more adventures and delve into the mysteries of why people commit murder.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Frost at Christmas by R.D. Wingfield and The Way Some People Die by Ross McDonald.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I can’t recall the name, but it was about the California gold rush.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Stand-up comic Jen Kober is the funniest woman on the planet. Also, my six-year-old granddaughter can send me into fits of laughter.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Charles Dickens. I’d like to ask him about his childhood.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies? 

I hike, fish, and read. I also play my guitar as a student at the Frank Hamilton School for folk music.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I only use TV to stream movies.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music? 

Ribeye steaks, midnight blue, and Bob Dylan.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I would have to talk to tell a story.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Eating dark chocolate.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

Here Lies a Boy of the South.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

-Here are my blog and web addresses:

https://wfranew.wordpress.com/

https://www.wfranew.com/

http://tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Ranew_WF/index.htm

Amazon author page:

https://www.amazon.com/W-F-Ranew/e/B01F28VUFI/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Here is my interview with Shane K Morton

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Shane K Morton and I am timeless. Ok maybe not that timeless. I’m 49. I hate admitting that. It feels like the end of something right now instead of the beginning of something new. 49 sucks. Come to think of it all of the ages that end in a 9 do. But I guess I look forward to 50?

Fiona: Where are you from?

I am from Kentucky originally. But I lived in NYC for quite some time before moving to Los Angeles where I now reside.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I am married to an amazing man. We’ve been together nineteen years! I have a sweet 17-year-old pup named, Slayer (named for Buffy not the hairband). I went to Murray State University and studied theatre, music and dance. Before moving to LA, I was a musical theatre actor and I have performed in all 50 states.

I come from a large southern family. Felt large to me anyway. I have two brothers, a sister and a bunch of nephews and nieces. My siblings were quite a bit older than me (I was an OMG baby) and my nephews were more like brothers than anything else. We are a close family, always have been, even if we don’t agree on everything.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I launched a new series in October that I have been planning for quite some time. The Point Pleasant Holiday Series, burst from my brain in a fit of annoyance at the Hallmark movie channel. As a gay man, I know that representation is incredibly important in the books we read, the films and TV shows we watch, and the art we see and hear. I LOVED watching all of the holiday films on the Hallmark channel,but I never saw anyone in their films that loved like me. (No gay people) So, I decided to write my own. Sometimes we must decide if we’re just gonna keep griping or are we going to do something about it. So, I created a book series!

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always written since I was a kid. I used to write short stories, I guess what you would call fanfiction now, based on the Terry Brooks,Shannara novels. Elves and dwarves fighting for the light against the darkness. They were silly. I found one of them in a box I had stored recently. It was hilarious! I wrote plays for a while and even had a couple produced.

But the reason I write now was I had an artistic void that wasn’t being fulfilled. I spent over a decade acting and singing on stage professionally,and after moving to LA, I took a 9-5 job (Still in the arts). I continued acting every now and then, but there was an artistic need that was not being met. Some friends of mine knew that I wrote, mainly screenplays at the time, and invited me to join them in their writers’ group. They decided to do NANOWRIMO and I haven’t stopped writing since. That was in 2012, I believe.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When my first play got produced, I considered myself a playwright. That was in 1998. But I didn’t consider myself a novelist until I released my second book and realized that I wasn’t going to stop. I didn’t want to stop. I had things I wanted to say and writing novels was giving me that opportunity and fulfilment.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

That group of writer friends who decided to do NANOWRIMO. I thought why not. I had never written a full-length novel before. I loved it! It was based on an event that actually happened to me when I was in college. That was the nugget that I began writing. It quickly took on a life of its own and became a paranormal gay romance about drag queen detectives! I did NOT see that coming!

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

HA! My husband came up with it. He comes up with a lot of my titles. He’s actually a really fantastic writer, whose been writing books his entire life. I think he’s brilliant. He writes YA books. He’s a schoolteacher and those are the kind of books that he enjoys writing. Books that will teach a lesson for the youth.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I write how I speak! 100%! I am a pop culture junky and it creeps into my writing style a lot. I also write from nuggets of truth about being a gay man. Sometimes that’s messy and awkward and not full of HEA’s.

Truth really pulls at me and I have to think about the market and who buys my books and how they fit in with what is out there.

I don’t believe in HEA’s. That don’t exist in the real world. I am more interested in what happens after the HEA. Those books are written under a different pen name,Sean Azinsalt. I love writing dark novels.

Shane- writes HEA because that is what the romance genre wants to read. And I can admit. it’s what I want to read too when I read romance. But it’s also a little frustrating at times and I have to decide where I want this book to fit. Does it belong to the HEA or do I want to go further with it? I find myself choosing the HEA most of the time. I’m a softie and want the characters to be happy!

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The Point Pleasant Series is small bits of things that happened to me, little nuggets of life that I have seen or experienced. Those books are based on the romance tropes used by Hallmark.

But Off Campus Housing, Private Waterloos and Year of The Cock are all very much based on me and things that I experienced. They are fictionalized but I am definitely in them and there are autobiographical moments.

As an actor, I have always been an avid people watcher. The way people relate to each other and their environment, the way they hold themselves, their hand movements, and expressions have always interested me in developing characters. So, a lot of what I see in the world comes out in my books.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I don’t. But I do fall into a google hole that threatens to steal all of my free time. Most of my books take place in or round my small town in Kentucky, Los Angeles, or NYC, all places I have lived and know well. For the Point Pleasant Books, I never say what state the town is in, intentionally. But I have based it on a small town in the mountains of Colorado. I used to travel up there quite a bit to spend time at my friend’s cabin. It’s gorgeous!

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Lex Valentine designed all of the Point Pleasant covers. Emmy Ellis and Natasha Snow have each made a cover or two for me. My first 3 books have covers that I designed and have original photography from model friends I know. (I am planning on having new covers made for 2 of them.)

 Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Which one? I think the book that is the most me, the most autobiographical, is the one book that does not fit into the MM Romance genre. Private Waterloos is about a southern family with a gay son, who are each trying to move past events that have made them stagnant in their lives. I wanted people to know that it is okay to fail,as long as you can somehow pull yourself up out of the muck and learn to move on. Surviving and growing from our own personal traumas is a theme in my first four books.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

I read a lot of YA. I am a sucker for a great coming of age story and I am obsessed with Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan. It is truly a work of art and everyone should read it. He really hit a stream of truth with that book and I think it’s incredibly important to the LGBT genre.

 In the gay romance genre I love the work of BL Morticia/Michael Mandrake, Abigail Kade, Drea Roman, Michelle Frost and Daryl Banner. But there are a ton of authors whose books I love. Jacki James, Lucy Lennox, I mean come on! I read a lot!

 I think I am drawn to the darker books more often than not. The ones that have a protagonist that isn’t squeakyclean. Those are the books that speak to me the most. However, I love a good romance series! OMG! Neve Wilder- Want me… I LOVED THAT BOOK! She is amazing.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

My husband is the best support system ever. But I also have a group of college friends, my best friends, we are like brothers and sisters who are also wildly supportive of my writing. The being who is not so supportive of my writing is my pup, Slayer. She hates whenever I am not snuggled up against her.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I do. I also have a day job. It feels sometimes that I am working 2 forty-hour jobs. I write at night in 4-5-hour blocks and on the weekends. My husband is very understanding!

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I cut some additional chapters and part of me wishes they would have stayed in but they slowed the book down. I hate killing my darlings, but I always do. I try to save them, expand them and use them as a new short story for a giveaway, if it’s possible. Sometimes they just linger on my drive, begging me to revisit them.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learned how grateful I was that I created a series bible. The names of places, character descriptions of all the supporting characters that appear from book to book were hard to remember in the moment. I was glad I had taken the time to write it all in one place. I also learned about European customs when dealing with royals. It’s fascinating. Watching The Crown also helped with A Very Merry Princemas.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

So for A Very Merry Princemas, my last book, I would want Darren Criss to play Prince Liam (I have a thing for him). For Dylan, I always pictured him as Matt Doyle (A Broadway actor). Whenever I write, I pin up pictures of the muse for that character. This isn’t Darren’s first time on my muse board!

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write. It doesn’t matter when or how. Just do it. Schedules will always fall apart, and the best laid plans will go awry, and it is okay. Just write. Write because you have to, or want to, or need to. Don’t talk about it- Just do it.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I appreciate that they are on this journey with me. My readers group on Facebook (Shane’s Sweet and Salty) are really supportive and fun. I love to hear from the people who read what I write. I find their thoughts and perspective on my books truly helpful and sometimes it makes me see them in a different way. Readers are the reason we write. Books are meant to be read, or they are just words on a piece of paper, or on a computer screen with no meaning. So, thank you for choosing to spend that time with something that I created. It means a lot.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

To Have and To Hold by Abigail Kade. It’s deliciously dark!I love her voice.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first book I can remember reading that had an impact on me was in second grade. They were an English series of books called The Secret Seven Mystery Series. I adored them! I should see if I could buy them…

The first book I read, well adult fiction, was when I was in middle school and that really impacted me. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley really turned me into a voracious reader. The story of King Arthur told from the perspective of the female characters was brilliant. It opened a doorway that I have never been able to close, and made me a fantasy and sci-fi fan.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I used to never cry, but I would laugh a lot. As I’ve gotten older, I seem to have tapped into that emotional side and now I cry at the drop of a hat. Really good film makes me cry. When I look at my husband and think about how much we love each other, I can tear up. I laugh all the time at anything and everything. I’m a pretty happy person. But when I think about how old my baby girl is, my pup, Slayer, it really hits me hard. When she gets ill, I lose my mind these days wondering if this is that moment. Thankfully its not come yet.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I had an Uncle named Junior (Yep that was his name) who died when he was sixteen years old, stabbed to death on a railroad track and no one knows why. It happened decades before I was born, but we look so much alike, it’s freaky. I would like to meet him. My release in March, Adorkable (an MM college mystery) is loosely based on that doppelganger effect I have experienced with him.

And of course, Prince Harry! LOL! He’s dreamy and I have a lot of questions!

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I go to film festivals, watch TV, perform cabaret, play with my puppy and read comic books. I used to collect them. Now, I read them digitally. I also see a ton of theatre! I may not really act anymore, but I still do one-man shows once or twice a year.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Buffy the vampire Slayer is my favourite show of all time. X-Files is a close second. Movies, I watch a lot of indie film, comic book movies, and period dramas. TV- I watch to escape from reality. Below Deck is a guilty pleasure and I can’t get enough of Rupaul’s Drag Race. These days, life is serious enough. I want my TV to be frivolous.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I LOVE FOOD! Mexican and Indian food are my favourites with sushi a close third. I am drawn to the shades of blue, in almost everything. The sky and ocean really make you pay attention to them. I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to music. Vampire Weekend is my favourite band right now. But I can’t stop myself from listening to The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Led Zeppelin, and Joni Mitchell almost daily. I am also a huge musical theatre fan, of course. I write to film scores exclusively. Well… almost.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Travel the world. Sit on my couch with those I love and enjoy their company. I would adopt too many dogs, probably. But I would need to be doing something creative. Maybe I would start making films again. Maybe I would act and sing more.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

With my husband, wrapped in his arms with his sweet breath tickling my face and our pup snuggled close. They are it for me.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

I hope to not have one. We have enough mausoleums for the dead. Lay me on a rock and let nature do what it does. Maybe I could be a bear snack.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

I have a couple places that readers can follow me.

Facebook Readers Group-  https://www.facebook.com/groups/shanessweetandsalty/

Website- www.shanekmorton.com

Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/Shane-K-Morton/e/B01DS8SZ0M?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

BookBub- https://www.bookbub.com/profile/shane-k-morton

Links to my Novels

POINT PLEASANT

Something Borrowed Something Boo-  mybook.to/gayhallmarkish

A Very Merry Princemas-  mybook.to/Princemas

Cupid, Draw Back Your Beau-  mybook.to/ValentinesGay

Standalones

The Trouble With Off-Campus Housing-  mybook.to/DragQueenDetectives

Year of The Cock-  mybook.to/YearOfTheCock

Fault Lines-  mybook.to/FaultLines

Private Waterloos-  mybook.to/Waterloos

Dark Romance

Dark Eros-  mybook.to/DarkEros

It’s in My Blood-  mybook.to/InMyBlood

Short Stories

Ginger in The City- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071GBMVFH

Ginger in The City- A Ginger Christmas- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B082BK93J3

And We Call it Bella Notte- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WP84RJ5

Here is my interview with C.W. Gray

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

My name is C.W. Gray and I am thirty-six years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I live in a really small town in rural Tennessee. I’m surrounded by hay fields, cow pastures, and woods. I LOVE it!

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

While I love reading and writing romance, I haven’t been very lucky in love. I’m demisexual and that has made dating a little challenging. Now that I’m settled in my life and happy, I’m not too worried about either dating or marriage. If it happens, okay. If not, also okay. I would love to have children, but due to health reasons, I’m not able to. I’m close to my brothers and sister and have a few really good friends, so life isn’t too shabby. (TMI?)

As for education, I have a MA in history. When I graduated, I taught as an adjunct instructor at several schools. It was exhausting. I didn’t have time for anything but work. A little over a year ago, I took a full-time administration position and it gave me time to write. My hobby turned into a career and before I knew it, I was working two jobs – my dayjob and writing.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’m really excited to say that I’m now writing full-time. I liked my day job, but writing is absolutely amazing. It doesn’t feel like work and I have an endless supply of ideas for stories. I’m still reeling a little that people actually want to read my books.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always loves writing. When I was a kid, I wrote stories but could never manage to finish them. My entire family loves reading so my siblings would all write fanfiction and share it with each other.

When I was in graduate school, I found myself constantly broke and I couldn’t keep up with my reading habits. At that point, I really started to try to write a story. I did finally finish one, a m/m/f sci-fi romance, but it wasn’t very good. I learned a lot while writing it, though, but after I graduated and started teaching, I didn’t have any time to pursue another project.

As I mentioned above, about a year ago I started a new job that gave me stability, benefits, and time to actually have a life. That’s when I really began writing. My books are fairly short, anywhere from 32,000 to 60,000 words in length, but each one is a joy to write.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I still have a hard time grasping the reality of being a writer. Because my stories are short, I’ve managed to be very prolific in the short amount of time I’ve been actively writing. I think the moment I really considered myself a writer was right after my first book actually began to sell copies. I published The Mercenary’s Mate, book one in The Blue Solace, in October of 2018. My siblings bought the first copies and I was so excited. Then, more copies sold and people began reading it in Kindle Unlimited. I couldn’t believe it was happening. I immediately started writing another book.

Then I received a message on my author page from a reader that said they loved my books. That’s when I could actually admit to myself that I was a writer. I have people that enjoy reading my books!

I think it’s important to note here that I don’t think a person has to be published (traditionally or self-published) to be a writer. If a person writes, I feel like they are a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I write m/m romance because that is what I love to read. When I found myself with free time, I read voraciously. There are so many wonderful authors out there and I gobbled their books. At one point, I finished the Avanti series by Hannah Walker and couldn’t find any more like it. It was sci-fi, mpreg, and had a bit of fantasy to it as well. Overall, it’s still one of my favorite series.

At that point, one of my brothers had already self-published a few books on Amazon that did well, and it gave me the idea to try writing an mpreg sci-fi book of my own since I couldn’t find any that I hadn’t already read. The same thing happened for the first book of my Hobson Hills Omegas series. It was autumn and I desperately wanted a holiday mpreg book, but none of my favorite authors had a new book out at that time so I started writing one.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I am really not good at titles. When I finished my first book, The Mercenary’s Mate, I titled it Happens Just Like That. My cover artist suggested that I change the title to something more reflective of the m/m genre. She suggested I use the word “mate” in it, so The Mercenary’s Mate, was decided on.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

My writing style can be considered extremely light and fluffy. One of the things I love about the romance genre is that there are so many different styles and subgenres out there. Some days I want a little or a lot of angst, so I’ll read a book by Riley Hart or Sloane Kennedy. Some days I want mystery and adventure, so I’ll read a book by A.J. Sherwood or Rhys Ford. Then there are days that I want “comfort food” books. That’s what light and fluffy means. There is zero angst, a ton of sweetness, and many, many cute pets. My books aren’t for everyone, but I’ve found that they appeal to readers because they offer them a breather from either more intense books or a very crappy world.

While I think the variety is good for everyone, this does lead to trouble when a reader picks up one of my books expecting a different type of writing style. Fortunately, I provide plenty of tags in the description of the book and am able to circumvent this to some degree. Reviews often help too.

Other challenges my genre faces are related to publishing. There are online publishers that publish m/m romance, but there are very few traditional publishers that even consider publishing m/m romance. For example, I went to a large used bookstore in Knoxville, TN, the other day. There are several aisles of books dedicated to romance of various types, but absolutely none for m/m romance. I managed to find a few in the tiny section labelled LGBTQ+ Studies. Does that sound like a place a romance book should be?

Fortunately, platforms like Amazon offer m/m romance readers a plethora of author choices. It does restrict many to reading e-books which have their own benefits, but it makes it harder and more expensive to get a hold of a printed book in the genre they like.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I write romance, so a lot of it is very unrealistic. That is part of what appeals to readers. I wish people were as kind, caring, and tolerant as the Wilson family in my Hobson Hills Omegas series, but realistically, that’s not how the world works. I use a lot of my experiences with my family and friends to create my stories. One of the reasons a lot of my characters are very blue collar people is because those are the types of people I’m around all the time.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I do not need to travel to write. Unfortunately. I love traveling and hope to do more of it in the future.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Cosmic Letterz designed the covers for The Blue Solace and Hobson Hills Omegas, but Sarah Jo Chreene designed the covers for my newest series, The Silver Isles.

 Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I have a few series and all of them revolve around the ideas of acceptance, tolerance, and kindness. This carries over into family dynamics. Family isn’t always dependent on blood relations, but on true bonds between people.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

One of the great things about Amazon is that there are always new authors starting their writing careers. I’m still fairly new myself, but some other newer authors are A.J. Sherwood, Amy Bellows,Izaia Winter, Alice Winters, and many more.

My favorite writers, because I can’t choose just one, are Susi Hawke, J.D. Light, Hannah Walker, R Cooper, A.J. Sherwood, Lorelei Hart, and Madeline Kirby. There are many more, but I’ll hush now.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

This question is easy to answer – fellow author Susi Hawke. When I was almost finished with The Mercenary’s Mate, I messaged her on Facebook and sent her the first couple of chapters.I asked her to be honest with me and tell me if it was worth pursuing or not. She told me that she wasn’t a fan of sci-fi, but my work still managed to pull her in. This was such a huge encouragement since she is one of my favorite writers. After that, she suggested a cover artist, editors, and has answered so many questions for me. When she read my Hobson Hills Omegas series, she even told her Facebook group about the books and I gained a large number of readers. She has been absolutely amazing.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. It takes dedication and discipline to make it, but to be successful, you have to treat it as a career. I do my best to write at least thirty hours a week and spend a lot of time doing admin chores. It’s also important to continue growing as a writer. I’m attending a conference in April, 2020, for published m/m romance writers. I’m hoping to learn more about marketing and the business side of being a writer.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I feel like each book I write gets better, so there is surprisingly little I would change about my latest book. I think maybe it would have gained more traction in ranks if I had set up a pre-order, but that is about it.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learn so much about writing with each book I do, but I also learn a lot from researching information I need for books. This last one was contemporary, but I still learned a little bit about roofing and carpentry. In the book before this last one, The Guppy Prince, I learned a lot about otters and weather patterns in the Caribbean. It’s always so random.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

If The Guppy Prince was made into a film, I would want Gary Dourdan to play Ben, one of the main characters. He was my inspiration for Ben’s looks and I think the man is absolutely beautiful.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

I have so much advice for newer writers. First, I would say to use an editor no matter what. I have college degree and teach academic writing, but self-editing is not a good idea. You will miss mistakes because you are reading what you meant to write instead of what you actually wrote. I tell my students this all the time. Yet, I didn’t take my own advice. When I started publishing, I lost some readers due to the poor editing. Now, I admit that I probably need an editor for my dang Facebook posts. Likewise, use a cover artist. They know what they’re doing and the cover is the first thing a reader sees. You don’t have to invest a lot of money in each book, but you do want to have those two things.

Otherwise, don’t be afraid to take a chance. I know many people who sit on their manuscript for years. It’s just one book. If it doesn’t do well, you can write another. In fact, you really need to write another anyway. The second book often sells the first one. Being a writer is a whole new type of hard. There are bad reviews, poor sells, and drama in the publishing world. However, there are also readers who will adore what you write and beg you for more. That makes it all worthwhile.

P.S. Also, be kind and respectful and keep your drama at home. You don’t want to isolate readers and other authors by being a jerk.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I love you all so much and I’ll be bringing you many more books in 2020.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I just started A.J. Sherwood’s Christmas book, Brandon’s Very Merry Haunted Christmas.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I don’t remember the very first book I read, but I remember one that had a huge impact on me. David Eddings’ series The Belgariad was one of the first fantasy series that really grabbed my imagination. I’ve read a lot of books over the years, but those stay with me.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

So many things make me laugh. I think humour is one of the most important traits of any form of entertainment. I follow Tucker Budzyn on Facebook and Instagram and that puppy always makes me laugh.

Unfortunately, so many things make me cry. Life can be hard. That’s one of the reasons I write life and fluffy romance. Specifically, as a writer, very snarky and mean-spirited reviews can make me cry. I’m working on thickening my skin, but that is an ongoing journey.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I would love to meet Flannery O’Connor. She looks like a very proper Catholic woman, but she writes some dark literature. I think she would be interesting.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I read and write. There really isn’t much else to me. I do enjoy traveling, but I haven’t had much time to do it. I also have that lovely degree in history, so historical sites are really interesting to me.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I love The Walking Dead and all of the Marvel movies. Right now, I’m spending a lot of time with the Hallmark channel.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

Foods: chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate

Colors: read and sage green

Music: Anything. I listen to pop, rock, country, and classical

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

If I wasn’t writing, I would be teaching as much as possible. I love teaching too and will actually keep teaching a night class even though I’m full-time writing now.

I would miss writing so much. I’ve come to depend on it for creative release. ☹

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

I would spend it with my family and my pets. I would also eat a lot of junk food.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

You’re standing on me. Get off!

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Feel free to follow me:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/299861080900069/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/c-w-gray

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/c.w._gray/

Newsletter: https://cwgray-author.com/email-list/

Website: https://www.cwgray-author.com

 Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/C-W-Gray/e/B01LXI45R1/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/C-W-Gray/e/B01LXI45R1?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1576148491&sr=1-1

 The Blue Solace Series – science fiction/fantasy, mpreg

The Mercenary’s Mate – https://amzn.to/2MAOFEH

The General’s Mate – https://amzn.to/2G1abRE

The Soldier’s Mate – https://amzn.to/2S7R6ng

The Lieutenant’s Mate – https://amzn.to/2THZ47w

The Engineer’s Mate – https://amzn.to/2HpI4vH

The Captain’s Mate – https://amzn.to/2knP03W

The Rebel’s Mate – Coming Soon

Fire’s Mate – Coming Soon

The Hobson Hills Omegas – non-shifter, mpreg, omegaverse

Falling for the Omega – https://amzn.to/2BgWURV

Snow Kisses for My Omega – https://amzn.to/2TdDiol  

Romancing the Omega – https://amzn.to/2UNENKD

Healing the Omega – https://amzn.to/2FNcXrY

A Pint for my Omega – https://amzn.to/2XItQf7

Unraveling the Omega – https://amzn.to/2xRCnRL

The Alpha’s Christmas Wish – https://amzn.to/2PAckXu

Hobson Hills Shorts – short stories from the world of Hobson Hills Omegas

The Beta’s Love Song – https://amzn.to/2UrRPNN

Bennett’s Dream – https://amzn.to/2GwSpG3

Justin’s Journey – https://amzn.to/2DhW1t1

Grey’s Gift – https://amzn.to/2BcjxXf

Hobson Hills Shorts: Volume One – https://amzn.to/2M3oGGZ

Holiday Omegas Shorts – holiday short stories from the world of The Silver Isles – paranormal, mpreg

Cauldron Cake Pops and a Witch’s Kiss – https://amzn.to/33wMrhc

The Silver Isles – paranormal, mermen, mpreg

The Guppy Prince – https://amzn.to/2q9Q8en

Here is my interview with Thomas J Eyre

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hello Fiona and everyone else,  thanks for inviting me to submit this interview.

My name is Thomas J Eyre and I am 62 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born and brought up in Oxford, England and I now live in Poole in the county of Dorset , England

Fiona: A little about yourself (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I was educated  up to secondary (high) school in Oxford, then my folks bought a truck stop in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire. There I went to an all boys school and left at the age of fifteen with no academic qualifications. I joined the Royal Navy in 1973, when Great Britain still had navy and I served on two aircraft carriers, HMS Hermes and HMS Ark Royal.  I left the navy in 1978 and took  up truck driving.

In 1985 I bought an engineering company with a friend and we did really well until the recession in 1991. After the company folded I went to Bournemouth University where I read Engineering Business Development. I graduated in 1995 as a

Bachelor-of-Science with a 2:1 honours degree.

I was killed in a motorcycle accident in June 2000, but paramedics and surgeons brought me back from death. It ended my engineering career, but gave me a new shot at life and the opportunity to write stemmed from the incident.

Fiona: Tell  us your latest news.

My latest news is that I have a new novel, The Namibian Offensive, which I’m hoping to publish early in 2020.

I am also trying my hand at writing a paranormal romance novel, just to see how I get on with it really.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I suppose my earliest recollection of writing was when I was about 11 or 12. I wrote a piece for a composition at school. My English teacher decided it was so good I had to read it out in front of most of the children at my school. If that wasn’t bad enough, it was in the church for the school Christmas carol service, so it was packed with parents too. The incident so traumatised me I never wrote anything above mediocre for the rest of my time in school.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After I publishing my first novel and getting the five star reviews.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Going back to my days in the Royal Navy, I read a series of books written by a guy called Don Pendleton.  The books were in his Executioner series and were based on a Vietnam war veteran called Mac Bolan. The Mafia in America were responsible for the deaths of Bolan’s parents and sister.

Bolan takes on the Mafia and sets about killing as many as he can before he himself is killed.

This gave me the idea and the fact that British troops took part in both Gulf Wars gave me the man with awesome sniper skills. Paddy Regan is not the sort of man you mess with. When his parents die at the hands of the Russian Mafia and as If that wasn’t bad enough they also abduct his little sister to use to pay off the debt which started it all, Paddy Regan goes on the rampage and many Russian Mafia gangsters are going to die.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title came from history and each time a new warzone opened, they would report it as the Western Front or the Eastern Front.  The British Front didn’t sound right so I added the other bit to it and came up with The British FrontLine.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

Of the four main writing styles, I use a mixture of narrative, descriptive and persuasive.  I like to write in a style that keeps my readers engaged and invested in the stories. I don’t write in a linear fashion, I like to mix things up.  So in chapter one I may visit one of my characters and write about the situations he/she finds themselves in, or what brought them to this moment in time. Then I may move on to a different character or situation, and then another before coming back to the character we were with, in chapter one.  I also tend to rely a lot on dialogue because I like to let my characters do the talking and tell their own stories.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The book is totally fictitious however, I did read a lot of true-life stories and used those soldiers experiences to describe the fictional firefights and battles my characters find themselves in.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

No is the easy answer to that one. The internet is the most amazing resource I have ever used. If I want to describe somewhere that I have never been to, the easiest way is Google Earth. I use the street view and I am right there. It really is simple and saves so much time and money. The added benefit is that it makes my carbon footprint smaller.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My friend Willsin Rowe designed the covers for me.

https://www.facebook.com/willsin.rowe

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Nope! It’s pure fiction, written for entertainment.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

 Struaghn Bowman  writes the sort of stories I like to read.

https://www.facebook.com/BleedOutNovelSeries/

A lot of my inspiration in terms of style and pace come from Clive Cussler. Cusslers novels always have a twist that you don’t see coming.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

My PA, Nena Kortright is amazing and works very hard for me. I honestly don’t think I could do this without her help and she is a constant inspiration to keep me writing.  My editor at Bowler Fern Editorial, Sam Thorne, has also been awesome and very supportive.  https://www.facebook.com/BFEditorial/

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Eventually yes, but I need to publish a lot more books before it is.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Nope! After writing it, reading it, editing it, reading it out loud, rewriting it, more editing rereading it again rewriting some more and then incorporating all the changes my editor and Beta Readers have come up with, I’m sick of the sight of it. It’s Done!

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Yeah, I hate rewriting and editing and more rewriting and editing! Lol.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I think Jason Statham would make an awesome Paddy Regan

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

That’s a difficult one, but if pressed I would say make your book as good as you think it can be and then get a professional editor like Sam at Bowler Fern Editorial to go over it.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

If you’ve read my books and left a review, thank you. If you’ve read my books and have enjoyed them, yet haven’t left one, please consider leaving a review. In the indie publishing world, writers live and die by their reviews. If you enjoy a writers work, something that has kept you amused for hours for the cost of a cup of coffee, please show your appreciation by leaving a review.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Night Probe by Clive Cussler

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Through choice, not being forced to by school, it would have been one by Capt. W E Johns. I think it was Biggles Learns to Fly. I was crazy about aeroplanes growing up and had the dream of becoming a fighter pilot.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I love watching videos of owners interacting with their pets and also pets playing together and acting wierd, they’ll get me laughing every time. As for what makes me cry, well seeing sick and injured children will do that everytime. Seeing parents in anguish like those in Russia when Islamic terrorists took over a school and murdered their children.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I would have loved to have met and spent time listening to the stories of Sir Douglas Bader. For those who’ve never heard of him, he was a true war hero from the Battle of Britain. He was a fighter pilot in the days of the old two and three winged aeroplanes. He crashed one in 1931 and lost both his legs. He was given a medical discharge but reenlisted in 1939 at the outbreak of WW2. Sir Douglas flew with artificial legs which I find astounding.  Sir Douglas went on to become a group captain and was the 5th highest scoring RAF ace of the war with 23 confirmed kills. I think he was an inspiration to a generation and he was certainly one of the things that inspired me to come back after the accident I suffered in June 2000.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I used to race custom-built Class 9 autograss buggies, but had to retire after fracturing a vertebrae in my lower back. now I shoot clay pigeon with an over and under 12guage shotgun and also targets with my 1955 Lee-Enfield .303 British Army rifle.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Action adventure movies. things like Reach for the Sky, the Douglas Bader story. I also love the black comedies like Snatch and Lockstock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Quite like sci fi movies like Alien & Men In Black, the old Smokey and the Bandit movies as for TV I like science programs and watching how stuff is made or forms naturally.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I very often write with AC/DC blasting out of my headphones, but I like lots of different music. I think Jazz is the only style I have trouble with.

As for colours, I lean towards the blues and other pastel colours, though I do like the candy colours on car paintwork, the depths of those colours is amazing.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Race American Stockcars. I know, sorry I am an author with an overactive imagination!

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

I would spend that time making love with the love of my life.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

Here lies the author Thomas James Eyre. He died making love to the love of his life.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Yes go to my website and subscribe and receive the first book free. https://thomasjeyre.com/subscribe/

If you’d like to beta read for me, please join my Advance Reader Community

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2028955957321286/

Or if you’ve read and enjoyed my work and would like to help promote it please join my CodeName Orcus Street Team on FaceBook

https://www.facebook.com/groups/2311449925850118/

Both of those groups will get access to exclusive previews of up coming novels and also short stories to read, plus insights into the characters in my stories.

Amazon Links:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07B9GSF7R/          Free to read in Kindle Unlimited

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B9GSF7R/            Free to read in Kindle Unlimited

Here is my interview with Melora Johnson

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hi Fiona, and everyone reading! My name is Melora Johnson and I recently turned 45. (Mentally and physically I can run the gamut from about 33 to 65 on any given day.)

Fiona: Where are you from?

I am from a hilltop high in the countryside of Upstate New York.

Fiona: A little about yourself (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

 

I’m a mom to one funny and sweet pre-teen girl and I’ve been married for almost ten years to my wonderfully supportive husband. I’m also a librarian in a small city, so I have a Master’s Degree in Library Science.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Well, so much has been happening lately. The really big news is about my first paranormal romance, Earthbound, is coming out from Tirgearr Publishing on January 15th2020. It’s currently available for pre-order on all ebook platforms.

It centersaround Ally, who has a special gift for healing animals through her touch. Ally keeps that a secret from everyone around her. She’s a veterinarian and a raptor rehabilitator. Then she meets Matthew Blake. He’s an ornithologist at Cornell University, where she goes to help with a raptor rehabilitation. Matthew has some secrets of his own, and some of them involve Ally. As they get to know each other, Ally learns a lot more about her own gifts and what she can do with them, but she also faces a lot more danger. The question is whether Matthew is part of the danger or part of the solution.

I also have a poem coming out in a collection from Foothills Publishing celebrating the Earth, a science fiction short story set during the recon of Iwo Jima in an upcoming anthology, and a literary short story about a woman in her final day of hospice looking back on her life, to be released in the coming year by Paragon Press.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I was bitten by the reading bug in third grade when I was sent to remedial reading classes. I started reading and it lit a fire in me from which I have never recovered. We had a wonderful little library in the town I grew up in that was within walking distance. After a few years my mother sent me with a letter to the librarian, telling her to let me check out whatever I wanted to read. I got a lot out of reading – escapism, comfort, and learning. In college I learned that there was a term for it, “bibliotherapy.” I wanted to give that back to other people. (That’s part of why I became a librarian too, to share the love of good stories with people.) I also loved making up stories and I’ve always been most comfortable communicating in writing.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve seen variations on the question of what defines a writer? Sometimes I’ve thought you can call yourself a writer because you write, but there have been some swaths of time where I didn’t write much, for various reasons, but the desire was still there, inside. Writing is how I communicate best. I couldn’t tell you exactly when I knew I WAS a writer, maybe the awareness of that came on gradually. I do know I WANTED to be a writer since I was about nine years old.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Though Earthbound is the first book I’ve written that will be published, it’s definitely not the first book I’ve written. The first book I wrote was a middle grade mystery novel about a young girl who goes to stay for a week in the country with her grandmother and sees a light on the next hill in an abandoned house at night. She goes with two friends to check it out and finds a ghost. I’d like to edit that and try to get it published someday. That was inspired by my love of mysteries and the abandoned house on the next hill from my grandmother’s house when I was growing up, where I spent many vacations, and where I now live.

However, Earthbound is one of my much more recent efforts.The only thing I can remember is a single image of a blond man in khaki shorts jumping from one boulder to another then dropping down in front of the heroine. (To be honest, I think it was at least partially inspired by Australian zookeeper Steve Irwin.) That image didn’t even end up staying in the book. I realized I probably started it during a NaNoWriMo(National Novel Writing Month) so I went to the dashboard there. My Camp NaNoWriMo project for 2014 is titled “Something About Demons.” I only made it 30 words in, but by the time I came back to it in November, it was called, “Among the Angels.”

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I’ve always been good at coming up with titles that really encapsulate my stories. I couldn’t tell you my exact thought processes on this one but it has to do with demons and angels stuck on Earth.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I think one of the reasons that I love paranormal romance is the fast-paced action of the stories along with the passion of a romance, so that might be what you would call my style. I like to read a good story with lots of action that involves the supernatural. I think the biggest challenge is keeping the pace moving while getting all the pertinent details in and really setting the scene.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Well, everything flows from experiences we have in life but with the paranormal genre a lot of it has to come from the imagination. I love coffee, so my main character gets up and starts making her beloved coffee then, bam, demon attack. I can’t say that has ever happened to me.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I don’t have to, but I sometimes do check out settings or look at information. For this book, I wrote everything from my imagination but then I made a visit to the Cornell Ornithology Lab in Ithaca, New York while I was editing. I also do a lot of arm chair travel via the Internet.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The cover was designed by Cora Graphics.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Mostly I want people to have fun with this book. I’ve put in a few things that I ponder over so maybe they’ll find some food for thought as well.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

I can’t think of anyone new, most of the authors I’ve been reading lately have been publishing for a while now. Favorite author? Ha, this is a classic question/problem for writers and librarians alike. Pick one? Yikes! In the supernatural area three of my favorites are Darynda Jones, for the romance, Jim Butcher for the fast paced action, and Neil Gaiman, for the sheer creative beauty of his stories. In the literary vein a few of myfavorites are Madeline Miller for Song of Achilles, Katherine Howe forPhysick Book of Deliverance Dane, and Emily St. John Mandel for Station Eleven. (I sound like I’m handing out awards but I doubt they’d notice.)

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

My writer’s group. If it weren’t for the writer’s group I facilitate as part of my library work, I don’t think I would be nearly as far along as I am now in my publishing journey. We have an incredibly supportive group of people committed to helping each other grow as writers.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. I have been building my writing career for several years now and I approach it both as a creative pursuit and a business that requires dedication.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Well, every author knows a book is never really done editing. You have to pick a point to draw a line and let it go though. I can’t think of anything at the moment. I’ve heard it said that a book starts in the writer’s mind but ends in the reader’s mind. You can’t control how people are going to interpret everything because they will see it through the lens of their experiences.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

It’s a lengthy process. In research, I learned that rodenticide poisoning is a big problem for raptors in the wild. In writing, I learned how to keep the pace moving in a story. In editing, I learned how to use Track Changes in Microsoft Word, and that it’s better NOT to go back and forth between different versions of Word.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

When I’m writing, I like to pick people to play the characters in my head, but I’m afraid the person I pictured wouldn’t be available for a role like this these days — Jan Smithers from an old television show called WKRP in Cincinnati. I think I’d leave casting a movie interpretation up to the professionals.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Read a lot, write a LOT, and get feedback from people who aren’t TOO invested in keeping you happy.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Please give my book a try if you like paranormal romance or urban fantasy and, if you do, PLEASE leave a review. J

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading three books. I have a rather long commute so I’m listening to A Man Called Ove by Frederik Backman in the car, I’m reading Wildfire by Ilona Andrews on my Kindle, and I’m reading Prince Caspian (The Chronicles of Narnia) to my daughter at bedtime.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Not the very first book but I can tell you that in first grade I absolutely adored Are You My Mother? By P.D. Eastman.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Everything? No, not really, but I laugh easily and I empathize with people who are in mental, physical, or emotional pain so I cry fairly easily too. I seek out funny memes and comedies daily. I firmly believe in striving for life coach Martha Beck’s recommended 30 LPD, or Laughs Per Day. I think laughing is good for your health.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I just finished reading Becoming by Michelle Obama, so I’d love to get together and visit with her.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Mostly reading and writing. I do love to cook and do a little bit of gardening, plus the occasional sewing or crafting project.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I love a good comedy or action film, but my favorite movies or shows are often dramas with good humor in them. For example, The Family Stone, Midsommer Murders,Father Brown Mysteries, but also Big Bang Theory, and Friends. I love science fiction movies so one of my favorite movies in recent memory is Arrival. I just love good stories, whether they are in book or film format.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Ha. I’m half polish so for food I would have to say pierogi, halupki, stuffed cabbage, and buchta, a polish nut roll. Colors are deep rich colors, like emerald and purple. Music can span the gamut from classical to big band to pop. Stevie Wonder, the Goo Goo Dolls, etc.. I don’t think there’s a genre that I haven’t heard something in that I liked, but I do like certain genres more than others.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Be cremated and start fertilizing trees.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Spend time with my family and write.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

If my family feels the need for one, they can put what they like. Otherwise, no head stone needed.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Absolutely! My web site is www.melorajohnson.com which also links to my blog, melorajohnson.wordpress.com, but I’m most active on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/MeloraJohnson.Writer/. I post a new poem every Friday and share updates on Tuesdays.

All the different platforms for my book are linked through my publishers page at http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Johnson_Melora/earthbound.htm

My Amazon author page is at https://www.amazon.com/Melora-Johnson/e/B07VPCG82Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Here is my interview with Arabella Maghri


Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hi Fiona, hello everyone! My pen name is Arabella Maghri and I’m old enough to know better, but too young to admit to it. Actually, who am I kidding, I’m 42.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I live in Cambridge in the middle of the UK. But I travel a lot, so often away from home.

Fiona: A little about yourself (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

Only child of loving parents. Unremarkable childhood. Education became much more fun when I discovered I was bi-sexual and life has been full of loving ever since.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Published three books of erotica in 2019. They were great fun to write and have been more successful than I could have imagined.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Started writing short stories as a teenager after I discovered a love of words and storytelling. Have been a successful published author in other genres for almost 20 years before getting into erotica under a pen name.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When my first book published in 2000.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

In this genre? A desire to relive my wild and wayward youth, and tell those sexy stories while still fresh in my memory.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I like to make a play on words. The story was about a young woman’s last days at school, so ‘Finishing School’ was a double entendre and an obvious choice.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I write dialogue-rich stories, where the characters tell you what is happening, not the narrator. I like to make them hot and horny and humorous. And I write from the first person perspective, as these are stories about me, essentially.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Largely based on events in my own life, with a handful of imagination thrown in for good measure. I challenge my readers to tell which is true, which is fiction.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I do travel a lot, mostly for my work (I run my own international marketing business). Travel helps mould and craft my stories.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Richard Savage of Savage Publications & Black Velvet Seductions. He’s a lovely man who has been wonderfully supportive and generous to me.

 Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes! Make love, not war! Love everyone, forget your foolish pride and jealousy. Share your love and your lovers. Make the world a happier place!

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

MJ Marstens is my favourite in this genre. Stunningly good writer.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Richard Savage, as mentioned previously.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Not for me, no. I love writing but if I had to live off the proceeds, I’d lose the joy.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No! It’s perfect! 😀

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

That people can be wonderful, kind and generous.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Talulah Riley

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Stick at it. Don’t rush to publish, take advice, even when it is critical. Get an editor.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I will be writing more of Mandy’s adventures, I promise!

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Motherf*cker by MJ Marstens. Stunningly good!

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

God no! I was like, 4, and I’ve read a zillion since then.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Quirky humour makes me laugh. Man’s inhumanity and stupidity makes me cry.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Cate Blanchett. I want to stick my tongue down her throat!

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Walking, cycling, swimming, reading and writing.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I hardly watch TV or films at all. But anything with Cate Blanchett in is good!

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Italian, turquoise, blues.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Cry.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

In bed with all my friends.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

Here she lies, completely fucked!

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

My books are all available as Kindle ebooks, as paperbacks, and are free to read via Kindle Unlimited. Best place to visit is my author page on Amazon – viewauthor.at/ArabellaMaghri

Here are the links (geo-links that work from any country) for my three current books:

Stairway to Heaven – getbook.at/StairwaytoHeaven

Finishing School –viewbook.at/finishingschool

Educating Peter – viewbook.at/educatingpeter

Amazon authors page UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arabella-Maghri/e/B07N5BWJ6K/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

USA https://www.amazon.com/Arabella-Maghri/e/B07N5BWJ6K?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1576056722&sr=1-1

Here is my interview with Sheila Lowe

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Sheila Lowe, just turned 70—how did that happen?!

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in Surrey, England but have lived in California for most of my life (since 1964). I’m still a British citizen but I no longer sound like it unless I take a trip home. Then my accent comes right back.

Fiona: A little about yourself (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I have a Master’s of Science degree in psychology and have been in the field of handwriting analysis since 1967. For the past twenty years, I’ve been a published author. I had three beautiful children. My sons are in their forties. My daughter, who was 27, was killed by her boyfriend in 2000. He was an agent of the federal government and killed himself, too.That’s when I began my interest in life after earth. I’ve been married twice and am currently happily single.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’m outlining my next book, Dead Letters, which will be number eight in the Claudia Rose Forensic Handwriting Mysteries series. In this book, Claudia will go to Egypt and some other places in search of her missing teenage niece.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since I was about 14, but back then I was a Beatlemaniac and wrote stories about being married to Ringo. Writing just seemed like a natural thing to do. I believe that as in other artistic fields, writers are born to be writers. Of course, others for whom writing doesn’t come naturally can learn the craft, but it’s like the difference between playing the piano competently or being a virtuoso. Or painting-by-number and being an artist. Etc.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Good question.Until I was 50, when my first nonfiction book was published, I had always written articles about handwriting psychology for trade publications. But I think it was not until I saw my name on a book, published by a major house, that I thought of myself as a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

People who read my articles about handwriting kept telling me I should write a book, so finally I did.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I now have two series. The titles for my Forensic Handwriting series are all plays on words to do with writing: Poison Pen, Written in Blood, Dead Write, Last Writes, Inkslingers Ball, Outside the Lines, Written Off.

Usually, a title will just come to me and I build the book around it. In other words, I find a plot that fits the title. For example, when my older son, who is a tattoo artist, asked me to order some ink for him, I found that tattooists are called inkslingers and there was a convention called the Inkslingers Ball. I knew immediately that I had to use it for a title.

The other is the Beyond the Veil series, which started with what I thought was a standalone titled What She Saw, about a young woman with amnesia. Later, when I started writingProof of Life, which came out last spring, I realized that WSS needed to be the prequel. The title has a double meaning. In kidnappings the authorities ask for proof of life, such as a photo of the victim with a current newspaper, so they know the person is still alive. There is a kidnapping in PoL, but the title also refers to the character, Jessica Mack, learning about life after so-called death. She talks to “dead” people.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I write in close third person, which is as close to first person as you can get without actually going there. The reader doesn’t know anything that the main character doesn’t know. I write mysteries because that’s what I love to read. What I find most challenging is getting all the plot points ready before I begin writing. I’ve tried writing without an outline but it didn’t work out well for me.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Most of my books have a kernel of truth that starts the story. In my first series my character does the same type of work that I do, so I have drawn from real life. In Written in Blood, there’s a courtroom scene where I took much of the dialogue from an actual court transcript in a case where I testified. Last Writes is about a religious cult that is very much like the one in which I grew up. Things like that.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I’ve just gone to Europe and UK, where I am setting the next book. I’m just starting to outline it. If I’ve travelled somewhere, I often use it in a book.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My publisher, Suspense, has a talented graphic artist who does all the covers.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Each novel seems to have an underlying theme. An interviewer once pointed out that a general theme overall was about mothers and daughters, which made sense to me. But that’s another story.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

My favorite writer is John Sandford. His characters are so very real, and yet are a bit like superheroes, and he has a tremendous sense of humor. I also like Deborah Crombie, Michael Connelly, and Tess Gerritsen.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

When I first started writing fiction, I got a critique group together. We started with a large number that eventually whittled down to four of us. It’s because of them that I got published originally by Penguin and that my writing improved from amateur to professional.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

It’s one of my two careers. I make a living as a forensic handwriting examiner like my character Claudia Rose in the Forensic Handwriting Mystery series. So far, writing would not support me. I wish it would, and I’m hoping that eventually it will.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. I was told be several psychic mediums that my daughter in spirit was working with me on Proof of Life. How could I top that?

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Yes, the book has a scene that takes place at a séance. I had it vetted by someone who has attended many. She gave me some good pointers that I used to rewrite it and later, when I sent the book to several well-known mediums, they all said it was quite real and believable. They even gave me cover blurbs.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

My forensic series has been sought by several producers but so far they haven’t gotten anywhere with it. The actress I would love to play Claudia Rose is Amy Adams, and Gerard Butler would be a perfect Joel Jovanic. Another choice is Minnie Driver.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

I’ve got tons of advice for writers, but one important piece is this: writing a book is hard. Selling it to a publisher is harder. But the hardest part of all is marketing it after it’s sold (or if you publish it yourself). You have to learn how to get your book into the hands of readers, and that’s a big challenge. There are books that tell you how to do it, but it’s like a fulltime job.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The Mockingbird Drive by A.C. Fuller. I’ve never read this author before but I’m finding it compelling reading, a real “can’t put it down.”

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I started reading when I was 3, so no. But Enid Blyton’s The Rockingdown Mystery when I was eight got me started on mysteries.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I’m not sure how to answer what makes me laugh—cat videos for one thing. What makes me cry is any form of hateful treatment of a vulnerable person or animal.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

My great-great-grandmother, who was from Gibraltar. I’ve heard so much about her and I’ve been to where she was born and where she died. I have many questions.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Not really. I spend most of my time at this keyboard, working. Luckily, I’m single, so no one is complaining. I play the piano a little, I read, and once a week I walk, often at the beach, with a friend. Oh, and occasionally I knit. I now have a 3-month-old granddaughter and have made her some things. I’m not very good at it, though.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Grey’s Anatomy is my guilty pleasure. Other than that, I tend to binge-watch Netflix shows: Sex Education, Atypical, etc. And on SyFy, The Magicians.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

Foods: dessert, unfortunately. Color blue, toward the teal end of the spectrum. I like different kinds of music, but need only instrumental when I’m writing. But I listen to classical piano (Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart), or jazz piano. I really like early 1920s jazz. And when I’m in the mood, 1960s or even Reggae.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I can’t imagine that future.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

With my sons.

Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone?

“She used her power with kindness”

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

 I have two websites, one for my books: www.claudiaroseseries.com which has a blog, and www.sheilalowe.com for handwriting analysis-related material.

Here are all my links:

LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/sheilalowe

Twitter  http://www.twitter.com/sheila_lowe

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/graphogoddess

Goodreads Author page https://www.goodreads.com/SheilaLowe

BookBub https://www.bookbub.com/authors/sheila-lowe

Amazon Author page USA  https://www.amazon.com/author/sheilalowe

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sheila-Lowe/e/B001ITYGXE?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1576051179&sr=1-1

Here is my interview with Paul Zunckel

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?  

Hello Fiona, Firstly thank you for inviting me for an interview with you. My name is Paul Zunckel, I am 62 years young.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I live in sunny South Africa

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I was born in 1957 in Zimbabwe,  then known as Rhodesia. My family moved to South Africa in 1966, where I completed my schooling at Kingsway Senior High School in Amanzimtoti.

I did my two years National service in the South African Defence Force as an Ops Medic, wanting to follow my heart and study medicine, but life got in the way.

I was employed in Air Traffic Control for twenty years, and have been involved in Management positions for over twenty-five years. I have a Human Resource Management Diploma, and am an accredited Facilitator.

I love to write as it takes me into another world, and I enjoy the reaction that I receive from readers.

Apart from writing novels, I also play the guitar and write my own material, although I am unable to read music. Music forms a big part of my life, and  I can  lay claim  to having cut one CD, although , “I’m  too old to be an idol.”

I have two children from a previous marriage, and  have been married to Lucie the love of my life for the last eighteen  years. My family and I live in the Eastern Cape, South Africa along with man’s best friend, a cross Alsatian/Lab  who answers to the name “Pooch”  and is at my feet every time I  sit down to write and will not move until “his human” is finished and types The End.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I am at present busy with my tenth novel in my Piet van Zyl African Adventure series, titled “Savage Moon” and am hoping to have it completed early in 2020.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started to write in August 2014.

I was having a hard time finding employment and getting in the way at home. Lucie suggested that I sit down and put a story that I had in my head down on paper so I reckoned why not. A local magazine might buy it… then she said to me…”I know that you will start it, but will not finish it.”

A light went off in my head and I completed my “Blood Trilogy” in four months… I truly believe that I have been blessed with the gift to write.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I signed my first contract with a publishing house. I submitted a standalone novel titled “Mask of Deceit” which they accepted. They then offered me contracts for all my work on Amazon and Smashwords if I was prepared to withdraw them, which I did. Unfortunately things did not work out. I got copyright back and am now on the Indie route although I am still open to any publishing house offers.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My loving wife and soul mate, Lucie.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It might sound funny, but the books name themselves. A seed is planted in my head and the book is born along with the title.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I like to be able to capture the reader within the first few paragraphs.

It is a difficult question but hopefully this review will help.

“The writing is clean and straightforward, unlike

any style I’ve read to date.  What I loved most is the genuine connection I felt to the scene, to Africa, and its wild nature which served as the perfect backdrop.”

As I said earlier, I truly believe that I have been blessed with the gift to write. Once I start a new book the plot, characters and story just flows through my head onto my PC and the only challenge is the number of hours in a day.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

A lot that happens in my books is realistic as well as experiences that have happened, but I do admit to having a dark side and this tends to come out in the books. I have been asked if Piet van Zyl is my alter ego, but that would be telling. I take the myths and legends of Africa, throw in some facts, stir them up and end up with an African Thriller.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I was very lucky to move around Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa as a child and I do all my research via friends who are involved in Safari or  use reference books or Google, so no I do not travel much now days but allow my imagination to do the travelling.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Eeva Lancaster “The Book Khaleesi”

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

All my books carry a message. Good always triumphs over evil, no matter what it is… never give up and always believe.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

 There are some many great Indie Authors out there. Paul  Crude, S.J.Herman, P.J.Webb just to name a few.

 I did enjoy reading anything that came from the pen of Stephen King… all his early work really had each book a page turner. The suspense in his novels was great.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

A lady living in the USA.  Ms Angel Ernest

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I am semi-retired so yes, writing is a career move for me and a way to support my pension.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I would not change the content but might research the title more thoroughly.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Every time I write, I research and learn something new.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I would like an unknown, up and coming young actor to play the role of Piet van Zyl and watch him grow into the role as Piet has in the books.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Never give up following your dream and always accept criticism be it good or bad with a smile and learn from it.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I would like to thank them for their support,  the wonderful reviews and just to let them know that in Africa, you never know what is watching from the shadows.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Midnights Lair by Richard Laymon

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

To be honest no… but I was hooked on all the Edgar Rice Burroughs from a very early age.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

A good joke or movie. People also have that effect on me.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

My Grand-Father on my Mother’s side. He was a big game hunter in Rhodesia in the early days and I could pick up a lot of tip’s from him for my Piet van Zyl series.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Yes I do… Cooking… Playing Guitar… People Watching… Reading

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Supernatural on TV. Thrillers on the Big Screen

Fiona: Favourite foods, colours,  music?

I enjoy a good Eisbein with Hot Mustard or a BBQ. Love the open fire.

Favourite colour is blue

I enjoy the bands from the 70’s and 80’s

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Run a Guest House

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

With my wife and family. Get my affairs in order and know that they would be taken care of.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

“I believe I can fly”

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

 Website: https://PaulZunckelAuthor.wordpress.com

Twitter: @zuncks

Facebook: Paul’s Facebook Page

Blood Moon

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/488185

Blood Spoor

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/488415

Blood Demon

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/488731

Devil in Eden

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/502208

Fangs of Fury

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/951619

Mask of Deceit

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/986554

My Amazon Author page USA http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00Q8L4NZ8

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Paul-Zunckel/e/B00Q8L4NZ8?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1575999488&sr=1-1