Name MK Schiller
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I have a family complete with 2 angst-ridden teenagers that provide great fodder for my craft. I have a bachelor’s in e-business and a full time job that supports my passion of writing.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news? I’m excited to share the news of my latest release, A Girl By Any Other Name. It’s a contemporary romance with suspenseful elements – a story about childhood friendships and first loves.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing? I started imagining stories in my head early on, but imagining is not the same as doing. I didn’t seriously start until about a year and half ago.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer? It’s hard to say. There are so many firsts you experience in this industry. Your first rejection, your first contract, your first review, and the first time you see your book on Amazon. I think I felt it a little more each time this happens. I feel it now with this interview.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book? I read Fifty Shades, and I loved it. I thought to myself that EL James was not a professional writer either. Maybe I could start writing my stories. I have to say once the idea got a hold of me, I couldn’t let it go. I call it a passion, but my family has referred to it as an obsession. The truth is a writer can always write without the aid of a computer or even pen/paper. Sometimes, I’ll be in the middle of a conversation and come up with an idea for a book or plot point.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? I like humor, so I try to incorporate things into my stories that have that element. My goal is to have the reader go through the gamut of emotions so I strive for that. I’m also snarky and cynical, so those traits somehow come out in my characters too.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title? I love this question! It’s actually a play on words. Sylvie quotes Shakespeare to Cal, and he pretends to understand it. Years later, he rephrases it.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? That unlike everything else, love never really dies. It lives on and sometimes you feel a connection so strong, you can feel someone else’s pain.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic? Some of the earlier scenes are based on my best childhood friend, Stan, who passed away. Those parts are very realistic for me. I hope I made Cal and Sylvie’s childhood seem real in that sense.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? I have to say Fifty Shades since it inspired me, but I’ve always been a reader. I love Stephen King and Dan Brown as well.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I will have to give props to my friend, Shelly Bell. We belong to a local chapter of the RWA and she’s been a great support, offering me advice and looking over my work. I’ve got several gals I can go to in this group to bounce ideas off. I have to say as a writer, having a circle of like-minded friends is crucial.
Fiona: What book are you reading now? Based on several recommendations, I’m reading Arouse by Nina Lane.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Yes, Ashe Barker writes a really good sexy book.
Fiona: What are your current projects? I’m working on several. Honestly, it’s a question of which book to finish first. I start and then I take a break. I have a novella coming out with Totally Bound’s Paramour collection in February. I also need to start working on edits for The Other F-Word, the continuation of The Other Words series.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Definitely the girls in my local RWA chapter. The advice and support they gave me made publishing a possibility.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career? It’s more of a dream right now. I have done my best to be realistic that the chance of instant success is not very likely. That I have to work at it, and fine-tune my craft. The market is flooded with talented folks so I treat writing as a passion and not a job.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? I’d probably add a few more scenes – maybe another sex scene. Maybe, I’ll get to do this down the line.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I had this friend who loved this boy when I was young. She’d get so heartbroken and jealous about it (hey, we were like thirteen I think). I started making up stories where she was the heroine and he was the hero…they always found their happily ever after. You’ve heard of fan fiction? This was friend fiction and it’s where I got my start.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? I write from multiple POV’s so it’s difficult to keep the voice accurate, finding time to write is another issue of mine. Grammatically speaking, I tend to repeat words in my writing. I tend to repeat. (ha, did you catch that?)
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? There are too many to name a favorite, but I love Mia Sheridan, Abbi Glines, and Colleen Hoover. Of course, there is EL James too. I can’t wait for the movie.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? Not at this time, but I’m looking to attend a conference or two next year. I’ve made so many great friends through social media that I’d love to meet them in person.
Fiona: Who designed the covers? Emmy Ellis at Totally Bound. She has some serious artistic chops. She designed the cover for The Other C-Word too, which I think is gorgeous. She also made the book trailer – my first one!
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book? It’s definitely finding the time, and then stopping once I start so I can do other things. Life keeps calling, and I try to hit the send to voicemail button, but it doesn’t always work.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I did some research for it. I found out that it’s feasible to be a college instructor at twenty-five, and I know some East Texas slang now. Did you know ‘chunking’ means ‘chucking’?
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers? Don’t get discouraged. Everyone says the industry is subjective. Since I’ve been doing this, I accept that more each day. When you read reviews on Amazon or Goodreads, notice how everyone picks up on something different and almost every book has a few bad reviews no matter how popular it is. Be grateful for the accolades, and accept the defeats with dignity – don’t let yourself be defined by either one.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? I want to thank them for supporting my work. Spending your hard-earned money and time on a new author is a leap of faith. I recognize that, and I thank each and every person who has done that for me.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read? I’m pretty sure it was a Dr. Seuss. I guess I’ll add him to my favorite authors because every kid should read ‘Oh, the Thinks You Can Think!’
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ? I love to read, listen to music, and watch Indie movies.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching? I love humor so for me, an episode of the The Mindy Project hits the spot. I also love Law & Order SVU and Modern Family. I love good romantic movies but they are hard to find, but I’ve found some good Indie ones.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music – Chocolate in any form, I love green, and music really varies – love old music like America and The Band, but I also love Matchbox Twenty and Kid Rock.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done? Probably what I’m doing minus writing- raising a family, working a full time job, and trying to be a productive citizen. I’m still all of those things, but now I’m a writer too.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Also, I’d like to extend an invite to all your readers for my FB launch party for A Girl By Any Other Name on Monday, January 13th from 5-10 pm EST time. We will hang out, talk book boyfriends, and I’ll be giving out great prizes including a few designer purses. Click the link below to join. Hope you can make it.
A Girl By Any Other Name by MK Schiller
INFO for Blog
I will have a contest for the blog tour but don’t have all the details yet. I’ll get it to you if I can. Thanks again – I really appreciate it!
MK Schiller is a hopeless romantic in a hopelessly pragmatic world. Writing is her passion, but with a full time life and two busy teenagers, it proves difficult. But in the quiet dark of night, she sits by the warm glow of a computer monitor, and attempt to conjure up passionate heartwarming stories with plenty of humor.
She started imagining stories in her head at a very young age. In fact, friends started making requests for stories where they were featured as the heroine and the object of their affection was the hero. You’ve heard of fan fiction… this was friend fiction.
Even with that, it took many years to realize her dream. She hopes you enjoy my stories and always find The Happily Ever After in every endeavor.
Amazon Author page
https://www.totallybound.com/a-girl-by-any-other-name-print?search=a girl by any other name
Everyone tells him he needs to move on, but how can a man function without his heart?
Ten-year-old Caleb Tanner wants nothing to do with Sylvie Cranston, the annoying weird girl who moves next door to him and gets him in trouble for swearing. But at twelve, they become friends when he teaches her how to hook a fishing line and she shows him the value of a selfless act. At fourteen, he falls in love with her.
At sixteen, she dies.
Or so he’s told. But Cal never believes it. Sylvie has become part of his soul. He knows her like the steady beating of his own heart. He’d know if she was dead. Cal looks for her, prays for her and finally he just waits for her.
Nine years later, she walks into the community college English class Cal is teaching. Only this girl claims her name is Sophie Becker and she doesn’t know him. Cal knows better. He’s determined to get the girl he loves back—and protect her from the danger that took her away all those years ago.
She put her hand on my arm. Her voice wavered, shifting into a soft whisper. “I can’t sleep at night and it helps me. Sometimes I get so scared that it actually hurts. I feel it in my bones, like they might crack open any minute, breaking my insides apart.”
I shifted my pole and reached for her hand. I hadn’t quite comprehended the value of hugging. “Maybe you should pray on it. Pastor Morrison says that prayer can solve a lot of problems.”
“You really think that will work?” she asked dubiously.
I shrugged. “I wouldn’t know for sure. I don’t pray right myself.”
She frowned, wrinkling her nose. “How can you pray wrong?”
“Momma says I do it wrong all the time.”
“I don’t get it.”
I sighed, staring up at the blue sky. “She always asks me what I prayed for. The first time she asked, I told her it was for a new bike and football cleats. She got real mad and said ‘Son, you are praying to God, not Santa Claus’.” I used my best Amelia Tanner impression, and the edges of Sylvie’s mouth curved upward.
“That sounds like your momma.”
“Yeah, but I guess I didn’t learn my lesson because I asked her what I should pray for then. She said I should pray to be a better person.”
“That’s a good idea.”
“That’s what I thought too. I started praying that I could throw the football longer and run faster so I could make the team in high school.”
Sylvie cupped her hand to her mouth to cover her laugh. I didn’t care. I wanted to make her laugh, even if it was at my expense. “What did she say?”
“She got pretty mad and said that’s not what she meant. She told me I was being selfish and since I couldn’t pray for myself correctly, I should pray for someone else.”
“Who did you pray for?”
I stared down at the lake. “I prayed for Mandy.”
“That’s so sweet.”
“Yeah, I asked God to make her less annoying.”
Sylvie cracked up so much I was sure she’d run all the fish away, but I didn’t care. It was one of the best feelings in the world to make this girl laugh. “You didn’t.”
“I did, but at least now I know what I need to pray on.”
“What’s that, Cal?”
I squeezed her hand, noticing how hypnotic her eyes were. “I’ll pray that you’re not scared anymore, Sylvie.”
I love that she took inspiration from not only a childhood deceased friend, but also EL James. I loved reading the 50 Shades series, and am honestly quite tempted to read these. The excerpts provided have my interest piqued as well.
MK Schiller said:
Thanks Ollivander – I know there are mixed reactions to the Fifty Shades phenomenon, but I think any book that gets you to feel is a good read. If you described the hero to me before I read it, I would have rolled my eyes, but by the time I was done, I felt in love myself! It’s amazing how books can do that.