Where are you from
I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and live just northwest of the city now.
A little about your self i.e. your education Family life etc.
I am a single mom to two boys. I have held a variety of jobs in my life from clerical to retail to stints as an order picker and shipper/receiver. I have always loved to cook and, at 41, went to culinary school. I became ill in my last semester and, although I did graduate, I have been physically unable to work in commercial kitchens as I had intended. However, forced to be at home, I rediscovered my love of writing and finally screwed up the courage to show my work to others. I decided it was time to take a leap and pursue my first dream, that of becoming a published author.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I currently have a collection of erotic tales available. There He Sat: Scheming, There He Sat: Pondering and There He Sat: Brooding are published with There He Sat: Gloating coming soon. I hope that the last one, There He Sat: Moping will be published by the end of the year. They are scorching hot erotic stories told from each male protagonist’s point of view. The collection has been well reviewed and received.
I’m currently working on a new romance novel that I’m hoping to release for Christmas. Other stories in the works are a horror novel, and three more paranormal romances, including a sequel to Night’s Companion, the first book I published.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
As far back as I can remember I have written stories. There was several years where I didn’t as being a partner and mother occupied my time but I’m back to it now and finally publishing my work.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I started writing again, and was considering attempting to have my work published, I asked my best friend to read the story. She is an avid reader and I figured if she hated it, I’d have my fears of not being good enough confirmed. She called me shortly after receiving the email and said “Where on earth have you been hiding this talent?” I know how particular she can be about what she reads so that was a pinnacle moment and one in which I decided to take a chance and achieve my dream.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I published, Night’s Companion, was written for my niece Kaity who sadly had passed away the previous year. I had already written a horror trilogy (not yet released) during those months of raw grieving and immediately followed those books up with Night’s Companion. I wrote all those books for Kaity because she loved vampires and I know she would have loved reading them.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Not really. Normally I outline the entire plot and block out major scenes that need to occur. Sometimes this plan can change when I begin to write. There are times that as the characters begin to take shape they begin to dictate a different course for the story to take. So, while I do begin with a definite plan in place, my writing tends to be an organic process.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I usually struggle with titles and that’s why I normally steal them from song lyrics. Lol. The title of the collection of erotic tales has an interesting story. Fellow author, Katalina Leon, posted a photo of a man in a chair on facebook with a caption asking what thoughts the photo invoked. I replied with a quick opening scene, which is very close to the current opening sequence in There He Sat: Scheming. This process repeated for several days and a few people commented on my opening lines to say they would love to read a full story based on those opening lines. Katalina encouraged me to write out the stories and the There He Sat series was born. They are named so as each story begins with the male protagonist sitting and embodying the emotion of the subtitle of the story.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I have never wanted to be preachy with my work. I want to move readers emotionally and if that happens to someone when they have read my work then I have done my job as a writer. I think stories are like any other art form, open to interpretation. I love that a hundred different people could take away a hundred different opinions of my work. That’s what storytelling is all about for me. My desire is to connect emotionally with readers, tell them a story that moves them emotionally and create characters that feel like real people and that are easily relatable.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I think my characters, even in the paranormal stories, are realistic. At least I have received that feedback. As far as situations within the books, obviously the paranormal stories aren’t realistic but I think the emotions and reactions of the characters are realistic. The contemporary stories could easily happen in real life.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Occasionally I fashion bits of characters or situations around real events or people but the vast majority is born of my imagination.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
The list of books that have had an impact on me is much too long to attempt to write down. As far as mentors go, I had several. Authors Denyse Bridger, Katalina Leon and the authors that comprise the Lascivious Ladies of Literature group (Michelle Roth, Suzette Cauler, Gayle Cranfield, Kelsie Belle and Sara Anderson), that I am honoured to be a part of, have all aided me and supported me. They are fantastic women and I am indebted to them.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Lucas by Susan Fisher-Davis and it’s fantastic.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Yes, me! Lol. Actually, Savannah Hill’s debut novel, Paramour for the Devil had such an intriguing plot. I’m looking forward to the sequel.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I have a few on the go. I hope to complete a sweet romance novel for a Christmas release. It’s going to be tight to pull it off in time but I’m challenging myself to do so. My first horror novel, Paisley, will release shortly after. I’m also working on a mountain lion-shifter story, a novel with a unique take on werewolf packs and then I’ll concentrate on the second installment in the Night’s Companion series.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My friends, Sheryl and Rakel. Both are invaluable beta readers, and they have given me superb feedback on my stories. I love that neither one hesitates to be brutally honest with me. Rakel also has a fabulous capacity to brainstorm ideas with me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I certainly hope so. It’s the only thing I can physically do as a job and I love it so much that I cannot fathom how devastated I would be if I couldn’t write any longer.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I would not.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I can’t, honestly. As I’ve stated, I have been writing since I was a child.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Certainly! It’s an erotic romance with a working title of Cakes & Cuffs. She’s a police officer, he’s a firefighter and they meet when she arrests him for streaking through the streets of Toronto on a dare. They are both strong characters and I’m loving the interaction between them. Readers are in for an emotional roller coaster with this story! You are going to need tissues for the drama and a glass of ice water for the sex scenes, for sure!
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Only finding the time to write everything I want to write.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I would have to go with Stephen King here. I’m a horror fan at heart and I’ve been reading his books since I was eight years old (my mom is really cool!). I adore how accessible his writing is, how easily he pulls you into the world he’s created, no matter how fantastic that universe. Plus, I am astounded at how prolific he has been.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet but I can dream about it.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed my first two self-published book covers. The covers for the There He Sat collection were done by Buffi BeCraft for Wicked Lass Press, a division of Eirelander Publishing. Buffi is also my editor and she is a sensational woman. I have learned so much and I hope our working relationship continues for a long time.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The most difficult part of my writing process is refraining from jumping in and writing blindly. While I am researching and outlining the story, I struggle to ignore the urge to begin writing. Once I do begin to write and hit that sweet ‘zone’ it’s smooth sailing from then on. Until the revision process, that is.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
While writing the There He Sat stories I learned to be more concise in my writing. I had the luxury of the large word counts of novels previously and it was difficult to confine myself to shorter works and still tell a full story. However, I managed to write them and I’m quite proud of the results.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write, write, write, write and then write some more. Writing, like any other talent, requires practice. The more you write, the better you get. It’s a simple equation.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I’d like to thank them for their support of my work. I have received so many wonderful comments and reviews. I love my readers. ❤
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but earlier I mentioned reading Stephen King when I was eight. It was Salem’s Lot and it inspired my lifelong love of horror stories in general and vampires, in particular. I also read Edgar Allan Poe’s The Telltale Heart around the same time. Both stories have impacted me greatly and I suppose exposure to them at that tender age did result in a love of writing.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I can laugh at almost anything. Truthfully, not much makes me cry. I am a very content person.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
Oh wow, this is a tough question. I’m going to say Stephen King again. I bet he would be a fascinating person with whom to speak.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
“Died while fornicating.” Could there possibly be a better way to leave this earth?
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I sketch, paint and love to sing.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I find most horror films poorly made so I tend to prefer thrillers. I watch a bunch of TV shows. I love the Walking Dead, Criminal Minds, some seasons of American Horror Story. How To Get Away with Murder is a fascinating show with fabulous character development. One of my favourites is Grimm. It’s a bit on the silly side but I can’t get enough of it.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love Italian, French and Japanese food. My favourite colour is orange. My musical tastes are wide-ranging but a few favourites are Sarah McLachlan, Blue Rodeo, The Headstones, Maroon 5 and Bob Marley.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I probably would have enjoyed working in a commercial kitchen but it would not have been as fulfilling as writing has been for me.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?