Name – Fiona Quinn
Age – 50
Where are you from – Ontario
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc – I have a philosophy. Actually, I have many philosophies and am glad to, with very little encouragement, wax poetic on any one of them. Subjects I know about, subjects I know nothing about -I’m an equal opportunity philosophizer.
One of my favorite philosophies is that education should be a life-long endeavor and should look like a toolbox.
You’d think this image was pretty funny if you knew me. I am awkward at best if you put a tool in my hand. That’s not to say that I wouldn’t give it a go. It’s just to say it might not be the most graceful display that you’ve ever seen.
Living life directed by the Toolbox Philosophy means I’m acquiring new skills so that whatever life hands me, I have something at the ready to tackle the projects or emergencies that arise, and it explains a lot about my resume.
I’m world traveled; I’ve ridden camels across Egypt, an elephant in Prague, and eaten horse in Moscow (sure wish I had Google Translate back then!) I’ve danced the jig in an Irish castle, hula-ed in O’ahu, and did some weird techno thingy in East Berlin (when there was still a wall).
I have degrees out the yin-yang. I have B.A.s in History, Foreign Language, Psychology, (almost Art History), and an M.S. in Counseling from the Medical College of Virginia. I’m a Reiki Master/Teacher and Second Dan Tae Kwon Do Black Belt qualified. I am a certified archery instructor and shoot my Springfield 9mm in a very Zen fashion with much deep breathing and bulls-eye accuracy.
My paid jobs have been as far reaching as being a governess and model in France to bridal florist. Marketing for the symphony to suicide/homicide intervention for the court system (although those might be closer together than farther apart). I’ve even been paid to scream – but that’s a different story for another day.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just finished a manuscript called In Too Deep. I really like it.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written, but now I have the space to do it as a profession.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Always – even when I wasn’t writing, I knew that was who I was.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I “unschooled” my kids and I wondered how that would impact them as adults. So I wrote my first novel WEAKEST LYNX giving my protagonist Lexi Sobado the skillsets of my oldest daughter (except for the extra-sensory part) then I threw very bad things at her to see how she’d do. I was very proud.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I tend to write books that drive the eye forward and have solid research behind them.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
That was easy, my youngest daughter is in charge of naming my characters and my books.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Trust yourself; you know more than you think you do.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
My book takes realism and pushes the envelope a little. But all of my works are based on facts.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A little from stories I know; a little from stories I’ve lived; a little imagination.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Ethan Frome taught me that intended results can often take wicked and horrible turns.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Grave of Hummingbirds by Jennifer Skutelsky.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I really like Stephen Templin, Allan Leverone, JT Sawyer, Eric Gates (spy books), Marliss Melton, Donna Glaser. . . so many!
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Once IN TOO DEEP finds its home, I’m starting on a novel YOURS a follow up to MINE from my Kate Hamilton mystery series.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
The Kindle Scout program and the writers who have won through that program.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It is my career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m waiting for edits. I’m sure there’s a typo or two.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’m Irish – we are story tellers by DNA. And I kissed the blarney Stone four times – that probably has some bearing.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
My newest book IN TOO DEEP is my way of dealing with my husband’s sudden life threatening event. It was a total accident, but there was nothing that the doctors could do to save him – he would either die or live. The reason he almost died sits in the homes of thousands of people in the United States and few realize just how dangerous it is. To tell more would be a spoiler, but from a scientific perspective, it’s an interesting topic to write about.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
It’s both a challenge and a joy to work through the puzzles of my books.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love to read thrillers and suspense especially romantic suspense. I prefer to read books by professionals who have turned author, like JT Sawyer, that way I know I’m learning as well as being entertained.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I travel as much as possible. I read as much as possible. I go to classes and learn as much as possible – and it all shows up in my books. Maybe it’s just in a single sentence — a smell, taste, or sight. Having actually experienced something, I feel it gives my writing authenticity and truth.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Melody Simmons did a few, my publishers did others.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Making sure that all of the pieces fit. Also, explaining the technical information in an interesting and understandable way.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I always learn from writing my books because they are based in research. Much of my research I share on my blog ThrillWriting, which is a resource blog to help writers and readers have a better understanding of things outside their everyday knowledge as it pertains to mystery/suspense/thrillers.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t take short cuts, know what you’re writing about. Be as truthful as you can be, even if it hurts to write those words. Sit down and write something every day. One step and then another.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you so much for your warmth and support. I love to think of you swiping across your device as you gobble up a story – maybe I pulled you from a bad day; maybe I helped you pass the time; maybe you learned something from the piece. However I’ve touched you, I feel honored.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Heidi – I was 4 years old at Montessori.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Everything. Seriously, I usually cry at kindness.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
I would like to meet Jada Pinkett Smith. When I’ve heard her interviews, I’ve been impressed with the depth, her candor, and her understanding.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
I want to be sprinkled on the ground under an aurora borealis. Why? I think it’s magical and spiritual.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Many. I love to read and travel (and eat). I take various classes as much as possible. I like to learn skills that show up in my writing like martial arts and weapons. I also belly dance.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m not a big TV/movie watcher.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love to eat cuisines from the areas I’m travelling. I like Lebanese/Moroccan kinds of foods. I love the colors of water. In music I like to match my mood with sound.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’d love to do psych research especially for PTSD and other effects of first responders and our military.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
http://thrillwriting.blogspot.co.uk/ with hundreds of articles, including 101 explanations of things writers need to understand for their scenes to work such as Duct Tape 101 and 102 and Bullets 101. I also conduct interviews with professionals where they explain what really happens and how – you get to “hear” their way of thinking and relating so it could help you to understand your characters better as well.
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