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?
Sue: I am Sue Harmeling and I am 26 Years Old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Sue: The Cincinnati, OH/Northern Kentucky area(s).
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Sue: I come from a town where everyone knows everyone, or at least someone that you know knows someone in your friend group. We typically classify people by where they went to High School around the area (which even I think is odd). I went to Holy Cross High School and graduated Thomas More College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. I have a younger brother and sister, my brother is in the United States Navy, and my sister is just graduating High School. I am happily married, we’ve been together going on three years now, but were friends throughout High School and grew up in the same neighborhood. I have a beagle/hound mix, her name is Copper Luna, and she is my baby.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Sue: I am halfway finished with my first book, The Guardians. It is a series, and I am hoping to have this one completed and released mid-Fall.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Sue: Oh, gosh…I started writing when I was ten, I believe. I was always fascinated with books, and wanted to write down my own ideas, so I kept binders of journals. I then began to write on RPG sites, mostly Harry Potter related, and built characters that would have been incorporated into the books. Fan fictions are so much fun. I began writing because it was my escape from the real world.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Sue: I want to think that I considered myself a writer when I was a teenager. It was the one thing I truly connected with, and the one thing that I always looked forward to doing when I would get home.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Sue: I have had this idea since I was sixteen. I dived deep into mythologies and religious views on angels and demons. The idea was more broad when I was younger, not as complex, and then all of a sudden it festered into what it is now.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Sue: This is going to be a little morbid, but when my grandmother died. I didn’t get to tell her goodbye, she didn’t want us to see her in the state that she was in, wanted us to remember her how we knew her to be. Which I don’t blame her. I wrote her a letter, telling her that it was okay to let go, and inside that letter I wrote a symbol that I associated with these books along with the title, The Guardians. I was fifteen, almost sixteen at the time.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Sue: I probably do, but I don’t like to place my writing under anything specific. I mainly write fantasy and YA. The one challenge that I find is how to stand out from all the other books in the fantasy/YA genre’s.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Sue: It is all fiction based. There are bits and pieces, events that happened to the main character that are metaphorical to what happened in my own life. I think that every writer tends to do this, even if they don’t realize it at first. Looking back at everything that I have wrote, even down to the back stories of my characters, there is bits and pieces of my life (metaphorical or not) that I have sprinkled throughout. It is the best way to release and let go of things that have happened in the past.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Sue: It’s funny because I never really did this until I started to really pursue my writing career. I do extensive research, and attempt to connect with someone in the area(s) to make it more realistic in my work. I never realized how important this was until I began to review what I was writing. If I didn’t connect and visualize what I wrote, a reader won’t and will immediately be turned off. I try and do so before as much as I can and then even during the process I try and get as much information as I can. I would love to visit the settings of my books, financially, it isn’t always possible to do so.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Sue: Laura Moyer, The Book Cover Machine. She is an absolute God send, I am serious. I reached out to her on a whim because I noticed her work through my research on covers. I will not let anyone touch my covers but her. Not only does she do an incredible job (and has done four more of my covers) but she is the friendliest person. She wants your cover to be something that you fall in love with, and I have only had her edit and tweak things minor, she is that good at taking ideas and running with them, then presenting it in a beautiful cover. I cannot thank Laura enough for what she has done for me, and what she continues to do. I hope that I have even more ideas in the future so that way she can design more beautiful covers for me.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Sue: Not everything is as it seems.
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?
Sue: I have quite a few so hang tight. New Authors (well, ones that I am just now getting to): BreAn Rivers, Joey Harkreader, Alistair Shand, David Grant, Izzy Shows. Favorite Writers: Kayla Howarth (The Institute Series), Simone Elkeles (Perfect Chemistry Series), J.K. Rowling (The Harry Potter Series), Suzanne Collins (The Hunger Games Series), James Dashner (The Maze Runner Series). Every single one of the Authors/Writers listed take a reader through a story that they will be gasping for air by the time that they finish. I can’t tell you a single instance where I have read the work from one of the one’s I have mentioned and been disappointed. I am seriously blown away by their work, the amount of detail that they place into their story is incredible. It shows their dedication as an Author/Writer.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Sue: I can’t name just one, I have a small list that I have to mention. Being a writer is hard, finding a good support system is even more difficult I feel like. The first being Jennifer Burke, my best friend, my rock when the whole world doesn’t seem to understand. I can’t thank you enough for being my support system. The next, Jesse Williams, for understanding the grind of a writer and being my backbone throughout this series. Your guidance and motivation hasn’t gone unnoticed. The next few are those who have supported me, and have started to form friendships with me, that I will not forget. They have helped support me through this journey of a new Author: BreAn Rivers, Joey Harkreader, Alistair Shand, David Grant, Izzy Shows. Your friendships mean the world to me, thank you.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Sue: Absolutely, I think that many people view writing as a passion which it needs to be, but this is my career as well.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Sue: I am sure in the editing process I will find something that needs to be changed.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Sue: I feel like I have learned something new the entire process of this book. If you are not constantly learning then something is wrong, you are just stagnant at that point.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Sue: Lucy Hale, Mila Kunis, or Rachel Bilson. All three of these ladies do an amazing job in their films and shows. I believe that my Andrina would be in good hands if portrayed by any of them.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Sue: Never give up, and always seek to be better than who you were yesterday. Your big break will come.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Sue: That I greatly appreciate them allowing me to take them on this journey. I hope that this book is everything you hoped for it to be. Also, thank you so much for supporting myself and Authors everywhere by reading our work.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Sue: I finally completed The Beasts Inside Series by Cynthia Eden, it was very well done, and I highly recommend. The next on my docket is Shifters by Douglas and Angelia Pershing.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Sue: I know it was something horse related, I was obsessed with horses when I was younger.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Sue: I am so corny, so anything super corny and anything that has a pun I laugh way too hard at. I am a huge sap so…I cry often, especially anything Disney related.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Sue: I have a few on my list. I want to meet all the Authors that I previously stated in the favorite writers section. I think that thanking them for shaping how I write should be in person, and for their support even if they don’t know if/how they have done so. I also would love to meet Shakespeare for the writing reasons, he is brilliant and I would love to be able to get to know him a little.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Sue: The obvious, reading and writing. I love to hike and fish.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Sue: The Vampire Diaries, I’m sorry but Damon Salvatore is just swoon worthy. The Walking Dead, The Vikings, Anything National Geographic or BBC (I love nature and animal shows).
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Sue: Foods – this is hard to pick from, I love food period, but my favorites are pasta related. Colors – green, blue, purple, light pink, and gray. Music – I am a mixed breed here too, I listen to all types. My favorites are what keep me motivated, high beat music. Shinedown, All American Rejects, All Time Low, Beyonce, B.o.B., Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, Big Sean, Blink 182, Brooks & Dunn, Bruce Springsteen, Brad Paisley, Chris Brown, Chris Stapleton, Fifth Harmony, Fetty Wap, Forever the Sickest Kids….etc….
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Sue: Die. I would die probably, I have to have some sort of outlet.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Sue: “At least I can say that I always tried.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Sue: Most will be posted on my Facebook page or Instagram feed.