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?
I’m 58 and my name is Graham C Jones. I have been asked what the C stands for, well, it could be charming lol more likely chubby lol but is in fact Charles.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally from the small market town of Buckingham, England, although have lived in many places including Scotland and Surrey. Have now landed in A beautiful village just outside Northampton.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I began being torchered, I mean educated at ChackmoreCof E school before being inflicted on teachers at Buckingham County Secondary School. Three years of bullying came to an end in the final days of third year when I clouted the biggest one. After that I went to three classes in two years (not advisable guys) Due to having no qualifications, I was a builder’s labourer which led to becoming a bricklayer until 1991 when I suffered back issues which disabled me for six years (and has returned now with revenge) I then returned to collage and gained NVQ’s in Business Admin and IT which led into Office Manager and Sales manager positions very quickly. After being made redundant several times, started as a handyman which grew to decorating and repairs and then to MD of my own Property Renovation company. During the recession we never had in 2009, it was my time to fail causing more health issues. Recovering from that, my last full time job was as School Caretaker and Road Crossing Patrol Officer (lollypop man lol) There, I had a knee injury from which I am still awaiting a new knee. Now an Author, Scriptwriter and watercolour artist.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Just planted my garden which looks nice, managing to lose some weight ………. Oh, writing you mean? Gotchya! Have just published book ten called ‘White Bishop Takes Rook: Checkmate!’, about a damaged soldier back from Afghanistan for the fourth tour but struggles to make sence of the world and does something about it. At the moment a follow up to ‘Robbery 4 All’ is being written and I am developing many more ideas to keep me off the street lol
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
During my lower back recovery in 1992 I thought up, developed and wrote my first book. So gobsmacked was I at that (as signing my name at the time was too much trouble) I wondered how difficult it would be to adapt for film of television. So arming myself with an ‘Inspector Morse’ script and a book called ‘How To Write For Film And Television’ I constructed my first script.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my first three were published three years ago almost. Scary but exciting at the same time
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had the good fortune to live in a cottage with fields on three sides. Very inspiring. Strangely, ideas came to me while washing up. So throw those dishwashers away and get yourselves at the sink all you want to be writers lol
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I think living with woodlands on the doorstep, I conjured an image while walking my Collie dog and what stood out for me was the hat. So that is where ‘The Shadowed Tricorn’ title was born.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
All of my books are especially designed at people who have forgotten how to read. I was just as guilty, enjoying films where information is fed to you. You don’t have to work at those. So most of my stories are short with short chapters, but jam packed, making them page turners (so I am told) Therefore it does not seem such a daunting task to read something thin, but afterwards have felt they have read an epic. Hopefully leading onto reading other author’s work 🙂 Love the challenge of creating character’s, habits, description, plots, sub plots, etc for stand alone books. Although saying that, i am revisiting ‘Robbery 4 All’ and could be enticed to do the same with two others. Speech comes easy when I slip into a non existent person (I’ve been doing that with different voices all my life, to entertain those around me) It’s a good job I can call myself an Author, otherwise saying I have a mirriad of people who live in my head, could lead to my final years being spent wearing a jacket that fastens at the back in a small room with spongy walls lol
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All writers call on people they have known for segments to build up a character. Life experience is at hand for events or places visited or would never visit again. Look around, everywhere are subjects, people, events, etc going on all the time. For me, a simple thing such as driving over a narrow humped back bridge over a canal, made me stop and the wild thought process outlined a story there and then. Or a streetwise girl running across the road sparked off the initial basis of a character. Be observant and carry a pad and pen or recorder to jot down everything as it comes, because for me, it never comes again. Great ideas lost due to being unable to log them.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I use any old excuse to travel lol To be on site, so to speak, I get feelings and visions by use of a minds eye. To have that ability is priceless. Research is always needed, photos, jot down anything people may say, etc to build up a picture. Experiences helped me with ‘The Other Five Beds’, Talking to pensioners led to ‘Carrots, Peas and Runner Beans’ and my holiday in Austria was extremely useful in the creation of ‘Violin Strings And Piano Chords’. I find to be in the area where the story is based is invaluable.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Not children, no lol Me. I design and paint them in watercolours. I was helped with the first three being put on-line and was asked if I had any ideas for covers, so I knocked some up. Not realising they were going to be used Argh!!! Major embarrassment lol In order to keep that style going, I am to blame for the ropey looking covers I’m afraid. Again, the challenge is there to create a cover which represents the story yet not gives much away. I first learned to paint after the falier of my company, I suffered a very high level of anxiety and depression. Now there is a gift that keeps giving 😦 Painting I discovered extremely theroputic ……… As are chickens for those in the same boat 🙂
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Someyes. In ‘White Bishop Takes Rook: Checkmate!’ the subjects of soldiers retired through ill health, homelessness, mental illnesses, etc are highlighted ……… I grant you, quite a lot involve theft of some kind. Perhaps there is money, or the lack of it, rolling around my sub-concience lol. Some people bury their heads in the sand and do not want to see these things, therefore they don’t have to deal with them. But, it always pay to have a balanced view of what’s going on around us.
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 was extremely fortunate to meet the late Colin Dexter (author of the Inspector Morse novels) who was a very entertaining and humorous man. Deaf as a post and I had to shout but it was great. His books are short chapters and I love his style. Also D H Lawrence (who wrote The Darlings Buds Of May. I would loved to have been Pop Larkin lol) An easy style that just grabbed me.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
A very good friend of mine, Dave Franklin. We were best mates during our teens and twenties but then lost touch until several years ago when we were reunited. Knowing I have many, what doctors love to call ‘disabilities’, he has been outstanding in promoting me and my work. Buying every copy of paperback, even if he has the eBook version too, bless him. Word of mouth, trying to get me to appear on television, he has been so enthusiastic, but honest enough to tell me if it was crap lol
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I hope so Fiona, it is the sticky tape which holds me together. Although I believe there is only one disability – and that is between the ears – I have physical, mental, corinary and pulminary, eight issues in all, which limit what I am able to do. My work boundaries may have shrunk, I can still do something positive in life and have a work title rather than whinging, “I can’t do anything, I’m disabled”. Can’t do that. I am proud to be an Author.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
no , I don’t think so.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
It is always good to learn new physical skills or knowledge, but being educated a little about PTSD was very humbling. Very few people realise the types of scenes a soldier has to encounter during a war zone and the effects in later life. Respect To the guys and girls who protect our nation’s 🙂
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
It would be my choice to have unknown actors to highlight their abilities. We have so much homegrown talent in such a fickle business, it would be nice to give youngsters the outlet they need. I would also like to be a Hancock (and Colin Dexter) and have a walk on role (or hobble on role in my case lol)
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Yes. Read all my work as an example of what not to do lol No, only joking, but not about reading all my work lol All anyone can do is there best. Keep writing, keep reading, keep jotting down, keep recording, just keep going. If you were to stop, there would always be that nagging doubt. The more you write, the betterer you get lol Never dismiss any research or ideas you have, just because they do not fit in your present project, doesn’t mean they won’t be great in another one 🙂
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Yes. Please keep buying my work and save me from a life of crime ……… Although I guess robbing a bank is not the best notion for me as the police would follow the pod marks of my walking sticks lol Probably catch me still escaping at a snail’s pace along the road lol ……. What I would like from all readers is please go back to the site where you purchased books, or anything for that matter, and provide a review. Not something readers would think about but the reviews writer’s have, the more likely more copies will be sold and marketing and advertising becomes a little more easier. If you enjoy what you read, please tell others and praise the author. Without feedback, we never know if we are hitting the mark or not. Many thanks 🙂
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
‘Where Is My Guitar?: On The Bus With The Snakeman’ An autobiography of Bernie Marsden, Guitarist with Whitesnake, Cozy Powell, UFO and several other bands. I was fortunate to know Bernie in my younger years. Although older than myself, he was from the same estate. Didn’t see as much of him as we would have liked as he was constantly working to get funds, then practiced all the time. Great book 🙂
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I think it was a Noddy Annual. I was always fascinated by the word as the colour seemed to wobble. I later discovered I was not connected properly and could wobble my eyes from side to side lol Never knew what it looked like because everything was moving about lol
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Seeing the funny side of all subjects has always been a blight on my character lol Being with good friends or just chatting with someone, humour can be found everywhere. There are two places in Les Misserables that always bring tears to my eyes. Surprisingly, I consider myself quite ballanced and can cry at sad films …….. How I have grown up sane at all is a mirricle lol To be dragged up with Monty Python, Billy Coll0ny, Blackadder, The Young One’s, etc. Need I say more lol
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Michael Caine. I have always admired this guy. Managed to keep his private life away from his work life, has studied and worked damned hard to reach the top of the acting tree. Charity work is second to none and keeps it nice and quiet. Great actor, great man and would love to meet him (hint, hint lol) Equally, the same can be said about Clint Eastwood. Further into life these guys get, the better they are
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Painting obviously, gardening, I may have slightly too many movies ……… Is eight hundred too many? I’m not sure lol. Socialising with my friends or just chatting with people in general 🙂 Strike up a conversation and it’s amazing the interesting folk we can meet. Talking period lol
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Action, Adventure, mysteries, comedies, most films I can get something out of as I can watch them over and over but in a different way, such is my interest for the industry.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Black is probably my first colour choice. My car is grey but that is so the dirt doesn’t show so much lol. Fancy food is really quite lost on me. Very decorative but I would go to an art gallery if I want pretty. I like carvery food, or cafe, egg on toast. Simple but hearty 🙂
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Panic lol It’s the sticky tape which holds me together. Paintings of people’s homes. Volunteer at my local hospital as a patient visitor, which I am already attempting to become involved in. Volunteer to help abused dogs, to help them regain trust with humans again. I have been fortunate enough to receive quite a bit out of life, be it help with alcoholism, hospital assistance, etc I see no reason why I shouldn’t put something back 🙂
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
‘Lord Graham C Jones’ (I am a Scottish Lord you see) ‘Lord Graham C Jones, I hope he’s dead because he’s under here’ with a big arrow pointing downwards lol
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
www.grahamcjones.com has links to most eBooks and a couple of BBC Radio interviews. www.lulu.com and look for Graham C Jones or Tickertyboo Publishing in the book section for all eBooks and paperbacks. Many thanks Fiona 🙂