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?
Well, most people call me Nikki, though, I go by my real name of Nicole as my author’s name. But that name is only used by my doctors and my mother when I am in trouble, and occasionally by my husband when he is trying to introduce me formally. I give him the glare for that one, though.
My age? Oh boy, I didn’t think I’d have to answer that question. Well, I stopped thinking of it as an age, and instead, think of it as a level. So, I am a level 42.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Vancouver, WA. Not to be confused with Vancouver BC, which everyone seems to think.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I am a mother of three boys, well, two of them are men now, but they will always be my boys. I am also married. We just celebrated our 14 year anniversary a few months back. Since we had our youngest I have stayed home, and when he was in 3rd grade I started homeschooling him. I have been doing that ever since.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just recently released a young adult edition for both Hell Bound and Pandora’s Promise, and am currently working on At Fate’s Door. That one will also have a young adult edition. I am also currently in the process of editing a book for a friend.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have always loved writing. It started out with poetry in junior high—middle school for you young ones—and went from there. I guess it is time to reveal a little secret. In 2006 my husband introduced me to a simulation game. I played it for a bit, but then joined a couple of gaming forums and realized others were writing stories on their little pixelated dolls. I started then with the stories and did that up until 2015 when a couple of my close friends suggested I try to write a novel. It’s been all about the novels ever since.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After I started Hell Bound. Even then, though, I had a hard time calling myself an author. I still can’t believe I’ve put out three books in a year.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My friends. I owe everything to those two. Without them and the support of my family, I do not think I would have had the courage to attempt it, let alone publish them.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
A lot of brainstorming with the family. The series was originally going to be The Keepers of the Realms or Order of the Realms, but then I came up with The Guardians Eyes, which are what the amulets are called that Lex and Brie use to teleport to the different realms. Hell Bound was easy, the story revolves around the Underworld, so that one just seemed right. With Pandora’s Promise, it just came to me, and A Very Grim Fairy Tale was my husband’s idea. He’s great at coming up with title names.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Descriptions. I can see it in my head, but actually getting it out onto the screen and it sounding like what I see is challenging. As for writing style, I don’t think I have a specific way I write, I just write however feels natural.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There are a few things that are based off either my own experiences or of what I’ve witnessed in my life. There is a part in Hell Bound at the beginning where Lex is thinking about a boy she had a crush on saying he liked her personality but wished she looked more like her sister—that part, that happened. That was my 8th grade year in school, and I was living in Federal Way with my father at the time. My sister lived in Vancouver with my mom, and the boy had never even met her, just seen a picture I had and said that to me. So, yeah, there are some real life experiences that are in the books, but most is fantasy and made up. A Very Grim Fairy Tale is all fantasy. I have never gone on a killing spree.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I have not had to so far, but I deal with fantasy worlds made up in my mind. I travel to these place when I am writing about them, but physically I never leave the house. Though, if they were real places, I would love to go to them!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Hell Bound was designed by Sabre Gray & Bane, based off a concept I came up with. The rest of my covers, Pandora’s Promise, At Fate’s Door, and A Very Grim Fairy Tale, I designed the covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In Pandora’s Promise there is, and I have it in my author’s notes in that book. Life is worth living! It might not seem like it at the time, but it is. Everyone has problems throughout their life, but there is always a light at the end of it. You might not see it, you might not even be close to it at the time, but taking your own life doesn’t solve anything. I love life, even during the hard times, and just wish that others that are having a hard time with it would seek out help. I could tells stories about my own childhood and teenage years and all the crap that I had to live through, and I get that it is hard and sometimes it is just easier to give up, but that only is hurting you. Get through it, feel like you are someone, because you do matter more than you realize. I am always open to listening to someone if they need help. My children have lost friends to suicide, and it still bothers them years later. I just wish those friends would have had someone to talk to, someone that could get them to understand that taking your own life isn’t the answer. If anyone out there ever feels like that, and you have no one to talk to, or feel you have no one to talk to, you do. I am putting this out there, I am always willing to lend an ear. I do not have a degree in anything, but I do have a heart and do have a great ear for listening. Just don’t keep those feelings inside, because they will only get worse.
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 have a lot of favorite authors—V.C. Andrews got me through my teenage years, along with Nora Roberts, and Sandra Brown. My son and husband recently got me reading Piers Anthony and I absolutely love him! He’s my writing hero now, and I wish to someday be just as quirky and awesome as him.
As for indie authors, my favorite has to be Dawn Doyle. Not because she is my friend, but because she can truly tell a story. She draws you in and hooks you, and I love that about reading. She does mostly romance, but she is currently having a go at fantasy and I have the pleasure of being one of the first readers. Let me just say this… You will love it!
I also really like Nellas Clavell. I am waiting anxiously for her next book!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I have two girlfriends that have been with me every step of the way. Without them, I honestly could not do this. We talk every day and go over ideas, questions, and all that stuff. They listen to me go on and on about my characters, and even throw out great ideas when I get blocked. They truly are my rocks, and I love them! Thank you girls! I owe them so much!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I hope so! I love to do it, and currently consider it a hobby/work. I have so many ideas, so many books that I want to get out there, I just wish I wrote faster! I have a whole folder full of ideas that just keeps growing! So a career of it would be nice, but at the same time it is too fun to be considered that. Who doesn’t love getting lost in their own worlds and then retelling your adventures!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Honestly, just grammatical errors if there are any, which I am sure there are. I love the story and to me it is just what I wanted to say, but I don’t have a robot’s eye and don’t always pick up little things like a missing comma. Believe me, I wish I could make it perfect!
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yep! Though, a lot wouldn’t agree with me. I have to say the apocalypse gnomes aren’t as bad as you’d think. Who knew that War, Famine, Pestilence, and even Death could be so lovable and stand for things you wouldn’t think.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Oh goodness, hmm. Let me think about that one for a moment. A young version of Ginnifer Goodwin. Bailee Madison maybe? Though, she is a bit tall as Lex is only five-one.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t listen to the internet too much! Granted, there are a lot of people out there that will help you, and can give you great advice, but there are also just as many that will fill your head with doubt, their own rules, and a bunch of hogwash. Just do what you feel is right. Write because you want to, write the way you want to. Do it with a passion, and enjoy every minute of it. If you listen to all the negative don’t do this and don’t do that, then it is no longer enjoyable.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I guess just remember I am human. I have feelings and I make mistakes. No one can be perfect as much as we try, so go easy on me when you find errors as there are bound to be some.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Bearing an Hourglass by Piers Anthony.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first novel I read, and enjoyed would be Flowers in the Attic. I read stuff in school as we all do, but never really got into them. V.C. Andrews is who got me reading on a regular basis.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Oh, everything can make me laugh! I make myself laugh by just walking and bumping into something. It always amazes me that I haven’t broken more bones than I have. What makes me cry? I cry with sad things, I cry with happy things. I am not one to hide my emotions. If I feel it, you’ll know—one way or another.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Hades. No, but seriously, if I could travel back in time I would love to meet Homer—not the animated character. I have always had an obsession with Greek mythology, and I will blame that on seeing Clash of the Titans around 1981 when I was about seven. My mother says she didn’t take me to the movie theater to see it, but I’ll argue that. Whichever way I saw it, it was the start of my obsession with Greek mythology. Medusa fascinated me, I had a crush on Perseus, and I never forgot that movie. Meeting Homer would be like meeting one of the closest people to the Greek gods. Even if his tales were just stories thought up in his brilliant mind, it would still be an honor to hear them told from his lips.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Well, writing and reading, of course, but I also like to crochet, draw, mess with graphic designing, and play the occasional game that will get my attention. Before I started taking my writing more seriously, gaming and writing were my thing, along with creating things for the game like clothing etc. Now, I just write.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Supernatural is my favorite. I’ve watched it since its premiere. I also like Grey’s Anatomy, Once Upon a Time, and the cooking channel, though, I suck in the kitchen. I burn water like nobodies business!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Pizza and Mexican food are my favorites. Colors I love them all. I usually say stripes is my favorite color, that way I am incorporating them all. As for music, I like a wide variety. Classic rock, Country, some Rap, Top 40 stuff… I kind of like it all.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Go back to making up imaginary beings in my head and talking to myself. I can have a whole conversation in my head and feel socially satisfied. I think I need help.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Nothing, I don’t want to die. If I had to have something, though, it would be something quirky that would make people laugh. I have no idea what that would be, but I am sure someone could think of something. I just don’t want it to be boring. Make my tombstone bright pink or rainbow. Everyone does gray stone, I want to be different.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do! You can find me most of the time on Facebook the quickest, but here are all my links.
Facebook profile if you want to follow or add me as a friend – https://www.facebook.com/nikki.merchant.5
My Facebook Author page – https://www.facebook.com/nicolej.merchant.author/
Author page on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Nicole-J-Merchant/e/B01JXZXIG0?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060
My website – http://nicolejmerchant.wixsite.com/nicole-j-merchant
My Twitter, though, I suck at posting on there – https://twitter.com/NMerchant_auth
And my Pinterest – https://uk.pinterest.com/nicolejmerchant/