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?
HI! I’m Melissa Stevens. Do I have to admit my age? Ok, ok, let’s just say 39. (no, really, my birthday is soon and I’m actually turning 39!)
Fiona: Where are you from?
Arizona. All over the southern half, currently living in Hell, aka Yuma.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Oh, you want me to talk about myself… *sigh* I hate this part, how do you talk about yourself like this without sounding like an online dating ad? Hmm.. Let’s see. I grew up in a teeny town in Southern Arizona, and by teeny, I mean don’t blink, you’ll miss it. I didn’t go to school *gasp* I know. I was homeschooled all the way through high school, and I spent less than a year in college before I got married and went to work.
I started writing seriously when I was 31, (don’t bother with the math, that was in 2009, lmao) and I instantly fell in love, I’ve never looked back.
A little about my personal life, let’s see. I’ll hit my 20th wedding anniversary next month and I’m currently working on getting our 4 kids raised and self-sufficient, while also dealing with a rotten dog and 13 spoiled chickens. Life is never boring here.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Hmmm. Well, I’ve got a Motorcycle Club Romance, with a twist, being released next week (May 23rd) that’s Ruger and my first in a collaboration with 3 other authors out in July, that’s Released by Desire.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Picture it, NaNoWriMo, 2009. (so being home schooled often leads to too much pop culture exposure and I might have seen too much Golden Girls.)
Anyway, in October I received an email about NaNoWriMo, the international challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November. “That’s insane” I thought and I threw the email away. But the idea haunted me until I knew I could do it. So hunted it down, and started writing… Lo and behold, I did it… It was rough and needed a lot of work but that eventually became Robin’s Nest.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
To me, it wasn’t official until I published my first book… that was January 2012.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
National Novel Writing Month, 2009.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
A friend of mine helped me with it. I’d been sending it to her in chunks, getting advice and input, then I told her I had no clue what to call it, and she made several suggestions. Robin’s Nest was one that made the most sense to me (the male lead is named Robin)
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Doesn’t everybody? I have a tendency to start with a couple characters and a situation, and since I write romance, I know roughly where it will end, and everything in the middle just happens as I write.
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 bits in each book that are personal experience, a piece of this character, a bit of that one, based on someone I know, but almost never whole characters, with one big exception. There is one character in Jade’s Peace that I crated because the man he’s based on had passed away several years before and I really missed him, so I wrote him into a book, with a different name, of course.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel?
Before or during the process? Most of the places in my books are based on places I’ve been, but not all of them. But I’ve never travelled to do research for the books. I’ve just pulled from my experiences there or did a lot of online research or found someone familiar with the area to talk to.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Most of my covers are done by Sweet n’ Spicy designs. I got the cover for Robin’s Nest somewhere else, and I don’t even remember where off hand. The books for City of Sin were designed by a friend of one of the other authors. I don’t know if she does it professionally or not.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not that I can think of, I write romances, of one kind or another, so maybe it’s take love and happiness where you can find it?
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 don’t read as much as once did (before I started writing, I counted over 330 books a year for several years running, now I’m lucky to make 75) but my most recent find has been LaurannDohner. I like hers. My current favorite is Laurell K Hamilton, her earlier Anita Blake books are part of why I started writing. A female lead who can and will do whatever needs to be done, and takes no shit off anyone. I still want to be Anita when I grow up…
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Author Kari Trumbo. She’s one of my best friends, we talk almost daily, share the different things we learn, and help each other as much as possible.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I want it to be, right now I’ve had to take a part time job to help with family finances, but I’ve set some deadlines for myself that I’m hoping will make writing a little more profitable so I can write full time again.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nope. I just finished with edits, getting it formatted and uploaded, and I’m thrilled with it. I’ve been working on Ruger for 2 years and I’m so glad to see him made real.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned a lot, some of it I can’t go into here, it would give away the twist, but even though I’ve been around a fair number of motorcycles in my life, I had to do more than a little research to get things just right.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Taylor Kitch would be perfect for Ruger, and Selena Gomez would be a good Krissi
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Put your butt in the seat and finish that first draft. Don’t worry about being perfect, just get the first draft done no matter how crappy. You can always fix crappy but you can’t fix non-existent.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Um…. Thank you so much!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Actually, I’m not in the middle of anything. I often start something, and finish it in just a couple hours…:D
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Pfft. I learned to read at 3, of course I don’t. I do remember reading the “letter box books” when I was really small, the first “real book” I remember reading was Box Car Children books.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Usually my family on both accounts…
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading and knitting, when I can find time.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I am a superhero movie fan… I also like the new Star Trek movies… The Fast and Furious franchise… Transformers, X-Men, I guess you could say I like action and shoot-em up movies.
As for TV shows, I like a lot of the crime stuff, all the CSI/NCIS/Criminal Minds/Bones. I also like Gray’s Anatomy, Vikings and Sons of Anarchy, but we don’t have TV service so I have to catch them on Netflix or Amazon Prime
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Ack, just pack it all in there! Lol.
My favorite food is steak. Just give me a good, med-rare steak and I’ll be happy.
Colors? Green, Red, Teal, jewel tones, please.
Music… um, not pop, rap or classical. I like old, and I mean old, ‘50’s and 60’s era country, all the way through about 2005. Then rock. That ranges from 70’s era to modern. And I like the hard rock too. My current favorite, that ends up on repeat as often as not is Disturbed’s version of “The Sound of Silence”
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Slowly go crazy. Writing is what keeps me sane.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Wife, Friend, Mom, Grandma.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Amazon Authors page amazon.com/author/melissastevens
Links for my books…
Change (99c) https://books2read.com/u/3LrxwX
Kitsune Collection https://books2read.com/u/4AgKMN
Escape (free) https://books2read.com/u/mV7e6M
Jade’s Peace https://books2read.com/u/brGwk3
Risking Alex https://books2read.com/u/381a6m
Robin’s Nest https://books2read.com/u/4DADxQ
Choosing Happiness https://books2read.com/u/m0EEW4
Released by Desire https://books2read.com/u/4EWZyo