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?
Martin Ferguson and I turned 30 earlier this year.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I currently live in Norwich, England, but have previously lived in Nottingham and London for a few years at a time.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
I studied Business Management at Nottingham Trent University and currently work as an Urgent & Emergency Care Manager in the NHS. I am married and expecting my first child in September (keeping the gender a surprise).
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I am very excited that the second book in my series Relic Hunters will be out on 1st June. It is called Curse of the Sands.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as a way to avoid studying – especially around exam times. Over the years I wrote more and more, releasing a few novels and short stories under the pseudonym of Edward Drake. Then I came up with the idea of Relic Hunters, contacted Little Bird Publishing and the rest is history.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I first held the paperback copy of Eagle of the Empire, book one of the Relic Hunters series.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wanted to write something that I myself would enjoy. I had been through a period of starting and stopping a number of books that I just could not get into – so I decided to give writing a go myself. Believe me, it was a lot harder than I thought. What really encouraged me to give writing a go with the Relic Hunters series was a knee injury that prevented me from football and running. I focussed all my attention to writing – initially as just a method of staying sane whilst I healed up. In a way that injury was a blessing in disguise.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The titles for the books and the series as a whole are pretty self-explanatory. The series revolves around a group of treasure seekers working for the British Museum in London. The first entry, Eagle of the Empire,revolved around the team seeking out a Roman Legion Eagle standard. The second entry coming out on 1st June, Curse of the Sands, is about the discovery of a mysterious pyramid and the terrible dangers awaiting the explorers within.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I would not say that I have a particular writing style. I just try to entertain the reader. I try to not plan everything out – the plot, the characters, etc., but I’m afraid it does usually turn out that way simply to tie everything together and make sure I don’t forget anything. I find the biggest challenge is generally finding the time to write. With a full-time job and a baby on the way – I don’t think this challenge is going to get any easier!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I wish the books were based on experiences in my own life! That would be amazing. Sadly this is not the case and I guess the stories are wish fulfilment for me.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I do try to visit all the locations that feature in my stories. In preparation for Eagle of the Empire I visited the British Museum in London, Loch Lomond in Scotland, Rome and Pompeii in Italy and Vatican City. This was all before and during the process of writing the book.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher Little Bird Publishing designed the covers and I could not be happier with them.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are a few messages throughout the stories; trust, family and never giving up on what you seek no matter the setbacks.
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 am currently reading A Hole in The Ice by fellow Little Bird author McCallum Morgan. I’m about halfway through and its proving to be an excellent mix of epic fantasy, historical and steampunk all rolled into one.
My all-time favourite author has always been Bernard Cornwell. The characters he creates are extremely relatable, despite the time settings, and the way he describes battles have you feeling like you are actually there in the midst of it all.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Really I cannot thank Little Bird Publishing enough. They helped and are still helping me to develop as a writer and without them none of my stories would ever see the light of day.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love for writing to be a full-time career for me and hopefully it will be in the future. For now I use every minute I have spare to work on the Relic Hunters series and develop my writing.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would maybe add in a few little details and conversations that I have thought of since. I know that a lot of writers don’t like reading their previous books as they see things that they would change – to be honest I think I am going to be very similar.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Book two was a lot harder to write than book one. I guess in a way it’s the same for musicians and their infamous second album. For book two I wanted to expand the world of the series and introduce new characters but it quickly became a balancing act of expanding but not taking the focus away from the original roster of protagonists.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
The lead protagonist in the Relic Hunters series is Adam Hunter, 17 years old, rebellious, reckless and always eager for an adventure.If the series was made into a film I think the casting for Adam Hunter would need to be someone like Taron Egerton (though I know he is currently 27). It would need to be someone with a bit of edge to them but heart too.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Do not be afraid to tell others that you write or what you write about. It truly is an amazing thing to dedicate yourself and your time to writing and it is something to be proud of. Above all though, write. Write and make mistakes – it is the only way we learn!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Just that I hope they enjoy what I have written so far and that I have a lot of big plans for the next few books in the Relic Hunters series.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
A Hole in The Ice by fellow Little Bird author McCallum Morgan.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I can remember reading was the Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks – a great story about a magic cupboard that could bring plastic figures and toys to life (this was before Toy Story hit the cinemas).
As a young adult it was Sharpe’s Eagle by Bernard Cornwall. It is still to date my favourite book of all time.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Sadly it is usually the inappropriate things that make me laugh – like my nephew accidently tripping over and landing face first in the mud. For crying – I must admit there were tears when I first felt my baby kick – I’ve no idea what I will be like when they are finally born!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I always wanted to meet Muhammad Ali. His charisma and energy always impressed me and I used his example a few times during my own running training and in life, specifically; ‘Don’t count the days, make the days count’.
The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill is a good one too – to ask him what it was like to lead your country when it was on the brink of annihilation during the Second World War.
I would love to see my grandad again too. He passed away a few years ago – before I was married or saw any of my books published. He always encouraged me and I would love to speak to him again and tell him all that has happened.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Outside of writing I am a keen runner and occasionally play football when my team needs me. The knee injury I mentioned before was inflicted during a game of football. I was told by surgeons that the damage was so great that I would never run or play sports again and that there were no medical/surgical options. I was determined to prove them wrong and though it took a long time I was able to recover enough to run again. I then sought to prove myself further by participating in running challenges; first 5kms, 10kms, half marathons and then this year the Greater Manchester Marathon. I still return to play football when needed but I am always cautious of damaging the injury even further.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
At the moment I have been watching a mix of historical / fantasy TV shows; Game of Thrones, Vikings, Black Sails, The Walking Dead and Arrow/Flash. I enjoy films that are much the same enjoying this year’s Star Wars Rogue One, King Arthur and Guardians of the Galaxy Volume Two.
Fiona: Favourite foods, colours, music?
Food: Depends on the mood but Spaghetti Bolognaise, British Sunday Roast or Sweet & Sour Chicken Chinese takeaway.
Colours: Red and white (Arsenal fan)
Music: Foo fighters or 30 Seconds to Mars
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I really don’t know, maybe more running or more of a return to playing football again. To be honest out of those options I would rather be writing.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Something like Spike Milligan’s ‘I told you I was ill’.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have my Facebook Author page and my website. There is also the Little Bird Publishing website for updates as well and my books are available on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com