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 everyone! My name is Charlene Antrobus, and I am 29 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I currently reside in the UK with my family. I am a Christian, and my main aim in life is to just show people love and understanding, free of judgment. I think that we all make mistakes and mess up without being reminded of it every day. Part of why I love to write is because it’s a way for me to understand the world and people in a different way. Though, I am now a full time writer I actually went to theatre school to study performing arts for four years (which was awesome). In many ways that experience has hugely helped me with my writing, because I see every book idea as a movie and then just write what I see!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have a new young adult fantasy book coming out, called Kingdom of Measure. I am very excited about this!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I didn’t discover that I wanted to be a writer until around five years ago when I stumbled across a site called Wattpad. I wrote a book on there that received over 10 million views (to date). Since then, it has been all that I have wanted to do. I have published six books under a different pen name, but I now feel like I have finally found my voice as an author and figured out where I belong, which is why I am now working on my first young adult fantasy series under a new pen name (Charlene Antrobus).
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The moment that I realised that it was something that I needed to do.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I read a book on a site called Wattpad that really intrigued me. It made me want to try something myself and I did. The rest is history ha ha
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The series that I am currently working on is set in a world where seven magical kingdoms exist. I plan to write a story for each kingdom. The first story that I am working on is about a kingdom that chooses your ranking based on how much power you can harness. So, if you measure a low amount of power you’ll be placed in a lower rank and vice versa. Therefore, I felt that Kingdom of Measure was a fitting title.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Regarding style: one strange thing that I do is I will act out an entire scene by myself and then run to my computer to write it out! Ha. I try to write the way that I would like to receive it as a reader. I love first person POV books and books that do not carry too much description, I like to have a hint at what things are like but I quite enjoy filling in the blanks myself.
This is the first fantasy book that I have ever written and so it is vastly different to the romance novels that I have written. The world building is huge, and whilst I had an immense amount of fun building it, it is also like lining up dominoes, if you knock one the wrong way they all fall down. So, I find that when I change something I always have to figure out what else is affected as a result. That can sometimes be tedious.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The book is set in a fantasy world that doesn’t really exist so in terms of the world, how they live, the things they do, technology they have, food they eat etc… it is not realistic but in terms of the emotions and reactions of characters that live in that world, it is all very real.
I very rarely base my books on real people or myself, for me, the whole idea of writing is exploring the unknown and helping me to understand different types of people. Of course my life experiences, people I have met and things I have seen all have an effect on what I produce but never intentionally.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t need to travel but I would love to. As I mentioned above I am constantly inspired by everything so the more I see the more ideas I have.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The covers do not exist yet, but I have commissioned a graphic designer to produce a certain style of image for me, from there I will design the covers as I have had a lot of cover design experience in the past.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
When the idea came to me, I didn’t have a particular message in mind, the story just grabbed me. If people were to take away a message though I would like it to be that we are all equal and just because we are different, it does not give us the right to treat each other differently.
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?
Sabaa Tahir is an author that grabbed my attention. I remember reading the sample of An Ember in the Ashes and just thinking ‘this story is amazing,’ ‘this author is incredibly talented’. Sabaa Tahir is, of course, not a new author anymore since her second book is now out but she’s one that sticks with me. Also, her reason for creating the series is incredible.
I have many authors that I think are just amazing: Sarah J Maas, Sabaa Tahir, Kiera Cass, Victoria Aveyard, Ally Condie, Amy Ewing and sooooo many more but I think that one author that just stands out for me is Colleen Hoover. Her style of storytelling is unlike any I have ever experienced. She has a way with words that just completely pulls me into the world that she has created. I never feel like I am reading a book when it comes to Colleen, it’s like a life experience that I come out of with a new mindset. That is an incredible skill.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Honestly, I would have to say God. If I didn’t understand the concept of faith then I would have none in myself, and this is the kind of career that needs a lot of faith!!!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
At this time my latest book is not complete so I have time to make mistakes and hopefully fix them before it meets the world. What I would say though, is that I wouldn’t change my journey at all. I’ve made HUGE mistakes during my time as an author (under my other pen name) but they are all mistakes that have led me to this point so would I take it back? Nope, not at all 😀
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Definitely, I’ve learned how much work goes into writing fantasy. Fantasy books have a depth that I’ve never had to explore before. With my romance novels, the world was already set up and ready for me to use because I used our world, with fantasy it’s like having another huge character arc because not only am I trying to build a believable character that grows with the story, I’m also trying to do the same with the world.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I honestly have no idea. My characters have ice white hair and striking gold eyes in their world, and I’m not even sure who can pull that look off ha ha. I guess I would just love to see someone who can bring real authenticity to the character, probably an unknown actress.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Only do this if you absolutely love it because it is hard work but once you know that you love it then never give up. Keep fighting. Remember, this is a marathon not a race. And never try to be what someone else wants, don’t write to trend, write from the heart. A trend only begins when the first person creates it! Be that first person.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Just a huge thank you. Writing for a living is my absolute dream, and the only reason I can do it is because of the amazing support of readers. They keep me going and for that I love them x
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
*Laughs out loud*
Book? I’m reading six different books! Ha ha! I’m currently reading:
Heir of Fire by Sarah J Maas
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
The Crown by Kiera Cass
Crossed by Ally Condie
The White Rose by Amy Ewing
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
A girl can never have too many books, right?! lol
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Oh my gosh, I wish I did! My mom made sure that I was reading from as earlier as possible so I have no idea. I do remember that I went through a phase of absolutely loving the Goosebumps books as a kid but it had to be the ones where you get to choose which direction the book went in. Those books were the best!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh at pretty much everything, I’m terrible lol. And what makes me cry is witnessing other people’s pain…that’s heartbreaking to see.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Other than God, although I’m definitely not ready to meet him yet! Lol I would absolutely love to meet JK. Rowling. I would just like to ask her about a million questions. Her world building is so amazing that to be at the stage I am and even get a little advice from her would make my day!
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading, of course! Ha. I love travelling, I really enjoy nature and just exploring it, I like to hang out with my friends and family and trying new and interesting foods (and yes I totally see this as a hobby lol)
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch TV very often (mainly Netflix when I can) but I do have a group of shows that I LOVE watching: Flash, Arrow, Supergirl, Dc Legends of Tomorrow, How to get away with murder, Once upon a time, Vampire diaries (well I did before it ended L), Th Originals! I’ll leave it there ha ha
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
My favourite foods are probably Chinese and Carribean but I love to try new things, Thai’s delicious so maybe that too. My favourite colour is green. I don’t really have a favourite style of music, I will just listen to whatever works with the current mood I’m in. Recently, I’ve been listening to Castle by Halsey (The Winter’s War version) on repeat.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Cry and then I would most likely go back to acting because I still love that very much too but that’s not a future I would want to imagine.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
What an interesting question! Erm…I’ve never thought about this. Just something that insinuated that I lived a good life and loved others, and hopefully made some form of a difference to the world.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do indeed, it’s www.charleneantrobusbooks.com
Thanks for having me!