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?
Harmony: My name is Harmony Williams and I am 27.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Harmony: I am Canadian, born and raised. I lived for a couple years in Iqaluit, Nunavut and St. John’s, Newfoundland before returning to my rural hometown in Eastern Ontario.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Harmony: I am a widow and I live with a sweet Doberman/Shepherd/Greyhound mix who I love with all my heart. I ghostwrite by day, and write lighthearted and funny historical romance by night. My idea day is spent curled up next to Edgar, my dog, while losing myself in a fictional world, preferably one with a happy-ever-after.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Harmony: One of my first-written novels (in 2009) will be published on June 5th, 2017. This is truly the book of my heart. How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Day shas always been my “happy” book, the book I can turn to when I’m in need of a smile. I’m so pleased to be able to share it with the world at long last.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Harmony: The earliest story I recall putting to paper was in Grade Three when my best friend challenged me to write the longest story for a school project. She won by a page and a half, but writing that story opened me to so many new possibilities and I wasn’t able to stop!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Harmony: I suppose I didn’t consider myself a true writer until I finished my first novel in 2004. Before then, I wouldn’t get more than forty or fifty pages into a book before I switched to some other shiny, new idea. The fact that I actually finished something was a huge success and motivator for me to continue.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Harmony: I started off writing fantasy because that was what I read back and forth with my Dad when I was young. I’m going to talk about what inspired me to write my first romance. I didn’t start reading romances until I was 15, when my (different) best friend and long-time romance lover slipped me a Sherrilyn Kenyon book. The best part about having a bookworm best friend is that she was always encouraging me to write so she could read my books! So I wrote her a romance, and the rest is history.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Harmony: Titles are such a pain for me. They either click from the beginning or I have a heck of a time coming up with one. For How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Days, it was the latter. This book started off with a title I pulled off the Adopt-a-Title thread of the National Novel Writing Month forums. That didn’t truly fit it, so during a revision I pulled it apart and gave it another name. I went through a bunch of titles while searching for one that really clicked and conveyed the fun tone of the book. It took a while, but I finally settled on this one!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Harmony: I write in both first and third person, but I think that first person is where I truly shine. It’s where I’m able to truly sink into the mindset of the characters and channel the flirty, sassy voice that is what I think makes the Ladies of Passion series so fun. Third person I find flows a bit less easily and I’m more apt to get writer’s block.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Harmony: My books are 100% fiction. I let the characters develop to become their own people and influence the plot in ways that are applicable to them. I don’t use real life people as a model.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Harmony: If only. I would love to travel more and someday, I’d love to visit a historical city and write a book cover to cover while influenced by that environment. For now, unfortunately, I’m limited to my imagination and the internet/non-fiction books!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Harmony: The covers of the Ladies of Passion series were designed by Erin Dameron-Hil, who was hired by my fantastic publisher, Entangled Publishing. I don’t think she could have done a better job, especially on How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Days.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Harmony: The main thing I’d love for my readers to take away from my books is a smile. I write lighthearted books that always end in happily-ever-after because that is the sort of book I have turned to so often in times of need. Life can bring us down sometimes, so if I can counteract that by giving a reader a smile or leave them happier when they finish the book, then I’ve done what I set out to do.
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?
Harmony: I read Brianna Labuskes’s debut novel, One Step Behind, and it was one of those can’t-put-it-down-even-to-eat kind of books. I loved it! On my auto-buy list for romance are: Sally Mackenzie, Julia Quinn, Tessa Dare, Julie Anne Long, and Lynsay Sands.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Harmony: I have always been blessed with incredibly supportive friends who do whatever they can to share in my happiness and ease the burden when I’m going through a stressful work time.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Harmony: I live it! Between ghostwriting and writing my own books, I am privileged to be able to claim that I make a living from my writing.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Harmony: Absolutely not. How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Days has undergone substantial changes from that flawed first draft, including revisions that have been exacted through the firm hand of my editor, AletheaSpiridon. Alethea is a brilliant and knowledgeable editor and I have every confidence that this book is as strong as I can possibly make it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Harmony: Every book teaches me something new about writing, that’s why I’d like to think every book I write will be better than the last. Every book also manages to teach me something about myself, as well. As Francine went through her emotional journey and learned to stand up for herself, so too did I. We are both stronger for having experienced the book.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Harmony: I think Emma Stone could play a fantastic Francine. A male lead would be harder to choose… but James McAvoy would probably do Julian justice. 🙂
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Harmony: Write the story you want to tell. Sometimes it might be painful, but if you believe in your characters, you will produce something that is beautiful and means the world to you.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Harmony: Keep reading, don’t be ashamed of what you love even if others don’t agree, and do what makes you happy.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Harmony: I just started Once a Courtesan by Liana Lefey and it hooked me from the start! On the non-fiction front, I’m learning more about the Bow Street Runners by reading The First English Detectives by J.M. Beattie.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Harmony: Not even close. I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember and I’m certain I’ve been reading since I was a toddler. My first romance book ever read was Sword of Darkness by KinleyMacGregor (a.k.a. Sherrilyn Kenyon).
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Harmony: When I’m feeling a bit down, I search for cute animal pictures and videos. Dogs especially make me melt. In books, I love back-and-forth banter that makes me chuckle. I’m not one for tear-jerkers so I always search out something that will make me smile.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Harmony: Lord Byron! I adore his poetry and even though I’ve read he was something of a player (a true Regency rake, to be sure), I’d still like to think I could reform him!
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Harmony: Many! I’m a member of the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA), where I’m learning how to sword fight. I also love art – from time to time, I’ll try my hand at drawing or painting but lately, my favourite method of visual art has been photography. I love to get out in nature with my dog and try to capture the beauty the countryside has to offer. When I get together with friends, we usually geek out over books and movies or play D&D.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Harmony: I prefer TV shows over films, mostly because I love getting connected to a group of characters over a series of episodes. I especially love mystery shows like Sherlock, Elementary, Bones, Castle, The Mentalist, Lie to Me, or Perception. Other shows that I absolutely love are Burn Notice, Leverage, The Big Bang Theory, and The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. I am always on board for a classic retelling.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Harmony: My favourite food is grilled cheese. A close second is fruit and custard-filled crepes.
My favourite colour changes with the wind but I love red, turquoise, and purple.
My favourite music depends on my mood, too. My theme song is “Sit Still, Look Pretty” by Daya. A close second is “That’s My Girl” by Fifth Harmony. My favourite song at the moment is “Rockabye” by Clean Bandit, Sean Paul, and Anne-Marie. I love songs with a good beat or melody but especially if the lyrics speak to me.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Harmony: I would probably be a big ball of stress. Writing is my outlet to release my frustrations/stress so without it I would have to find a different coping mechanism. I also make my living from writing currently, so I’d have to get another day job. I would probably seek out a secondary passion to turn into a career and read a lot.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Harmony: Here lies Harmony…or does she?
Lol, honestly, that’s a question I’ll probably never have an answer to.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Harmony: I keep a personal blog about my life, hobbies, and writing news at www.harmonywilliams.com. I also keep a newsletter with all of that information that readers can sign up to at www.harmonywilliams.com/newsletter.
For those who like to shop on Amazon can find me at: www.amazon.com/author/harmonywilliams
I’m also on social media:
More about How to Ruin Your Reputation in 10 Days:
In 1814 London, England, a lady is defined as a demure, delicate flower. Miss Francine Annesley is not that lady. If men were like plants, she would have a garden of admirers to choose from instead of the thorn in her side since childhood, Julian Beckwith. But she would make an even worse nun than she does a lady, which will be her fate if she can’t dig up a husband before the Season ends. However, Julian is not an option.
With only ten short days left in the Season, Francine doesn’t have time to waste on petty squabbles or knee-weakening kisses, even if Julian’s offer to fulfill her every wish rouses her curiosity. It seems men are more complicated than plants. Too bad love bloomed at the most inconvenient of times…
Entangled Publishing: https://entangledpublishing.com/how-to-ruin-your-reputation-in-10-days.html