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?
Hello. Thank you Fiona. I’m Maggie Jane Schuler and I’m 46.
Fiona: Where are you from?
California. I was born in northern and migrated south.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I am a teacher by day and author by night. I hold a BA in multiple subjects and English literature and a MAED in Educational Technology. I am fellow of the National Writing project. I have 1 hubby, 3 children, and 2 dogs. I love baseball.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I released my first work, Resurrection, in March 2017. I have another release, Up to Bat, coming in July, and hopefully a third release in the late fall.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I never believed in my ability as a writer until I wrote my Master’s thesis in 2015. My college roommate, back in the early days of my undergraduate work, truly inspired me.She helped me work out my issues with writing. My confidencein writing took another 20 years to come together. I think my Master’s thesis kicked it off and the National Writing Project sealed my fate. All my ideas began flowing and I needed to write all the words bubbling through my head in the middle of the night.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I always wrote, just not for me. My writing was far more technical and academic rather than prose and fictional. I’d say it was through my development as a fellow in the National Writing Project and my writing groups that my wick was lit,and the weekly writing projects we shared in fictional writing finally pushed me towards publishing.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first release was inspired by two friends of mine. Each had suffered heartaches beyond comprehension and truly triumphed over their circumstances. They were the foundation for my characters, Jenna and Chase.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title came to me in a dream. I woke up and knew it was the one, because Resurrection is a story about a part of ones human flameblowing out when the world hands you something unfathomable and through the process of rebuilding oneself you soon rise above it all and resurrect yourself.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I think I’m still working out my style. I like characters with a bit of grit and struggle. I like them to have a sense of the real, but obviously, the touch of fiction creates the real reason we read. People read to escape and dive into new worlds and ideas.
The challenge… if I must pick one, it would be writing the sexy scenes. I love reading all types of genres and every author writes the intimacy of sexy time in different ways. But capturing that moment, in words, is difficult. One is the blocking of body movements, the imagery surrounding the moment, and then the dialogue to create the right tone. If the author can’t get the mood conveyed it falls short. I find it difficult because it often ends up sounding cheesy andappears strangely technical and awkward. Often those are the scenes I must work the hardest on to make them flow naturally because what I envision in my head is often not what happens with my words!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Quite a few things are modeled after some real-lifeexperiences. The setting is here in Southern California at familiar places. Jenna and Chase are sketched after friends of mine. Lacey is a mixture of my niece and my daughter when they were three. The rest is still sprinkled fiction.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I have 46 years under my belt. These life experiences help generate the stories at foundational level, but the rest is my brain living and breathing the character’s stories. Of course, if I need to travel for research purposes I’m all in. My children are almost grown so free time should permit the research traveling!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My Mr. designed the cover. He works in the video production/post production industry and has the skill set to design still media as well. The challenge is making sure he conveys the picture I’ve got in my mind correctly for the cover and teasers. Although it took us little while to agree on the final product I think he nailed Resurrection’s cover!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In Resurrection, the leading theme is to believe in second chances. Sometimes life hands you pile of crap and you must persevere and rise above all those negative things to truly find yourself.
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?
New authors who keep me going… That is a tough one. I’d have to say I have three right now. Sloane Howell, Belle Brooks, and Mae Wood. Each of them captured me during my research of the romance genre. They each stylistically have a charm and voice which capture the reader and keep them coming back for more.
I don’t have a favorite writer. I love to read old and new authors across all genres. I’m a literature analyst by degree and I find each author brings something new to the table. Whether it be Chaucer, Dickens, Steinbeck, King. Grisham, Brown, Claire, James, or another published author each brings a piece of magic to the world of reading and is not better than the other. Each has a style and purpose which is set forth for the reader to discover. It’s this journey which intrigues me.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I’m a lucky girl because I have multiple friends who have helped pave this journey for me. Several college friends and work colleagues help build my confidence and keep me on track with the writing life!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’d love to write full time. My goal is to make this my day and night career at the beginning and end of each day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Resurrection was built as a single work. Fitting in all the details and cutting out others was a difficult task. I’m not sure if my changes now would make the work stronger knowing it was a stand alone.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
During Resurrection I learned a handful of lessons. I wrote Resurrection for NaNoWriMo. I was sort of pushed into the whole November month of writing and it turned out to be a fantastic experience. I met good people along the way to bounce ideas off, worked on style choices, and learned how to budget writing minutes.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I see Jenna as a January Jones kinda girl, and Chase would be more like Scott Eastwood.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Writing is difficult. The hardest thing to do is expose yourself to criticism, but it is the necessary evil. Open your mind hearing what others tell you about your manuscript. If something needs changed be willing to look at your work through a different lens, and then make moves to improve the work based on the feedback.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Readers are the reason we write and publish. It is important for readers to also have a voice. When a reader reaches out and connects with an author to tell them why they loved a work or where it fell short it creates a bond between readers and writers which inspires authors to keep going. With 21st century technologies connecting with favorite authors is simple and easy. Please don’t be afraid to reach out and engage with authors. We love it!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I read between 5 and 7 books a week. This last week I read Roomie Wars by Kat Masen, Shaking Up by Helena Hunting, an ARC read for Cyan TayseHave you Ever, an ARC for Belle Brooks One Fear, two short ARC readers in the anthology Hunks to the Rescue, and a YA dystopiaThe Age of Miracles. I also did an Alpha readfor Joshua Edward Smith. I keep busy between reading and writing!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember my first love of books with Dr. Seuss, but once I began reading Charlotte’s Web by E.B White I propelled my reading habits two fold.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Besides reading and writing things, my family. My children and husband are the best at making me laugh. But every reward or rejection each of them feels I also feel.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
If I could meet one person one on one and just simply exchange words and ideas I’d have to pickJackie Robinson. To be in his shoes breaking the racial barriers and staying focused on his actual love of the game of baseball blows my mind.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love cooking and watching baseball!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
At the moment House of Cards is my Netflix shame.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love chips, salsa, and guacamole! Blue is my go to color. I’m eclectic in musical taste. I listen to it all!
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d still be teaching school!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She went after her dreams!
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
People can stalk me and find out about everything all over social media”
FB Group: http://bit.ly/TheNaughtyNerdyNest