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?
My author name is Rosemary Fryth, and I am in my early 50’s.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am Australian of Anglo-Celtic descent.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was born into an old Australian family (both sides of the family came to Australia in the 1800’s). The family has lived in Brisbane for three generations, but my husband and I moved to country New South Wales three years ago as a ‘tree-change’ from a large city to a small quiet town. Currently I am a mature aged University student doing a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Writing and Ancient History (with a particular focus on Rome).
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest news? I guess waiting on results to come back from my last University Trimester assessments, and thinking about getting back into writing a time-travel novel The Janus Enigma that I put aside two years ago in order to focus on work and university.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
My earliest memory was of writing a small anthology of poems in early primary school. As to why – I’ve always been scribbling – poems, short stories, novels. It was just something that I felt inspired to do.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I self-published my first fantasy trilogy on Amazon KDP and watched amazed as so many people from all over the world downloaded and read my books.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was the heroic epic fantasy Riothamus trilogy and it started out as a single entity. However, with a word count of in excess of 300K, it really needed to be broken into smaller, more readable chunks, and so it was changed into a trilogy (Arantur, Warriormage, and The High King). After self-publishing Riothamus, I went on to write and self-publish The Darkening trilogy (Dark Confluence, Dark Destination, Dark Destiny), which is contemporary paranormal dark fantasy, followed by a stand-alone novel The Dresser Man.
As for the inspiration for Riothamus? I had read a lot of fantasy – it’s my favourite genre – but none of the books really hit the mark for me. So I wrote the book that ‘I’ wanted to read, and surprisingly a lot of people enjoyed reading it too.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
In the book the ‘Riothamus’ is the name given to the High King.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I have long periods away from writing – University commitments, work commitments, real life intrudes – but once I get back into writing, I seldom walk away from a project until it is completed. I’m a micro-manager when it comes to my books. I like to have control over every step of the writing, editing, design and publishing process. I was taken up by a small New York publisher last year (until they closed their doors due to legal problems) but I learned from this experience that I’m happiest micro-managing my work, rather than leaving it to others to do. So I have remained an independent author and self-publisher.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Riothamus is a heroic epic fantasy so very little of it is based on real life, although I was able to write with some authority on castles, armour, weapons and battle simply because of my previous experiences as a medieval re-enactor.
Dark Confluence and Dark Destination from The Darkening trilogy, on the other hand, were based on an actual Australian location (the town name has of course been altered to protect the innocent). I’ve visited the ‘fictional’ town of ‘Emerald Hills’ a number of times in real life and the region around ‘Emerald Hills’ would be quite familiar to any resident of South East Queensland. As for the rest of the story – it is entirely fictional and not based on actual people or events in my own life.
The Dresser Man is set in Brisbane, a city that I spent most of my life, and so was able to write confidently about places, landscape and people.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Aside from the fictional realms in my epic fantasy, I try to confine my writing to places I have either visited or am familiar with. I use Google Maps and Google Earth for places that I’ve not personally visited in order to give me a feel for the locations.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed the covers for the Riothamus trilogy, and a talented Russian lady designed the covers for The Darkening trilogy. There is an alternate cover for Dark Confluence floating around the net – this was a design by the publisher – but it has since been replaced.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not so much in Riothamus, but there are many pertinent messages, both obvious and hidden, in The Darkening trilogy. The Darkening trilogy is meant to be read and understood on many different levels. You can simply enjoy it as a contemporary paranormal thriller/dark fantasy, or discover the deeper messages dealing with politics, spirituality, loss of faith, and the state of the modern world.
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 tend not to read many new authors, but instead go back to old favourites like Arthur C. Clarke, Mary Stewart, Charles de Lint, and Susan Cooper. My favourite writer would have to be Arthur C. Clarke as I enjoy his ‘hard’ science fiction. I like my sci-fi and fantasy to be believable, set in a rational world and not require me to suspend disbelief. I’ve tried to achieve that level of believability in my own stories, and many of the comments I’ve received from readers about the Riothamus trilogy was how much they enjoyed my world building, and also how creepy Dark Confluence is, and how the horror steals up on you slowly and takes you almost unaware.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I don’t think there was any particular entity that offered me any support. My greatest support comes from my husband who is my biggest fan.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’d like to write professionally and my University studies are hopefully paving the way.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not in the latest book, but if I were to do it all over again I’d certainly outsource editing and proofreading for my first trilogy because it is a bit rough and ready – originally I put it up on Amazon as a ‘bucket-list project’ expecting that it would sink without a trace (instead it did laps!). One day, perhaps when University is finished, I will get back to Riothamus and properly edit it and get decent covers designed before sending it to CreateSpace for conversion into paperback format.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
My most recent book The Dresser Man (a stand-alone book in The Darkening world and written after The Darkening was completed), is in the genre of paranormal-erotic-romance. I guess I had to learn to write fairly explicit sexual scenes – something that I had never attempted before.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For Riothamus – a younger Sean Bean to play the character Arantur.
For The Darkening – the Scottish actress Shirley Henderson to play the character Jen McDonald.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just keep writing. It doesn’t matter what you write, the important thing is that you keep the words flowing in whatever form you feel most comfortable.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
First off, thanks to those who have read my book, it means a great deal to me to know that people all around the world have read my stories. As for prospective readers, I don’t have an author website any more, but information on my books can be found at the following links. If you like heroic epic fantasy, then I’d direct your attention to the Riothamus trilogy, and if you like paranormal thrillers/contemporary dark fantasy then you might enjoy The Darkening trilogy. However, if you like poetry, I do have a small anthology of poems available called Elemental.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m currently re-reading Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising series, but once University begins again I’ll be back to reading university texts.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Given that I have a hopeless memory and that I’ve been reading ever since I was a small child I don’t recollect the first book I read. That being said, I do remember going to our local library as a small child and taking out a book called The Book of Revolutions. I chose it because it was the biggest book that I could find, and the book was full of illustrations of people getting their heads chopped off by the guillotine.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I don’t cry very often, and likewise I’m not one for easy laughter. However, the Monty Python boys always makes me smile.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Julius Caesar – I did a university essay on him and he was such an interesting and accomplished man that I’d love to hear first-hand about his life and exploits.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Aside from writing novels, I am also a poet and a sculptor in clay. I enjoy reading about history, especially pre-history (the European Neolithic, Mesolithic and Paleolithic eras) and have an interest in paleoanthropology. My other interest is science, in particular, astrophysics and astronomy.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Fantasy and sci-fi movies and television shows, and anything dealing with time-travel, and historical, archaeological or scientific documentaries. Although, after watching one or two reality television shows, I have developed an aversion to that genre of entertainment.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Food: Chocolate, Himalayan curries, pizza, pasta, chocolate.
Colours: Dark greens, dark blues.
Music: Irish folk music, baroque, folk music from the 1960’s; and 1980’s.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Get my hands dirty and return to sculpting with clay.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Oh no! Not again.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I hope to get an author website up and running again, but the links I supplied earlier should give readers good sites to locate my eBooks and paperbacks.