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, my name is S. R. Crawford and I am 22 years old!
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am British and I live in Birmingham, England.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Well, where to begin? I completed school and college, which I loved. I really enjoyed learning new things and having a routine! I attended university for a year but then decided it wasn’t for me, so I dropped out in order to pursue a career in writing more avidly.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have just finished completely revamping and republishing the first two books in my YA Fantasy series – the Eternity Series. Now, I am putting all my focus into getting the renewed books out there whilst working on the third in the series, where the big battle is about to happen…
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Writing has been a huge part of my life from a very young age, my mom reckons from about 8 years old. She gave me a notebook to shut me up and the rest was history! Since then, I have become an avid novelist.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’d say I started using the title on myself after publishing my first book at 18 years old, through an America publishing company.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
To be honest, I’m not 100% sure! Perhaps it was watching Twilight and not enjoying the way the vampires were done in that series, and then maybe I wanted to write vampires how I’d like them to be. I’m not sure. But I was 14 when I first started writing “No Secret” – which has now been changed to “Ash Born”. The first book has since adapted and is finally perfect!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Like I say, it used to be called “No Secrets” – the first in the series; and the second used to be called “Bloodstained Betrayal”. At the time, this made sense because in the first book our heroine, Letti Kane, discovers that everyone she knows had been keeping deadly secrets from her and a whole other world was going on right under her nose. Then in the second book, you are thrown deeper into the fantastical worlds and the bloodshed, which is filled with so much destruction and betrayal.
Since then, the book titles have become much more awesome! They are now “Ash Born” and “Guardians Rise” for the first two in the series. This is because Letti Kane goes through so much torment in the first book but all of it leads to her being reborn from that fiery torment, stronger than ever. Then in the second book, we are introduced to many more characters, who each have their own point of view chapters so that the audience can experience different sides of the coming war. One of the main new POVs is the Guardians, who are humans fighting to oppress the tyrant Vampire Empire.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Erm, I’d say that I have two styles that I switch between depending on what I’m writing. Having started off in the Fantasy genre, my style for that is very imaginative and dark and emotive – at least I hope that’s how it comes across! I like mystery and leading my audience down a dark, winding path. Then I also write self-help books, so for that I have a very honest, colloquial, “speaking to a friend” kind of approach.
I find it challenging to describe a scene when I’m excited about it! I just want to dive into the action and get the characters talking or moving instead of doing all the other parts around it. So I usually write the raw, nitty-gritty parts first then I go back and add in any descriptions afterwards, if needs be.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
It’s mad but it is very realistic for a fantasy series! It is very much a microcosm of our world. We, too, face issues with discrimination, war, prejudice, murder, territory, love, loss, devastation, betrayal, dreams-shattered, growing up, and the general hardships of life. This is very true for all of my characters, too. They each go through so much pain and changes that they don’t take too well, at first. It just so happens that all of these feelings are going on in a fantastical world, at times, with powerful super-beings.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t have to travel, no, but it does help that I have done. My books are set in London, but I live in Birmingham. However, I’ve been to London many times so this has probably helped the books settings seem more realistic.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I was very lucky that my cousin knew a fellow author and he suggested that we link up. Since then, we have kept in touch and inspire one another. We are good friends now, and have recently became one another’s critique partners. She was the one to design my covers and I love them! This was Charlene Antrobus, author of the Kingdom of Measure series which is coming in 2018.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Definitely! There’s a few, I guess. Firstly, that life is not black or white; one thing or another thing. It is very complex and even when you think things are going great, sometimes things quickly change on you. It can be devastating but when you stay true to yourself and have good people around you, you can get through anything – even a war!
Secondly, that relationships aren’t simple, either. You’ll see that the main characters, Letti and Kaizen do not have a linear, easy relationship. I needed this to be apparent and to even show how foolish Letti was to fall so fast for Kaizen. I believe in romance but young woman and teens need to see that no one is perfect and no relationship is perfect. You’ll go through a lot but if it’s meant to be, you can withstand anything.
Lastly, that much like in the series, our world is flawed. Discrimination, prejudice and war are not the answer. It only causes so many unnecessary deaths and pain. Do better and be better than the characters in the books – don’t meet the same fate they 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?
I am a big fan of J. K. Rowling, of course. I do not believe I wouldn’t even be an author if I hadn’t grown up reading and watching Harry Potter. It probably inspired my love for fantasy now. Secondly, George R. R. Martin is just amazing for his creation, too. I also love John Green with all of his YA books. I’ve recently discovered Pierce Brown, the author of Red Rising, which I really like.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My school friends and school teachers. I shared my first book with them and if they hadn’t said that they were good, and gave me tips, then I wouldn’t have had the confidence to pursue an author career. So I am eternally grateful to them.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
100% yes! I can’t see myself ever doing anything else. Sometimes when I’ve felt like my work wasn’t selling, I’ve felt like giving in, but to consider doing anything bar writing, just seems like an empty life for me. I am a writer in my soul, so I must feed my soul, even if I don’t ever make a lot from doing it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I have redone some things so yes, I guess I did. It wasn’t so much the content, it was just cleaning up the rough edges! I love the story I’ve created and so I wouldn’t change anything now.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I’ve learnt that you need many editors for your work to be high quality. You just don’t notice your own mistakes unfortunately! I also have learnt the importance of marketing your work and making sure everything about it just grabs your reader. The book could be great but if the cover, title and description is not – who will want to buy it?!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
That’s a difficult one. I have definitely thought about this and sadly I’ve not met an actress that looks perfectly like Letti Kane or Kaizen D’Anna, either. So I’d have to be there when they interview new actors, I think.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just keep writing. If it’s what you love, keep doing it. Remember that for some reason, writers are underappreciated and hardly ever go far, but if you want to make it, you have to be tenacious in your pursuit. Don’t let the haters get you down and just keep practicing.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you, firstly, for buying my books! I can’t even express how great it feels to hear people talk about my characters. Secondly, please tell your friends if you like them. You are the ones who will get the books known, so I value your help!
Lastly, relate to Letti’s journey. Grow as she grows. Understand our world as Letti begins to understand hers. And of course, I hope you’re entertained!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished rereading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It’s always a good idea to reread the HP books! And now I’m about to start Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It may have been Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – at least that’s the first I remember.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh at everything so I’ll save time by not writing them down. I think life is full of laughter as long as you have good people and good things around you. Similarly, I cry a lot, too! I’m an empath, and a sensitive person, which I think helps my writing. So I cry when others are in pain, I cry at my own pain, but I always smile again after.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
J. K. Rowling has always been the one person I’d love to meet. She is my inspiration and idol, as I said before.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love binge-watching Netflix, seeing my boyfriend, going for walks in summer, studying, reading, making films and blogging.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
We haven’t got time for that! Erm, Harry Potter series; Game of Thrones series; Community; Parks and Recreation; Avatar the Last Airbender (tv show, not that awful film); and many more!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Hot dogs; nuggets; chicken chow-mein; and chips. All variations of blue. Hip-hop, Soul, RnB, Afrobeats.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I can’t see it! I won’t see it! I’d be utterly lost…
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“She came, she played, and she saw the world through a unique lens – only to then share it with the world…”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do indeedie, here’s all the links you’ll need:
- R. Crawford (Facebook Page)
Add the books on Goodreads and follow me!
YouTube – S.R. Crawford
Amazon Authors Pages