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 Ann Swann and I’m so old I’ve forgotten my own birthdate, but I will tell you this . . . Sir Elton John is one of the best live concerts I’ve ever attended. He sort of wrote the soundtrack of my youth. Well, him and the Eagles. And the Doobie Brothers. And of course The Beatles. And well, I could go on and on.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m Texan, through and through.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Wife, mother, grandmother, I love reading, writing, walking, music, audio books, fast cars, and cool, rainy, weather. I have a degree in English and Education and for many years I taught children to love reading. I’m also a huge fan of Snoopy and Winnie-the-Pooh. Oh, and Stephen King.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
The second book in my Stutter Creek Suspense trilogy—LILAC LANE—is on sale for only 99¢ through June 16th. I love it when the publisher puts one of my books on sale.
I’m also finishing up two books (one is YA and one is Romance). I will have those to the editor (s) soon.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began as a teenager, writing stories in my spiral notebooks.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In college I won a few awards for short fiction and began to think I could actually write for others instead of just for myself.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book—Stevie-girl and the Phantom Pilot—began life as a short story called The Escort. It won first place in a competition and the editor of a new publishing company requested I turn it into a novel. It is now a three book series and I’m working on book four.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
At first it was simply The Phantom Pilotbecause the kids in the book are haunted by the ghost-pilot of a small plane that crashed, but I had to change it up a bit because there are so many nonfiction books about the real Phantom Pilot from WWII.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I can never stick to one genre! Worse yet, I want to put all my favorite genres into one book.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Stevie-girl is a finer version of me (and much braver, too). The woman in All For Love is also partly me. Jack, the hero of TAKERS: Apocalypse in Eden, is also me (I think I was a teenage boy in a previous life), and even the dog, Snake, is based on my best buddy, the pit bull/boxer cross we had until I was nearly sixteen years old.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Stutter Creek was named after an anonymous creek near one of our favorite vacation spots in New Mexico.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Viola Estrella did all but two of my covers. She is great!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In Stevie-girl and the Phantom Student and in All For Love, I tried to get across the idea that we as people need to look out for one another, and to always strive to be kind because life really is tenuous.
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?
John Green is one author whose voice is very distinctive. Deanna Lynn Sletten is another favorite. My daughter, Sara Barnard, is also an author. She is one of the best storytellers I know (and very prolific).
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The Abilene Writers Guild helped me tremendously.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I always want to change things after they are published. I would keep revising until doomsday if I could.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes. It’s not always good to mix romance with horror. Total rewrite!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Chris Hemsworth, Big John in Stutter Creek.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t revise as you write. Get it down first.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Write reviews. Write me letters and emails. I love to hear your thoughts.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Rereading Great Expectations.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Silver Chief, Dog of the North (at least it was one of the first)
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
People falling down always makes me laugh (sorry, but it’s true). Cruelty in any form makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Abraham Lincoln. He just fascinates me.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading, music, amateur photography, and grandkids.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love detective shows like NCIS on TV.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Mexican food, chocolate anything, turquoise & purple, singer/songwriters of all kinds (Bruce Springsteen has always been a fave along with the Beatles and Chris Stapleton).
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write.
What would you do?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I think I will have this on my tombstone: Turn around, I’m standing right behind you.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes, please visit, Ann’s Afterthoughts