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?
Bernadette Marie and I’m 44.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Born and raised in Colorado.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I grew up in a small family, but years after I married my college sweetheart we ended up having 5 kids…5 boys in 6 years. Such a blessing! I met my husband when I was an education major turned journalism major at the University of Northern Colorado. While there, I attended a local academy and got a license in manicuring. That lead me to opening my own salon at twenty. A few years later I returned to get my full cosmetologist license and I expanded my salon. Though I’m not actively in the trade anymore, I do have a salon in my basement. Around the time my twins were born I began trying out new business options. I opened an online direct sales company (before I knew what Facebook and Twitter were,) and also had a networking business. Since 2011 I have been a publisher—because I’m an author. I have written and published over thirty contemporary romances. I have also published over 150 title for sixty other authors. Today, I continue to write and publish. I’m also a huge advocate for indie publishing, holding workshops and classes when I can. I not only own 5 Prince Publishing, but Illumination Author Events as well. I am a 2017 Independent Writer of the Year finalist for Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. (The winner will be announced in July.)
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
On June 13th, my 31st novel will release. CHASING SHADOWS, is my first Romantic Suspense and I’m very excited to share it with readers.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was 12-years-old. I started writing scripts because I wanted to be in the movies. I was addicted to the mini-series! I soon realized I could write the book which would become the movie. I began writing a book I would pen no less than a hundred times over and it took me 22 years. In 2007 I shelved that book and got busy writing the books that are now in my catalog.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I’ve always considered myself a writer, but making it my title, that came in 2008 when I began to seek publication. I began going to conferences and meeting other authors, editors, and agents.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Sidney Sheldon’s If Tomorrow Comes and the classic The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough, made me a reader and from there want to write too. My friends and I had notebooks that we would pass between classes in the 8th grade. These books were filled with letters written to characters we’d created. In time, I took my character and wrote about her.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I think the actual location that inspired me to write CHASING SHADOWS, just screams the title. It’s a secluded fallen tree off a walking bridge. I just love the spot, but it casts many spooky shadows.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’m a pantser, so I don’t plot. This can become its own challenge as you have to keep track of where you’ve been in the story to carry it all the way through.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I can honestly say I stepped out of my comfort zone for this book. I never want to put murder in my books, but this one has multiple murders. So it was hard to draw on realism there, and I had to go with gut as to what those feelings would entail. The physical attributes to Lacy Pratt, the detective in my book, I can say are from experience. I am a second-degree black belt in Tang Soo Do, so I drew from that experience to get her out of some predicaments.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, I’ve learned to write where I know. I also, most times, create the setting I’m writing about. Therefore, it can be anything.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’ve been working with cover designer/author Viola Estrella since I opened my publishing house 6 years ago. We met in the same writers group.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
People can change, forgive, and be strong—even women can and are and should be strong.
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?
Being a publisher I’ve been crazy blessed to be around talented authors. To name a few, Lisa J. Hobman, J.L. Petersen, Stephanie Reisner, M.J. Kane, Railyn Stone…just to name a few. My favorite author is Nora Roberts. She brought me back to reading. I’m not sure what it is about her that I enjoy, but she brings a certain realism to her characters. I assume it’s because she understands men (as she was the girl in her family and then had boys.) I’m surrounded by men now, with 5 sons and my husband. So I think there’s an appreciation for that kind of character she builds.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I think the list would be tremendously long, because I’ve been writing for so long, so many people found that to be an interesting career choice. I’ve had friends buy me writing books, write because of me, taken my classes, bought multiple copies of my books. There is nothing more pleasing than to have your first signing at a Barnes and Noble and have a line as a first time author because your friends came to support you. Even today, nearly eight years later, it makes me tear up.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Writing is a full time job to me. It goes past writing into marketing, etc.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I think it turned out well. I’m very happy with it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes. Though there is still a romance, it was secondary to the suspense part of the novel. That was new to me. I write books that the romance is usually the main focus.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
This is always so hard for me, because I watch so little TV or movies. I’ve always said that John Corbet would be perfect for any of my other male leads, but he doesn’t fit the bill here. But Michael Weatherly might! Yeah, he’d work! As for the female lead, she’d have to be of strong personality and body. Hmmm, I don’t know who I’d chose there.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Never ever quit! If your passion is to write, then do it. You will be rejected a million times, don’t quit. Someone will tell you to do it different, don’t quit. You will want to change paths, and that’s okay, but don’t quit. If it’s in your heart, write that book, and don’t quit. There are a million ways to get that book into the hands of readers. DON’T QUIT!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I’m so thankful to my readers, I can’t express it enough. They have kept me writing by reading and loving what I write. They are so kind to email me and praise my work. I’m blessed.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Would you be surprised if I told you I was reading a Nora Roberts book? I’m currently on the second Boonsboro book. It’s fun to see how she put her real life businesses into the the book.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I collected books long before I would read them. I wasn’t a good reader, but you wouldn’t have known that by the look of my Laura Ingalls books. I picked up reading ghost stories, YA, in 7th grade, though I don’t remember the titles. However, I think the first book I remember being so proud of reading was IF TOMORROW COMES. I was hooked then. It helped to have a friend who read them too and we could discuss them. I’ll never forget her saying, “Did you get to the part where they mention the title?” To this day I always work the title into the book.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My children—my answer to both. They are my absolute joy and they make me laugh every day. And they make me cry every day. It’s not always sad tears either. They move me to tears because they are such amazing young men.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Before the only answer I would have for you would be Oprah! She’s still on the list. I would love to sit on her porch and sip lemonade. But I would now add Michelle Obama to that list. They are strong, amazing women.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I watch the movie the Intern over and over. As for TV, I turn on NCIS and let it roll. I’ve fallen in love with NCIS NOLA too.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
My favorite food? You know, I don’t know right now. The sure answer used to be pizza and chocolate. But like so many adults, food sensitivities have ceased that! SoI don’t know that I currently have a favorite. As for colors. I’ve always been partial to soft pinks. And as for music, though I love all music, Country Music speaks to me on a million levels. I write books about it, and I’ve been blessed to meet so many fine country artists.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d write. J In a future that I didn’t write, I think I would travel with my husband.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
As I wish to be scattered in all the places I’ve loved, perhaps there could be a plaque that said SHE LIVED, as that is a motto I stand by. Live every single day to the fullest.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My website/blog is at www.bernadettemarie.com I’m also on Facebook at facebook.com/authorbernadettemarie.
AMAZON author page: https://www.amazon.com/Bernadette-Marie/e/B003M75S8W