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 Fiona. Thanks for having me. My actual name is Amy Hallmark, but I write under my maiden name – Amy Allen. I’m 50.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live in Reno, NV and have for the last 10 years. I’m originally from California.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
I’m single with 3 cats. My ‘other’ job is being a LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and I’ve been doing that for 28 years. These last 12 years I’ve been doing Home Care and enjoy that.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Book wise – I’ve got 3 novella’s in the works (one of which I’m currently working on, soon to be starting on the next). 1 is book 4 in the Kindle World Series I write in and the other 2 will be part of 2 different anthologies – one to come out in December and the other to come out next February.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
In 2001/2002 is when I first started. I started doing fan fictions as well doing a virtual story with other friends – each of us writing ‘log’ type stories – like from Star Trek where they did log entries. I also started doing a couple more that are original ones that are part of my main female’s back story. I also did a ‘what if’ story for her that is my first full length novel Second Chances. I actually wrote that back in 2008.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
An actual writer? I year ago when I had a published book
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
For the fan fictions – when I originally first started – the characters from a TV show I loved at the time (still do even though it was canceled back in 1999 after its second Season) that I added my main female into. For being published – Toby Neal asking me to be part of her Kindle World Series and finding which character of hers I wanted to use as a main one in mine.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For my first published one – That one was relatively easy. Both main characters hadn’t ever really been in love for various reasons so for them falling in love it was a New Beginning for each.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I will research, but I’m kind of a write what the characters (or muses) tell me, which means I will sometimes write the ending first if that is the part they want written right then. And, right now, I only have 2 genres I do – contemporary and paranormal (with a bit of erotic in that paranormal). For me the challenge on the paranormal is to keep her true to how I’ve always had her without making her sound totally unbelievable.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
With the exception of Lana being a Navy brat and a few places she lived are places my mom actually lived while growing up as a Navy brat none is based on anything that had happened to me or anyone I know. Lana is the main female in my Girl and the Fireman Series which is part of the Lei Crime Kindle World Series.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Nope – otherwise I’d have gone to Maui to help with my Girl and the Fireman Series since they are set on Maui, LOL. I do a lot of google research and asking family or friends that may know or can get the answer easier than I can.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Elizabeth Bank with Selestiele Designs – http://www.selestieledesigns.com. She does all my covers – has from the start with New Beginnings. She sends me mock-ups to decide on and then I let her know which I like or want to have as the cover. She then finishes up whatever needs to be done before I get them.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
*smiles* Not really. I just want them to enjoy and be taken away from everything while the read my book.
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?
Though she isn’t new, Toby Neal. For new authors for me – there are several and several of them are great friends of mine. There is Rosie Chapel, Lilly Rayman, JF Holland, Ani Bishop, Bella Emy, YM Zachery – to name a few. I have several favorites (really too long a list to put here) – but a few of them are: Katie MacAlister Toby Neal, Bertrice Small, Fern Michaels, JR Ward, Catherine Coulter, Lynsay Sands, JD Robb, and Nora Roberts. I love the way Katie, Lynsay, and JR write paranormal – not sticking to ‘old fashioned’ ideas of Vampires, the way Toby does crime/police with some romance as well as how well she does contemporary romance, JD – fantasy (in a way) that is police/crime with romance and Nora doing cootemporary, Catherine combining crime (with FBI) and romance. They are each unique in how they write/what they write that there isn’t a specific thing that strikes me about their work.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Toby Neal has been a big support. As well as my best friend and another really good friend. I have a fantastic support system. With Toby – she supports all of us that write in her world for the Kindle World novellas.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yeah, I can see it as a second career. I’m still a new name for most but would love to become more known and have more buy and like my books.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
For the last one published – no. It is actually one of my favorite books.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yeah – all about pregnancy and having multiple births (since never had kids myself). For the one I’m doing now – Temperatures in Texas in February and what different universities have for degrees. Also about surviving spousal benefits (how much paid to surviving spouse), and how long they can stay in base housing, when a Navy spouse dies.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I’m not sure – I have never really thought about it, especially since I have 22 different female main characters.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Never force a story (or force yourself to write). If you love to write – do it for that.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Please remember to leave a review when you read one of my books. Reviews on Amazon especially are helpful. I read all my reviews.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I have a few – LOL. Dragon Unbound and Perils of Paulie by Katie MacAlister; Mocha and Murder by ToynaKappes; Seal’D Heart by Alice Ward; and Finding Her Bearing by AC James.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No – but I know I owned and read (and still own) the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Anderson. My copy is a big book with pictures in it too.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A good book, good TV show, or a good movie – for both laughing and crying, my best friend or my good friend saying something just off the wall enough that most wouldn’t find it funny (for laughing). A song can make me cry if it makes me think of someone I’ve lost.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Besides a few actors I haven’t had the chance to meet yet – Gregory Peck because he’s my cousin and I’d love to know about the family from when he was growing p; Florence Nightingale – because she was actually the first nurse and would love to know what medicine was actually like in her time
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Besides reading (when I get time), watching TV, playing on computer, spending time with very good friend (who I call a sort of boyfriend), spending time with my cats.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Most anything but flat out Horror (though I can watch some B rated Horror).
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite color is Pink; Favorite music is anything but Heavy metal/head banging or rap; I love Mexican and Chinese, and most anything. Not a fan of sushi and there are some vegetables I don’t like. I don’t like anchovies or sardines.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Be a nurse
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She did what she loved and loved what she did
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Amyswritingplace/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
Holiday Surprises – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M25U8CM/ref=series_rw_dp_sw
Masquerade Gone Awry – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B071NWHGC2/ref=series_rw_dp_sw