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 there! I’m Harper. Harper A. Brooks in full. I’m 27-years-old, believe it or not.
Fiona: Where are you from?
-I live on the Jersey Shore. It’s nothing like the show, I promise.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
-I graduated from Rowan University with my degree in English and a minor in education. That was back in 2013. Last year, I got married, so now it’s me, my husband, my dog-son, Sammy, and our bunny Chester. We bought our first home in January so it’s been an exciting year for us.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
-The next book in my Shifter Origins series was accepted by Entangled Publishing and will be released this coming fall. It’s titled The Curse and it’s about the legend story of wolf shifters. I am currently working on edits and I am so excited for readers to get this book in their hands. I’m really proud of it. It’s a great story.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
-I don’t remember the exact age of when I started, but I was young. My childhood friend and I used to write stories back and forth in a notebook. Once my friend lost interest, I would continue the stories on my own. I always carried a notebook around and wrote in school (whenever I had free time in class). I loved creating characters and stories and did it all the time. It was a stress reliever for me, an escape.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
-I would say during middle school age when my friends were all asking to read my notebooks and have characters written after them. At one point, I had a real following. I was amazed so many people enjoyed something I had created.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
-I was tired of the vampire novels that were popular at the time and wanted to write one based in a historical time. The contemporary vamps were all the same, in my opinion, and I wanted to do something different. So I mixed my love for the Victorian era with my love of the paranormal and created my debut paranormal romance, His Haven.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
-The book didn’t have a title for a long time, but I wanted to do a play on the main character’s name—Haven. But I didn’t want to be cheesy. So when I thought of how possessive the villain in the story is, and how the main male character is fighting to save the female lead, I got His Haven. It fit perfectly because the readers don’t know who “His” is referring to until the end of the story.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
-My writing style has a focus on character development. I want my characters to feel real and for most romances, I feel like the focus is on the romance (of course) and sex inthe story instead of the character development and plot (action). I want my story to have multiple conflicts to up the tension and keep the reader engaged at all time. So I would say, for me, staying within my genre’s limits is the hardest thing to adhere to. If I travel too far out of the genre must-haves, publishers aren’t happy. So it can be a struggle to find that happy medium where readers and publishers are happy (while staying true to my writing style).
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
–His Haven doesn’t have any inspiration from outside the realms of the story. Nothing really based on true life. But my newer release The Hunt (released in November 2016) has character based off important people in my life. Three of the characters have traits of friends or family. The next book in The Hunt’s series titled The Curse has a character based off my father and one based on my aunt. And of course, I put a little of myself into all my main characters.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
-Because my worlds are mostly fictional, I create them completely in my head. The only traveling I do is in my imagination. No visa required. I craft everything, from the setting to the language to the plants and animals. And I create new words for them all, too. For His Haven, I did have to research the town in England where the story takes place to get the details just right.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
-I had an amazing woman from Ravenborn Covers redesign His Haven, since I rereleased it this past summer. And Entangled Publishing handled all of the Shifter Origins covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
-Even though the two series are extremely different, they do both have a similar message, which is to continue fighting for what you want. Never give up, even when things are bad. And of course, believe in yourself and you can do great things, which every main character succeeds in doing in the end.
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 have lots of up and coming author friends that I chat daily with. Most aren’t published yet, but we work together on our writing. I also have some published author friends, too. We help each other promote and market. My best writing friend I’ve had for years. Her name is T.F. Walsh and not only do we write the same genre and started our writing careers around the same time, but our birthdays are a day apart. She’s helped me immensely.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
-Here, I would have to say my writing friends again. In my close circle of immediate family and friends, not many have shared my love of writing and reading. I’ve mostly been on my own there, but the writing friends I’ve met through writing groups and online have been the ones to really push me and support me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
-That’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it? It certainly is for me. I’ve wanted to make it my full time job for as long as I can remember, but I’m not there yet. Maybe some day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
-I would make it longer. After it came out, I saw how much readers loved the story and wanted more. When writing it, I was afraid it would move too slowly if I added more, so I kept the word count shorter. I wouldn’t bother with any of them if I could do it again and add a little more here and there to give the readers what they wanted.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
-I learned that my imagination was capable of some amazing things. Ha! I created words never before made or spoken—a new language! I also realized that I could make stories with some powerful relevant messages, no matter what the time periodthe book is set in. The Shifter Origins series talks about prejudice, poverty, gender discrimination, and mental illness—all things that have been hot topics in our age. And this series is set in an ancient fictional world.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
-I have no idea. I think I would be so shocked to have made it that far, I wouldn’t be able to speak for a while, let alone pick actors. I have inspirational images of people that I used during my writing. I would probably pick actors close to those images. Maybe Priyanka Chopra for Cara in The Hunt and maybe Tom Welling for Prince Kael? That’s off the top of my head.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
-I would say that whenever you pull into what I called the sad little town of writer self-loathing and you think you’re wasting your time following this dream, don’t give up. Keep pushing through. Every writer feels this way at some point (sometimes more than once), but anyone who made it big didn’t give up and neither should you.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
-The type of stories you can expect from me are ones that are different but are also something you can relate to, all mixed into a fantastical world. So if you like those types of books—ones you can escape into—my books are for you!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
-I am reading all of the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong, and I’m currently on Broken. I think that’s book six in the series.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
-I was really into the Babysitter club books when I was young. I think those were the first books I read. That or Wrinkle in Time. I’m not sure.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
-I laugh a lot. Mostly at bad jokes that I make. I cry at those sat animal commercials on tv or the sad pet stories on Facebook. Those get me every time.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet my favorite author, Jane Austen. I want to know more about her time period and what writing as a woman was like for her back then. I love the regency and Victorian eras so it would be a good learning experience.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
-Besides writing, I crochet. I used to be really into sports. Played and coached softball and volleyball for years. Not so much anymore. I read a lot (of course). Mostly paranormal romances and urban fantasies.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
-My husband and I watch Faceoff on Syfy and The Big Bang Theory whenever new episodes are on. We are big into documentaries. Anything interesting.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
-Chicken francaise (I’m obsessed), iced coffee, mac and cheese…Burgundy red, gold, rose pink…Alternative rock and classic rock.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
-Probably the same things I do when I have writer’s block, which are crochet and work. Not at very exciting life, I know.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
-Probably a Jane Austen quote, since she is my favorite author and I use her quotes a lot to describe my life. Or maybe a song lyric: “I just wanted to be a footnote is someone else’s happiness” or some variation of that.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
-Of course! Readers can find me all over social media.
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