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?
Thank you for interviewing me. I’m Jordan Monroe, and I will be 27 this August.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.)
.I’m one of those writers who did, in fact, end up studying English. I have two degrees: a B.A. in English from Virginia Tech and an M.A. in English Literature from George Mason University. However, I initially went to college in pursuit of a biological sciences degree, with the goal of eventually attending occupational therapy school. One organic chemistry class was enough to stop that journey straight in its tracks, and I’m so glad for it; I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish what I’ve done had I stayed on that path.
Nowadays, I live in Maryland with a wonderful man and our wild cat. We’re a metro ride away from D.C., and for that we are fortunate. Being able to wake up on a Saturday and go to one of the Smithsonian museums, walk in for free, and learn something new is certainly a blessing.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My first novella, One Night in Washington, D.C., published by Tirgearr Publishing, comes out on June 28, so I’m excited to share that with readers. Along with that, I’ve been editing an erotic anthology titled Symphony Amore: Erotic Stories of Love and Music, which will be published by Sexy Little Pages this year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I put my creative writing aside for scholarly pursuits in 2012, but picked it back up in November 2015. First, I read Stephen King’s On Writing, and got back to practicing my craft. Then, a highly regarded adult boutique, Lotus Blooms, advertised a two-hour erotic writing course hosted by Rachel Kramer Bussel. I attended, she gave us her contact information and a list of publishing companies, and continued to practice. My first short story, Winding Down at Watergate, was published in March 2016, and I just can’t seem to stop.
I write primarily because it’s fun for me. It’s a way for me to relate to the world, and comment on it. Even in my short stories, I strive to make my characters rounded and complete, with flaws that make them perfectly imperfect.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Honestly, when I sent my first email to a call for submissions. I knew I had the ability to craft a story, but that recognition of my work sealed the deal for me.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
This novella was started in June 2016 and completed in October 2016; editing and polishing occurred after the 2016 election. Living in this area can be a blessing and a curse: politics is not removed from the discussion at all. That factor, along with the glut of excellent television shows like The West Wing and Scandal, made me want to tell a story that starred D.C. and the many other people who live here.
One of my other passions is playing my French horn. I’ve been playing for a long time, but I didn’t want to get into the rigorous, competitive world of professional musicianship. While I’ve lived here, I’ve had the privilege of meeting professional musicians, including Lisa Bergman and Abel Pereira. My SO went to school to be a professional musician, so I owe a great deal of my knowledge of the business of classical music to him.
As I sat down to try my hand at contributing to the City Nights series, I kept thinking about D.C., the Kennedy Center, the President’s Own, and French horn players. With a fair amount of research, a few rewrites, a decent amount of wine, and a steady schedule of grinding out words, the story of Lauren and Adam materialized.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Tirgearr Publishing has an excellent structure for their City Nights series, so the title was essentially given to me. That’s a wonderful thing, in truth, because I am actually terrible with giving my work titles.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I don’t know if I’ve written enough to say I have a definitive style. I do know that I strive to make my characters, particularly the women, not shy about any of their desires. They are unapologetically themselves, at least I hope they are.
Erotica and erotic romance falls under that umbrella of romance. While there may not always be a happy ending (my second short story, Not Sorry, does not have one), a key element of erotic fiction is crafting chemistry between characters. To me, that can be the biggest challenge. Being a witty flirt is difficult enough in the real world; doing it on the page adds additional elements that make it tough. However, I’ve read novels where the chemistry between the main characters practically burns the page (Tessa Dare and Sarah Maclean are excellent at this) and I know how rewarding it can be.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I aim for realism in my fiction, so hopefully readers will read this and think it’s plausible. The actual events of the story are not based on anything either I or anyone in my friend group has experienced.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Generally no. I have visited all of the landmarks mentioned in the story, so they’re familiar to me.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Cora Graphics. Many thanks for the beautiful cover!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
You’re allowed to live the life you want to build for yourself.
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?
Mindy McGinnis’s The Female of the Species was incredibly powerful. I read it at the start of this year, and it still haunts me in the best of ways.
On the complete opposite end, both Sarah Maclean and Tessa Dare are excellent examples of romance fiction continuing to surprise readers. Spoiler alert: both of them introduce little elements of kink in their sex scenes, which is so wonderful for me to read.
I’ve also started to read some Beverly Jenkins She’s not new, but she’s new to me. Her work is vital to the fiction space because she’s introduced to pockets of American history that were totally unknown to me. Her stories are beautiful, fascinating, and a joy to read.
Finally, Rebekah Weatherspoon’s Haven is, as of this writing, the best erotic novel I’ve ever read. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it. Now, I might be biased because I have a weakness for a man with an excellent beard (shout-out to the SO), but the prose is unwavering and powerful. Seriously, stop what you’re doing and go grab yourself a copy. You won’t regret it.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My best friend, hands down. I don’t know what I’d do without her.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Possibly. I wouldn’t say no to that, but I’m not there yet. I’m lucky to have a day job that I, more often than not, really enjoy.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I don’t think I would. However, my SO recently discussed the idea that I create a sort of classical musicians of D.C. series. In Performance, which is featured in the anthology, Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 2, one of the characters is a percussionist in the NSO. I might explore that in the future, but it’s not in my immediate plans.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
The practice of “killing your darlings” was hammered home this time around.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Christopher Meloni as Adam, for sure. If Rachel Weisz can do an American accent, I’d love her as Lauren.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep writing, and listen to your editors.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope that readers enjoy the story and that they’ll see a bit of D.C. that’s not all politics and power struggles.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I have at least five books on rotation. It’s a terrible habit. I’m working through a hefty book on the Romanov dynasty, which is fascinating but can also be challenging.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It had to have been a Dr. Seuss book.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
All kinds of things. I’m way in touch with my emotions.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
J.R.R. Tolkien, for many reasons. In October 2015, I took my first trip overseas and ventured to the UK. My SO and I met because of our love for Tolkien’s work, not just The Lord of the Rings, and we took a day trip to Oxford. We stopped by 20 Northmoor Road and ate at The Eagle and Child, which was fantastic. Based on his letters, his love of nature, and his affinity for enjoying a pint with his friends, I think he’d be an excellent person to meet.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Besides playing the horn? I’ve been known to quilt.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Oh Lord, so many. I just finished the fifth season of Orange is the New Black, and I’m about to start The Handmaid’s Tale. I watched Harlots and I desperately need them to say they’re making a second season.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I’ll eat almost anything, but I’m a sucker for seafood. I love jewel tones and anything red. My music tastes are all over the place; it really depends on what I’m doing.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Probably what I’m doing as my day job, which is editing.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“She drank, and she knew things.” Yes, I’m all about Tyrion Lannister.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do. Readers can find my website here. I have an Amazon Author page here. If readers wish to purchase One Night in Washington, D.C., the direct purchase link is here. From now until July 2, the novella is priced at $.99, which makes this a perfect little read for any Independence Day travels.
My other links are as follows:
Amazon Author page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01H0H83HM
Thank you for your time, and happy reading!