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?
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live in a rural village in the mountains in Queensland, Australia. Sunshine all year round.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m retired now after 35 years as a Registered Nurse. I worked in Theater, Emergency and In Aged Care. I have 2 younger brothers and a younger sister. My dad passed 2 years ago so we visit my mum once a week and take her for lunch, shopping etc.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have a brand new release called ‘When Eagles Soar’ It released on 27 June. It is a different genre for me. I usually write Western Historical under my real name – Susan and Hot Contemporary, M/M, M/F, Menage under my pen name A.L. Simpson. Eagles is Contemporary Romance meets Romantic Suspense meets Paranormal.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was around 14years old. I had always loved English/Literature in school and it was a natural evolution. My dad was crazy about Westerns starring John Wayne, Audie Murphy etc and being a daddy’s girl, I would watch them with him. An interest quickly developed in the American Wild West. I have travelled extensively in Texas, visited the Alamo, Fredericksburg, Galveston and other historical places. I penned my westerns mostly for my dad.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Ha, I like to think of myself as a reasonable writer. I have improved a great deal since the first days of my writing.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My dad. I would comment on the Western movies and talk to him about ruthless outlaws, how the Indians should win sometimes, and he encouraged me to write my stories.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I usually bounce titles off my husband after giving him the outline 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 style is direct, I don’t like to read waffle, and don’t write it. I handwrite my books before typing them up.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Many of my books are based on real life experience or in the case of Broken Bastard, I drew on my sister’s knowledge of the prison system and what goes on behind closed doors. She has been a guard for many years. In Midnight Attraction, I was given the privilege of writing the true story about how 2 of my close friends, for more than 40 years, met in Athens, Greece. It is definitely stranger than fiction. They helped me with many, many details – (too much information sometimes) and to spice it up I had them as criminals. These are under my pen name – A.L. Simpson. Another story I wrote in the victim’s words is a non-fiction called Liberated by Laura Miller. It is the harrowing story of a German POW during WW11. Under my real name, Blind Beginnings is the story of how the newly blinded learn to cope. I spent many years working with the blind and teaching them, and their families, to adapt. To put a spin on fact, I had a little boy blinded in an accident, and the impact this hadon his father. It is set on a ranch in the 1800s. Can you imagine the dangers facing a 6year old blind child on a large cattle ranch? Another venture I was extremely proud to be a part of was the American Mail Order Bride Series. There are 50 books, 45 authors, 50 brides who travel to 50 states and the books were released over 50 days. I was 1 of only 2 Australians to be invited to take part. The prequel which ties the story together is based on historical fact. The stories are completely stand-alone apart from the prequel. My story was Book 40 in the release and is called Cora, Mail Order Bride of South Dakota.
I have written roughly 40 books in both names so this is just a sample.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, I don’t, but I have travelled to Texas and the deep south to allow my stories more authenticity. I have also spoken extensively with authors, cowboys and others from the state.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I do some myself, Charlene Raddon does others.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are often messages, subtle and I do take on uncomfortable issues sometimes.
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?
Kay Maree has had an excellent debut with Angel, Mine. I really enjoy her work but, I am biased. I’m her Editor. I love Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind. Her attention to detail and description paints such a vivid picture. Could read that book many times over.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Margaret Tanner. When I was new she took me under her wing and encouraged me when I felt unsure. I owe her so much.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I am dedicated to my writing but don’t see it as a full time career (too old). I love to write and if even one person reads and enjoys my books, I am very thankful.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. Sometimes I wonder about if I could have made a book better, but at the time, I have given it my all.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes. I learned Eagles have claws but called them talons in the book as most people would relate to this better.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Hahaha, Hugh Jackman
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Follow your heart. If people attempt to discourage you, distance yourself from them. You only have one life and it’s a short one. Live it the way you want to and do the things which ignite your passion.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I have a wonderful array of readers and I tell them regularly, how grateful I am for their support.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Tyler, the fourth book in the Riding Hard series by Jennifer Ashley
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I read from beginning to end was Winnie the Poo
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My grandchildren make me laugh and cry, I love a joke, and it breaks my heart when we lose one of our animals.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Margaret Mitchell. Oh, wow, I would love to discuss her book with her.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Walking our dog, reading. We have a caravan and travel a great deal. We travelled overseas quite a bit until our dogs became elderly (we lost one 5 weeks ago and have only the one now). We have elected to travel in our Caravan for the time being as we are able to take our dog – Caellagh (Kelly) 13, and our Cockatiel bird, 26– Rocky with us.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I never watch TV and rarely watch a movie but I love a good drama when I do.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Anything Mexican, Green and Pink and Elvis – (swoon) I adore the man and his music and spent hours at Graceland.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Read and Travel.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“She left no stone unturned!”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do – My Social Links and all Buy Links for Susan and my Western books are:
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/westernlovin/
Laura’s Book – Liberated
I would like to offer 2 readers their choice of any ebook from each of my websites. So 2 books in total, to 2 readers, to be chosen by Fiona.
Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your Kindle safe senders list and give Fiona your Kindle email and choices.
Thank you Fiona for allowing me to be your guest today.
Sue aka A.L.