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?
Aloha Fiona! Thanks so much for having me. My name is Meg Amor, I’m 54 going on late 30’s. Fifties are the new thirties and all that.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born and bred in New Zealand in Christchurch of the South Island. But I call the US home these days. My American home state is Hawai’i, and when I’m there I live in Kona on the Big Island. It’s my soul’s home, and I’m always a Pacific Islander at heart. I’m happiest when I’m surrounded by the ocean.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e.: your education, family life, etc.).
Hmmm… not really sure what to say here. I’m trained as a therapist in NLP – Neuro Linguistic Programing but I only do therapy for people now that really need my help. I find I get overloaded too quickly with people these days. I’m very introverted and like my quiet time—A LOT.
I have family all over the world, NZ, Singapore, Australia, Switzerland and I’m not super close to any of them really. Other than my sisters who I have a wee bit more to do with. Otherwise, I’m that dreadful cliché of lone woman writer with my Bacardi and cat for company. LOL. (think Romancing the Stone, waiting for Michael Douglas to show up type of thing). I’ve been married three times and haven’t got it right yet. But working on it. I don’t find a lot of men that interest me deeply, so I’m still looking. My baseline is high IQ, high EQ, spiritual (not religious), artistic and must love cats. Then we get down to the nitty gritty stuff.
I’m essentially a deep introvert, philosopher, thinker, gypsy, islander, and bohemian with an outgoing personality. (odd mix) My soul always needs to roam. I’m not a white picket fence person but I do want a deep and real relationship with someone.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m not really sure I have any. LOL. I just got back from home in Hawai’i and it was fabulous to be home for a week. It took the edge off things. I’m working on going back there to live and also New Orleans. I need contrasts for my spirit I’ve decided. Otherwise, I’m just writing, writing, writing. I’m just finishing up a time-travel romance – Timeless Courage in the sweet, clean romance Timeless Hearts range which is a lot of fun. And then I’m onto another Lei Crime KW book set in Hawai’i – Moana’s Secrets. Then I’ll finish the 5th book in The Hawaiians series – Hawaiian Passion. Then I’ll roll through that again with more books.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been a writer from a wee kid. I wrote and ‘published’ my first book when I was 11 about my parents’ separation and reconciliation entitled most grandly “My Life.” LOL. I wrote it in a notebook and pasted on piccies of myself on the front.
I’ve always loved writing. It’s just part of who I am.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I wrote my first book and had it published. That was The Mystic Manifestor back in 2010 or so and it badly needs an edit. LOL.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Experiences I wanted to share with people, and knowledge I’d been teaching for years and wanted to pass on. And I’d been writing MM for years in dribs and drabs. I’d tried all sorts of other artistic things trying to find my niche, photography, painting, craft things etc. but I always came back to writing as the thing that grabbed me hard each time.
In terms of my sensual romance books, it was because I hit 50 and thought… I’m not ready to hang up my sexual slippers yet. I needed a way to express it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I’ve always been a good manifestor and people often referred to me as mystic. So the two pieces went well together as a book title on self-help and manifesting things in your life.
And for the Hawaiians series, I had a particular focus for one man in the story, plus I wanted the connection to Hawai’i. Hawaiian Lei is about Beau Toyama’s ink lei he has on his chest and the connection with his mum.
Hawaiian Orchid was based on Kulani Mahikoa’s life as the pro surfer ‘The Orchid.’
Hawaiian Fragrance was based on one of Kulani’s ‘lost boys’ he takes in, Danny Lucerno who falls in love with a perfume manufacturer and also comes from a family that’s a big ranching family on the BI, but also has a plumeria farm.
And Hawaiian Ginger is based on another ‘lost boy’ in the Mahikoa-Masterson family, Zane Andrews who’s a redhead dancer. He dances like Ginger Rogers and is severely deaf.
So they all have a deeper meaning to the name which is probably more personal to me than the reader.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write across three genres now. Gay romance, crime/police procedural, and time-travel romance. But I always write in first person and alternating POV’s. And I write in first person, present tense. I want to be inside the characters head and I want my readers to feel the same way when they’re reading it. Taking people for the journey and getting them caught up in what’s happening is one of the things I love to do. People comment on it a lot.
In terms of challenging, no. I’m writing where I’m most comfortable. My main issues are that I’ve traditionally written scorching sex scenes in my sensuous romance books as part of the story. In my crime book and the time-travel sweet romances, I have to not do that. That’s hard. LOL. Sometimes I really want to give my characters a very sensuous, deeply loving sexual scene and I know I can’t. I have a wee bit of leeway with the crime ones, but not with the time-travel. And I have to keep my swearing down… Okay, so those are my challenges. I’m a Kiwi, we are an irreverent culture. LOL.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Quite a lot actually in the gay romances funnily enough. Scenes like Rob’s husband Tony’s death are from my own life. My late husband Aaron was a NZ Maori and I’ve used his tribes he was from and some of his family scenes. A lot of the people in my books are based on real people. Mr. Beaumont, Zane’s cat in Ginger is my late Mr. Beaumont and is based on him and the things he really did. So, yes, I include all sorts of things from real life.
But essentially every character is a piece of me in some way. I think most writers include huge pieces of themselves in their work.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, I don’t but I do if I can. The Hawaiians series and the Lei Crime Kindle World series are set on the Big Island (BI) and I know that island intimately. So I’m writing about home and a place I know well. When I go back, I soak up the feel of the island again and try to impart that into my work. Because Hawai’i has a unique, cruisy energy that is hard to convey to people. It’s not just a place but a culture and mindset too.
I went to New Orleans after the first book in the Troika Trilogy set in NOLA and I was glad to see that I got it pretty right. It means that when I got to finish that series, I’ll have a good feel for the city which I also love.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
It’s a mixture. The New Orleans series is designed by me. (needs some fine tuning). The Hawaiians series is always done by Syneca Featherstone who does gorgeous work for Loose Id. And the Lei Crime one – Pele’s Revenge – I designed and my friend Lucee Lovett put together for me.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, I always write about relationships. Relationship with others, ourselves, the world around us. I’m always looking for redemption and understanding for my character. And I want them to be real, honest, raw, vulnerable—I see strength in that. Showing emotions and feelings is vital to how I see life. I don’t admire ‘macho’ people who don’t reveal their emotions. I find them boring and one dimensional.
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?
Um…trick question. I have so many authors I love. I do love A.m. Arthurs work. AJ Lewellyn’s Mingo series, Renae Kaye (another Aussie writer.) Toby Neal. Constance Gillam. There’s so many……….. LOL.
But my all-time favorite writer/s are Noel Barber who has now passed on but he wrote great sweeping sagas which I love. I read his book Tanamera set in Singapore every year and have done ever since I was 18. He always had the most marvelous details and I always felt like I was right there with the characters. He brought everything to life so beautifully. A master storyteller.
I also LOVE Jonathan Kellerman and his Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis detective series. He’s a psychologist and I love the depth his books get. They grab me every time.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My family didn’t really support me being a writer but my fellow m/m gay writer Mikey Rakes really helped me get published. Without her, I don’t think I would be where I am today in as an author.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, very much so.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Probably not, but I would have liked more WC in Ginger to work with. She came in at 80K, so I didn’t push her into the next price bracket and I would have liked to take her to 95K like I did with Orchid but the pricing is too high.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, that I won’t write to a tight deadline again. Before Loose Id would accept Fragrance, they wanted Ginger because it’s really the second part of that story. And I wrote it faster than I would have liked. I had to go back and fiddle with it more than I normally would wait for the Muses to turn up, but I had to push them… Never again.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I have absolutely no idea on Zane in Ginger. He’s quite unusual. But Danny, his partner ~ Willy Cartier would work, he’s a gorgeous international French, Senegalese, Vietnamese model who is my muse for Danny Lucerno. And Colin Farrell for Rob Masterson. Kulani Mahikoa was based on Dayvid Thomas, a Hawaiian musician. And in Pele’s Revenge, the NZ Maori actor Anatonio Te Maioha is my perfect muse for Detective Reef Kahili.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
If you’re a pantser, be a pantser. Write in the voice you’re most comfortable with. Always read your MS out loud to yourself to catch all the little words left in and out, and odd things. If you’re stuck, sit back and ask yourself, “Do my characters really want to do this?” Most of the writer’s block if I get any is because I’m trying to get my characters to do something they don’t want to do. Listen to your characters. Even if it seems odd, go with it. I have NO idea that Danny and Zane had a thing for each other! Never wait to write a scene that is running perfectly in your head. Write it NOW. Go back and fill in the lead in or ending bits later. Cut and paste is your friend. Write when you want. Ten in the morning, ten at night, two in the morning, two in the afternoon. Whatever works for YOU.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I appreciate them greatly. I treasure all the feedback and reviews I get. It really touches me that people got what I was trying to show and that they enjoyed it so much. And when I see a book sale, it gives me such a lift. Thank you so much!!!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Peter Robinson’s ‘In the Dark Places.’ I’m a huge fan of murder mysteries, police procedural, cozies and such. And I also love romances.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Oh my goodness, no. LOL. I’ve read so many. I love reading.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
What makes me laugh? Irony, irreverent things, British humor, mad cat antics, crazy situations, quiet nuances and clever sarcasm.
What makes me cry? Lots of things. If I think Leo my ginger ninja puss is sick, I worry and cry if I get overwhelmed. I cry over beautiful scenes in movies, or things on fb about animals or kindness or sweetness. I cried when I saw the video of the Hokule’a coming into Honolulu harbor after her round the world voyage. A good haka will always have me in tears. Weddings, funerals, poignant dance or moments.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet Morgan Freeman because he strikes me as a most interesting man. He’s irreverent, funny, kind, deep, intelligent, warm, unusual, quirky… the list goes on.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Not really. I’m too busy as a writer. It takes up a lot of time. But I read when I can. I’m always interested in psychology and sociology and progressive functional medicine. If I had time again, I’d probably get back into genealogy or mosaics. I’d like to learn Argentine tango… the slow, sensuous, Argentine version.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Not a lot interests me. I get bored with TV quite quickly. But I do love shows like Longmire, Scorpion, CSI New Orleans, Blue Bloods and Hawaii 50. And I enjoyed Bloodlines. Plus a NZ show called Brokenwood. (so, um cop shows… LOL)
In movies, not much. Things that have historical significance often grab me. I loved Selma, Sully, The Help, Hidden Figures. Things that touch me like Love Actually, The Blindside. Funny Oz, Kiwi or British movies. Things like Top Gun, The World’s Fastest Indian, Ondine, Today’s Special.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Crikey… too much to list on food. LOL. I love good food. French with lovely creamy, garlic, wine sauces. Burmese, Afghani, Fusion. NZ fish and chips cooked in pure fat. Blue cheeses, rich pates, olives, artisan breads. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.
On colors, hot pink. Love it.
Music: very eclectic. I love dance music from the 90s, Ska n’ B, New Wave from the 80’s, Tahitian drumming, Native American drumming, flamenco, Latin American dance, classical, rock n’ roll, pop, 60s tunes, Big Band like Glenn Miller etc.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Have lots of money and travel around the world, soaking up places and experiences.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She lived a thousand lives but this one was the one to remember.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have a website but I don’t get time for my blog anymore. I need about another 5 days in the week, no sleep (ever), an extra keyboard and another set of hands.
My links are:
Hawaiian Lei: http://tinyurl.com/n9sn78k
Hawaiian Orchid: Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/pkg5vks
Hawaiian Fragrance: Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/lwmvejk
Hawaiian Ginger: Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/yc7efvvh
Police Procedural set in Hawai’i
writing under J.M. Calverley
Pele’s Revenge ~ AMAZON
Moana’s Secrets ~ 16 Aug 2017
~ The Hawaiians Series ~
Contemporary gay romance
Hawaiian Lei ~ AMAZON
Hawaiian Orchid ~ AMAZON
Best Contemporary Gay Romance ~ Rainbow Awards 2016 ~ Runner-up
Hawaiian Fragrance ~ AMAZON
Contemporary Gay Romance ~ Rainbow Awards 2017 ~ Honorable Mention
Hawaiian Ginger ~ AMAZON
Hawaiian Passion ~ Fall 2017
~ Time Travel Romance Series ~
Sweet, clean romances
Writing under Justine Amor
Timeless Courage ~ 30 July 2017
Flying Through Time ~ Sep 2017
~ Cocktails ~ Drinking in Love Series ~
Contemporary gay romance
Hawaiian Lover Flow ~ Sep 2017
~ The Paris of the South Series ~
Last Tango in the Paris of the South ~ Sep 2017
~ Troika Love Series Trilogy ~
Committed Troika/poly soul deep sensuous romance
Henry and Isolde ~ AMAZON
Dark War ~ short story AMAZON
Saint Nicholas ~ a heartfelt love story AMAZON
“Everyone lives a thousand lives, but only one life to remember ~
Will this be yours?”