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?
Angela Shearer and I’m 44
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Johannesburg in South Africa
Fiona: A little about your self (i.e your education, family life, etc.).
I studied a couple of different things like Advertising, Journalism, Business Management, Marketing, Security, Cyber and Corporate Investigations, Private investigations and Project Management. I use all of them in my current career. I have an amazing family of strong individuals and my daughter just finished school and has started studying.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just recently put my vision board together after joining a coaching circle and that inspired me to kick off a few new initiatives. I’m doing a beekeeping course during July, I’m working on my next book and I’m in the process of registering to do Life Coaching course.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I remember writing my first play at about the age of 8. It just sort of happened when I was bored one day and a scene started to play out in my mind so I wrote it down to see what would happen. I realised then that stories that want to be told have a way of making themselves known.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Since high school. Writing was a need for me, not a want. I just had to do it. I wrote mostly for myself at that stage but I always hoped to be able to write something one day that other people would benefit from in some way.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
People often asked me how I raised a child by myself and managed to never come across as a struggling single parent. It occurred to me that being independent isn’t something that comes naturally to every woman. We are all capable of it but we don’t all know how to do it because we aren’t all taught how to be self-reliant. I realised that a map to the place called“independence”would come in handy for people who wanted to have control over their own lives.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Scarlet Code was my first book. The name was a play on the phrase “Code Red” which implies a very serious security warning or threat. Code red indicates a situation that’s deteriorated so much it constitutes an emergencywhere immediate resuscitative efforts are needed.The book aims to resuscitate the reader’slives and passions and give them a map to reinvent themselves and ultimately achieve a healthy sense of independence.
Mad Mischief is my second book. It’s a compilation of short stories that vary from the extreme to the ridiculous in terms of genre. The name just seemed apt.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I like to write as simply as possible and keep it real. I like to write as if I am talking so that people read it more like a conversation than book, or a like a story is being told by a live person.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The Scarlet Code is based on some of my personal experience, experiments and observations but a lot of it is also based on research that I did to sanity check the guidance that I am giving.
In Mad Mischief I draw from some of my personal experience, some from stories I’ve been told by other people and some stories are just pure fiction.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
My work isn’t dependant on travelling but travelling always gives us new perspective and ideas. I find that getting out a bit and going for a run or a 20km cycle often helps with my creative process.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did my covers myself.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Both my books are full of messages for my readers. It’s difficult to name just one. If I had to pick the strongest message it would be “find ways to stay relevant in the world and be responsible for your own learning and growth. Be curious, never give up and always be your own person. Everybody has something to give the world even if it’s just a story.”
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’m a sucker for a good thriller or horror story. When it comes to fiction then Dean Koonz is my favourite author with Stephan King close behind. My favourite non-fiction author is Robert Greene.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
There wasn’t one specific entity that supported me. A few people read my draft copy of the Scarlet Code and when they applied what they learned in the book they literally transformed their lives. Seeing the transformation and the positive effect that it had on them made me take the leap and publish.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I see writing as one of my income streams. I don’t believe in restricting myself. I have a lot of things that interest and sustain me mentally so I like to have a whole lot of things going on at any given time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I initially wrote The Scarlet Code for a female audience but more men bought the book than women did and they said they learned things that helped them. A few of them asked me why I’d aimed it at women when it was relevant to men too. This made me realise that all the concepts that I cover in the book are relevant to both genders. I’m working on a new book called “The Blunt Side” which is the genderless version of The Scarlet Code with a few tweaks and new information that I don’t cover in my first book.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned that you can never edit enough and just when you think that you, the editor and proof readers have found all the typo’s and spelling errors, you haven’t.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
If one of my short stories was made into a movie I think I’d like Jason Statham to play the lead role.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
It is better to write for yourself and have no audience that to write for an audience and have no self. Don’t place too much emphasis on what other people will think. Most of them will never read your work. It is better to have strangers buy your books than people you know.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I love hearing their thoughts and feedback about my books and stories. The biggest gift that you can give an author is a heartfelt review. If something in their books has made a difference in your life you should share it.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Lara’s Journal by Adrianna Gavazzoni.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Hobbit. It was a set work book in primary school. This is the book that made me fall in love with reading.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I can laugh and cry all at the same time.I’m very passionate about stories, confessions, love, frustration, animals, work, my relationship and friends. Impact those and I can laugh or cry very easily.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’d want to meet Spartacus because I would love to hear his story first hand and I wouldn’t allow him to spare any detail.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I write, run, cycle, hike and read. I want to learn to play the guitar too.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love series like 24, CSI Cyber, CSI Miami, NCIS, Hannibal, Game of Thrones, Revolution, Vikings and any movie that is an action, fantasy or thriller.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Breakfast is my favourite food. Bacon, eggs, fried tomato and mushrooms.
I love all colours, the brighter the better.
Country music is my best but I also love artists like Edith Piaf and Andrea Bocelli
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I can’t have that future. Not imagining it.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Never thought about dying. Mmmf! Will have to work on this.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Mad Mischief Amazon Link
The Scarlet Code Amazon link
Author Page on Facebook
Article on LinkedIn