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 having me! I’m Natalia Schellhaas, and I am twenty-five years old. I will be twenty-six in September.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am a born and raised Floridian. Fun fact: I am not a beach person. The only thing I enjoy about Florida is the theme parks!
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Currently, I am a master’s student and working on my degree in Library Science. I am planning on becoming an archivist in the near future. Hopefully, I will be able to graduate next year!
I have six cats and an overwhelming book collection.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My second novel is in progress! It’s titled Paperback Hearts, and it is a really cute love story about two people—Clara and Will—who are in their mid-twenties. They first meet in Walt Disney World at the Magic Kingdom while in line for a ride!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was little. I still have one of the first things I remember writing. It was a Sailor Moon fanfiction I wrote in this cute little bright green composition notebook. I never did finish writing it, but a few years back, I started to re-write it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think when I finally had a physical copy of my book in my hands. Then I knew my dreams were becoming a reality.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Doctor Who and Once Upon a Time were big inspirations in my writing The Time Thief. And my trip to England—especially London—in 2014 was a big help because much of The Time Thief is written in the fictitious town of Cheshlake which I placed just outside of London. Being able to see London first hand was a great inspiration in describing and developing Cheshlake.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Time Thief was originally called Nothing’s Impossible and had been for years. The latest title was something I came up with my mom. She and I were bouncing around ideas and The Time Thief had been something I had written down. It just fit, and so it stuck. Amelia is a kind of time thief. I fell in love with it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I am not entirely sure I have a specific writing style. But I can say to anyone looking to write historical fiction, be prepared to do a LOT of research. My bachelorswas in history but it was an overall survey kind of degree. I am obsessed with Victorian London though, so I knew where to begin looking.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Amelia, the version you see snips of, is the woman who I wish I could be. She is a fighter and I love that about her.
There is also the love between Amelia and Sebastian I admire. Though Amelia does not “remember” Sebastian, Sebastian’s love for her never waned. He would do anything for her.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I didn’t have to travel, but being able to see London firsthand was good in helping me construct Cheshlake. I could see the world unlike what I am used to seeing. London has a lot of modernity but kept its history. Being there helped to immerse me in history.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Nathalia Suellen designed the cover for The Time Thief. I have to say, it turned out gorgeous. Her work is stunning, and it was such a pleasure to work with her.
As for Paperback Hearts, I have been playing with the idea of designing the cover myself. It has been a while since I worked with Photoshop, but I think it will be a nice challenge.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
You create your own destiny, it is not written in stone. Your past also does not define who you are today.
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 several, and they have all become close friends of mine. Autumn Sand, I came across through my friend and PA, Britta Neal. I started helping out with Autumn’s fan (now review) group Autumn’s Twisted Sisters. She has been such a huge help with getting my book out there. I don’t know what I would do without her and Britta. They’re amazing. Her writing is stunning, and I love her Twisted Hearts series. Plus, Autumn is absolutely lovely. Autumn writes dark romance novels. Her leads have hard lives but there always still seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for them. Everyone deserves happiness.
Mallory McCartney. She is also such a sweetheart! She was one of the first indie authors I talked to. She gave me a copy of her novel Black Dawn for review and I gave her a copy of The Time Thief for review in return. Black Dawn was amazing. Mallory helped me a lot in the beginning when I had first published.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I know you only asked for one, but there are two who have stuck with me through a lot. I consider both of them my sisters. Bethany and Brooklyn. Both of them live in different countries, but I probably would have gone insane without both of them. I’m so blessed to have these two lovely ladies in my life.
Bethany was there from the very beginning when I started writing The Time Thief. She had the pleasure of dealing with me when I felt like I was going insane. Bethany could see that I was truly passionate about this and she continued to support me throughout the last eight or so years. She was so excited when the cover was finally done, and then when it was published.
Brooklyn quickly became my best friend through Goodreads. We have very similar tastes in books. She was a beta reader for The Time Thief. She really kept me going, constantly asking me questions about what is coming up next, when its sequel The Memory Thief will be out, and everything in between.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
If I could do it full-time, I would in a heartbeat!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I am a little bit of a perfectionist, so probably. I cannot tell you how many revisions The Time Thief went through. It went through a professional editor and then I ended up doing hundreds of my own edits. I really felt like I had lost my mind while doing it!
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
While working on Paperback Hearts, I learned a way of outlining that finally seems to work for me. I am honestly the type of person who prefers to “go with the flow,” but it is a hard thing to do. Revisions feel harder because then I am completely rewriting chapters halfway through. I certainly will be using this outlining process with The Memory Thief and everything else I write.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Hands down, Hayley Atwell as Amelia, Sebastian Stan as Sebastian, and Idris Elba as Alaric. They may have been inspirations for these characters, so it would be perfect if they were the main cast!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep at it, even if you get tons of rejection letters. Trust me, I know the pain of getting them in the mail. The truly suck. My heart sank every time I received one. One thing that kept me going was knowing J.K. Rowling’s “origin story.” She was where we once were. She received tons of rejection letters before someone finally took a chance on her. J.K. Rowling changed the way people look at reading and writing. She is a huge inspiration to me as a writer.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Honestly, thank you guys for taking the time to read my work. One thing I have always wanted to accomplish as a writer is to be able to inspire someone like I have been inspired as a reader. I want you to feel as though nothing is impossible. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading a lot of things right now. Mayhem by Autumn Sand, The Guardians by Sue Harmeling, The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (re-reading this amazing book), Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie (I am buddy reading this with my best friend Brooklyn), and Perfect Imperfections by J. Wells.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first one I remember enjoying was called Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech. Funny enough, I came across my copy of this a couple weeks ago, and the memories of me reading it flashed through my mind. I remember being in elementary school and having curled under my covers while reading it. I remember having bought it from the Scholastic Book Fair. I miss those book fairs, haha.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Lots of things! I laugh when my cats do something silly. As for crying, I am a slightly emotional person, so a lot of things can set me off. Really good books and shows make me bawl. I recently got around to watching the season six finale of Once Upon a Time and I could not stop crying. It really got to me!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Hands down, Felicia Day. She has inspired me over the years. She is an actress, a bit of a comedian, internet personality and overall one of the coolest people I can think of. She is such a brilliant person, and as a child (and adult), she dealt with some of the same things I have. Check out her book You’re Only Weird on the Internet (Almost). Trust me, it’s amazing. And if you haven’t seen her webseriesThe Guild, definitely look it up too.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Aside from reading and writing? Haha. I occasionally draw. It has been a while since I picked up a pen and paper, but it has been on my mind recently. My friend Kasandra draws a lot and she has been inspiring me to draw again.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Oh boy. We could honestly be here all day if I listed everything I loved. I’ll try and keep my lists short, lol.
TV: Mr. Robot, Doctor Who, Sherlock, Elementary, Once Upon a Time, Chicago Fire/Med/PD, Supergirl, Agents of SHIELD, Preacher, The Magicians, Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Arrow, The Night Shift, Bull, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Parks and Recreations, Teen Wolf. Trust me, the list could go on, haha.
Movies: John Wick 1 and 2, The Transporter, The Conjuring 1 and 2, The Silver Linings Playbook, anything Marvel and DC, Harry Potter, The Woman in Gold, Honeymoon for One, Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade, The Nine Lives of Christmas, Iron Jawed Angels, the Good Witch films.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
For food, pretty much anything Italian. Especially chicken parmesan. I also make a wicked homemade chicken soup.
Definitely red. Any shade!
Music…now that is a hard one. I tend to like anything that catches and keeps my attention. Soundtrack music is an essential for me. I also love Simple Plan. They are probably the only band from my childhood I still follow!
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would probably go insane. Writing has always been with me since I was a child.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” I have this as a tattoo on my right bicep. The quote comes from George R.R. Martin, and it pretty much sums me up.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Here are my pages readers can check out.:)
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authorrealityjumper/
Review Group/Street Team: https://www.facebook.com/groups/435252950164560/
Readers are also welcome to follow or add my Author Page here: http://www.facebook.com/author.nataliaschellhaas
Amazon Author Page: http://amznly.com/3l4
Fanfic Blog: https://misscharliebradbury.tumblr.com/
If you visit my WattPad, you’ll be able to read the first two chapters of The Time Thief, FREE!
.99 on Kindle, FREE on KU, $15 for Paperback!
If you’re looking for a signed copy, I have a form for you! Click here ->https://goo.gl/vxBHRf
Add The Time Thief to your TBR on Goodreads: https://goo.gl/vKZtVw
Add The Memory Thief to your TBR on Goodreads: https://goo.gl/vKZtVw
Add Paperback Hearts to your TBR on Goodreads: https://goo.gl/vKZtVw
Thank you for talking with me today. It meant a lot!