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?
Hi there! My name is Denise Tapscott. I don’t look like my “real” age, so I tell people I’m about 297 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Northern California.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I reside in Southern California. I love to travel so I try to visit some place new (or at least different) every few months. I adore New Orleans and I visit there at least once a year.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m currently working on a short story called The Price of Salvation and once it’s polished I will resume working on the second book of the Zenobia Tales.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing unofficially when I was 16. I used to have insomnia over the summer months so I would work on a gangster story until I was drowsy enough to sleep.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Honestly I didn’t consider myself a writer until the day I held the first copy of Gypsy Kisses and Voodoo Wishes.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had an idea about some very interesting characters, but I didn’t do much with them. After Michael Jackson died, I was stunned. If I died suddenly no one would meet my characters. From then on I created and moulded each and every character. I am drawn to New Orleans so much that the story had to take place there.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The question “what is stronger, a kiss or a wish?” kept popping up in my mind. I liked the idea of two types of magic/religions battling it out and thus the title was born.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I tend to put a lot of focus on my characters, which is fun! My challenges are the cursed adjectives and adverbs. In my first few drafts everything was “colorful” and every other word seemed to end in ‘ly’.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not much is realistic in my novel(thank goodness). However (without revealing any spoilers) there are a few moments that are based on events that happened in my life.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I certainly do travel quite a bit in the name of research for my book, both before and during. There are a few locations in the second book I may just have to research thanks to Google and Youtube.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
A designer at Bookfuel. They asked for me to send ideas of what I was looking for and words to describe how I wanted it to feel. I think they did a phenomenal job.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Follow your heart whenever you can and choose love as often as possible.
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 haven’t come across any new authors yet. My favorite writer is Eden Royce. Her stories have southern charm and they really speak to me. I always enjoy Stephen King’s short stories as well as Jim Butcher’s The Dresden files series.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The handful of people I thanked in my acknowledgement page really supported me. All of them were honest, direct and encouraged me to go on even when I was discouraged at times. Each of them should get gold stars for keeping me focused.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes please!! I have many characters and many stories waiting to be revealed to the world.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would change the title slightly. It would probably be Roma Kisses and Voodoo Wishes. With my research about the Romani culture, I overlooked the fact that the word ‘gypsy’ is offensive. Travellers/Rom people all over the world have been persecuted, for a very long time (and still are, quite frankly). I don’t want to add insult to injury.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Holy moly I learned a great deal. I learned how to make gumbo! I learned that a lot of magic is based on intention. I was also reminded that love is a powerful force.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I would love for Grandmother Zenobia to be played by either Oprah Winfrey or Viola Davis. I’d love for Dorian Camlo to be played by Oded Fehr or Jason Momoa. I’m still up in the air about who would play Patia Camlo.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Please keep writing! There is someone out there who really wants and needs your story.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I want to thank each and everyone of them for spending their valuable time reading my work.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Forever Vacancy: A Colors in Darkness Anthology
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Magic Elizabeth, by Norma Kassirer stands out most.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
That’s a tough one. I tend to laugh a lot, about many things. I don’t cry often but when I do, I cry tears of joy for something heartfelt and touching.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to have drinks with Cary Grant. He was so charming!
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I don’t have any specific hobbies. I often look to do things that make me smile whether it be dancing or watching wild birds at a park.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Oh goodness! There are too many tv shows/films for me to list. I love action and horror films mostly. My top 5 favorites in no particular order are Empire Strikes Back, Get Out, Jaws, Raising Arizona and Captain America. I almost forgot Notorious with Cary Grant! I love tv shows with great characters like Breaking Bad (and Better Call Saul), Orphan Black and Game of Thrones. One of my all time favorite tv shows is Dark Shadows. It aired as reruns in the 90s’. I could never get enough of Cousin Barnabas.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
My favorite foods are just about anything with cheese. I do love sushi too and I’m a sucker for a bold Cabernet Sauvignon. My favorite color is red and I listen to Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes almost every day. Not sure why, but I love love love that song.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would look for Vampires and hope they’d invite me to be a part of their clan.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
If/when I die (still looking for Vampires, just saying) I want to be cremated and have my ashes mixed in with fireworks. There should be a spectacular display over the Mississippi river near the French Quarter in New Orleans.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?