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 Fiona, Thanks for this exciting opportunity to be interviewed, I’m delighted to make your acquaintance. My name is Dianna Wyles and I’m 50 years young.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born and raised in the foothills of California.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I grew up in Northern California, moved away for a few years, then move back to my home town. I am a Preschool Teacher with a passion for Photography in search of God’s blessings in everything. I enjoy spending time hiking, birding, mining, and taking pictures in the great outdoors to reconnect with our Lord through his beauty and wonder. Humbled and Amazed daily by the beautiful signs and gifts of Love given by God, I have a unique gift of seeing heart blessings in nature and my surroundings. I am a naturalist by nature, I love God, Family, Kids, hearts, wildlife & all things related to these subjects.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I‘ve been working on another children’s book. I was hoping to have it published soon but life got in the way… so I am now hoping to publish by December. It’s a children’s counting book where we will be counting Rock Heart Blessings. The title will be “Counting Blessings 1 2 3 Rock Hearts! Rock Hearts! Can you see?” I recently signed up for BookBub so I’m looking for followers there. I am also thrilled and very excited about the fact that my first two books will be found @ Pipes & Thimbles Publishing and Book Store in L.A. soon. 💖
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been a closet writer I believe, but in 2016, I published my first book because I felt like I had something to share with the world.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Like I mentioned, I have always been somewhat of a closet writer, I have written poetry since childhood, but I actually started considering myself a writer once I hit publish and sold my first copies of my book.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was going through a season of struggle with multiple family illnesses, eventual loss, grief, and into healing… I meditated and prayed my way through that time! In one particular meditation (I always mediate on God’s goodness, Love, Peace, and Healing) when my meditation was over, everywhere I looked I saw hearts… in the sky, in the trees, on rocks … everywhere! I felt like I was just Hugged by God and a sense of peace beyond understanding came over me… I still see those hearts each day and my first book “Heart Blessings A Children’s Seek and Find” came to me in a dream after praying a lot about the writer’s block I was having trying to write an adult inspirational describing my experiences and how blessed it all leaves me feeling. It took about an hour to put together and about 3 or 4 months formatting and perfecting it 🙂 In my opinion, it was a gift from our loving Heavenly Father for me to share with the world, to teach from a very young age that if you search out His blessings daily… he will not disappoint you. ❤
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
All my book titles were inspired through dreams I have had and the heart blessings I see every day. 💖
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I am pretty new to the Author/publishing scene, so it’s all been a pretty exciting learning experience, at the moment I am writing children’s books and they seem to always come out in rhyme so I guess that’s my style, although, I don’t imagine my adult inspirational books I am working on will be in rhyme. I imagine they will be straight forward and to the point.
My challenge so far has been formatting! I can crank out the words and my photography takes care of the illustrations, but putting it all together into something that appeals to a wide variety of readers and ages has been a major obstacle for me to climb over. I believe I succeeded in doing just that with my first two books, however, my newest work in progress has been quite a challenge to even decide on the best trim size for a child’s counting book. Honestly, I think my biggest challenge with my latest project is my indecision and lack of time to focus wholeheartedly on it. No worries though, God has been my guidance through it all and I know he won’t fail me. “Counting Blessings 1 2 3 Rock Hearts! Rock Hearts! Can you see?” will be a fun filled journey to discovering that blessings are all around and you only have to seek them to find them.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Because all my books are faith based books, I believe they are realistic, and yes, they are all based on my experiences in searching for everyday blessings. As a matter of fact, this next book is about a walk in nature with grandpa, searching for rock heart blessings together, so my illustrations are of my husband and grandkids enjoying that nature walk, looking for heart rocks. We like to encourage our grandkids to have the same love of nature we have.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process? Yes and No… The images in my books were captured locally, as well as in the surrounding mountain regions, forests, and streams where we like to go often, so I have to travel outside of my house but not far 😉 I am definitely open to traveling farther in search of Heart Blessings throughout the world though! Wouldn’t it be lovely to create a coffee table book full of Heart blessings from all over the world!?! Now that’s an exciting thought!!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed my own covers with images I captured.
Fiona: Is there a message in your books that you want readers to grasp?
YES! My intent is to create something that is simple and childlike in format yet ageless in content 😉 It is my heart’s desire to inspire a positive attitude, gratefulness for life, to introduce God’s beauty and wonder to a world that has yet to meet our awesome creator, and to touch the hearts of those who already call him Father.
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 love reading although I can’t ever find enough time in a day to read as much as I’d like, when I do find the time, I make sure to leave a review because… a review is like a cyber hug to an Author! If you read a book you love, be sure to tell your friends, and leave a review.
Alex E. Carey is one of my favorite new to me Authors’, and has been a very dear and supportive friend since I began this adventure into the book industry. Her YA books have a bit of everything in them >> fantasy, (clean) romance, action, adventure, a sci-fi twist… She is a great author and I highly recommend reading her books. Here is a list of other amazing authors I have grown to know and love…
Books I love or would love to read:
Alex carey- Elemental Series https://www.amazon.com/Alex-E-Carey/e/B00FLGSMLC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1495369626&sr=1-1
M.Y. Zeman- YA fantasy- Chronicles of a Wererabbit https://www.amazon.com/M.-Y.-Zeman/e/B00B8YICI4/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1495369718&sr=1-1
Claudette Melanson – The Maura DeLuca Trilogy https://www.amazon.com/Claudette-Melanson/e/B00IHS7GBI/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1495379797&sr=1-1
Jenny Burke- Dragon Dreamer series http://amzn.to/2hRfqrh
Wanda Luthman- Children’s Books- Newest Release- Gloria and the Unicorn https://www.amazon.com/Wanda-Luthman/e/B00OASC9WU/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1495380202&sr=1-2-ent
Timothy Hemlin multiple genres – thrillers and fantasy plus- including If Wishes Were Horses and Son of a Kitchen Witch http://amzn.to/2p4bFAb
Carol Paddy – A fantasy fiction writer and author of a trilogy, a novel, and Christian inspirational books
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Well… my family has been a great avenue of support, but I have found so much help, encouragement and support through our wonderful Indie Community! So many mentors!! So much mutual love and respect for the arts! If I have a question about something I am unsure of, all I have to do is ask and the response is amazing! I absolutely LOVE how we as a community stick together and help each other with encouragement, advice, advertising & promoting, lifting each other up on the rough days, and just being there for each other. It’s fantastic!!
Alex E.Carey has been a wonderful friend and support (she is such a sweetheart) as well as other Authors who have also been so kind and encouraging like Wanda Luthman, Sarah Northwood, Claudette Nicole Melanson, Jenny Burke, & M.Y. Zeman to name just a few. The PA’s, such as Samantha Soccorso & Alicia Freeman who hold the takeover events for free just to help get Indie Authors & their books in the spotlight are pretty fabulous too. I know there is more, if I missed you I’m sorry, just know I love & appreciate you ❤
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I will always be a teacher at heart, but yes, I do see writing as a career. It’s quite a creative task to take an idea from it’s imaginative beginning to inspired completion! I love the challenge though… My books inspire people so I feel like it’s still teaching while sharing my love of nature and God’s daily blessings.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I am happy with how my first two books turned out, no… I don’t think I would change anything at this point… Ok trim size… Maybe I would play with different trim sizes. (just for fun)
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, I have learned a lot of patience with formatting issues and technical stuff that I am still learning as I go. Trim size, spacing, image location, PDF copies, Moby files… all foreign to me before my first book was published, Now I have more knowledge and I’m learning to perfect things, I know many more tricks of the trade to make the process run smoother.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
My books are short children’s books, so I’m not sure I see a film in the making…My newest project could make a cute little children’s cartoon or something. I could see someone with a strong voice like Sean Connery or Johnny Depp doing the voice of grandpa and the children’s voices would have to be someone like Dakota Fanning or Selena Gomez I think.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
I would say to go ahead > let go of fear, step out in faith to follow the passions and dreams that God has gifted you to share! Don’t give up, just keep writing. Try to write every day. Write for yourself first and others second. Write about whatever inspires you so it’s more likely you will inspire others with your passion.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Life can be stressful! When the world Shouts “Chaos” God’s messages of Love whisper “Seek My Peace”. What better way to encourage children to search out God’s Blessings each day than to share a feel good interactive book with those special little people in your life 💖
Did you know you can check out my books for FREE on Kindle Unlimited? 😉
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I am currently reading the very talented M.Y. Zeman’s “Snow Island – Chronicles of a Wererabbit” This is the 3rd book in the adventures of Snow the Wererabbit. She can shift from human to rabbit at will, has a werewolf for a boyfriend, two dads that are vampires, and is off to save the world from the evils that are lurking about on Snow Island. It’s been a fascinating ride for sure! If you like action packed YA Fantasy, shape shifters, & dangerously fun adventures, this book is a must read, but I suggest reading the first two books in the series ( “Snowball-Chronicles of a Wererabbit” & Snow Bunny- Chronicles of a Wererabbit” ) before you begin your ride on Snow Island. You can check them all out on her Amazon Author page.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The very first book I actually remember reading would be those “Fun with Dick and Jane” beginning readers they had way back in the day… Uh oh, am I showing my age? LOL
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My grandchildren make me laugh, they are such genuine souls and every minute I get to spend with them is a cherished blessing. So many things can make me cry but I choose to focus on the positive so I’ll just leave it at that.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I think it would be magical to have a conversation with Helen Keller. Deaf, Dumb, and Blind, her life was no easy feat yet she overcame so much, becoming a great inspiration to many. She changed how we think about people with physical & even mental challenges today. People thought she was a hopelessly wild and crazy animal in her youth, but with the help of her devoted teacher Anne Sullivan, she learned to understand, to communicate, and to encounter a world full of hope in which she was not an outcast to society, but a contributing and helpful member, inspiring others to not give up on their dreams.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I have a great passion for photography, as I have mentioned. I am a nature nut and a naturalist who enjoys spending as much time in the great outdoors as possible. My husband and I like to go hiking, mining, boating, swimming and I absolutely LOVE Birding!! There is nothing like the feeling I get capturing a shot of birds in flight or just posing pretty for me (Especially if God has blessed it with a heart for me to see). For me, it’s like therapy for free 😉. It’s my way to find inner peace on a trying day… to be inspired… to be in Zen!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m not much for sitcoms and such but I do enjoy a good comedy movie now and then. I just recently watched “Bad Moms” with Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn, Kristen Bell & Christina Applegate. It was pretty hilarious 😊
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I like food, all food… But my favorite food is Chinese I guess (I eat it all the time), my favorite colors are pinks & purples, and music?… I love Christian Rock, Air1 is my favorite station, but I have been known to revisit my youth with classic rock stations once in a nostalgic while 😉
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I believe I’ll be writing for a good long time as I have much to share with the world… But I would stick with being a Preschool teacher… Go with what you know 😊
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Tough question!! Boy you’re good! I think it would have to be “Blessed Daughter, Wife, Mom, Friend, Blessed Child of the Most High” or “Just Blessed” 💖
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I’m still working on building a website, Fiona, although I do have a blog on WordPress where I post my book reviews, events, giveaways, and updates https://diannawyleshearts.wordpress.com/ . You can also find my social media links connected there under the contact tab. Additionally, I have a blog on Refreshing Hope Ministries for those who are interested in a little spiritual inspiration. http://www.refreshinghope.org/blogs/1122/
Dianna with her loving Husband / Editor
Links for my books:
💖 My Author Page 💖
Fiona, Thank you so much for such a wonderful interview! It was truly my pleasure and I hope your readers enjoy it. If you or anyone has any questions, you’re welcome to contact me through social media, or by email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember if you just keep seeking and you will find…
Beautiful Blessings by Grand Design.
💖 Stay Blessed 💖