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?
Twyla: Twyla Turner and I’m 38-years-old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Twyla: I’m originally from Joliet, Illinois.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Twyla: I have a bachelor’s in Radio/TV with a focus in TV, although I NEVER used it. My minor was creative writing, which of course I’m using. Like they say, ‘hindsight is 20/20. As for family life, I’m single with no kids.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Twyla: Depending on when you post this, I’m about to have my very first BookBub feature from July 22nd-27th. That’s a pretty big deal, since they don’t accept too many authors. I also have a top secret project coming with 9 other authors in an anthology. I’m not able to say anything else though. All I can say is look for it early September.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Twyla: I began seriously writing Fall of 2013. I went on a little day trip with my mother to Sedona, Arizona. There is something about this place that is truly spiritual, and being there it felt like a higher power reached down and flipped a switch on in my head. A week later, I started writing my first novel and finished it 15 days later.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Twyla: It took a minute to believe it. Even after releasing like three books. But one morning it just hit me. ‘I’m a writer.’ And when it did, I actually started crying, because it was something I’d wanted to be for years!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Twyla: Honestly? Part of it was Fifty Shades of Grey. Yeah, you read that right. It was the first erotic novel I’d ever read. Which is crazy! I can’t believe I never knew. But that series opened the door and then I tried to find any and everything erotic, because well, I like sex. And sex in detail. I realized that I could finally write stories that I’d like to tell without sugarcoating the sex. The second thing that inspired me to write my first book was the lack of curvy heroines. I found BBW (big beautiful women) erotic romance, but all of it was either white women or novellas. There were barely any lengthy in depth curvy girl stories. So I decided to write the book I wanted to read, since I couldn’t find it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Twyla: The title is Star-Struck and I officially decided on it when I realized that it was going to be a two-part series and new that it would work if the 2nd book was titled Awe-Struck so it was all cohesive.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Twyla: My writing style is pretty straightforward. Nothing too difficult to read, instead I try to find simple ways to be profound. For a while my main style was also third person, but now I’m getting into first person, which gives me a chance to be more profound. Writing in general is a challenge.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Twyla: In my first book, I based a lot of the heroine’s characteristics on myself. I was teaching myself how to develop characters, so I figured I was the best model since I know myself best. Every heroine since has had a little of me in her. And I do use some friends’ or people I’ve met in my life personalities too. I haven’t really added too many events that have happened in my own life, with the exception of one. In my first book, Sunny tells Gabe that her ex used her dog to propose to his now wife. That really happened.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Twyla: No I don’t have to travel. But I do prefer having been there. To get the feel of a place. If I’ve never been there, I do Google info and images of the places. But I only write about places that I have been or want to go.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Twyla? For my first covers, I used an actual artist (painter) Suzy Almblade to paint my covers because we worked together in a call center and she would paint all the time and her work would be in almost every cubicle. We figured we’d help each other out to get us out of that crappy job. Some of the others are my own designs, two are from cover artist Taria Reed, and the last is from another graphic artist I found on a freelance site.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Twyla: My main message and theme in all of my books are that no matter what you look like, you deserve love too. A reader once told me that I’m the voice of the underdog.
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?
Twyla: Two author friends of mine who have pulled me in with their talent is Raven St. Pierre and KC Connor. Raven’s novel Chasing Moonlight was so beautifully written and read like a traditionally published novel. KC’s Lilly series is an epic fantasy story, where I’m completely immersed in the world she’s built.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Twyla: I have a friend I’ve known since Jr. High school, who is now an English teacher. She’s been beta-reading for me since the first book. She’s been so helpful and encouraging with helping me edit and giving me the confidence to hit publish.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Twyla: It actually is my career since it is my sole income.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Twyla? I might have went a little darker and a little more taboo, since it seems that more people are into it than I originally thought. I held back for fear that people would be disgusted. Some have been, but not as many who loved it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Twyla: I learned how to truly write in first person present.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Twyla: My newest book would be too hard to cast. But I always think about my Damaged Souls series becoming a movie. For Lexi, popular social media maven that I just stumbled across. She’s Afro-Latina, but I her features, skin color, and hair scream Lexi. As for Sloan, I can see either Henry Cavill or Sebastian Stan, the guy that played the Winter Soldier in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Twyla: If you write the story you want to read, you’ll more than likely always be passionate about your writing, it’ll be easier to write, and someone out there will want to read it. Also, never forget to write the senses. Please don’t forget that. I’ll say it again, WRITE THE SENSES!!! The only way to fully immerse the reader in your story is to write what they would see, hear, taste, touch, and smell if they were the characters. Those things truly pull you into a story.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Twyla: I swear I’ll get out the next Curvy Girls Club novel!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Twyla: I’m not currently reading anything, because I was deep into writing. But now that I’m finished I’m gonna finish the second book in Kaia Bennett’s Die by the Drop series.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Twyla: Not really. But my first favorite book was Fox in Socks by Dr. Suess.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Twyla: That’s hard. Umm….everything!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Twyla: Henry Cavill aka Superman. Because I love him. Oh and Keanu Reeves, because he’s such a fascinating and unusual person.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Twyla: Not really. But I have hobbies I want get into when I have the extra cash. Photography, pottery, and painting. Maybe even learning how to sew and make my own kickass clothes.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Twyla: My favorite shows to watch are dramas (i.e. This is Us, Outlander, Scandal). I do like some reality shows (i.e. House Hunters: International, Project Runway, and now The Bachelorette since they have a black bachelorette this season). As far as movies…EVERYTHING! I adore movies.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Twyla: Pizza with anchovies, sushi, Mediterranean food, cookies. Most shades of blue. Most music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Twyla: Act, talk show host, photographer.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Twyla: She lived her best life…and with no apologies. Inspiring everyone around her to do the same.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Twyla: Yes. My website is http://twylaturner11.wixsite.com/novelswithcurves
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