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?
Fiona, thanks so much for interviewing me. I’m. Amanda Hughes I am 62 years old and wonder sometimes how getting to that age ever happened. Hello to everyone!
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from the Midwestern United States—Minneapolis/St. Paul to be exact.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
When I was not in my “Walter Mitty” world of fantasy, I studied at The University of Minnesota, receiving a B.A. as a therapist. Later, I became a mom of three children, who are now grown. We lived on forty acres of woods in the North Country of Minnesota. There were lots of opportunities to experiment with making maple syrup, tanning hides, open fire cooking, even making soap and candles. All things that show up in my books.
I am an absolute nut for adventurous travel and just got back from India and China. Next on the list is Peru. I can only hope that I have lived my life as boldly as my Bold Women.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
A few months ago I released, The Looking Glass Goddess. It is book seven in my historical fiction with love stories series about bold women through the centuries. It is set in The Jazz Age largely in Hollywood.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
When I was a little girl I had hundreds of imaginary playmates (some say those are leftovers from past lives and I tend to believe them) and they never left me. Although I no longer dress up and build houses with blankets to spend time with them, (thank goodness) they still tell me their stories and I write them down.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Not until I was forty. I always thought you had to have a journalism or English degree to write. Ha! My proofreader wishes I had one of those degrees though.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was fed up with historical novels that were dry and boring and historical romances that were silly. I wanted something in between that had a good storyline with a love story, so I gave it a shot.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title of The Bold Women Series took a while. I had to find a common thread between all the female leads in my books and ‘bold” was the common denominator.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Oh yes! I was once called a “genre buster” and how true. It is like standing on a ball balancing between two genres, historical and romance. Not everyone likes it—it is not always what they expect. It is new and different and needed!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Gritty realism historically is throughout all my books but there is never gratuitous violence or explicit sex. Sometimes I do bring in experiences from my work with disabled people or people with schizophrenia.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Weird—I do the traveling after. I can’t figure that one out. I suppose writing piques my interest and when I return I make changes if needed.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The Killion Group
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Just to hang on tight and get ready for a wild ride.
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?
It is so hard to narrow it down but I love Ken Follett, Anne Rice when she isn’t writing horror, and for great Westerns, there is no one better than Donald Montano.I love the oldies too like Conrad Richter and Willa Cather. These writers arewonderful storytellers.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
A tight little group of girlfriends that I grew up with. They were cheering me on from the start. They saw more in me than I did in myself.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Indeed it is my career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Boy, I try not to go back and re-examine my books. You ALWAYS see something wrong. Iadjust errors, but I pretty much never go back again.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
My character is an old Hollywood makeup artist and during research I found out that mascara was discovered by a young man who saw his sister using coal dust combined with Vaseline to darken her lashes. With that, he created mascara and named his company, Maybelline after his sister, Mabel.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For The Looking Glass Goddess, I always pictured a young Lauren Bacall. Libby has her chic style and hard-boiled attitude.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
It is not for the faint of heart especially the reviews, so look the other way and keep writing.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you, thank you and thank you for asking for more books!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Gold Eaters, a novel about the Incas and the Spanish since I am getting ready to go to Machu Picchu.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Stop Little Pot, Red Light Green Light and Georgie the Ghost but I didn’t really didn’t read them. My mom read them to me.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Charlie Chaplin movies
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Charles Dickens—what an imagination and truly a rags to riches story.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading, travel and I love to go out to lunch.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I have always been a nut for the old movies of the 1930s and 1940s. I think they have influenced my writing, especially my “fade to black” love scenes. I have recently been watching a new series called The Vikings. Wowso, it is gritty but super good.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Chocolate donuts, the color pink paired with light green. And I love, love, love Frank Sinatra.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Continue to make up stories—they just won’t go away!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.”—Auntie Mame
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do, and it is my website. http://www.amandahughesauthor.com/
Thanks a million for having me today Fiona and thanks to those of you kind enough to share your time with me!