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. My name is Carol Warham. You really want to know how old I am? 21 years + tax = 64 years young.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Manchester (U.K) but after moving around a few times with my husband’s work we settled in Yorkshire thirty years ago.
Fiona: A little about yourself
I started out in life wanting to be a journalist but I soon realised that was not the sort of writing I really wanted to do. I hated intruding on family tragedies. I married and had two daughters. I’ve held a varied career life, working for the taxman, in my husband’s two businesses which were convenience stores and a lawncare business. More recently, before retiring, I ran a recruitment agency with a friend. In and amongst this I have been a Guide Guider, a magistrate and volunteered in my daughters’ swimming club.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m delighted to say that my first novel, called Resolutions, will be published on August 9th by Tirgearr Publishing.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
In one way or another I’ve written all my life. I can remember making tiny comics for my childhood dolls and play friends. I’ve no idea why I did this. I’d only be eight or nine, maybe, and it was something I enjoyed doing.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I really considered myself to be a writer when I had my first short story published in ‘Irelands Own’ about six years ago. Up until then I would say I wrote, but never called myself a writer. There seemed to be a difference to me.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
On a trip to Florida we visited the town of Celebration. It was the title and the layout of the town which inspired me to write my story based in a small town during New Year celebrations
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Originally I wanted to call the town ‘Resolution’ making it similar to Celebration and the title would be the same. That meant the town would need to be in the U.S. as you simply wouldn’t find a town in the U.K. with a name like that. However locating it in the U.S didn’t work for me and I had to re-locate to the fictional town of Yeardon. Fortunately I have been able to keep the title with an extra ‘s’ – RESOLUTIONS.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I think I have a fairly simple style, it’s not flowery or overly descriptive. I do find it challenging to describe emotions even for my characters. I tend to be quite a conservative or shy person where emotions are concerned. I also decided to introduce a couple of mild sex scenes into the story. I did not find these easy to write at all. However once I’d finished and edited them I was quite pleased with myself!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There is very little realistic or based on experince. The location of Yeardon is based on a small market town close to where I live, which was helpful. I took a number of photos to help me when writing some scenes. Some of my family, that have seen the earlier drafts of the book, did spot the family names I had used.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t have to travel unless I want to check out a location.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My gorgeous cover was designed by Elle J Rossi of Tirgearr Publishing.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I simply want them to enjoy reading the story.
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 am now meeting a number of new authors. One that stands out in my mind is AwenThornber who will have her first novel published in November by Crooked Cat. We have known each other a few years now and, figuratively speaking have held each other’s hand during the writing and submission process.
Which ever book I’m currently reading is always my favourite author of the moment. I’m not sure I’d like to pick just one. However I love historical fiction and Hilary Mantel is certainly a favourite, the amount of research she has done is inspiring and she uses an unusual point of view for her main character, Cromwell. An all time favourite is Jane Austen. I love her wit and use of dialogue.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The author Paula Martin. She has mentored me, supported, advised and pushed me when I was ready to give up. Without Paula I don’t think there would be a RESOLUTIONS.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I don’t see it as a new career, but I do see it as a significant part of my life.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I learnt so much when writing this book, it would have been wonderful to have the hindsight and experience I now have. However this will be put to good use in my second novel.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learnt a lot about going into deep point of view and really getting under your character’s skin to think and feel as they do. I also learnt patience, particularly when editing and the need to read your work aloud.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Good heavens, I’ve no idea, maybe Aiden Turner?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep writing, don’t give up. Write a few words every day, just ten minutes will do but above all keep going.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope they enjoy the story. It was written purely for pleasure for mine and for theirs.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’ve actually gone back to reading some of the old classics at the moment. Currently I’m reading ‘The Thirty Nine Steps’ by John Buchan – a ripping yarn!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I know my first school reading books were ‘Dick and Dora’. However the first books I really enjoyed were Enid Blyton’s Secret Seven books, followed by all the school books – Naughtiest Girl, Mallory Towers and St Clares.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I think I laugh easily. I laugh with friends at silly jokes and at comedians. I recently went to a very funny play in London ‘The Play That went Wrong’, I laughed so much my sides ached. I don’t cry very easily but I do get a lump in my throat, it may be some awful tragedy we see on television or a moving piece of writing.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
There are so many people, both dead and alive, I would love to talk to. I think Elizabeth 1. Would be an intriguing person to meet.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Loads! I belong to the local W.I., our library reading group, the village walking group, I run a small writing group and I volunteer within our village community.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I enjoy anything historical, comedies and I also enjoy reading and watching fantasy.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I’m not a foodie at all, food just doesn’t interest me except that I need it to live! I always enjoy chocolate though! I think my favourite colours are the soft hues of a golden autumn. I have an eclectic taste in music, everything from classical to the scores of John Williams. My eternal favourites from being a teenager are the incomparable Simon and Garfunkel.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Read! More reading and read again!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
That’s easy – I was discussing this only yesterday with friends. It would also be the title of my autobiography, which is unlikely to be written. ‘YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN HERE YESTERDAY!’
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do have a blog and RESOLUTIONS is on pre-order at Amazon until August 9th.