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. Well, my author name is mda (like, M.D.A), but my real name is Margot. My age, well, that’s top secret! Let’s just say I’m mostly grown-up but I write YA.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m lucky enough to live in Auckland, New Zealand.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Author blurbs seem to talk about their marital status, where they live, and the number and type of pets they have, so following that lead, I’m single, I have no pets (although, I am a cat person) and I live in NZ. I have a PhD in psychology, and in my ‘other’ life, I’m a psychology researcher.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
The first book in my YA urban fantasy series, Lucan is out now (and on sale!http://amzn.to/2sarMwH); and I’m currently working on the second, hoping to publish in September.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always loved writing, but it wasn’t until I was about half-way through my PhD – during a pretty boring phase of data analysis – that I got the urge to write a novel.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Hmm, that’s a tricky one. I’ve been consistently writing for five years so, calling myself a writer implies a level of success, such as making a living from writing, that I haven’t quite achieved (yet :P). I’ll let you know when I feel like I can describe myself as a writer!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book (not yet published) is about a high school senior who uncovers a secret experiment in her high school. The inspiration for this came from my own research (I used to experiment on people!); as well as my love of mysterious things; and memories of the angst of high school.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My current book is called Lucan, after the superhuman species this book is about. I have a whole back story about how Lucans originated from a beast called Lykos, then evolved into Lycanthrope.This book has had a bunch of different titles as it evolved, but in the end I decided to keep it simple.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’m not sure I have a specific style. I am character and plot driven, rather than focused on creating beautiful sentences. I find that I have to make myself slow down and provide setting detail (where the characters are). When I do, it provides texture and improves the scene, but it’s never my first instinct to do so. Also, action scenes are hard to write!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
To a certain extent everything comes from real life experiences, but in Lucan, this is fairly abstract. No characters are based on real people, I promise.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
It’s always easier to write about places you’ve been, but since I live in NZ and Lucan is set in North America, I find google images very helpful to provide visuals for the scenes I’m trying to create.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I went to book covers designers https://thebookcoverdesigner.com/, selected a premade cover and then asked the designer to edit it. Lucan’s cover was designed by AdrijusGuscia, Rocking Book Covers
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s a story about a nineteen year old girl finding her strength and power, and seeking her own destiny.
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?
One could go on forever, so I’ll just give one example. Curtis Sittenfeld. She writes a range of things, but across all of them, I just love how she can capture human moments and describe them in such hilarious ways.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I wouldn’t call her an entity, but my writing buddy Julie Sandilands has helped me a lot with my website, providing feedback and empathy; and sanity checks.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
When I’m feeling optimistic!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’ve only just published it, so at the moment I’m not entertaining any ‘I wish I’d…” thoughts. A few years down the track I’ll probably have all sorts of amazing insights.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned a LOT. A key thing (which I’m still learning), is the importance of understanding your characters motivations and key conflicts at the beginning, and keeping them in mind all the way through.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Funnily enough, I have loads of ideas for the secondary characters, but Tamzin herself, not really, I think because I see her from the inside out.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Eek! I don’t think I’m in a position to be giving advice yet.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Just that I hope they enjoy Lucan!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m actually reading a book for a friend, as well one in Sarah J Mass’ Glass of Thrones series.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Oh wow. No, I couldn’t say. Let’s go with The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
EVERYTHING makes me cry. I can tear up at the stupidest things.
I love physical slapstick comedy, but also very dry witty humor.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Ooh, too hard a question! I could write all my celebrity crushes here, but instead, I’ll say either Oprah – just because I bet she has so much good advice; or Joss Whedon, because growing up, Buffy was (and still is) such an inspiration to me.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Yoga, and, well… see below.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love TV! I can’t list all my favorites so I’ll list what I’m watching right now. Killjoys; Outlander; Friends From College; Game of Thrones; Blindspot; Good Behavior; Reign; Jane the Virgin; Handmaid’s Tale; Casual.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love chicken wings and other savory delights (I don’t have a sweet tooth); bluey-purple; a range of music, pop, Motown, soul, alt-country, folk…
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Ugh, that would suck. Probably some combination of a ‘normal’ job, and something creative – maybe in performing arts.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Thank you for reading 😀