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, I’m Markie Madden, and I’m going to be 42 in August!
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Texas, grew up in Michigan, and I now live in a small farm town in southeast Missouri.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m married with two daughters who are 22 and 18. I have a high school diploma and some college background. I was also an Emergency Medical Technician for 3 years and a pharmacy technician. I also have three dogs and a horse.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest book release is a first for me, a historical romance set in ancient Egypt called The Pharaoh’s Destiny. What started out as a straight historical/alternate history story turned into a 3-book trilogy with a lot of steamy romance!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I remember my first experience with writing in the 4th grade. Our teacher would draw a squiggly line on our notebook paper, and our assignment was to finish her line into a drawing and write a story about it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve written for as long as I can remember, so I can’t recall at what point I declared myself to be a writer. I just was.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first full length book, Once Upon a Western Way was written in high school and it was inspired by a game my best friend and I used to play.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It was a fantasy story, so the “once upon” seemed like a no-brainer. The name of the empire the characters create in the story is the Western Empire, so, Once Upon a Western Way. It’s recently been rewritten and renamed Clash of Times: The Quest.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write in lots of different genres, so I can’t really say that I have a specific style. My style varies with genre. My latest book, the historical romance, posed challenges because I wanted the history to be, if not accurate, at least believable. I even took a couple online college classes on Egyptian history.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The Pharaoh’s Destiny is centered around the life of Hatshepsut, the first female Pharaoh and the first famous woman in history. That part is true. However, I embellished her life after her husband’s death, giving her a lover that is only possibly hinted at in actual historical records and a longer reign than she had in life.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I wish I could have traveled to Egypt when researching the historical trilogy! But, I have kids and dogs and a horse at home, so my travel abilities are limited.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Except for Once Upon a Western Way, all my covers have been designed by me.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something just because of your gender and what’s socially acceptable. The Egyptians weren’t accustomed to a female Pharaoh, and yet she was one of the most prolific builders of 18th dynasty Egypt.
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? There are too many great authors out there to pick from. I like to read J.D. Robb, Patricia Cornwell, Kay Hooper, and Jean M. Auel.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My high school English teacher, David Harshfield. He was a self-published author back before it was really accepted, and he always told me to never give up, because what’s not possibly now may be doable later on. I found him again on Facebook a couple years ago. He doesn’t really remember me (who could blame him, after all, how many students did he have in the last 20 years?), but I was able to tell him that it was his advice that led me to persevere and eventually publish.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’m disabled (cancer-though in remission), so writing is my new career. I mean, I can’t pay the bills with it. But, just because my body doesn’t work like it used to doesn’t mean my mind doesn’t. It gives me a purpose and a feeling like I’m contributing. And, sometimes my royalty payments have come in when we really needed them.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I really don’t think so! Authors, like parents, aren’t supposed to have favorites, but I think this is it for me. I’m so passionate about ancient Egypt and I poured my heart and soul into this book!
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned so much, like the fact that people now think the pyramids and other great monuments in Egypt weren’t built by slave labor. Instead, workers were hired by the Pharaoh and paid in food and other goods.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I’d love Angelina Jolie to play the part of Queen Hatshepsut.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just what my teacher Mr. Harshfield always said. Never give up.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my books. If it wasn’t for fans like you, writing wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m not currently reading one, I just finished Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I’m not sure what the first book I read was; I was reading by the time I was 3. But one of my first series was the Black Stallion series by Walter Farley.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
One of my favorite recent shows, Doctor Who!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
David Tennant, who played the 10th doctor in Doctor Who.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Besides horseback riding, I like to cosplay. Last year, I did steampunk, this year, I’ll be doing an Egyptian Queen and Missy from Doctor Who.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Anything relating to horses, Supernatural, Doctor Who, Torchwood, Star Trek, the DaVinci Code movies.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love pasta of all kinds, my favorite color is green, and though I don’t do much music anymore (since I don’t work or leave the house much to listen to the radio), I love the soundtracks to the DaVinci Code Movies.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I don’t know!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I’m being cremated, so no need for a head stone. 😉
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Markie-Madden/e/B00O17AOHM
The Pharaoh’s Destiny link: http://geni.us/dest
Siren Song link: http://geni.us/ssonkin