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?
My name’s Daphne Loveling. I’m… a little north of forty, lol!
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Iowa, and spent most of my childhood in the midwest. In my early adulthood, I moved around some, but then came back to the midwest. These days, I live in beautiful Minnesota.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I quit my day job to start writing full-time a year ago. Before that, I was an educator. I’m married to an amazing man, and have two stepdaughters, and now two little grandbabies. We also have two ornery cats who basically run the house and consider us their servants.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just started writing the fourth book in my motorcycle club series Lords of Carnage. This book is about Gunner, the club’s road captain, and a woman he meets when he ends up saving her from a shady character. The book will be published in mid-September.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I used to write a lot when I was a teenager. Nothing I ever thought I would publish, but I’ve always loved reading, and so it was a fantasy of mine to be an author. Interestingly, the very first romance story I ever wrote was a collaborative effort with my best friend at the time. We had a notebook we’d pass back and forth between us, and we’d take turns writing chapters of the story. It was great fun. It was also quite a challenge to try to deal with the plot twists we’d throw at each other. The other person would have to come up with something really imaginative to get our characters out of the jam the first person had put them in!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s a great question. I will never forget the amazing rush I felt the first time I put a story on Amazon, and the next day it had actually sold a copy! I guess that was when I first realized that maybe I could be a professional writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
For my first full-length novel, I was a total Sons of Anarchy addict, and started reading some motorcycle club romances. I thought maybe, just maybe, I could write one, too, so I decided to try.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Honestly, I don’t even remember, exactly. It was called Los Perdidos MC. I wanted to find an original name for a motorcycle club – one that hadn’t been taken by another author, and one that wasn’t the name of an actual real-life club. I dreamed up that name, and it wasn’t taken, so I grabbed it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Well, I tend to write in alternating first person, present tense. That means that for the most part, every other chapter alternates between being from either the male main character or the female main character’s point of view. And I choose present tense because I like how immediate the events feel – like they’re happening right as the reader is reading them.
I really like that style, but like any style choice, it has limitations. One of the challenges of that style is that you have to really think about how to structure the story, since everything that happens has to be explained from the experiences of one of the characters. If something happens in the story when neither of them is present, for example, you have to figure out how you’re going to tell the reader it happened. This is a lot different from third-person, for example, where you can leave the heads of your main characters and go follow a villain for a while. Or find out what one of the characters’ best friends thinks about things. You don’t have the option of slipping inside other people’s heads when you’re using first person.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well, I’ve never been an old lady in a motorcycle club! 🙂 I do know how to ride a motorcycle, though, and I used to have one myself. None of the events in my books have really happened to me, exactly. But I have been in love. And I’ve definitely had the experience of relationships that were passionate but bad for me, as well as relationships where the person I was with was wonderful, but I just didn’t feel the passion I needed to feel. I really love creating two people who may not be perfect, but who end up being perfect for each other. I think it would be really hard to write convincing romance without some life experiences, both good and bad. I guess that’s one way that age and wisdom might be an advantage. Maybe the older I get, the better my books will be. When I’m eighty, my novels will be amazing!
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I have drawn on past travel experiences I’ve had. But even though the locations of most of my books are inspired by real places, I prefer to give just enough detail to let the reader fill in the blanks, and create their own vision of where the characters live and love.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’m lucky enough to have an amazing cover designer, Lara from CoverLüv. She’s done all my recent covers, and I love working with her. She’s fantastic at taking a vague concept and running with it — which makes the whole process completely stress-free, luckily for me.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Hmm… I’m trying to think of one message that comes out in all of my books. I suppose that one takeaway that all of my characters eventually realize is that love requires opening yourself – to fear, to the unknown, and to trusting someone who knows your deepest, darkest secret. It’s powerful, and scary, and the most wonderful thing in the world when you’ve found that person whom you know will always be there for you no matter what.
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 love a ton of writers, in a lot of different genres. But if I think about the one author whose books I’ve read and reread more than any other, I’d have to say Jane Austen. I absolutely love how keen her sense of social critique is, and how well she describes the weaknesses and foibles of human nature. I also love how well she describes the particular plight of women as objects of exchange in English society at that time. And yet, through it all, she manages to create the most amazing, transcendent love stories – stories of imperfect people who are perfect for each other. (Hmmm… I’m sensing a theme here, lol!)
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I’m really lucky in that almost everyone around me has been super-supportive of my writing journey. Mr. Loveling has been just fantastic. And I also have a great online community of other self-published authors. We help each other, cheer each other on through our successes and encourage each other through the challenges.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Definitely. I’ve been doing it full-time since July 2017.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I try really hard not to look back and second-guess myself on books that I’ve already published, because I would make myself crazy. But I definitely learn something with every book I write, and try to apply those lessons to the following book.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I’m about halfway through my work in progress right now. I’m working to make the action of the MC subplot really tight. There are actually two plots that involve the motorcycle club, and I’m trying to weave them together seamlessly, and have both of them reflect back onto the love story developing between the two main characters. We’ll see if I’ve succeeded when the book comes out!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For the male main character of basically any one of my books, I’d take Charlie Hunnam or Joe Mangianello! For the female… gosh, that’s tough. It really depends on the book, but I do typically have an actress in mind as inspiration of how she looks. For the one I’m writing right now, my inspiration for the female main character is Haley Bennett.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
I actually talk a lot to aspiring writers in my own life. One piece of advice I give out a lot is: writers write. In other words, if you want to be a writer, start writing. Write a page a day. Or five-hundred words a day. Or something. Set a goal, and make that goal, every day. At the end of it, you will have a book. Then lather, rinse, and repeat with the next book. The more you write, the better at it you will get.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
They are literally the most important part of my professional career. If they weren’t reading, I wouldn’t be writing. I owe them everything.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just got done reading Jen Lancaster’s new memoir, Stories I’d Tell in Bars.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes, I actually remember the very first book I read all by myself. If you can believe this, it was a Dick and Jane book. How completely cliché, but I swear it’s true. I was four, and my mom and I were visiting some new neighbors, who were from Canada. They had two kids a little younger than me, and while my mom and their mom were chatting in the kitchen, I sat down with the two little kids to play. Eventually one of them pulled out a Dick and Jane book from their bookshelf (I had never seen a Dick and Jane book before) and asked me to read it. So I opened the book and started reading. My mom came running out of the kitchen when she heard me, because she knew I didn’t have any Dick and Jane books. Turns out, I was reading it, and she didn’t even know I could read yet!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Practically everything makes me laugh. Sad books and movies make me cry. Weddings. Funerals. Cute babies. But music makes me cry most of all. It doesn’t even have to be sad. There’s just something about beautiful music that starts the waterworks. I can’t help it at all.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Dorothy Parker. Because she was so snarky and hilarious, and I bet she would have been a hell of a good time.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Besides reading, you mean? I’m a big walker, mostly because I love taking long walks and observing the world and the people around me. And I love trying new foods, and traveling to new places. If I was rich, that’s what I’d spend all my money on.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan. I also love Doctor Who, and lately I’ve started watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which is hilarious.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite foods: anything, really, as long as it’s well prepared. I love sushi, and I love Thai food, but you also can’t beat a good burger and fries. And I love cold pizza for breakfast. Favorite color is any shade of blue. Music: I like all kinds, but I’m a fan of nineties music, particularly grunge and early 90s hip hop.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Can I be rich enough that I can just travel forever? If not, maybe I’d go back to teaching. Or, if I can magically get a free education to re-train myself, I’ve always wanted to be a clinical psychologist.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
The lyrics from “Always look on the bright side of life,” from the Monty Python movie Life of Brian. But that would probably take a couple of headstones.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My Amazon author page is https://www.amazon.com/Daphne-Loveling/e/B00DNP52ZC
My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/daphnelovelingwrites
My website is: www.daphneloveling.com. If you go there and sign up for my mailing list, you automatically get my free, exclusive standalone novella, STONE. It’s not available in any stores – just my gift to you for signing up! So everyone’s a winner!