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?
I’m Karen Mossman and I’m 59 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m originally from Manchester, but now live on Anglesey, which is a tiny island off the North Wales coast.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I came from a big family, I have one brother and 3 sisters, 1 foster sister, 2 adopted sisters and 2 adopted brothers. My parents, as you can guess were foster carers for most of their lives and I grew up with many children around me, and also lots of animals, dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.
I married the boy next door in 1980 and we went on to have two children, who coincidently were born on the same day, 2 years apart. They are both married and in their thirties, and I have two grandchildren aged 4 and 1 1/2. We moved to Anglesey in 2016 and we both love living here.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’ve sent my latest book off to an editor and am now waiting with bated breath for its return. It’s the sequel to my first novel, Joanna’s Journey. They were originally one book, but I split them in two. When this one comes out, it will mean I have books set in the 70s, 80s, 90s and 00s.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written and don’t remember exactly when it started. But I would say that in the beginning I used to tell stories to the foster children making them up as I went along. Eventually, as I grew older, it was a means of escaping the chaos downstairs and I wrote to entertain myself.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when my first book was published in 2014.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Ah, well, that inspiration goes back to 1984. I was watching The Montreux Rock Festival, which was held every year. A young singer came on and I just fell in love with him and his voice. At that time I was knee deep in nappies and my imagination took hold and I ended up writing a little story for myself featuring him. Over the years, this was my escape and the short story became bigger and bigger until eventually it was a full-blown novel – or two as the case maybe.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
With great difficulty. It was originally called All’s Fair In Love & War, then I called it Love & War, but when I got my first editor, he said I needed to come up with something else and I spent weeks trying to find a title. It was only after the book was published and I had a Virtual Assistant who asked me how the title related to the book. It made me stop and realise Star Stuck was the wrong name and I was back to square one in trying to think of a new one. It was in fact, my sister, who said, why don’t you just call it Joanna’s Journey and that was it. She even suggested the title for the second book Joanna’s Destiny.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I can’t say that there is. The only challenging part is trying to cultivate all the ideas that spin around in my head. I literally cannot keep up with myself, so many good stories just never get written.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The Secret was set in 1970s. This was the decade that I was an impressionable teenager. It was of course, a time before the Internet and important in my lifewere fashion and music. The contrast between now and today’s teenagers is quite different. I loved writing this book because I used all of the stuff I had grown up around. I even set it in the place where I lived because I knew it so well.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
After I had written Joanna’s Journey and The Secret, I visited the locations in Manchester, where they were set. I wrote follow up stories with photographs so the readers could walk in the main characters footsteps They could also get a feel for what the area and housing was like including the pubs and venues the characters visited. It was a fun thing to do and I put it on my blog the Magic of Stories
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For my three novels, Ravensborn Covers and for my three short story collections, Fantasia. They are both awesome designers and I get a lot of comments about my book covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No messages. Although I was thinking as I wrote this that in The Secret, I never actually reveal the name of the road where Kerry, the main character lived. I give a good map of the area, but hadn’t mentioned that because it was the road I lived in and just felt like I wanted to hold it back because of the storyline. No one to date has ever noticed or questioned it. So perhaps it is too well hidden.
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?
Since I joined the Indie world back in 2015, I have discovered 100s of new writers with some great stories to tell. It’s impossible to list all the ones I’ve enjoyed. People are so clever and gifted nowadays and I find I rarely look for a mainstream author any more. There is always a good Indie book on my to be read list.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I’ve no idea the answer to that one. Indie authors are supportive of each other.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Not really. I was made redundant in 2013, so ended up not going back to work again. I did think I could do that initially, but I didn’t have the contacts back then and it’s been a slow learning curve. Besides I don’t want to spend so much time in front of a computer. Now I have settled into a small village as opposed to a big city, there are many wonderful things to be done or be part of. So no, it will always remain more of as a hobby.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My last book was a thriller, which came out last November. It was a sort of experiment as previously I’d only ever written romantic suspense stories. When I completed it, I had some good reviews and feedback and if I could do it again, I would make it much long than it actually is.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I suppose Joanna’s Destiny is my latest book, although not back from the editor yet and this one is twice as long as my thriller. During the writing process I tried to imagine people reading it as I have read books from other writers. What was the type of thing that kept me turning the page? Holding things back, something that’s a mystery and the reader wants to know what it is and that’s what I’ve tried to do with Joanna’s Destiny.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I have often thought who would play Joanna in my two books and have never come up with a satisfactory answer. If I had another life, I would like to have become an actress and work in films. So the answer is me, I suppose, I would love to play Joanna, although I might have to change my appearance some what!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write what makes you happy. Write for yourself first and foremost. Love what you do and your passion will flow from your words.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Yes, buy my books and leave me a review so I know that people are reading and enjoying what I do.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Anglesey Blue by Dylan Jones because it is based on my island and I know the places the characters walk.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Maybe not the first, but this made a big impression on me. I was nine years old and would go to the school library and get the same book out and read it over and over again. I loved horses and it was about a pony and a stallion called Big Red. It had lots of pictures and I always remembered the adventure, but not who wrote it or what it was called. I searched for years until eventually I found out if was called, Little Black, A Pony, by Walter Farley.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
True life. I’m not a comedy lover and certainly don’t like stand up comedians or farcical films. But life makes me laugh and for example if I saw someone trip and then pretend like it didn’t happen, I’d be in stitches. I don’t like weepy films or anything that brings a lump to my throat. So I avoid those. I think the last time I cried was when I stubbed my toe – and there is nothing more real life than that!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
That’s a good question, I’d probably like to have met my 2 x great grandfather and ask him lots of questions about my family, his family and his life. He was an interesting man.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Cross stitching is my favourite past time. I always have something on the go. I would love to take up Family History again, but I’d have to stop writing so much and I’m not sure I can do that. I enjoy swimming, but haven’t been for a long time and there is nothing more pleasurable that a nice walk beside the sea.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Love TV Box Sets! I’ve been working my way through Gray’s Anatomy for over a year. I’ve just discovered Ray Donavan, I liked The Walking Dead, but didn’t watch the last series as it became too violent. I loved the BBC dramaPoldalk, and I’m an avid viewer of Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, Blue Bloods, Madam Secretary, and I loved Sons of Anarchy. I could go on forever! I don’t watch many films anymore. There are more than enough series to keep me entertained.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
After 59 years on this earth I’ve discovered that favourites change constantly. My favourite food at the moment is Chips, that’s fat French Fries for those overseas! Colours change, but Blue and Green have always remained and I think its because I love the sky and foliage. Growing up, I was very much into TamplaMotown and Soul Music. During the 80s, I loved rock ballads. Nowadays, I like a little bit of music, but much prefersilence and the sounds of what’s going on around me.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Watch more TV serials! Read more books! Do my family history! Stitch, knit, and crochet. There would be plenty of things to keep me happy.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Nothing. I don’t want a headstone. I don’t want to be remembered like that. My ashes are to be scattered in the wind with whatever is written in people’s hearts about me.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I review all the books I read and feature books by other writers. So if you are looking for something to read.
Then: https://karensbookbuzz.wordpress.com is for you.
Or Magic of Stories – says what it is on the tin. Mine and other peoples.
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