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 is S.P. Joseph Lyons, and let’s just say I’m 30 something. 😊
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Ontario. South of Toronto.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I went to university for business but quickly realized that my heart was not in it. Though I have had great success in working for large corporations, as well as running my own business development firms, I always knew my stories and fantasy worlds would one day take me over. I’m so very glad they did.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I was picked up by a publisher eighteen months ago, and in that time, I’ve released the first of my six book series. It’s currently available on Amazon, with Target stores, and most recently, picked up by Chapters/Indigo. That’s the big Canadian chain. The follow up book is due out July 2018.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I suppose I’ve always been writing. I can still remember my first story. At age five, I wrote about a hero boy who would fly around rescuing all the eggs that fell from nests, just so the baby birds would have a chance. There has always been a hero in my heart desperate to be born on paper.
Though I’ve always loved to write, I had a story building in me since I was very young. When I was three, I was taken from my family and placed in foster care. In the horrors of abuse that ensued,I quickly realized that the only safe place for me was a universe I would build in my mind; a place I could always retreat to when things got scary. As I became an adult, I realized I had crafted so much that I was able to pen a six bookseries based on this universe and its characters. It was a story I felt needed to be told. A way to share what’s most important to me.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I suppose when my first novel began getting positive feedback, I realized that not only might there be a future in this for me, but people were really connecting with how I told my stories. It was then I considered myself a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A lot of pain, really. There was so much that had happened to me, and the way to process it all, or to make it all make sense, was to capture it under the guise of a tragic fantasy/romance tale.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
`The Demond of Legend’ was a title given the hero by those in the universe he’d saved. That’s the legacy he leaves behind in the first book. Ithought it an appropriate title given the magnitude of his impact and influence, not only in the first book, but as he is remembered in the rest of the series.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’ve been told that I keep the story moving quickly while putting the right amount of emphasis where it counts. My simplistic but poetic rhythm seems to resonate well with everyone who has enjoyed my work.
Though I’ve found the fantasy genre very rewarding for its open borders with raw creativity, it’s also one of the hardest genres to get published in. Though the journey to publication was difficult at times, through endurance, dedication, and passion, I managed to overcome the obstacles and land a publishing deal.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All of my books are based on some element of me, my life, and the people who have impacted me in some way. Though I won’t go into specifics, in some cases, full conversations are taken verbatim. As are many events as they unfold. It’s all been woven into a fantasy universe to allow for creative expression where extra emphasis may be needed to really show the emotion of an event. The heart of how I lived and who I loved are locked in my pages forever.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Only in my mind. But I will say that once you create the rules of your worlds, your universe, you must take them all into account as you continue to expand. I cannot express enough how important continuity is for believability.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My covers are designed by my publisher and myself.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The most important things to me are love and passion. I don’t believe one can exist without the other, and that in all situations one could ever encounter, both can be applied. As my stories are based on love, and on all passionate ventures from the deepest of intimate connections, to the bloodiest grit of war, I want readers to know how important each are.
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’ve taken a break from diving into new literature until my series is complete. I don’t want to sway my process or direction. This will of course mean I’ll have a lot of catching up to do when I’m finished. I can honestly say I’ve never read ‘A Game of Thrones’, but it’s on the list.
Picking a favorite author is a tough one, but if I had to pick someone who has touched me personally across genres, it would be C.S. Lewis. He finds those ingenious ways to say the most complex things in the simplest of ways.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My birth mother was thrilled when she heard I had become a published author. Not for a moment did she doubt it would happen for me. In a lot of ways, that fuelled my efforts, even in my lowest points. I was glad that I was able to share my success with her before she passed. I have dedicated my second book to her.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It has become just that for me. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a thing. My entire heart and soul goes not only into my book, but each chapter, each paragraph, each line, just to ensure it says exactly what I want it to say, the way I want to say it. By the time I’m finished, I’m as happy with it as I can be. Many countless hours goes into this process though, and it’s not always easy finding the perfect words to express yourself.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Quite a number of things, but I think my most favorite lessen is that you cannot force your characters. Often you’ll have an idea of who they will be, but you’d be surprised to find that sometimes they take on a personality you didn’t expect. I love when that happens.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
That’s a great question, and one I’ve spent much time contemplating! I’d choose Chris Hemsworth. He closely matches the uniqueness of the protagonist of my first book, and has all the expressions and mannerisms to really climb into the skin of Demond and bring him to life.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up! Don’t settle! I’ve seen too many authors give up after a bit of critical response, or for not achieving their goals as quickly as they had hoped. Don’t let others discourage you. You won’t please everyone, but your core fanbase will love you. Also, writing takes time. Not just to put ideas to paper, but to get noticed. It’s a lot of work, but give it time.
Secondly, don’t assume your first draft is the best draft. Always strive to improve your craft. What you thought was perfect once, you may laugh at in a few years. Every edit is a chance to find a better way to say what you need to say.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Love and passion. In all I write, in all I say, in all I want you to experience in the pages of my books, let love and passion be the guides for each and every step.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Currently I’m not. That’ll change once I complete the last two books in this series. Although, with the release of the new movie, Stephen King’s ‘IT’ is teasing me from the top shelf.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It was Shel Silverstein’s ‘The Giving Tree’. It still chokes me up.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love dumb jokes. You know the really silly, stupid ones that are only funny because of how stupid they are? I’m a sucker for those.
Broken hearts and lost love hit me hard in a moment. The tragic loss of something meant to be so beautiful. This can tear down the heart of even the strongest of warriors.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
My grandfather. He was a proud Algonquin warrior, born on an Indian reserve. He ran away from a residential school after many beatings at the hands of the nuns. As a young adult, he was a sniper in the war, could speak English, French, German, Algonquin, Ojibwa, and Cree, fluently. He could build his own canoes from scratch, and could live off the land, which he did for long stretches. He is someone braver and more talented than I could ever imagine being, and I never got a chance to meet him. In his circles, he was a legend. To spend a day with him on the open waters of northern Canada, in a canoe of his making, listening to his countless stories, would be an unforgettable time.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Writing is that hobby that became a career, so, I can say I’m lucky enough to have combined both.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
So many! Anything fantasy or Sci-Fi. Period pieces, documentaries, you name it. Anything with true love or a tale of revenge end up being my favorites.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I absolutely love anything Indian or Thai! I adore spicy food with flavor.
I’m fond of all the spectrums of color between blue and black.
I find so much emotion in ambient chill music. It’s always been a huge driver for chapter or story directions.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
There are many ways to express creatively. If I could not write, I would act.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“To live life without passion and love, is to live no life at all…”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
www.thedruxseries.com – This is where you’ll get first-hand information on any new titles. From here you can access all of my social media, should you wish to follow me. Also, if you want samples of my craft, there is a link to my Wattpad page. Come take the journey with me.
Hey! Here’s the rest of the info you asked for. Author photo, and book cover. Though all my book links are on my website at www.thedruxseries.com, here’s my Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/S.-P.-Joseph-Lyons/e/B01N8RR68W/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1505242021&sr=1-2-ent
My book link on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Demond-Legend-S-Joseph-Lyons/dp/1945173823/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
My book link at Target: https://intl.target.com/p/-/A-52028315
Wattpad page: https://www.wattpad.com/user/THE_DRUX_SERIES