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 Robyn Lee Andrew and I write under the name R.L. Andrew. I’m not middle aged I’m mid awesome.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from a regional town – Shepparton, in the Australian state of Victoria. In six months I will move back to where I grew up which is around where some of my book series is set.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a chronically ill former legal executive who re-discovered her love of writing. I also like to bake/cook, garden and watch horror movies. I have a loving husband of 12 years and three adult daughters with two grandchildren. I have a couple of amazing close friends who keep me sane.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My first book, and also the first in a series of eight – ‘A Lunatic’s Guide to Interplanetary Relationships’ has been published by JaCol Publishing Inc. An American publisher based in Southern California. I’m learning all about marketing while finishing my editing on the second book before I send it to my editor/publisher. I’m also plotting the third book.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
From a young age I wrote short stories and poems. When I became chronically ill with a couple of autoimmune diseases and associated ailments I needed something to do. My mind is still 100% okay even though my bodies stuffed. I need a challenge and a way to push myself while achieving something despite being sick and writing ticked all those boxes. It’s made an incredible difference to my mental health and even being in pain I’ve created something out of it. It’s not easy and it involves sacrifice and determination.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After I began taking it seriously and wanted more than writing for myself or the odd short story published in an anthology.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I have a huge crazy imagination and I’m inspired by making everyday events completely unordinary. Something grabs my attention and I see what I can do with it. One day I opened my pantry and wondered what would happen if a big wormhole appeared and sucked me up. I then pushed it to the next level and wondered what would happen to a chronically ill middle aged woman if that happened. I made her a combination of troubled people but a good person inside albeit deep down.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
That came to me in a flash of brilliance one day while thinking about it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write everyday day and make time and allowances for it. If you don’t take it seriously then none else will either. Like anything you undertake you should do it to the best of your ability which includes learning about the craft, push and challenge yourself. Also a professional editor is absolutely imperative.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I feel the characters are realistic in their flaws but aside from a few minor traits they and the story are all fabrication. Except perhaps for the Annunaki.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I have and will travel for book fares and time out to write without distractions.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes! Firstly if you think your life sucks – your life sucks. People self sabotage and blame others for what’s happened in their life instead of accepting responsibility for it or learning from their errors. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get out and do something, there’s always someone worse off than you.
Make this life of yours count. Nothing will come to you, if you want it you go and get it.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m constantly in awe of the amazing talent in the Indie world. Not one person stands out, there’s a number.
Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I’d say Edgar Allen Poe. I started loving his work from a young age and a poem by Lord Byron.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Randall Andrews from Writer’s World Facebook, and a number of other members. Randall’s also a professional Editor.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes I do. While I may not be making much money at the moment I aim for that to change. I now consider myself a writer who’s chronically ill, not a chronically ill writer.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I allowed it to go through its layer by layer evolution process and then worked with a professional editor. I know my first book is the best it can be.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Writing and finishing off a book are only the beginning. Among other things I learnt there’s still plenty of work left to do on it including marketing, creating a cover, make every scene drive the plot forward, you not only have to kill your darlings but you have to slaughter, maim and annihilate them. And you can’t stop at just one, you’ve got to start writing your next etc. Be willing to challenge yourself to get your best work out.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Claudia Karven (Australian Actress) as Shayne and Idris Elba as Annu.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Dont make excuses why you shouldn’t write you’ll always find plenty but don’t make excuses why you shouldn’t write. Sit your butt down and write. Be a writer not a wrote.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. There’s plenty more to come.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
A couple of non fiction books:
A Day with an Extraterrestrial by Lou Baldin
The Hidden History of the Human Race by Michael Cremo and Richard L. Thompson
and Slave Species of the Gods by Michael Tellinger
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Ah no but I suspect it was something like ‘See Spot Run’.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a sarcastic, dark sense of humour so anything related to that.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
mmm, maybe Jesus. I’d love to ask him everything and maybe stop him being killed. And Mya Angealou. (not sure I’ve spelt that right)
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Aside from writing I love baking, cooking, gardening and watching horror movies.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love the Great British Bakeoff, The Australian Bakeoff, Murder She Wrote, Miss Marple and good horror movies.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love lots of foods though I can’t eat most of them anymore due to digestive issues. As to colours I love blues, greens and soft orange. I’m very diverse musically. I love anything from Eminem to some jazz and classical.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d be dead. So not sure what I’ll be doing lol.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She came, she saw, she conquered. Long live Queen Robyn.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Social Media Links:
Amazon Author Page – includes short stories in anthologies
Articles & Reviews:
A Lunatic’s Guide to Interplanetary Relationships by R.L. Andrew
Soft Science Fiction
Release date: 20th August 2017
To order your copy: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074YCZDK5
if you’d prefer a signed paper back – they will take a couple of weeks but you can register your interest here: