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?
Hello everyone, I’m Dawn Chapman, I am gonna laugh and say a lady never tells her age though 😀
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from the UK, Lancashire and I live in a little village where I mostly grew up. It’s a family home, was my grandparent’s and I spent many years here with them, and now live with my husband, sharing alongside are my mum and stepdad, they now have a separate granny flat.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Big questions, my education sucked. No one wanted to help teach the fat kid in school. Besides that, and the ongoing class bullying my upbringing was pretty grim. I turned to writing as a way to have friends and escape the daily torment, which was a blessing. On the bad side of things, my inner turmoil also turned into a deadly eating disorder, to which I suffered with for over 16years. I am happy to say, with the right help from Cheadle Royal Hospital I am also 7years in recovery. That recovery journey is blogged about with my nickname Kanundra.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
From self-publishing the Sci-Fi/Fantasy world of The Secret King I gathered a good few fans and I think my biggest news lately is having that taken on by CrossRoads Press. http://crossroadpress.com/
They are working with me now on the new upcoming TSK works and a rather exciting new SciFi Litrpg – Know Thy Enemy- that I co-wrote with Matt Feraz!
Also October the 4th is my release of a short spin off series in the world of Puatera Online, rpg designed by Chris Mayer and covers by Sarah Anderson.
Desert Runner has been a total blast to write, as are the others in the series. I really can’t wait for people to meet NPC Maddie Vies!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
The actual pin point for me writing was stated above, but to further expand on that, I was eight years old and at Primary School, I won’t ever hide from the bullying again, but the kids there were some of the worst. At lunch times we weren’t allowed out as a table. (8 people) unless all the food was gone. When the other kids didn’t like something, stupid fat kid me was bullied into eating it all.
So there I escaped into the wonderful world of Roger the Fox. I begged my parents to buy me a type writer from a local car boot and my hand written words started to become typed ones. To this day, I still have that very first typed story!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When Roger the Fox was created. I might not have ever been the best with spelling or grammar, but I could sure spin a yarn that people loved.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first ever book “Star Dreamer’ was a fantastically epic Sci-Fi, and inspired by my bulliedschool years. At the age of 16 it came in at a whooping 175k and printed at over 800 pages. It was full of teen angst, mysteries and aliens and will likely never ever see real publication… I laugh because although it was huge, in 2005 working on the screenplay adaption won me a place on a prestigious local course, over 200 applicants down to 15 for film school.
However, my first self-published book – The Secret King Letháo was inspired by a TV series I’d penned and then worked on with a co-writer, Steven Kogan. Someone mentioned in an email over the pilot script how much they’d love to know where the alien species, the Aonise came from. It was fast approaching Nanowrimo 2012 and I though, heck why not. I already knew the story, so why not hash it out. Pleasantly surprising myself I wrote the 50k in November, continuing on to finish the novel for my birthday in December.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It was pretty simple really, the TV series is based off a ‘the king in hiding’ hence The Secret King, the subtitle for this one is Letháo, because that’s their home planets’ name and where the story essentially starts.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I learned a lot from Film School and essentially love and do write better in script style. My TSK series is packed with essentially an ensemble cast’s POV and weaves in and out of several plot lines.
When writing novels, I admit I find the extra filling in a little difficult and my alfa and beta readers are tasked with ‘describe this more’ or ‘expand this’ questions. I do like a little help where something I see in my head isn’t quite translated to the page enough.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
With Sci-Fi, none of the above.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, the only place I travel too is inside my own mind. That’s one of the reasons creating worlds is so much fun. It’s all me and I love that.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For TSK’s Universe, the talented Jaime Bengzon and Bam Laural together designed most of the covers. For my short stories and audiobooks I also used Andrew Dodd for his fab skills as a line artist.
For my Sci Fi Litrpg – Know Thy Enemy I worked with the amazing – Christian Bentulan
For my other Litrpg – Puatera Online, I was thrilled to nab Sarah Anderson! Who totally blew my socks off with the series designs here.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My newest series spin off inside the online game of Puatera – Desert Runner I believe has an inner message of ‘no matter the pain you’re in, you can accomplish anything your heart desires’. Why you might ask? I actually injured myself the week I started this and the pain and wanting to complete an awesome spin off buried within me came out as part of my Main Character, Maddie Vies. Who I admit, I’ve had a ball writing. She’s one of my favourite female characters ever now.
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?
Over the last couple of years and being introduced to AudioBooks I’ve listened to well over 400, and there are a couple of authors who have stood out against the rest.
Nathan Lowell – for his Tales of the Solar Clipper, narrated by Jeffery Kafer.
Realm Lovejoy – Clan narrated by Jeff Hays
Continue Online – Stephan Morse narrated by Pavi Proczko
If a story can evoke, humour, love and tears they’ve nailed it for me.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
So hard to name just one, so I’m leaving two here. From the scribophile writing community – Jerry Quinn’s Ubergroup for their meticulous work ethic and beta reading pool.
And, the Litrpg Society for their friendship and amazing support through some of the toughest times in my life.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do. I had a 3 year plan when I first hit publish on TSK’s first novel in 2015, so I’m just over the 18mth mark into it. I would like to think full time writing is an option, one day….
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My latest no, it was a breeze to work with the cover designer Sarah, and I’d more than happily take inspiration from her designs any day. The fact is, I see her posting new stuff all the time and my muse gets cranky as I can’t write fast enough! (though last month alone I managed over 90k and a full time day job!)
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
To explore what the characters want. The inspiration came from a cover, but the character of Maddie just rolled onto the page. I literally sat there, and wrote her out without any effort. Almost like I just transcribed for a spirit on another plane.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I’d have to say Jessica Alba, she’s always a favourite for female leads and of course she can kick ass.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write every day. Join a couple of writing sites, scribophile or wewritersworkshop for the critique and support.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I adore you and please keep reading, if you like something please consider a review, they really matter!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Actually reading? Opens Kindle app – Hal Archer’s – Deadly Cargo, but as stated my reading is soooo slow. I have more time for audio – My latest Audio is –Made part of the Continue Online Litrpg series by Stephan Morse. Both vastly different, but awesome books.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first books I ever read that I remember were the chose your own adventure books. While I was at school, I do remember reading every SF book in my library and buying all of Frank Herberts Dune saga as soon as I had pocket money.
The series that sticks in my mind and one that I also do actually re-read, one of the only ever books I’ve done this with is Melanie Rawn’s Dragon Prince series about SunRunners. Just love it.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m not really a funny kind of person, I don’t go out my way for comedy works. But, I do like a laugh. C T Phipp’s Supervillainy Series, is the best for giggles.
What makes me cry, many, many different things. I am lover of all creatures, and when it comes to animal neglect or heartache over those who can’t help themselves that gets me all the time.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Robin Williams – an icon from child hood, with Mork and Mindy to his amazing film presence and the public and personal life he led.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Besides writing? Sure, I am an avid Koi Carp keeper and own 30 of the most amazing slippery creatures I could. I adore them and spoil them rotten.
Inside the house, I also have a wonderful Indian Ringneck Parrot, Bobby, who keeps me company on writing days when at home alone.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
TV shows, anything Sci-FiJ and for films the same. Galaxy Quest is an all time fav though, I could watch that day in, day out.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Foods has to be bread and cheese, can’t get enough! Colour is blue, (like my Bobby) and music, anything really. I don’t have a preference.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
That would be horrid, but if I couldn’t write, I’d be reading.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Yikes. – Never Give Up, Never Surrender! – from of course – Galaxy Quest
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Series website – www.thesecretking.com – waiting to be updated with Crossroads taking on TSK though.
My personal blog – www.kanundra.com for everything life and book related.
My facebook author page – https://www.facebook.com/kanundra/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/kanundra
Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/Dawn-Chapman/e/B014A0RUBC
‘If you ain’t true to yourself, you ain’t true to no one.’