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 Sue Ford. I write for adults under SM Ford and for children under my maiden name, Susan Uhlig. And, unbelievably to me, I’m 61.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from America. I grew up in Oregon, but have spent most of my adult life in Washington state, although I’ve lived in Colorado, Kansas, and New Jersey—so both sides of the country and the middle.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m married and have two daughters, two sons-in-law, and three grandsons. We’ve had various pets over the years and right now have an aged dog and an even more aged cat at 12 and 17-years-old. I have an associates degree in computers, but found I like writing more. I teach both the basic and advanced magazine writing courses as the Institute for Children’s Literature.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My lastest news is that I have an agent who has asked to see more of my writing—she now has two picture books and a YA novel in verse. I’m trying not to check my email incessantly.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in High School, but didn’t take it seriously. It was after college, after I was married and had kids, that I began to actively spend time writing. I also took a writing correspondence course where I learned a lot. Once I saw my writing get better, I was hooked.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was willing to tell people I was writing.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
For my first book published for adults, I kept thinking about how hard it must be for celebrities to meet ordinary people and be treated normally. Especially, to fall in love. I have another story inspired by this same idea, but it needs an awful lot of rewriting.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My main character Cecelia feels alone, but even more so, she sees how alone the two young men are in her life.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’m what we call here a “pantser,” inspired by the phrase writing by “the seat of my pants” or in your lingo—trousers. In other words, I don’t write to an outline. (What do you call this process in the UK?) I do have a plan, but it’s loose and only in my head. For example, in this story, I knew which man Cecelia would end up with. Who has died, and who committed the murder was all added later. Since then I write with a better plan in mind.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My fictional small town was inspired by two things: my experiences of visiting my sister in her small Montana town, and a town I visited in Colorado that had a Christmas market. I’ve had waist length hair as Cecelia does. I based the loss of her mother to cancer on losing my mother, although I was a bit older. My husband and I moved from the west coast to Colorado so used some of that experience. And, the snowmobiling was based on riding them in Montana. I also was raised in a Christian family and my faith and church are important to me. Oh, and Cecelia and I share a fear of heights.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
So far I used places I’ve lived or visited. However, Mark the bestselling author in my story does travel for research before he begins writing.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Amanda Matthews at AM Design Studios – http://www.amdesignstudios.net/
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
With God we are never alone.
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’m discovering new authors all the time, so yes! A recent one is Mindy McGinnis who wrote Given to the Sea—a YA fantasy. And Katherine Reay for adult books. My all-time favorite author is Mary Stewart. I loved how she put me on scene and used sensory details to such good affect that I wanted to taste what the characters were eating, etc.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, although it’s a good thing I haven’t had to support myself with it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think I might cut some of the middle.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, that there’s always more to learn about the writing process.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep on learning about the craft and growing your writing skills.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Pursue want you want in life.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Someday Suitcase by Corey Ann Haydu.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but I do remember going to the library and getting as many books as I could carry.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Reading a book or watching a good movie.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Mary Stewart since she had such a strong influence on me.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Mostly reading, but occasionally I do scrapbooking.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Depends on my mood, and I have eclectic tastes. I like animated for kids—one of my recent favorites is Zootopia. I like comedy and romance. I like Dr. Who and some police or crime shows. The most recent movie I liked was Wonder Woman!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love a variety of foods, too—dark chocolate, Mexican and Indian food, and breakfast. My favorite color is green. My two favorite current artists/groups are Peter Hollins and The Piano Guys.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I can’t imagine it.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I don’t want a headstone. Cremation and my ashes spread on the ocean or in the mountains.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Here’s my Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Alone-SM-Ford-ebook/dp/B01HR7O0Y0