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 J.B. Coates
Fiona: Where are you from?
I currently live in Middle Tennessee, but was raised in El Paso, Texas.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
My life has been full of excitement, I was in the United States Army. I moved around a lot just on a whim never really wanting to put down roots anywhere. I have four children, two girls and two boys, and gave birth to my best friend’s son for her. I have been married for fourteen years. I have four dogs and three cats, as you can imagine there is never a dull moment in my house. I also am a Paranormal Investigator, and am shooting my first show, to be aired in the first quarter of next year.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just recently returned from Knoxville Tennessee, where I had the honor to be an invited guess at Creepy Con. It was so much fun, sometimes I forget how much of a geek I really am, and I loved it. The people were so nice and all had so many stories of their own. It was fun to listen to everyone of them in turn. The different personalities that blended so perfectly together.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing after I gave birth to my best friend’s son. There were complication and in the end, I died for two and a half minutes. He was four months early. When I woke up I had a story in my head. I remember spending hours telling this two-pound baby stories of these Gargoyles that were strong and powerful like him.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a writer when I realized that I had a ton of notebooks that were full of odds and ends, and quit my retail job just to write. It wasn’t till my husband walked by one morning and said, “My wife, the writer.” That I was like hell yeah, I’m a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was about a year after my hospitalization that I decided to write the first book of the series. I couldn’t think of anything else, and I talked about my idea so much, that people told me that I should write it. Even then I didn’t think that I could do it. Ultimately, I went with it, and I loved the experience.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title of my book is Integrity: An Obsidian Guardian Novel Vol. 1, I came up with the title because this was a trait that my Characters needed to find within themselves in order to survive. I also used the trait as the name of the fictional town that they lived in. The way that it came together was beautiful.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My writing style has a very specific ebb and flow to it, like waves. Each chapter has a fast and relaxed element to them that is lulling. While writing there was a definite struggle with trying to keep the book from being boring and dragging the reader along. In fact there was a period in time that I actually debated deleting the book and never picking it up again, because of this problem.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The events of the book are totally fictional. I wanted a place and events that couldn’t actually happen. Being a whimsical type of person, I didn’t want too much of reality in the book. As for the characters, they were since, everyone could picture someone in their lives like them. I want my readers to be able to relate to them and take them deeper into the story.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I have traveled for my stories; the following books are already half written. I’ve had to go as far as Ohio, so far, to get some of my facts together. Google only goes so far and I find that reading and experiencing things, make it easier for me to write it.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My cover was designed by David K. Photography.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
While, reading, there were some novels that I put down because I felt like they were very male driven. The female lead was there; however, she was always secondary, somehow less than their male counter parts. I have two daughters and I didn’t want them to read thing that were lopsided. When I wrote Integrity, I made sure that there was even footing for both genders.
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 am a reader , anything paranormal has my interest. That being said, I love Heather Graham. The way that she mixes mystery thriller with an element of paranormal to solve the case, is a seamless dance that she choreographed perfectly. Add in the love story and sex, and you have a book that I can’t put down.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author
.If I’m telling the truth I never intended to publish Integrity. I was in a writer’s group and their stories seemed so much more fanciful them mine. I really struggled with feeling like I was good enough to put my words out in the world. However, there was a couple of other writers in the group, that were published. Listening to them talk about obtaining agents and their book rankings, made me want to join the ranks. I wanted to be able to add to the conversation. That added to my family’s push for it, convinced me to try and publish.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I don’t see writing as a career. It’s more of a lifestyle. When you decide that you are going to eat better, workout and be healthy, it’s a lifestyle change. Writing for me is like a work out for my brain. Every day, I put fingers to keyboard and write something. I love writing prompts to help spark creativity and challenge myself to write outside of my comfort zone. If I write five hundred words, then I have achieved my goal. Nothing big, but just enough.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would change so many things, hindsight is twenty-twenty. I remember talking to an artist once. He had sold a few paintings; however, he was never happy with any of his work. He felt that something could have been added or taken away. I feel the same way about my art. I think that every writer feels this way to some extent. Of course, the things that I would change are little things so over all I am happy with it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
When you sit down to write, a person never realizes that there are so many rules. I learned that because I don’t have a literature background before I started, there was a ton of things I didn’t know. I learned that spell check is your friend to an extent. Keep your tenses and remember that just because the word is spelled right doesn’t mean that the word is. I also learned that sleep is very important to the writing process. If you encounter a problem while writing, sometimes your mind will work it out subconsciously.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I think that if my book was ever made into a movie, I would like to see unknown actors play the leads with well-known actors to play the lesser parts. This way their careers can grow with my own.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Read! If you can get your hands on it read it. The more you know the better your story will be. The more you know about a subject, the better picture that you can paint with your words.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I want to thank my readers, for taking a chance on my book. I hope that they were provided with entertainment as well as coming away with a clearer ability to believe in their selves.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Currently I am readying a Heather Graham book titled, Unseen.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Nothing’s fair in the fifth grade.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laughing is so important. There is very few times that you will find me not smiling. I find the funny in almost every situation. Something that makes me cry is injustice regarding children and animals. One who either don’t have their own voice or haven’t found it, to tell someone else what’s wrong.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet Michelle Obama. She is the classiest, fun loving, funny and respectful person that I have ever seen. She is eloquent and inspirational, without giving off an air of being better than the person that she is speaking with. More than anything, she is down to earth and family oriented. She had the ability to put her best foot forward during a time when I personally would have just stuck it in my mouth.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I am a Lead Paranormal Investigator, with The Haunted Travelers. While I like to say it’s a hobby it actually is a full-time job, speaking with production companies, going back and forth with my partner, and finding locations. The fun part is getting to investigate and finding things that would blow your mind in real life.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Scooby-Doo! I always default to Scooby-Doo. I even let it play through the night while I sleep. Scooby-Doo has been a part of my life since childhood, but it really does transcend all ages. My second favorite TV show must be Doctor Who. I’ve been a fan since Tom Baker, and I have only grown to love it more. Cinema films are harder, my love for the horror class is massive, so I have to say, most movies with zombies, and Nightmare Before Christmas.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I enjoy Mexican food. Being from El Paso, I feel a certain comfort from the spices and the home cooked ways of Chili Renos and Spanish rice. My favorite color changes. Whatever color is more vibrant at that moment and time, is the color that I’m going with. As for music, I think I was born too late, I love 80’s music. Its not uncommon to walk into my house and see my kids and I jamming out to WHAM! or A’Ha, and things of the like.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I have always been a people person. I think that if I could no longer write I would still find an avenue to create and reach out to people. Maybe podcasting, or give all of my time to paranormal investigations.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I have given this question a lot of thought. My mother-in-law passed and left very little instruction for how she wanted to be interred. So, I wanted to leave instructions. However, me being me, I had to be different. I don’t want a head stone. I decided that I wanted to become a tree. I want to be cremated and used as fertilizer for a new tree.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
There are a number of places where my readers can find me.
www.facebook.com/obsidianwriter on Facebook
@obsidian_writer on twitter
@obsidianwriter on Instagram
Or at www.jbcoates.com