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! I’m Jennifer Ann, and I’m old enough to know better.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m a life-long resident of a county in Southern Minnesota where there aren’t any stoplights, but we have a 55’ Jolly Green Giant statue.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’ve been married 19 yearsto a hard-working crop farmer, and we’re parents of two teenagers (one boy and one girl), two adult daughters, two sons-in-law, and six grandchildren.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m releasing a Christmas novella in my Kendall Family series this December, and the fifth book in the series will be out early 2018.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing since third grade because I’ve always had story ideas floating around and needed to get them out. Even though I had a lot of friends throughout high school, I often chose to stay home and write. I stopped for a few years while my kids were little.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I honestly can’t remember not considering myself one.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote dozens of fan-fiction books while in high school that were based on my obsession with John Hughes movies, but my first published book was inspired by Jack Johnson songs.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I have no idea. They always somehow come to me the first day I start writing them.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I started out as a pantser, not really having any idea where I was going with the ending, but now I at least create plot points. It’s easier to create a strongstory when you have a plan.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Sometimes my characters will take on traits of people I meet and I’ll throw in a small scene based on something in real life, but the majority of my stories are complete fiction.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I wouldn’t say I have to travel, but I do travel a lot and it certainly gets my mind going!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’ve used both Amy Queau and NajlaQamber, and have designed a few myself.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’d like to think each one contains a little hidden message.
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 honestly go through phases…depends on the day. My favorite is probably a tie between Jane Harvey-Berrick and Pam Godwin. They’re both experts at creating compelling heroes who you sometimes love to hate yet are undeniably sexy at the same time. And their heroines are fierce – a feature that I strive to include with my own heroines.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I wouldn’t say there were a lot of people outside of my family who were behind me in the beginning other than a few friends. It can be a lonely adventure.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Definitely. But it took me five years to get to this point.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There are always things I’d change after completing a book. That’s what makes it so hard to go back and read them again.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned that I really enjoy writing dark books with lots of twists!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
That’s way too hard of a question. My characters are products of my imagination, although sometimes they take on traits of the cover models I choose.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Make yourself stick to a daily writing schedule, and don’t edit as you’re writing.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I’m humbled by anyone who enjoys my books, because you’re literally making my life-long dream come true!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Yolanda Olson’s Wrong Side of Heaven
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but there’s a good chance it was something by Stephen King.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Almost literally any attempt at humor makes me laugh as I have a weird sense of humor. And I cry pretty easily whenever either seeing someone else cry, or seeing something military-related. There are a lot of veterans in my family and it stirs a great sense of pride.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’d give anything to spend a day with David Grohl. He’s not only a musical genius, but he seems nice and funny as hell.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Does going to concerts count?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love movies in general, but my favorites are psychological thrillers and anything Star Wars related. Some of my favorite shows are Stranger Things, Sons of Anarchy, Sex and the City, and X-Files.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Pizza. Blue. Rock and roll.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Anything that will make people laugh.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
You can find my blog on my website: www.AuthorJenniferAnn.com
Author of Contemporary Romance
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Thanks for having me, Fiona!
A book with many plot twists is very fun to read too, haha. It wouldn’t be something I feel confident to put out masterfully but it must be pretty cool to have the surprises lined up and work your way in the story to prepare them.
Finding where I want to end the story is something I find difficult even today, but I definitely have learned to appreciate being able to make plot points and have some sort of idea where the story is going. I read somewhere that this was like having a cannon to be able to direct your creative process, so the story is not inconsequential events that might make people lose interest. The switching order of the plots to make sure they are relevant also was very good advice someone gave me.
Sticking to making time to write a little every day is very good advice. Sometimes my mind is running for days and catching up can be difficult or I can lose focus because I am not writing a base version to hold onto.
It’s cool that you had that calling for writing since growing up. I am sure with writing since so long has given you a lot of practice to hone up your skills.