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?
Hi everyone, my name is Fiona Hogan and I am a writer, blogger and editor from Ireland. I’m on the other side of Forty and fabulous.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live in a beautiful rural spot called Abbeyleix, in County Laois, in the midlands of Ireland.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a mother of five, my eldest baby just got married! I am a writer of mixed genres, a poet and a blogger.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest book – The Nightmare is just out on Amazon. It’s a collection of dark tales that I felt inspired to write coming up to Hallowe’en as I’m a bit of a horror fanatic and I spent weeks watching horror shorts.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have always written, scribbling in notebooks (I write longhand) and anything I can get my hands on. I wrote poetry from an early age.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I took the plunge and became an Independent Author in October 1995. It felt amazing to hold the paperback copy of my collection of short stories – “The Lights Went Out and Other Stories” in my arms, and even better to see people queuing to get a signed copy at my launch.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had an injury – I ruptured my achilles tendon six years ago (dancing at a school reunion – embarrassing as well as hugely painful), anyhow I was literally laid up on the couch with nothing to do but read and think about where my life was going. I wrote Martha’s Cottage, which will finally be published in February 2018.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Martha’s Cottage is the name of the tiny cottage that my protagonist – Sarah, escapes to when her marriage explodes. It is set on a hill overlooking a beautiful, windswept beach in Mayo, in the west of Ireland.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write in many different genres from romantic fiction, to horror and fairytale. I love writing gothic horror in the style of Edgar Allan Poe, I just love those old-fashioned tales and like to think my style is very descriptive and has an Irish flavour.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well, in The Lights Went Out, many stories are part-autobiographical. My novella – What Happened In Dingle is about a woman who revisits the place of her honeymoon and I also honeymooned there. I guess, like many writers, I put a bit of myself in all the characters.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Like I mentioned above, my novella – What Happened in Dingle could not have been written without all my travels to and from Dingle, Kerry. The descriptions of the wild beauty of that peninsular are drawn from my mind.
My current work in progress is set in the South Downs in England, an area that I haven’t visited but I have researched and seen via the wonders of the internet. I hope to travel there next year to photograph areas and make it more real for my own imagination.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’m an amateur photographer and I used one of my favourite photographs – of an old hall down the lane from my parents’ house in Ireland, for the cover of The Lights Went Out and Other Stories, I manipulated the colour and image and then designed the cover myself. I designed my two horror books myself, using various images I had myself.
The used a stock photo for the cover of What Happened in Dingle and had a designer create the design.
I have my eye on a beautiful pre-made cover for Martha’s Cottage and I can’t wait to see it as a physical book.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Martha’s Cottage is a love story but told in reverse and I guess, its message is that it is never too late to fall back into love, that wonderful things can happen and even though your world feels like it will never recover, love always finds a way.
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?
My favourite author has to be J R R Tolkien, his “Lord of the Rings” just inspires me so much.
There are so many great new authors out there, especially in the Indie platform, people like Pam Lecky, who writes wonderful historical romance, (The Bowes Inheritance is just great) and Eva Pasco, whose “An Enlightened Quiche is one of the wittiest, most beautiful books.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I have a great network of female friends who support each other in so many ways.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do. I’m on a huge learning curve and it’s so exciting. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, only because Martha’s Cottage has been revised about fifty times since 2009.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
The Nightmare taught me that writing daily really does reap rewards.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Martha’s Cottage is the one that really lends itself to the screen. I always say Aidan Turner for the role of Ben and Sarah would be played by Sarah Greene, both Irish actors.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Believe in yourself. Write. Write. Write. If you have a daily habit you improve each time. An editor is your best friend. I have recently set up my own editing business – The Editing Hub but I wouldn’t dream of doing my own editing – your own work is too familiar, you just won’t get everything.
Editing adds the shine to your work.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Watch out for my two new books in 2018 – Martha’s Cottage in February
and The Mandrake Root in October.
And most of all, thank you for choosing my books.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Grey Souls by Philippe Claudel, a poignant tale of love and loss set in post-World War II France.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Tale of Mrs TiggyWinkle by Beatrix Potter.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a very quirky sense of humour and laugh at the silliest of things. I cry at sad parts in films (to my embarrassment) such as when Thorin died at the end of The Battle of the Five Armies.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Peter Jackson to congratulate on The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the man himself JRR Tolkien. Maya Angelou and Stephen King.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading, photography, walking in our lovely countryside, Binge-watching box sets,
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m obsessed with Game of Thrones, Outlander, Poldark, the Walking Dead, Sex & the City, Stranger Things.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Spicy Indian curries, sausages and savoury snacks such as peanuts and chicken pieces.
Favourite colour – violet, deep blue and the colour of the Irish sea – jewel green.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She was never dull.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
The Lights Went Out and Other Stories
What Happened in Dingle
Death Comes Calling
Here’s my Amazon Author Central Profile