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 Catherine Greenall. And age is just a number!
Fiona: Where are you from?
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have a Degree and a Master’s in Chemistry. After a long career as a government scientist, I wrote the first novel in a trilogy, ‘A Quirk of Destiny,’ a science fiction, apocalyptic tale, which was awarded joint best book of 2013 by Green Living. ‘Return to Gallanvaig’ is the second book in the series. I am now working on the third novel in the series.
My work includes ghost, horror, science fiction and vegan cookery, as well as scientific works. A long-term vegan and environmentalist,my published works include a cookbook ‘Vegans Can’t Eat Anything!’ My short stories include ‘Burnview’ and the collection ‘Echoes and Reverberations.’
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I am in the middle of writing the third book in the Quirk of Destiny Trilogy. I write most days and have a dedicated writing area. There are a few twists and turns in the final book in the trilogy which I hope people will enjoy.
I recently took part in a Literature Festival where several local authors read from their books.
I also have a free e-book, which is a creepy paranormal story, when people sign up to my mailing list. Written in my early writing career, ‘Burnview’ is a supernatural tale. When Rosalyn McDonnell moves from Glasgow to the Scottish Highlands, at first it seems to be an idyllic place to live. But, what is its history and why do strange things keep happening there? Click on the link below to sign up to the mailing list and get your copy:
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have always written. During my career, this took the form of scientific and technical papers and policies. After retiring, I started to write for pleasure and first worked on a vegan cookbook, ‘Vegans Can’t Eat Anything!’
I moved on to thrillers and science fiction as a genre that has always interested me. I also wanted to convey a message, in a hopefully entertaining way, about the problems with our toxic food supply and covert, corrupt world power systems.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After publishing my cookbook!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote the vegan cookbook to prove to non-vegans, especially in catering, that vegans can actually eat lots of things and stay really healthy.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It’s simply something that restaurants and people have often said to me when I tell them what I don’t eat! The titles of all the chapters also fall into this category.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
With my trilogy, I have tried to make the writing style accessible, although some of the subject matter is scientific in nature, I have tried to explain this in layperson’s terms. I also like to put in lots of conversational sections to make the story more readable.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The Quirk of Destiny trilogy is totally based on real events and science and I provide references for those wishing to read more. The characters are based on people (or types of people) I know.
I have taken the facts and spun them in a ‘what-if’ kind of way, based on what I think might be happening and why. I want people to really think, whilst being entertained and come to their own conclusions at the end.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t have to travel, but I do lots of desk research to underpin the scientific bits and ensure that everything is correct and up to date.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I use a graphic designer called George Stephenson and he has always done a great job, getting my ideas, then drafting something out. He is always prepared to tailor the cover to my vision of what it should look like, based on what the story is about.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, I want people to question the toxic food that we are expected to eat. I want to raise awareness of the corrupt power systems in the world and where we are headed if we don’t wake up soon!
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 love Stephen King’s work, it’s very scary and I love his ideas for stories. I would love to be able to write like he does. His books are compelling. I have quite a varied taste and also like Ray Bradbury, John Wyndham, David Icke, Jodi Picoult, Timothy Good, Marian Keyes, Alexander McCall Smith, Kate Atkinson, Terry Pratchett and Simon Toyne.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The variety of self-publishing companies that are out there at the moment were a boon to me, when I was a new author trying to get published. Whilst I have used both self-publishing and traditional publishers, some of my work would not have seen the light of day without the great self-publishing tools and services out there.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Well, at the moment it’s between a second career and a rewarding hobby! Either way, I totally enjoy writing every day and seeing the results materialise in the form of a book at the end.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
You can always improve on your writing. Whenever I need to reissue a title, I always find something that can be improved. I always note reader feedback too.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I had to constantly researchthe latest science on genetic modification and also many other topics in the book. I learned just how toxic some of our food really is. For instance, did you know that 63% of UK bread now contains carcinogenic (cancer-causing) glyphosate, a weed-killer designed to be sprayed on GM crops?
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
David Tennant would be ideal as Calum and Gillian Anderson would be ideal as Jessie. Both would play the principled scientist roles really well.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Stick at your writing, treat it like a job. Write something (anything!) every day. If you can’t get representation, just publish yourself, but commission an editor and a proper cover designer.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
The final book in the trilogy will be out in 2018.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Stephen King’s latest novel, written with his son, Owen, ‘Sleeping Beauties.’
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Probably something by Enid Blyton! I used to like the ‘Adventure’ series.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
People’s cruelty to other people and animals makes me sad. The Simpsons is always guaranteed to make me laugh!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Paul McCartney. He has been one of my musical heroes forever.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I sing in Rock Choir and play guitar (badly!). I also love reading and walking in the countryside and by the sea.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Coronation Street, The Simpsons, Dr Who, The X-Factor, Broadchurch. Any films by Steven Spielberg. ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Aliens, Jaws, Whistle Down the Wind. Sound of Music.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Foods: Vegan Nut Roast, Thai and Indian Curries, Chinese Stir Fry, Pasta
Colours: Black, Purple
Music: The Beatles, The Alarm, Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, Nirvana, Jake Bugg, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Dave Sharp
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I enjoy long walks in the countryside. I like to travel and love cruises. I would be involved in music, singing with Rock Choir, playing and listening to music. Spending time with family, friends and having meals out.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
‘Made a difference.’
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Catherine Greenall’s Amazon Author Central Page
YouTube Trilogy Trailer
Quirk of Destiny
Vegans Can’t Eat Anything!
LinkedIn Catherine Greenall
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