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, my name is Karen Philpott and I am 35
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally I am from Surrey, UK but have relocated to Wiltshire (also in the UK) for the views, country air and family ties.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I am a mum to to my fourteen year old daughter and a step mum to two others. From that little snip-it you can probably assume I am married and you would be correct. We have a selection of animals consisting of three dogs two cats and chickens.
In my day job I am a deputy manager (by position if not by title) of a domiciliary care scheme and have been in care for over 11 years now.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have begun writing freelance for websites and, through this, I have complied a self-help (not my usual style) book which is due to be published before Christmas.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Standard story really. I began writing at around 12/13 because creative writing it was part of our school curriculum. I received feedback that encouraged me to continue exploring my imagination and, thanks to programs of the decade such as Erie Indiana and Are You Afraid Of The Dark, I spend most of my free time knee deep in my own teen horror stories.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Once I saw my name in the search bar of Amazon and clicking on it brought up my first book.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was a true life teen romance. It is a progressive story and is one I will always be adding books too over the years. I started it as a story to tell my grandchildren. As I got older I used it as more of a memory, with so many types of dementia and the likely hood of getting it, I wanted a book for someone to read to me when I had forgotten in the hope I could experience those intense feelings once again.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I had to change the tile quite recently funnily enough. I began the story in 2000 but by the time it went to be published a very big, popular author had just released a book with the same name. Not wanting to cause any chance of any misunderstandings, I changed the Name to BoyGirl. This name is based on the fact that the book has been written by both the boy and the girl with their view of the same situations. I just put the two together.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I have a preference to writing true life stories based on experiences or using others and that lends itself beautifully to many genres. I find that these are quicker to complete for that feeling of satisfaction but I have dreams that feel like films and they are my inspiration for the stories I write as fiction. It takes a little longer to write these as I like to get the characters personalities built before I tell the full story.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The first two books I have written are real life. A few names were changed because I couldn’t get hold of them for their permission to use their part of the story. Another of my books, The Sleepover’ is ¾ real experience and the other quarter a mix of fiction and fact.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I did have to travel back to Surrey a few times but otherwise no. I’m not a big traveller and have only left the UK three times in my whole life.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I do. I have a huge love for craft and design so it made sense that I use my abilities rather than paying someone else to do it.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
People will read into things in their own way. What I may perceive as a message others may not. My published books are open to interpretation however, one of my fictional books being worked on ‘ Yellow Roses’ does have a specific message which is around humanitarianism but the details I will keep hushed for now.
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 unusual in the fact that I HATE reading! I have read a book or two though over the years but they have all been James Patterson novels. OK, I read the entire series up to Cross because I love the suspense and the build up. The books are beautifully planned out and because they are based on one main character, you want to read the next book to find out about their life and the next set of twists and turns it holds for them.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
It’s all been a full family affair I’m afraid, from proof reading to editing right up to where and how to self publish.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would like to do it as a career maybe in 10 years when I have fewer monetary commitments but for now I enjoy using it as a time to relax and disappear into either a new world or a familiar one.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would have written the book as I went along rather then doing large chunks so long after the fact. I would also have liked more input from the boy. We had started new lives and our partners were not happy about us talking so I had to do a lot from memory without so much of his side. I would have liked that to be more in his words than mine.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I have a couple on the go at the same time. The last book I actually added to was a compilation of mini true stories with factual/historical/superstition information to back up each story. I have learnt from doing this book that facts are time consuming!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
If BoyGirl were made into a film I would like Alexis Knapp (with dark hair and a a big more weight on her) to be the lead along side a young cross between Joshua Jackson and Vince Vaughan. Yummy
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t be afraid to write what you feel is right. If one persons feedback is negative someone else will be positive. You can’t please everyone but someone one will appreciate you.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Live while you can, Love when you can, die when you can’t help it! Love that
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I don’t read…I wasn’t telling fibs!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I read a book called the Doughnut factory in year 4 (age 8/9) and I remember it because I had an amazing crush the teacher I had to read to but I can’t remember what it was about nor have been able to find it since.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Older people. They make me laugh because they care less about what they say and just tell it like it is. They make me cry when I see them holding a photo of their late partner or when I see a great grandfather walking his great grandson to school wearing a flat cap in the same way the grandfather would have worn it and walked to school with his grandfather. The circle of life is amazing!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet Dawn French; an English comedian/actress who I love and admire. I’d like to meet her to see if our personalities are as similar as people keep telling me.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Yes. Apart from the crafting and designing I mentioned earlier, I have traced my family tree back to the 1500’s and continue to add to it. I also help other to research their own. I love the mystery and the investigation elements to genealogy, uncovering stories and finding unusual links to other people and places.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m considering this one carefully as the first one I put will be considered my favourite…
Films wise I love psychological thrillers that have an amazing plot and a unexpected ending such as Shutter Island or Stonehearst Asylum. Ask me any question about Back To The Future though and I will know the answer! TV wise I love watching anything from Family guy to documentaries. Quite partial to a quiz show or two as well.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Love salad but eat crap. I love reds and blues but wear purple, unusually, my favourite colour is teal green. Music wise, I’m not sure you will of heard of it but, I love garage and old school tunes. My ultimate music to listen to though is that in MGM musicals! They make me goose pimple, feel warm inside and I get very emotional listening to it.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Did her best with what she had
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have a website www.karenphilpott.co.uk which has links to the Facebook page and twitter feed. It has more information about me and my roots and is the first place I post deals, discounts and new release information.