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?

I am Helen M. Pugsley, and I’m a 20-something from the wild, wild, west.

Fiona: Where are you from?

A town of 20 in Eastern Wyoming

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

My family has been running a ranch for the past 100+ years (I’m not exaggerating. We celebrated our centennial anniversary 2015). I turned around and surprised everyone when I started writing fantasy novels instead of westerns!

I’m a librarian at the county library and I love what I do!

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

As soon as possible! We have manuscripts I wrote when I was four. I plagiarized song lyrics and drew pictures, my mother acted as my scribe

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

As a teenager.  I started writing stories outside of school and got addicted.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

A funny dream and an English teacher. I suppose that ties into when I first considered myself a writer. There was a huge gap between the stories I wrote as a child of 8 and the stories I wrote as a teenager in my Harry Potter themed journal.

I had a strange dream and my English teacher, Ms. Holroyd, overheard me telling my friends about it. “You should write a story about it.” She said. And that was that! My sleeping dream had led to a waking dream of becoming an author.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I sat down with a notepad and wrote every title that popped into my head. Even bad ideas were welcome!At the end I went through and picked the best one. War and Chess.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I like to write first person narratives. When you’re reading them it’s a much more intimate experience, as you know exactly what the main character is doing and thinking. But when you’re writing them… It’s a lot like method acting. I’ve had dreams I was my main character before! The strangest time was when I was writing about an adolescent boy!

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I think every book has a lot of truth in it whether or not we choose to see it.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Oh my, I love to travel! I think setting aside writing and going out on the road for a while is good for you. I come back to my arm chair and write my heart out when the trip is done.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Macey Stom, Ink Smith Publishing’s in-house designer did War and Chess

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Well, that’s kind of a loaded question…

Don’t start wars for glory.

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 going through a huge VC Andrews phase at the moment! I particularly like her work from the 80’s! I’ve rediscovered horror. I don’t think I’ll write any though… I’ll read just about anything and I get the pleasure of the freedom to branch out, as I am a librarian.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

My best friends. They know who they are.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Oh! To see it as anything but would be to set myself up for failure.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

In the words of Edna Mode “Never look back, darling. It detracts from the now.”

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

A book that is not War and Chess? Way more than I ever wanted to know about pregnancy.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

A young but talented actress just starting her career.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

The best advice I ever got was never take advice.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Reviews save lives!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Garden of Shadows by VC Andrews. Anyone and everyone is welcome to follow me on Goodreads for some smart-alec remarks on best sellers!

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The Hobbit. My mom read it to me in the womb.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Whatever I made a dark joke about this week.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

…As strange as it is I have always wanted to meet Blackbeard…

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Really lame video games, music, and any form of art. I have an Etsy store for my woven jewellery too.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Once Upon A Time has always been my jam.

Princess Bride and Pirates of the Caribbean are some of my favorite movies.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

In that order… Embrace the potato, teal, and yes please.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

 Cry softly.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?


Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

www.facebook.com/warandchess always. But I have an instagram and a twitter if you’re REALLY enthralled with my nonsense.


Here’s a list of links:
War and Chess on my publisher’s website: http://ink-smith.com/product/war-and-chess

War and Chess on Amazon (my least favorite book seller): https://www.amazon.com/War-Chess-Helen-M-Pugsley/dp/1939156823/

War and Chess on my Etsy store:https://www.etsy.com/listing/480546666/war-and-chess?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=war%20and%20chess&ref=sr_gallery_3

War and Chess on Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/war-and-chess-helen-m-pugsley/1124439373?ean=9781939156822