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?
Jennifer Irwin, 55
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m originally from New York and I reside in Los Angeles.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was raised by a single mother in a small town on Long Island. I have one older brother. My father lived on the west coast and I saw him once a year. Both of my parents have passed away and I’m super close with my brother. I went to an all-girls boarding school called Emma Willard which was the first seminary for women in the United States. I graduated with a BA in Cinema from Denison University which is a small but competitive liberal arts college in Ohio.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
A little over a month ago I released my debut novel, A DRESS THE COLOR OF THE SKY. Prior to publication, I sold the film rights to my manuscript. There was a fabulous book release party in Los Angeles and then I headed out on book tour. The best news I have at the moment is the reviews are starting to come in and they are amazing!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in high school and took a great deal of creative writing classes. I wrote a screenplay in college that won me an acceptance into a semester long arts program in New York City.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I still struggle with considering myself a writer. Perhaps when I hit the New York Times bestseller list I will be convinced.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was going through a divorce and in a lot of emotional pain. I decided to start writing again to heal.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title can be found in a fairy tale from 1695 entitled Donkeyskin.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write in a fairly blunt manner yet I’m told my readers feel as though they are in the story and know the characters personally. I’m less flowery than some writers yet I am descriptive enough to paint the picture. My biggest challenge is naming characters. My literary agent told me I have a gift with writing dialogue.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I’d say twenty percent is loosely based on my life or people I have known. Thankfully, I have a vivid imagination.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I wish I could travel or lock myself in a hotel room to write. I need complete silence and there can be nothing to distract me like dishes, laundry etc. which makes it difficult to write at home.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The cover was designed by the film producer, Annette Stevens.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
We can heal from our past and move forward to lead a happy, healthy life.
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?
There are a lot of great new writers and I read as much as humanly possible. I enjoyed Stephanie Danler’s debut novel Sweetbitter, I also liked Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll. I enjoy reading books I can either relate to or that take me away. I don’t really have a favorite writer but I’d say John Steinbeck is pretty high up on the list. I find his books unforgettable.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My boyfriend, Charlie. He’s a keeper.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, a dream career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, except it took me too long to write.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned a ton about writing, storytelling and those sorts of things but I also learned a lot about myself. Most importantly, I’m very determined and I don’t give up.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
My book is being made into a film and I definitely don’t want to play the lead. I am hoping to be a part of the screenwriting process though.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
If you want to land a literary agent you need to write a great query letter. The query shark is a fabulous resource. Start marketing your book early and stay on it!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I’m grateful they chose my book. I simply love hearing what readers think about A Dress the Color of the Sky and reading reviews.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Mrs. Fletcher by Tom Perrotta
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
A Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I enjoy self-deprecating humor. My mother passed away 25 years ago and I still cry about it.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Princess Diana. She was a flawed female protagonist. I love how she let people know she wasn’t perfect even though on the outside she appeared flawless. Inside, she was quite broken. I also appreciate how dedicated she was to helping others.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love to exercise. It calms my mind so I can sit and write.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I absolutely adore romantic comedies and thankfully, my sons will sit and watch with me even though they’d prefer to watch something else.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Italian is my favorite food but it makes me fat so I can’t really eat it very often. I love varying shades of gray. I’m a huge music person and all of my boys are quite musical. We do a lot of dancing in our kitchen. I listen to pretty much all genres except not much country western.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
If I couldn’t write I would read.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Beloved mother, devoted friend, and a real firecracker.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My website is: www.jenniferirwinauthor.com