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 Shennan Amann and I’m 43 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born near Tyler, Texas, but my family moved to South Carolina when I was very young. I’ve lived here ever since.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m married with two step children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Of course that doesn’t include all of the dogs, cats, and other pets running around our house at any given time. All of my education is in the IT field. I have multiple certifications in Networking and from Microsoft.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My debut novel, Second Chances: A Love Story Of Renewal And Tragedy, launched in print early this year. Plus, I’m only around 5 chapters away from having my second manuscript ready for submission.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I actually started writing back when I was in elementary school. I would draw my own comic books and write the stories to go along with them. The drawing was never very good, but I always got a lot of compliments on the stories. Unfortunately, I never believed anyone who happened to see any of them when they would tell me how good they were, and would end up throwing them in the closest garbage can. However, I still held on to the dream of one day becoming an author.
I spent many years with multiple stories playing out in my head, and finally decided one day to start writing it down. Mainly to see if I could honestly just get the story out of my head. After writing the first few chapters, I let my wife read over it. She loved it enough to encourage me to finish it and see where it went. Thanks to that, I’m finally reaching that dream.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Honestly, it wasn’t until my first manuscript was actually accepted by my publisher, and it still catches me off guard when anyone calls me that.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My dream of becoming an author drove me to write it, but I’d have to say that things that I’ve experienced/witnessed in my life actually inspired me to create the story.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
In the shower, after about three quarters of the book was written. It seemed like a fitting title based on the plot of the story
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I don’t think I have a specific style, even though I’m sure every author has something that they all do a little different. As far as what I find challenging- being a romance author, if the story/scene call for an intimate encounter, you want to give the reader enough detail to allow them to visualize the scene without making it erotica. Plus, convincing the readers that every great love story has some tragedy in it at some point. No relationship is peaches and cream all the time. It doesn’t have to bea conflict between the two, but an inner conflict about choices they have to make.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A lot of it. I think that, as authors, there are pieces of us in each of our characters. Certain elements of the story are always going to be based on people we know, places we’ve been, things we experience, and ourselves.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t think you absolutely have to travel, but it makes it a lot easier. Unless an author is writing SciFi where they can make up a world that doesn’t exist, you want to make your location as realistic as possible. For example, Second Chances and my other two manuscripts that are in the works are primarily located in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. But that is a place that I know very well and visit there several times each year. That way if someone who also knows the area reads my work, can visualize the exact setting and know roughly where it’s located.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher. They created a couple different versions and we discussed the pros and cons of each until we agreed on what we believe to be the perfect cover for the story.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
A couple, I think. The most important of them is something that I truly believe in, even though most people think that it’s just fantasy- true love. I think that true love is out there for all of us and that we all have a soul mate out there somewhere. We shouldn’t ever settle for anything less.
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 favorite new author is a friend of mine, C.A. Griffith. He writes the Code Of Misconduct series and is currently working on the forth installlemt. My all time favorite author is pretty much a five way tie between James Patterson, Jonathan Kellerman, John Sandford, Nicholas Sparks, and Debbie Macomber. For Sparks and Macomber, their characters and stories are so relatable and you can feel like whatever happens in the story could really happen at any moment. As far as Patterson, Kellerman, and Sandford are concerned, I love how they dig into the minds of their villains they use in their work. I have often told my wife that one of my “pipe dream” jobs would be a criminal profiler/psychologist. Something that I believe that I remember reading that Kellerman actually holds degrees in.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Naturally my family has supported me, but I’ve received loads of support from all of my friends. Far more than I ever thought I would.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
One day, I would like for it to be. I guess technically it already is a career since I usually spend more time working on some aspect of my writing than I do my day job, but I’d love for it to one day be my main source of income, if not my only source.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m sure that there will always be things that I wish I could change as time goes one. Since we learn a lot about our craft the more we write, we always see ways that we could have explained things better and in more depth.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I’m learning new tricks/tactics everyday. Mainly how to bring the readers into the story more and make them believe they’re living the story as they read it.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For the main male lead, I’d have to go with ether Taylor Kinney (Chicago Fire) or Jesse Metcalf (Dallas, Chesapeake Shores).
For the main female lead, I’m going to go with the first name that pops into my head and pick Jill Wagner (Autumn Dreams, Christmas Cookies).
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
If writing is truly your passion, never give up. What’s not right for one agent, publisher, or reader- maybe be like gold to another. Not everyone’s opinions are the same. Expect some rejections and use them to make your stronger and better at your craft.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
First and foremost, thank you for your support. As much as I’ve dreamed of becoming an author, having someone read my work and it possibly move them as much as it does me, is one of the best rewards I can hope for.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
My usual Christmas time novel, Merry Christmas, Alex Cross by James Patterson.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but I remember the first boom series that I enjoyed and that was the Star Wars Expanded Universe novels. Being a huge fan of the movies, those books are the ones that really got me to enjoy reading. Granted, I read and enjoyed comic books my entire childhood.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m not an easy person to do either one. Most of them time, it has to be something spontaneous to make me really let out a hearty laugh.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Way too many to name. There are a lot of people, living and dead, that I’d love to meet just so I could listen to them tell their stories. It’d be too hard to pick just one.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
When I’m not writing, I enjoy watching movies, listening to music, and hiking.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Currently, my favorite TV shows are- Chicago Fire, Chicago PD, Chicago Med, The Good Doctor, and This Is Us. I enjoy watching most movies that aren’t overly silly comedy films. I need something with some story and depth to it to hold my attention.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite foods are Pizza, Burgers, Fries, and anything Southern. Growing up, my favorite color was always black, but I’ve come around to the point to where I like most colors. Music is anything 80’s! I enjoy Country, Classic Rock, and Oldies as well. 80’s music is just by far my go to no matter what kind of mood that I’m in.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Whatever I need to do to support my family and enjoy spending as much time with them as I can.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Hopefully that I loved my family and that I’m a decent person.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes. My website is http://shennanamann.net. I post all information on there as well as my Facebook and Twitter pages.
Link to the book on Amazon-