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?
Becca Van. As you can tell from my photo, I’m a bit shy!!!
I’ll be 51 just before Christmas.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live in the southern part of Australia, Geelong, Victoria, which is about an hour south of Melbourne.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I didn’t finish high school since I really, really, hated school, but it wasn’t as necessary back then to have a higher education, to be successful in the workforce, or in life. I have been married to a wonderful man for twenty-eight years. We’ve actually been together for 31 years, all up. I have two amazing adult children, a daughter and a son.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My 99th book titled, Alpha Province: Shining Beacons was released with Siren BookStrand on the 4th of December. My 100th book will be released on December 27. I’m really looking forward to this milestone and have been running competitions for readers to win a copy of the last few releases of my books.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in 2012 with a previous publisher under the name of Becky Wilde. My first books weren’t great, but after switching to Siren BookStrand I learnt a lot.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Maybe the last twelve months or so I’ve started calling myself a writer. I just like telling stories and haven’t ever had a need to put a label to my passion.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’d always wanted to write and have read hundreds, if not thousands of books over the years. The decision to do so came to fruition when I became rather ill and found it difficult to face the daily grind of going to work. After a discussion with my supervisor, at the time, who’d realized I was struggling;she got me talking and thinking about what it was I really wanted to do. I will be forever grateful to that amazing lady for supporting and encouraging me to take the leap. I quit my job that same day, took some time to get myself together and started writing. I haven’t looked back since.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Saving Emily was my first book and since the heroine needed to be saved, it fit. Most of my books now tend to be for series and the titles are comprised by a common thread in the series as well as a revelation from the heroine in the story. This is not fixed in stone because it can change at the last moment.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Writing in the ménage genre isn’t much different from writing a M/F story, other than the mechanics of a love scene, of course and creating depth to more than two main characters. I think there needs to be conflict, as well as action and some steamy love scenes as well a good plot.
The main challenge is to not go stale or get bored with writing. I like to swap and change from one series to another so that I remain fresh and hopefully my stories aren’t repetitive, and the characters have believable personalities.
To an extent, I am restricted by the publisher’s rules and requirements. I find it can be challenging.
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 what I write is due to a vivid imagination, however, some elements of my characters are from my own experiences or family and friends experiences. There is a little of myself in each heroine and hero. I like to think of myself telling someone off when they annoy me, even if I really don’t do it in real life. Nonetheless, I will stand up for myself and my family if the situation is warranted. I’m a real tiger when someone goes after my kids, even though they’re both fully grown.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I wish I could say yes, but the answer is not very often. When I do get to go on holiday with my wonderful hubby, I take note of places and people hoping to come up with new ideas, but most of my work is done at home with a very good imagination.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Siren BookStrand have artists who create the book covers for me, after I fill out a book cover questionnaire.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, sometimes there is. Tolerance and acceptance of anyone who is different. I’ve written about heroines with physical flaws. Even though someone may not look like everyone else, that doesn’t mean they aren’t flesh, blood and bone, or don’t have feelings just like we do. In fact, I can relate to being different, as I used to have to wear a brace on my leg as a young child, and let me tell you, it isn’t only kids that can be ignorant and cruel. I don’t walk straight and am very self-conscious of my legs. Until very recently I hardly ever wore shorts. Now I think who cares. No one is perfect. I try to bring some of that courage outin my characters.
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 haven’t read any new authors stories lately. Nonetheless, I love Paige Tyler’s SWAT Series, Teresa Gabelman’s The Protector Series and Dianne Duvall’s Immortal Series. I’d have to say that Julie Garwood’s historical romances are my all-time favourites. She has a way of tapping deeply into a person’s heart with contradictory humour, danger and love. Whenever I read her stories I find myself laughing and crying every single time, no matter how many times I read them.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My readers. If it wasn’t for the wonderful feedback from my loyal fans, I wouldn’t be excitedly waiting for my 100th book release. Thank you all, so much.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Unfortunately, not all of my family members do, and I have to say the interruptions are sometimes intolerable. Not from my immediate family members, of course, but it seems that others think since I’m at home, I’m always available. Maybe they think I sit and watch the goggle box all day long. It’s so frustrating. I hardly ever watch TV. I strive to write at least five thousand words each week day, but sometimes that goal seems to be beyond reach.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. It might not be perfect, but I’m happy with it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Not for individual book itself, however, when I start a new series I have to research the area I’m writing about to some degree, since nearly all my books are set in America. Most of my towns are real names, a few aren’t, but the schematics are fictitious. Nevertheless, there’s always an element of fact to create a realistic world.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I have no idea. Maybe Emma Watson, or Emilia Clarke for my heroines. I’d probably faint with shock if I was ever told one of my stories was going to be made into a movie.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
- Read a lot.
- Write every day even if you end up deleting it, because you think its gibberish. I don’t know how many times I’ve started a story three or four times and wound up deleting the lot to start over, because I haven’t liked what I’ve written.
- Don’t give up. Persistence is the key. My first story was rejected by countless publishers before it was finally accepted.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Have I mentioned my 100th book, Alpha Province: Precious Angel, is due out on December 27. Lol.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Paige Tyler’s Wolf Hunger SWAT book 7. I’ve just started it, so I can’t tell you what it’s like yet, but if it’s like the other 6 books in the series,it’ll be great.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Enid Blyton’s The Magic Faraway Tree might not be the first book I ever read, but it’s the first one I can remember. I loved all those stories. They were conducive to letting my imagination run free.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Everything. I’m a very emotional person, so it doesn’t take much to set me off. I tear up with happy endings. I cry when people are hurting whether it’s because of a physical injury or an emotional aspect. I don’t cry out in public of course, but when at home I laugh and cry when a story touches my heart. My hubby has often woken up in the middle of the night because I’m laughing. I try to stifle the urge, but sometimes it’s just not possible.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Not really. I’m happy with my family and all the people present in my life. I’m not that enthralled by fame or all that glitz and glamour. I still have trouble accepting that I have people following me because they like my stories.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading. Music. Reading. Riding on the back of my hubby’s motorbike. Oh, did I mention reading? Lol.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Outlander. I like The Blacklist, and any fairy, princess Disney movie. I’m a big kid at heart.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love chicken. I like a lot of food, but since I was diagnosed with FODMAP, which is an intolerance, I can’t eat a lot of what I like. I used to cook with onion, garlic and chilli in practically everything, but onion and garlic now make me feel ill.
My favourite colour is purple in any shade. I also like many shades of blue. I like savoury over sweet, but there are times when I’ve just gotta have some chocolate.
I like contemporary music, such as Ed Sheeran,Adelle and an Australian singer/songwriter, Delta Goodrem.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I have no idea. I think I’d go a little crazy if I couldn’t write.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I’m not having a headstone. I’ve told my family I want to be cremated and scattered in the wind. I want to be remembered as a living person, not to be grieved over in a graveyard and a cold, lifeless, grey headstone.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My website is https://beccavan-eroticromance.comI don’t really blog as much as post my book releases and provide a Book Listhttps://beccavan-eroticromance.com/becca-van-book-list/, or my hubby does anyway.
My main means of communicating with those interested in knowing me better is my weekly newsletter, Becca Van Rambling On… Links on Facebook and my website.
My books are available for purchase on the Siren BookStrand website http://www.bookstrand.com/becca-van, then after a month or so they are released on all other sales platforms like Amazon, Kobo, etc.
I have all the usual social media connections, Face book fan page, Instagram accountand dabble a little in Google Plus, Pinterest and Twitter.