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?
Noah Blough and I’m a retired film editor.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I currently live in Northern Arizona, not far Sedona.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I grew up in Phoenix, Az. Where I went to college before I moved to San Francisco to attend Film School.I survived the ‘70’s there, moving to Los Angeles to work in the film industry for the next 30 years. My 2nd wife and I started a family in Pasadena.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m due in several months. I don’t know how it happened. I’m way tooo old. Plus, I’m a guy.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written. Funny stories in grade school. Letters to friends. Before this book, I had mostly written in screenplay form.My wife, now ex-wife, is a TV writer.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I didn’t considerwriting a book until recently.Screenplays, essays, editing my wife’s work is what I did before. I worked as an editor and sound designer mostly. Doing low-budget Roger Corman films to Independence Day, Stargate, etc. In Hollywood, most everyone is writing or producing or up for some role so everyone is multi-tasking whether their day job is waiting tables or laying cable on the set. Early on, a Gaffer I worked with had written a novel which had recently been made into a popular movie by MGM. He still took work as a gaffer. Being a produced writer, made me writer. Just another skill in my survival skill set.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It is a memoir of sorts. Contrasting growing up in Arizona in the 50’s/60’s, to being a father in the 90’s/2000’s in Southern California with irony and humour. I’d been writing stories, but didn’t really know what to do with them. Work getting thin with the Great Recession and my marriage breaking up I found writing this book gave me an emotional and creative purpose. Anyway, I thought someone should be documenting the middle-class parental craziness that was part of that period.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Always had a working title. It did not prove particularly popular. In the months beforepublishing I created a list of possible titles. I sent them around to friends and family and asked everyone to pick out 2 or 3. I picked the most popular.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’ve been told I have a definite voice. Itworks with this book, which covers my childhood from approximately 5 years to 18 years old, intercut with being a father with two sons and all the dramas I was confronted withas they grew up. Not sure that voice would work well with straight ahead fiction.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
It’s all based on the 2 different periods of my life as I’ve described. Memoir is not an easy genre to pull off if you try for morethan stringing some anecdotes together. You’re opening your life up to the world. The good, the bad and the grossly stupid.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
For research on other projects I have. Sometimes it’s good to physically see and feel the location.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I was an art student, before studying filmmaking. I designed the cover using a part of a painting a friend did.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No specific message in the book. Just dealing with what life hands you.How we cope, try to understand and laugh at the ridiculousfailures and minor successes we have.
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?
No new fiction writers have grabbed me as of late. Rule of thumb- if I can still remember the story after ten years, I must have liked it. I’m big fan of E. Annie Proulx, TC Boyle, JP Donleavy and their style of writing. I went through a 40’s/50’s noir period, Jim Thompson, David Goodis, etc. A detective period, Chandler, Hammett, Ross MacDonald, etc.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
A retired neighbour, took the whole book on and served as my first editor. She really helped. I had several old friends that readearly chapters and gave a lot of positive feedback. They actually enjoyed it and bought the book as soon it was published.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I am considering a fictional seriesbased on a screenplay I wrote. It’s fermenting in the back of my head. I might try it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I cut so much in the constant editing process, I don’t want to think about that. The idea does produce a little nausea. But I’m sure I could find something to change.Or put back something I cut out. Don’t get me started.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
As far as this kind of book is concerned you don’t realize how difficult it can be to be honest about yourself and others. When you get into a story about family it sometimes reveals a difficult truth that you have pushed out of your mind or never considered. There can be revelations about the ‘what and why’ ofwhathappened.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Brad Pitt, of course.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
You need to get as much feedback as possible before publishing, so let people read what you’ve done. Join writers groups, take a writers class and read to an audience. I did both and both help.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope you enjoy the book.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading a thriller about a painting from the 17th century. Kind of a DaVinci Code. I met the writer at a local book fair. Thought I’d give it a try. But I’m remembering all the rules of what not to do in storytelling.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No…Something to do with seeing Spot run, I believe.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A JP Donleavy novel.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
That is way too hard. Einstein, maybe.Alexander the Great? Of course, Jesus.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Photography, Videography, Hiking with my dog. Cycling.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Documentaries, thrillers, historical. I’ve done my share of binging on Game of Thrones, Outlander, House of Cards, etc. The Sedona Film Festival is coming up. Last year I saw a French film “Le Cowboy”. The story was a surprise. The main character is killed off half-way through the film. I love it when things happen you never expect.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I eat everything. I barbecue a lot. I was thinking of barbecuing some salmon today. Fav color?As a former Art Student I play no favorites. I listen to all music, sooner or later. My older son is in London starting an opera career so I’m listening more to that.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I think I’d be dead.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“I told you I felt sick!” Or “I left the money buried under the…”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Right now, just a Facebook page.https://www.facebook.com/nlblough/
I just joined Goodreads. My book is available at Amazon where I’m putting together an author’s page.