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 Michelle Connor, and I’m thirty eight years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live on the North East Coast of England in a place called Grimsby.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have been with my husband now for twenty years. We have three children together, our youngest has just turned sixteen. She is the princess of the family and has two older brothers.
As well as writing, I love painting, drawing and photography. I have a great intrigue for history and spend many a summers day hunting for castles and ruins to visit. I think this comes through in my first novella series as it is set in the medieval era.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have just released the complete series book for the Hers To Save series and it includes illustrations by a great artist, Keith Suddrey.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Since I were a child I have loved to write. From making up songs with my friends to having poems published as a teenager. I lost that need to get all my thoughts down on paper through the hectic life of raising children. Then one night my character Aveline wouldn’t leave me alone until I gave up on sleeping and started jotting her down on paper.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The first time I held a print book in my hands with my name on.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My characters loneliness and pain called to me and I wanted to tell her tale of growing up and finding strength in herself.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I was in a writers group and had my first draft up. When someone came to the scene where the prince comes into play, they made a comment about another book where the prince saves the day and marries the maiden. I remember commenting that ‘no that is not the case, my daughter would kill me if I had written a story like that.’ The name also made sense to me as another character in the book called Herveus feels she had saved him.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My writing sometimes can start to sound a bit poetic. I allow myself small glimpses of this style but try to rein myself in.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
None of the events are real, but the emotions I try to invoke are, loss, fear. I did name several characters after people I know though. Sasha is named after my daughter, and two of the characters Paul and David are brothers I have been friends with since I was a baby. Paul lost his battle to cancer just after the second part, The Deceived was released.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
When I’m stuck I get my husband to take me for a drive, always with a notebook and pen on hand. We live a short distance away from some beautiful countryside, and the rolling hills and farmers fields help me relax.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I designed my cover myself.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Aveline suffers physical abuse at the hands of her father, but she finds the strength to take herself away from that the situation and later she also goes back to confront her demons. I wanted to show that no matter how downtrodden we are, the strength is within us if we look and fight for it.
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 favourite writer is Joel Shepherd. I got his first book as it has the same name as my daughter Sasha. His main character is a strong female, who took herself away from being a princess and instead becomes a warrior. It can be confusing when you first start to read the book learning all the different names, but if you work through that it is beautiful written series.
A new author I have just found is A.M Yates, I devoured one of her series and didn’t sleep for two days. I love the world building and the fantasy aspects that are not the norm.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Other authors I became friends with along the way.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I see it as something I have to do, like breathing.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I may have made it a little longer.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
My descriptions became better the more I wrote. I hope that carries me through to future books.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Get words on the page, they don’t have to be pretty that is what editing is for, so write first with your heart open, and edit with your eyes and mind open.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you for coming on the journey with me, my words would only be letters on a screen and paper without your imaginations to bring them to life.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Silver Staked, Shannon Mayer
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Everything makes me cry. I’m like a marshmallow.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Virginia Andrews, her books haunted my teenage years.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Painting and photography.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The 100, Vampire Diaries, Blacklist, Blindspot, Criminal Minds…. I will leave it at that, the list is too long.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Cheese, purple, rock music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Cry, no I would take my camera out more and get to read more books.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Loved and was loved in return.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
When Aveline is betrothed to the Lord of her Village, it starts a journey that will take her far from home and everything she has ever known. She befriends a creature she’s only encountered in fairytales. Aeolius is twice her height and covered in silver scales.
Together they start a journey which will lead them into a battle they have no idea is being fought.
Can Aveline find her courage to play her part as a King’s madness spreads across the land?
Embark on a coming of age tale, turn the page the saga has begun.
Amazon.com Link: http://a.co/gciNOFW
Hers To Save Excerpt.
Below a shale-grey sky, a brooding stone wall slashes across the landscape. Sweat beads Aveline’s forehead as her mind drifts in a veil of darkness. The vivid recollection of damp dungeon walls closes in on her, shackling her mind in the past where fear greets her. Like a guiding light, the soft touch of small fingers interlacing with her own drag her back from the dark fissure. Glancing down into the pasty face of her younger brother, she squeezes his hand. Crowded close together for warmth, slick-footed they thread their way through a massive set of wrought iron gates. Bone-white ice crystals lace the ground—left behind as a sparkling gift by the chilling winter’s breath. The sharp wind bites into her frozen cheeks. Reaching up, Aveline pulls the squirrel fur-lined hood tighter against her face.
A deathlike quietude haunts the city’s narrow streets, not a soul moves or murmurs. As if a canvas painted maroon by the violent brush-stroke of a painter’s brush, the cobble-stoned thoroughfare depicts the voiceless memories of violence. Many doors hang from limp hinges and the sunlight reflects off fractured and jagged glass windows. Pears, rotten and trodden lie scattered across the pathway, their sweet, rancid stench permeating the air. A flash of colour out of place against the sparkling ground catches Aveline’s attention. Dropping to her knees, coldness seeps through her leggings as she reaches forward with trembling hands and clutches a hold of a tiny shoe. Rubbing her thumb over the soft egg-blue material she tries to wipe away the speckles of crimson. Chin trembling, she tightens her fist around the discarded object and glances around. On the other side of the street rests a cart tipped on its side, underneath, attached to a matching shoe, a small leg sticks out. Scrambling to her feet, she sprints across the road. Pushing against the spokes of a large wheel, the cart rocks up a fingers width. Feet slipping in a gloop of pear mulch, she loses traction and the vehicle thuds back to the ground. Leaning forward, splinters of wood dig into her flesh and with gritted teeth she pushes again. A pair of masculine hands appear beside her own, and with a loud groan the cart topples over.
Exposed to the elements, the girls bruise mottled limbs twist at odd angles. Her delicate frame, covered in an embroidered fuchsia pink gown, lies unmoving. With cherub cheeks lacking a flush of colour and a face as pale as a harvest moon, Aveline can tell the small child has already been visited by the angel of death. Suffocating with each stuttering breath, an avalanche of anguish bleeds from Aveline’s eyes, distorting her vision. Tilting his upper body to the side, Herveus rests his head against Aveline’s own. “We’ll bury her before we leave. I promise you.”