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?
I write under the pen name of Elle M Thomas and I am almost 50.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in the north of England but have lived most of my life near Birmingham, England.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I am married with twins, one son and one daughter. We also have a cat and a dog. I work as a nursery nurse in my day life and write in the evenings and at weekends. It was when I was at school in English classes that I first discovered a flair for writing stories with a little steam in my romance. My teacher actually once said that I might be the next Harold Robbins.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I self-published two steamy romances in 2017, Disaster-in-Waiting and One Night Or Forever and am planning to release a third story, hopefully spring 2018 and I also have a trilogy of books I would love to publish this year too. Paperbacks are also something I am planning to add this year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have always written in some way. During my teenage years I wrote poetry and song lyrics, both of which helped me to order and process my thoughts and emotions. I always wanted to be an actress so had these amazing stories and dialogues running through my mind and started lots of stories before becoming a mother. When my children were little I used to make stories up for them based on their interests at the time. As they grew and the voices in my head continued to develop I finally decided to have a go at writing a complete story for adults and began that in earnest about six years ago.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s really tricky because most of the time I question whether I really am a writer. I don’t currently make a living from writing and I always thought that would determine me being a writer, but I was wrong. I think for me it was when I first realised that people I didn’t know and who didn’t know me owned my e-books. They read my words and loved my characters like I did, that is when I felt like I was actually a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I have said I could write a book for as long as I can remember and I read a lot of books and found more and more that I was changing the plot or thinking of alternative endings or plot twists so decided to write my own story from scratch.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My first book, Disaster-in-Waiting is actually a line from the book. The hero refers to the relationship with the heroine as being a ‘Disaster-in-Waiting’.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I tend to write in third person past tense, although I have done first person present tense too. I don’t know that I have a specific writing style as such but I do try to include a range of emotions in my books. I like the idea of readers laughing, crying and shouting at the screen.
In terms of genre, romance and in particular, steamy contemporary romance I think the biggest challenge is to have some originality in each story. There are only so many ways to describe a kiss, acts of intimacy and the words I love you so I think the details between those scenes need to bring something a little different to the table. In short I focus on writing stories I want to read.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Haha, a few people have suggested that they thought I might have based character names on my own and my husband’s. I haven’t. The stories I tell tend to be very different to my own life, however I do draw on my own experiences to inform the writing, especially when it comes to interactions between characters and emotional reactions to situations.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I tend to use locations I know, however, I have been known to write a ‘vague’ description of a location and then research it further by speaking to people who have visited or lived there and then gone back to edit/rewrite. Plus, the internet is a great source of images and travel blogs.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My first cover was made by me using a length of black fabric and some supermarket bought flowers. The replacement cover is an image that a friend of mine had from her days as a photographer. My second book cover was purchased from someone I met online through a couple of other authors. I do dream of getting a designer to create a total custom made cover with models and props of my choosing, but that might be a little way off.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I suppose the main message is to keep getting up when life knocks you down. That you don’t know what or who is around the corner and that love can be found in the strangest of places and when you’re least expecting 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?
I don’t know about ‘new’ authors as I usually find once I discover them that they’re not all that new, just new to me. I have lots of different favourites, depending on what I’m in the mood to read. I love Tiffany Reisz and her ability to write romances that have humour, relatable characters and erotica all rolled into one. She writes with intelligence and I absolutely adore the fact that the back stories of side characters come out in a very natural way. I also consider Jackie Collins and Danielle Steel amongst my favourite romance writers as they were probably the first to introduce me to contemporary romance books. I also enjoy thrillers and crime novels.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I have a small group of friends that I met on the writing platform, Wattpad. We now meet up regularly and can talk about anything and everything. They encouraged me when I experienced doubts about my stories, my writing and the perils of taking the plunge into self-publishing.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
That is my ultimate dream. Whether it happens, I suppose only time will tell. For the time being I work full-time and write part-time. Maybe in time that will change, but for now I am simply enjoying the writing and any successes that come my way.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes! I think that’s the nature of the beast though. Whenever you think a book is complete there is a temptation to go back and tweak. An established author friend once told me that you never finish editing, that you could literally edit forever. As far as plot and characters are concerned I am probably happy with how things panned out.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, lots. I hope to continue to learn with each book I write. I have learnt that things can’t be rushed and that it is much better to take a little more time and be happy with what you release rather than simply rushing your book out. I have also learnt that the writing community is full of the most supportive and generous people I have met.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
The frustrated actress in me wants to say me and as the mother of an acting student I want to say my daughter…I think I would like to find undiscovered talent who could capture the essence of my characters and truly bring them to life on the screen.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep writing. Even when you think your words on the page are the biggest pile of rubbish ever written, keep going. There is nothing better than reading your work back, days, weeks or months later and thinking, ‘that isn’t half bad’.
Also, one person’s 5* read is another person’s 1*
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Just thank you really. For taking a chance on a complete unknown who kind of plundered into this ‘being an author lark’ and allowing me to share the stories in my head with them.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Sugar Daddies by Jade West. I’m about half way through and am really enjoying it.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I remember reading was The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I loved it as a little girl and I love it as an adult.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My children and my husband make me laugh on a daily basis, and if they are sad that makes me sad. Injustice and unnecessary suffering of people and animals makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Personally, I would love to meet all of my grandparents and have a discussion with them as an adult as the questions I have in my head for them now are very different to the ones I might have asked when I was a little girl.
From a writing perspective I would like to meet Jackie Collins. She was the first author I recall being a little bit risqué and naughty and ‘getting away with it’. I would love to be able to ask her how her stories were received by agents, publishers and readers in the beginning and in turn how she was received.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Writing is my main hobby and I still love to read. I started running, very slowly and badly two years ago and still enjoy that, albeit not as often as I used to.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I enjoy British soap operas, although I dip in and out of them. I also enjoy good quality, gritty dramas. I love to laugh and have quite a dry sense of humour that I share with my husband and children so we tend to be fans of well written and smart comedies.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love Indian and Italian food. Colours, it depends on my mood, season or occasion but I do have lots of blacks, greys and browns in my wardrobe. I have a varied taste in music from Duran Duran to Eric Clapton to David Guetta.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Read. I can’t paint or draw and am no kind of artist so I think I would stick to reading and listening to the voices in my head.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I don’t suppose I’ll get much say, but an acknowledgement of who I was to the people I’m closest to would be nice in terms of being a wife, mother, sister and aunt.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I haven’t ventured into blogs and websites yet, but I do have social media that carry updates on what I’m doing and planning.
Amazon Author Central:https://goo.gl/KMPqRH
One Night Or Forever: https://goo.gl/hDKwym