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?
Thank you for having me, Fiona!My name is Bart Hopkins and I’m just a guy in his early 40s, starting to feel his mortality.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Galveston, Texas, or as the locals say … I’m BOI. That’s Galveston code for “Born On the Island.”
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2017 after twenty-two awesome years. Education: MA in Education from Northwestern State University in Louisiana. Currently living in Austin, Texas, with my beautiful wife and three awesome kids.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
The latest haps is that Audible Hall of Fame narrator Luke Daniels just did the audiobook of my novel, The Bends, and it sounds great!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have been scribbling out stories since I was just a little guy, but things got serious in 2003 when a friend and I completed the first draft of our book, Fluke.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I met Harlan Coben in 2014 and he told me that the good writers always doubt themselves, every book, no matter how long they’ve been at it. I still doubt myself and I sometimes feel strange telling people, “I’m a writer.” All that aside, that day we finished the last chapter of Fluke and cracked open champagne … that was when I first felt completely like a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Fluke is sort of a pop culture tribute to all the men in their 40s who were once awkward twenty-somethings just trying to figure out who they are in this world. It isn’t always pretty: it’s life.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The lead character’s name is Adam Fluke. And, well, many of the things in his life are just that … a fluke.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I like to call my style “perfection.” Ha haha, just kidding. I’ve been jumping around between literary fiction, horror, and the thriller genres. Trying to find myself, I guess, and also trying to satisfy some demons.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Every book I write contains snippets of reality, and some more than others, but the characters are always fictional.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
While I was in the Air Force we travelled over the place, and that has given me a lot of fodder for my writing, but I haven’t had to travel for any of my stories. Not yet.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Rene Folsom designed the cover for Dead Ends. I designed the covers for The Bends, Like, Fluke, Texas Jack, Total Eclipse, and Circus.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Texas Jack is about alcoholism, family, and whether forgiveness is really possible. Like is about the seeming world domination of social media. Fluke is about coming of age, with some darker undercurrents I can’t talk about without giving it away.
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’ve got a lot of favorites. Of the more established authors there’s Stephen King, Blake Crouch, John Irving, Harlan Coben, and Ken Follett. Of the Indie variety I enjoy Jim Proctor, SL Dearing, and David Elliott. Each of these writers, in their own distinct ways, tell a wonderful story, and that’s what it’s all about.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Probably the most surprising support I’ve been given was from a few different supervisors I had in the Air Force. They encouraged me to chase the dream.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Do I see it? Let’s say that I can imagine it in vivid detail, but my income isn’t something that could support a family. Well, maybe a family of mice.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The Bends is the most broadly appealing thing I’ve written, and I’m actually pretty happy with it, as is.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Although I’ve been to Big Bend a few times, I did a lot of additional research on the area for the novel. It’s a really beautiful place, both historically, and in the present day.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Maybe Chris Pine or Charlie Hunnam, although a young Clint Eastwood would have been perfection.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write every day that you can, even if you think it’s garbage. Write, write some more, edit, and then keep writing.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Always: thank you!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Persuader by Lee Child
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Voice of the Night by Dean Koonts writing as Brian Coffey. I read that and the shining, both when I was just seven or eight years old. Yes, arguably inappropriate for such a young boy, but totally worth the fire it ignited in me.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laughter comes easily and I find humor all over the place. Too often I’m the last person laughing after everyone else has gone quiet.
Sad things can make me cry, but so can happy things. I’ll cry like a baby when my kids leave home … we’re a tight-knit group.
I think I’m really in tune with my emotions.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Nobody in politics … that stuff drives me nuts these days. I’ve always wanted to go back and catch a Beatles concert, right when they were getting huge.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading, movies, running, and family.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Okay, here’s my Top 10 in TV shows of all time:
#10 The Cosby Show, #9 Sons of Anarchy, #8 Three’s Company, #7 Family Ties, #6 Fresh Prince of Belair, #5 The Walking Dead, #4 Chuck, #3 Scrubs, #2 Longmire, and #1 … (drum roll) … Seinfeld.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite Food – BBQ Brisket; Color – Green; and bands: U2, Foo Fighters, and The Beatles
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Enjoy my family.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Yikes! Let’s not think about that for another decade or so.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Website & Blog – http://www.barthopkins.com
Twitter – https://twitter.com/bart_dead_ends
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/barthopkinsauthor
Amazon Author Page – www.amazon.com/author/barthopkins
The Bends – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X9MRQYB
Texas Jack – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BW74C04
World Wide Gone – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ9KOGY
Total Eclipse – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074Z366SB
Circus – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075FGWQVY