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?
Andrea Rendón. I’m 66.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m a native Texan, currently living just outside of Fort Worth, Texas
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I grew up in Fort Worth, Texas near the historic district of the Fort Worth Stock Yards. It’s an area rich in the history of the cattle drives on the Chisolm Trail. It’s main street is still a boardwalk with cafes, saloons, and hotels. They have an early indoor rodeo as well.
I have a degree in Psychology and a degree in Art from Texas Wesleyan University. At 27, along with 2 others, I co-built and co-operated a chemical recycling-fuel blending plant. To my knowledge I was the only woman to build and operate such a processing plant in the country. I’m retired and live with my husband, Randy and our spoiled ‘hairy child’, Nicholas, a Maltese.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m currently writing the 3rd book in a series of 4, ‘Strings – Common Ground’.
I plan to have it completed and published by May.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing at 13. I would sit in my last class of the day, English, and write short screen plays, or short stories. I loved being able to move and direct people on paper and explore their minds and motives.
People and conflict has always fascinated me, and I’m a devoted people watcher. Their depths never fail to surprise me. I’m very interested in the complexities that we all hide from the world, complexities that inevitably reveal themselves under the most surprising circumstances.
I suppose, because of my psychology background, I want to understand why we do the things we do to ourselves and others. Writing is a way to explore and map that out for me.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In that 7th grade classroom. Thank heaven my teacher was understanding.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was the first book of the series,Strings – Garden of the Gods.
In 2007 I fell and severely injured my head. It took over 3 years to recover from the migraines. Then the dreams began. The dreams became the Series. The information flowed out of my subconscious like a movie. I began writing the dreams down and began writing in 2012. These books have practically written themselves.
I’m a researcher, so I have done a great deal of research to make sure the facts are correct in order to breathe life into the people that live in my dreams. It’s been a fascinating and very rewarding experience.
My family was a bit surprised to see that I chose to devote my time to this project, but they have come to support my work and enjoy the books.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title Stringshas a three-fold meaning for me. It speaks of the Strings that tie us together as a family, as people. It speaks about the passion my characters have for their music and instruments, and it speaks to me of String Theory.
I’m fascinated with it. Especially with Entanglement, which says, generally, that 2 particles are connected and influence each other’s actions no matter how far apart they may be. People can be like that. Our lives can be entangled, no matter the distance, space, or time.
The characters in Strings are truly entangled despite their space or time.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Style-wise, I think of myself as a story teller. I try to relax into the story and allow it to unfold before the reader, as it unfolds in my mind’s eye. It’s not unlike the traveling storytellers of old that went from village to village telling a story around a fire for a meal and shelter.
I find writing challenging in general. I want to convey the images, thoughts and actions of my characters as living people. To keep them real in that sense means not overplaying your hand and allowing them to tell their story.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Book 1 Strings- Garden of the Gods, is set in World War 2. I remain true to its history, which was challenging working around a fixed point. However, it helped to breathe life into the characters and plot.
Book 2 Strings – Atonement, is set in 1960-1968. I had a good time writing in that period as my characters were confined to the technology of the day, time constraints, and morality. I think I prefer writing in contemporary time periods that are not so instantly connected. It helps to create more tension and complications.
All the characters are fictitious.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I have been fortunate to have travelled a great deal in my lifetime. I have spent time in many countries, but especially in Switzerland, where these books are partly set, in the UK, and Florence, Italy.
My family is from eastern Switzerland, so it has been wonderful visiting and writing about it. As a writer, I have profited enormously from my time there.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Consuelo Parra of Seville, Spain. Consuelo is a gifted digital artist. She created these original works for the covers and displays her work on her Facebook page.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Perhaps, I would like for the reader to take home the knowledge that we are all tied together in some way. Our bonds may be slender and unrestricted or they may be bound together in a manner that is confining or painful, but we are all tied together and must try to live respectfully and lovingly.
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 was taught to read great work from the past in order to write well in the present. As such, I like the work of Steinbeck, Twain, Tennessee Williams, Faulkner,Warren, Chekov, Gabriel Marquez, Isabel Allende.
I try to read the best I can. They are great teachers.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My friend in Pennsylvania, Adam Troutman has never wavered in his faith in me. It was at his insistence that I see this project through and then continue to look ahead. In the past, my late mother, and several instructors encouraged me to write.
We never succeed alone. I have been lucky.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Not so much as a career as a calling. It called me. I have to answer the call or suffer for not doing so. It has rewarded me in so many ways and my life is better for it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The latest is Strings – Atonement. It practically wrote itself. But I suppose I could go back into it and develop areas. Another 10% would not harm the story, however, I’m satisfied with where I left it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Not being a musician, I learned a great deal about the violin and the world of concert performance. That is one of the pleasures of writing for me. I get to dig down into other people’s lives and professions.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
The main character throughout all 4 books is Rolf Zeigler. I have always seen actor, StellanSkarsgard, as Rolf. He has a long career and as my character ages 60 years in these books, his images over his lifetime have served to keep this character in focus.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep writing. Try to write every day. Write what you love. Write what you are passionate about. Don’t let anyone discourage you.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope they enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Tim Cagle’s, ‘Whispers from the Silence’
And I’m re-reading J.L. Carr’s novella, ‘A Month in the Country’
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I think it was probably Peter Rabbit !But the first serious book was ‘Little Women’. I loved the relationships in the story and the sense of real life in it. It was the first book to really move me.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
In books, when a writer hits that magical combination of beautiful prose, perfect pacing, and deep emotion.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
So many, but a few – Plato, Da Vinci, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther, Pope John Paul II –where did their revolutionary and or mystical thinking come from?
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Gardening (when I can). I still have plans to paint 1 or 2 egg tempera icons for the church. They take a lot of time, but are luminous. I want to give them to the church. The egg tempera/gold icons can exist for a thousand years if cared for. Many are in existence today.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m addicted to Masterpiece Theater. But I’m also a huge follower of history and science programs. Then I love great film, old and new. It’s harder to find great new work, so I confess to watching things like X Men, Homeland, and the nerd in me is hooked on the Oak Island series.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Really good authentic homestyle Mexican food. I’m all over the board with music, classical (violin and piano), blues/rock(Eric Clapton, ZZ Top, Joe Bonamassa), classic country(most of it) not this new pop stuff.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Paint. I’d be painting icons as authentically as possible, on wood panel with the old powdered earth pigments and gold leaf.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Beloved of her husband, Randy
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
email – firstname.lastname@example.org