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 Fiona, and Hello Everyone! My name is Joëlle Marti, and I’m 36.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m originally from Geneva, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, but I’m American on my mother’s side. And now I live in Hamburg, Germany, which means I get to refer to myself as a Hamburger!
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
My background is very business-y. I’ve had a series of corporate jobs all over the world, and even earned my MBA in 2013. One day, it occurred to me that I didn’t actually LIKE the corporate world very much, and that this wasn’t really what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. So I certified as a yoga teacher, started a blog, and the rest is history. And later when I met a cute guy (because these stories always have a cute guy), I moved to Germany to continue my path from there.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My first book has just come out, which I’m so excited about. It’s called “Those Happy Moments: How a One-Year Experiment Led to Lasting Happiness.” It’s all about how to find, notice, and create your own Happy Moments in daily life.It’s packed with humorous examples and tips ‘n tricks from my own experience blogging about something happy every day for a whole year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing pretty much as soon as I could physically hold a pencil! The first thing I ever remember writing was a fan fiction story that combined my three favourite groups of characters: The Care Bears, My Little Pony, and She-Ra Princess of Power. Trust me: it was ahead of its time.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first really considered myself a writer in December 2017, when I actually held the book I’d written in my hands for the first time. It was a lifelong dream come true.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Those Happy Moments was inspired by the fact that I was simply tired of not being as happy with my life as I should have been. I set out to blog every day for a year just to prove to myself how much I had to be happy about. And in the beginning, that’s all it was: just something for myself. But the more I learned and developed along the way, the more I realized this could benefit other people, too.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
“Those Happy Moments” refers to those little sparks of happiness that we all have throughout life. Even when we have a bad day, chances are there’s still something that made us smile that day. If that’s what we can take away from it, then we’re more likely to remember that day as a happy one. And over time, if we can collect enough days like that, we’ll have no choice but to conclude we have a happy LIFE.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
For the non-fiction genre, I try really hard to find applicability and inspiration for other people in my own experiences. Now that I’m working on a novel, it’s a little different getting to know my characters and figuring out what they’ll do next!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Those Happy Moments is inspired by events in my own life, but with lots of extra tips and exercises for other people to apply in their own lives. I’m hoping readers will be inspired by someone like me, a “normal” person who just wanted to be happier and who succeeded in doing so.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I’m a bit of a compulsive traveller (60+ countries and counting), so the spirit of travel is woven into whatever I write, although I haven’t needed to do a specific trip yet for my writing work.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
A wonderful Canadian designer named Laura Penwell.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s not a novel, but I’d really like readers to come away thinking, “Hey, I can be happier too!” Because your Happy Moments really are all around you, just waiting for you to notice them.
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 read in a lot of different genres, but specifically from the non-fiction that inspires me, I love Danny Wallace and A.J. Jacobs. Both of them have an experimental / guinea pig angle to their writing and life experiences that I love – they keep life interesting in such a fun way!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
National Novel Writing Month, aka NaNoWriMo. I’ve been a part of it three times, and it’s what really got me writing more and more regularly.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’d like to! I’m hard at work on my next book now, a novel about a young woman who moves from California to London for a corporate job she ends up hating (…sound familiar?) who finds a couple of handsome suitors along the way. That said, I’m realistic that I’ll need to keep up some other streams of income, too, which is where copywriting, translation, and yoga instruction come in.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m really proud of the book and the way it’s written. If I had to change anything, I’d probably just learn more about the actual world of publishing before diving headfirst into it the way I did – it was a steep learning curve!
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
So much! I learned an incredible amount about happiness and the little changes we can all make in our lives to tap into more of it.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Mila Kunis. She’s got the right mix of goofy and smart.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Set a timer for how long you want to write each day. That way, even if you don’t like what comes out on a particular day, you’ll still know you spent 5 / 20 / however many minutes writing. That’s something. And bit by bit, your book will emerge.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I’m so grateful for your support!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
My Dad read me The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein back when I was first learning to read. I remember this very vividly because my Dad couldn’t get through it without crying!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m a real sucker for animated movies, which make me both laugh and cry. I’ll never forget watching Inside Out in the cinema and audibly sobbing in front of my friends!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’m fascinated by flight, and I’d love to have met people like the Wright Brothers or the Mercury Seven astronauts. I think it takes a special kind of courage to be the very first to do something that less than one generation ago would have been considered impossible. How amazing is it that in the space of just 66 years, mankind went from 12 seconds of flight to landing on the moon? Nothing is impossible.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Yoga and traveling, and of course, yoga while traveling.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
There’s usually a fantasy or sci-fi element. Right now, I’m biding my time until the final season of Game of Thrones.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I’m from Switzerland, so you can probably guess I eat vast quantities of chocolate. My favourite kind is milk chocolate salted caramel. I also love listening to Buddha Bar lounge music to relax.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d spend more time going for walks and enjoying the outdoors.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye!”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Absolutely! I look forward to connecting at the following sites:
Website and blog: www.thosehappymoments.com
Amazon page: http://a.co/j7vpD95