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’m Willa Bradley – ask me my age? How rude! I’m 47. Doesn’t seem like I should be, but there you are. I do believe that Bette Davis got it right – growing old ain’t for sissies!
Fiona: Where are you from?
United States. Born in North Carolina, but spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest. Two years ago, I moved back to North Carolina. It felt like coming full circle.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a tall, red head with green eyes. I am the only member of my family with two legs. I share my life with three champion basset hounds.
- Raising and showing AKC Champion basst hounds
- Showing horses at the highest levels. I’ve shown Arabians, Paints and Appaloosas. My favourite breed to own and show would be Appaloosas. When I buy another horse down the road, it will be an Appy.
- White Water Rafting: I’ve been down some of the narliest rivers in the US. A dream trip would be to go down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon
- Travelling – I’ve been all over the North American continent, most of Europe and England. My trip to England is probably my favourite
- Finding old houses, renovating them and then finding them new owners. I don’t say “flipping houses” because I don’t see it that way, and I don’t usually make much money. I consider it successful if I break even. I enjoy creating spaces for people that inspire them and give them a place of rest and solace
I’ve spent most of my life working in the non-profit arena, mostly dealing with the law or health care.
My favourite color is red!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just recently signed as an Exclusive Author with Blushing Books Publications. My debut novel, Harvest Moon Ride (https://www.amazon.com/Harvest-Moon-Ride-Wild-Heart-ebook/dp/B079FPPWYR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521845164&sr=8-1&keywords=willa+bradley).
My new book is due to release on the 29th of this month and is entitled His to Treasure.
I hate books scheduled to come out in April, May, June and July. I’m just finishing up a new paranormal romance and In 2017! I’d dreamed of being a writer for years and had written several non-fiction pieces for either canine or equine focused magazines. I connected with a favourite author (Piper Stone) on Facebook and she encouraged me to give it a try. She has become a steadfast friend and avid supporter.
Why did I start? Because I had stories in my head that just needed a personal computer screen to come to life.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The first day I opened my email and saw my first cover with my name on it. I was speechless. And anyone who knows me will tell you, that doesn’t happen. But I think when it really hit home was the day my first novel went live on Amazon. I stalked that website all day until it finally came up. I squealed like a little girl … my dogs thought I’d lost it!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Two things – one I’d been reading erotic romance for a while and thought “I could write that and wouldn’t it be fun”
The other, and perhaps the dirving force, was that my life took a sideways spin about three years ago that knocked me on my ass. When I was finally able to get back to my feet, I decided I would never make another decision based in fear. The decision not to try to write for fear of rejection, or perhaps fear of success, was a fear-based decision. Once I’d met Piper, I made the decision to forge ahead. That was six, almost seven, books ago.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I wish I had some great story to tell about that, but from the moment I wrote it, I knew the title was Harvest Moon Ride. Perhaps because I started it during a Harvest Moon.
Most books start out as “Untitled” until the title just comes to me organically as I write the novel.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write, for the most part, contemporary erotic romance or contemporary erotic romantic suspense. However, just this month, I began writing a paranormal erotic romance based on werewolf shifters.
My heroines are not your run of the mill girls in that they don’t need saving. They are quite capable of saving themselves. I had a fan tell me that a lot of heroines she reads are the girl she was or that she wished she’d have been. My heroines are ones she wants to take to brunch!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think all good fiction is either a reflection of things that have happened in our past or things we wish to create for the future. There is always an element of myself in my heroines – sometimes things I want to aspire to and sometimes things I’ve been and done before. As for those around me … you know the old saying “Everything is grist for the mill” – I am notorious for basing characters on people in my life and/or for using a friend’s first name for one of my characters.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No. That’s the great thing about writing and/or reading – books can take you anywhere without ever having to leave the comfort of your own home. That’s not to say that I don’t use my travels to influence my work.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Blushing Books works with it’s authors to design amazing covers. Part of the process once your book has been selected for publication is to supply them with any pictures that inspired either characters or places in the book. Patty Devlin of Blushing has done both of the covers for my books. She knocks it out of the park each time and exceeds my expectations.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Not really. I write for entertainment. I want my readers to know that when they sit down they’re going to have a fun, sexy time and that things will end on a good note. I hate books that don’t have some kind of happy resolution – life is filled with too many unhappy resolutions or no resolution at all, which is even worse.
What they can take from my journey, and perhaps those of my heroines, is to believe in themselves. To carve out a life of their own and to live it – not to wait for someone to complete them or make them happy. Be complete and happy in yourself and then the right man just magnifies those feelings.
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?
Lots of new authors are writing good things all the time. I’d hate to single one or two out.
My favourite writer of all time is Robert Ludlum. I’ve read everything he ever wrote and with one exception loved them all. Part of what I like about Ludlum is that there is always a strong female character who is written well and is not a two dimensional character.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I would have to say four friends (Angie, Cindy, Emily and Lori) and the staff and other authors of Blushing Books. I have the best support system in the world
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes and no. I don’t know that I want to give up my day job, but part of what drew me to writing was that it was a great second job as I could do it from home and give it what time I chose to. But more and more the writing demands more of my time and I am happiest when I’m writing.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My latest book? Is that the one I’m just finishing – in the next day or two? The one that was just accepted for publication? The next one to come out? Or the one that was released?
I think if you want to be truly good at your craft, there are always things in hindsight that you would change or do differently. I do listen to my editor and she has wonderful insights. I also learn from reviews and fans – what they liked, what they didn’t like and then decide how and what I want to incorporate into my next novel.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Still learning – and that’s how you reconcile being an avid feminist with wanting to share a life with an alpha male. The two seem contradictory and I spent a good portion of my life not following my heart – making those fear-based decisions – because I couldn’t reconcile those two, seemingly opposing, viewpoints. With each book, and especially in the one I’m finishing, I’m find that they aren’t oppositional.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Again, which book? I usually do have actors in mind for the male and female progatonist. It’s part of my process in writing. By being able to see them and hear their voices in real life, I can describe them more easily both in terms of demeanor and physicality
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write! Just write! Don’t look at the blank page as something scary to be conquered. See it instead as a great opportunity to explore and share with others. I recently had a friend who was stuck. She couldn’t seem to write at all. I told her not to focus on how many words a day, but how much time. And once she determined that just to do it. Sit her butt in the chair and write. I told her I don’t care what you write. Write “I hate Willa Bradley” over and over again … but write!
And then find a community of other writers that you can trust with whom you can share the journey.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Currently, the only thing I’m reading is the novel I’m working on. I just finished reading one of Piper Stone’s Missoula Smokejumper series book and finished re-reading Adaline Raine’sRules of the Pack, which inspired my work in progress
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Absolutely – Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry and The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. I’m sure my mother wished it had been anything but horse stories as they influenced the balance of my life.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh? My dogs. Every single day. Bassets are goofy, silly dogs who seem to enjoy inspiring human laughter. I’m a pretty joyful person and usually I can find something funny even in the worst of circumstances – I’m that person at a funeral.
Cry? Stupidity, greed and cowardice – I think you can link all the evils of the world back to these three.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Honestly? I’d love to see my parents again. They have both passed and I miss them. Someone asked me recently what they would have thought of the success I’m having. My mother would have silently cheered me on but been mortified at the subject content. My dad, would have proclaimed my work to the word and had copies of the book covers printed on canvas and displayed in his home! He also would have convinced himself that the only way I knew about what I write is a lot of research. Hey, he was a Southern Daddy – his little girl wouldn’t know about such things … much less enjoy them
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Interestingly enough – not romance or comedy films. LOL! I like some dramas but honestly if I take the time to turn on the television, it’s usually HGTV or the Food Network! And any more, most of my spare time is spent writing – thus the reason I have so many books coming out
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Foods: Potstickers/Chinese dumplings, seafood and a great omelette
Colors: Red – although not this true red or the candy apple red in my kitchen. My favourite red is a deep earthen red; my next favourite color would be a muddy plum or a muddy olive green.
Music: Depends on my mood. I listen to a lot of Mary Chapin Carpenter, Sting, Gordon Lightfoot, the Dixie Chicks and Irish Traditional music
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I really can’t imagine no longer writing. A friend recently told me I needed to stop writing for the night and go to sleep. I told her I’d sleep when I was dead!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She Used Her Soul for a Compass
And Her Heart for a Pair of Wings
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?