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 was born Karen Louise Whipple, just over 68 years ago. In 1968, I appeared in court and had my name legally changed to Sandi Karen Whipple. Why? Long story, and now that I think of it, it might be a good background for a novel!
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Waukegan, Illinois, the home of Jack Benny. Does anyone remember him, or even know who he was? I relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area in my teen years, and then, in 2000, I discovered the state of North Dakota.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a proud Veteran of the United States Army, where I was an Air Traffic Controller. When I entered the Army, women were still “WACS” (Women’s Army Corps), but shortly thereafter, it was faded out and women were just members of the U.S. Army. In 2000, I bought a home on the internet (crazy, right?), packed up a U-Haul, and moved to North Dakota. Most of my friends said after one winter I’d return to the California sunshine. Well, that never happened. I’m now proud to be a member of a small community in North Dakota where I can witness and experience the way of life most can only dream about. I attended SF State University more years ago than I care to think about. I also spent over twenty five years in the food and beverage industry, and would rather have my teeth pulled without Novocain than ever do it again.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just recently had my fourth book produced on Audible.com. It’s exciting knowing that now all four of my books are available in every format!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
In 2007 while temporarily stranded in a wheelchair, I was reading four and five of those skinny Harlequin paperbacks every day. I read one that was disappointing, and shared the fact with a friend who dared me to write one of my own. As I had two more months to share my life with a wheelchair, I accepted my friend’s challenge. I wrote two novels, put them on disc, and tucked them away in a drawer.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In 2014, the two novels were removed from the drawer, tweaked a little by a wonderful Copy Editor, and they were self published. It was June 26th, 2014, at a book signing after a TV interview on the local CBS affiliate, that I realized I was actually a writer. I was so overwhelmed after the book signing, I cried.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Boredom in a wheelchair for several months, and the DARE from a dear friend!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
In my first book, Angie was so enamoured by the great looking Gary, the first thing I thought of was Adonis, who in Greek mythology, was a male of remarkable beauty. Hence, Loving Adonis. Kind of corny, huh?
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I never thought my writing had any particular style, but I’ve been told by some, that my style makes for easier reading. Easier than what? I have no idea. I’ve been reading fictional romance since I was a young girl. So, when I started writing it was certainly my choice of genre. Challenging for me, believe it or not, is writing a heated romantic scene. A friend actually asked me if the sex in Loving Adonis was from experience. I assured her I was far too sheltered to have that kind of stuff in my background. Not my experiences. No way! What?
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I think it’s almost impossible to write a novel and not include something or someone realistic somewhere in the story. Though I’ll never tell what is in any of my books. But I will say emphatically, that the HOOKER in ‘Tarnished Romance’ was NOT one of my experiences. I was never a hooker! Nope!
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I travel all the way from my bedroom to my living room chair, in my pajamas and bears feet slippers. Does that count? In all honesty, I do all my research on the internet and telephone.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
‘Loving Adonis’ and ‘Twisted Engagement’ covers were designed by a wonderful lady, Amanda Kelsey at Razzle Dazzle Design http://razzdazzdesign.com . ‘Dancing With A Cowboy’ cover is by a great gal, Melody Simmons, at Bookcovers Cre8tive, https://bookcoverscre8tive.com , and ‘Tarnished Romance’ was designed by a super artist , Dawn Charles at Book Graphics, https://bookgraphics.net
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Only that my books have the loved by all, HEA of a Romance Novel. There’s enough tragedy and sadness in the world today, so I see no need for a book to end the same way. I believe a true romance novel should have the Happily Ever After!
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?
Regarding new authors, I can’t say I have a favorite. I know I’ve read quite a few good books by authors I’ve never heard of before . My favorite author is, Mrs. John Marsh, AKA: Margaret Mitchell, author of ‘Gone With The Wind’. I think it’s one of the greatest romance’s ever written. What strikes me as especially rare is the fact it doesn’t have an HEA ending.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
A dear friend of 40 years, Margaret Clark-Price, of Glendale Arizona, after reading the first draft of ‘Loving Adonis’, pushed me hard to write. Her encouragement, advice, and honesty, were the driving forces that gave me the confidence I needed to continue writing.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Not as an actual career, at least not at my age. For me it’s more fun than work, and I only write when I feel like it. No deadlines, no musts, and no rushing. Besides, as an Indie Author, the struggles and costs to get a book out there are many. (Copy Editors, Book Covers, Marketing, etc)
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
‘Tarnished Romance” is my newest book. Without giving away the story, I can honestly say, if I were to change anything, I would embellish a few things and or situations. I believe knowing more about a place or a character leads to far better understanding.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned it’s okay to follow my first instinct. I was nervous about putting ‘Tarnished Romance’ out there because of the story line. (It’s about a HOOKER!) As it turned out, not only is it receiving the best reviews, but all are 4 and 5 STARS!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I’m sorry, which book? Dancing With A Cowboy-Kate Hudson. Tarnished Romance-Jennifer Lawrence. Twisted Engagement-Emma Stone. And Loving Adonis- Amanda Seyfried
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t go into it thinking you’re the next Nora Roberts or Danielle Steel, but follow your heart and your instinct. If you want to write, then WRITE! Don’t listen or pay attention to the many doom slayers out there.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I’ll just share a tiny little tip from my copy editor. Give 5 friends a printed copy of your book with a red pen. Tell them to circle or underline any mistakes (spelling and grammar), anything they didn’t understand or that doesn’t make sense, and anything they feel isn’t pertinent. Make those changes, then submit it to your copy editor. You just got 5 honest reviews regarding your story, and you just saved a bundle of money regarding your copy editor.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m not reading anything right now. But I recently finished a great book by LJ Ryan, ‘The View From Our Window’. It’s definitely a great read.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
‘The Killing Gift’ by Bari Wood. At that time, I usually only read short love stories or novella’s in True Confession and True Romance magazines. (Are those still out there?) I was only 25 years old and the book was loaned to me by a friend. Out of respect for her, I read it. And WOW! It was actually not only pretty scary, but I loved it. ( And I still have a copy.)
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I cry when I think of my father who passed away the day before my TV appearance and first book signing. I cry at a sad movie. I cry when a friend is hurting, whether the pain be physical or mental. I cried while writing a few scenes in a few of my books. I guess I’m just a big cry baby. I laugh at a good joke, and I laugh often at myself. And the best ever, I find myself laughing several times a day when it’s a day I spend with my granddaughter, Landry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Do you mean other than the ageless, handsome ,charismatic, and incredibly sexy husband of Katherine Ross, Sam Elliott?
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love watching movies, and I have a collection of almost 2000 DVD’s. I can watch a favorite many times. I tend to gravitate toward drama and action, and shy away from comedy.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
My favorite TV show of all time, ‘The Americans’, is sadly ending this year. And for 18 years, I’ve watched every single episode from every season of Survivor.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Australian Lobster, Alaskan King Crab, and Prime Rib are my favorite foods. I love any shade of Blue, and I enjoy almost all music. Light Jazz, Easy Listening, some Classical, Oldies (50’s and 60’s), and older Country. I refuse to listen to Rapp, which I don’t consider music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I enjoy playing Pinochle with friends, garage sales, county fairs, Arts & Craft Fairs, and so many other things . . . I’m certain I could find things to do.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
SHE KNEW. . .
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My books are Available @:
AMAZON Author Page:
Books By Sandi K. Whipple: https://www.facebook.com/SandiKWhipple/?ref=hl