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?
Hi! I’m Linda Penner and I’m…well…er…let’s just say, I’m retired!
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live in a beautiful (and presently very cold) city in Alberta, Canada called Medicine Hat. Yes, that’s right – Medicine Hat!
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Well, I weighed 6 lbs 1 oz at birth – just kidding, we’ll skip all the boring stuff! I worked in the financial industry for many years while raising 3 kids as a single parent and taking previously unfinished college classes. After empty nest and retirement, I joined a writers group and put pen to paper!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m planning a little road trip with 2 other writers over the summer to introduce our books and the love of writing to libraries and book clubs in our region.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was a little kid when I wrote an obituary for my pet water beetle when he diedand thought I could carve out a lucrative career in animaleulogies. That didn’t quite work out for me, but I continued to write essays and stories while growing up until adulthood slammed me in the face with business reports and correspondence.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s a tough question, I’m not sure I do. I’m just someone with so many thoughts and ideas in my head they have to pour out onto paper.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Well the title, A Hitman Is Cheaper Than Divorce,is a little self-explanatory, but I have to state that the book is not just moaning about how tough breakups are, it conveys that divorce is a little more survivable if you can laugh sometimes.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I chose that title 20 years ago when I got the bill from my divorce lawyer and decided to write the book!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’m a humour writer and I have found there seems to be only small niche for it. Most writers’ festivals, conferences, workshops and contests have little or no interest in that style.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All of it! Chapter 8 is a collection of stories that multiple women gave me about their experiences in dating after divorce. Most are hilarious!
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
That’s an ongoing process, I never go anywhere without seeing or hearing something that I think would make a good story.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did. Chapter 5 has an episode regarding several BFFs and a voodoo doll experience, so I told the good people at CreateSpace what I wanted and they delivered.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
She (or he) who laughs – lasts! You can survive a nasty breakup and move on if you can look to the lighter side of life.
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?
Of course, I love humour writers like Stephen Leacock, Erma Bombeck and Gary Lautens, but I also enjoy the true crime writing of Anne Rule and detective work of Ann Cleaves.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My high school teacher, Mr. Reimer, saw potential in my writing and took the time to tell me. You only asked for one, but I also have to mention my former colleague, Barb Rogoz, who reviewed books for the local newspaper and took the time to provide valuable input and encouragement to my book.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
No, my career is behind me and now writing is for my pleasure – and I hope for others as well.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Oh yes, I think authors are always second-guessing themselves on many levels, but there is one thing I would definitely change. I would be more honest and portray the truly gritty side of what divorce can be. I held back to protect my children.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
It did not set out to be a healing process, but in the end, I believe it was. Writing can be very cathartic.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
WOW, that’s a tough one! If it was filmed in the UK, I’d say Miranda Hart with her 2 besties, Emma Chambers and Sally Phillips!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Join a writers group, read books on the craft of writing, take workshops & courses, attend writing festivals and conferences. Find beta-readers interested in your genre and seriously consider their feedback – they’re a sample of your reading audience. Find a good (and fair) editor. And keep revising – I’ve seen a lot of good writing that could have been great with a few more revisions.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Hitman is no literary great, it’s there for you to enjoy, laugh along with, and perhaps shed a tear or two over.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis – funny and a great read!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Dick and Jane – my first-grade reader.They had a dog named, Spot – what’s not to love?
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Life. It can be so ridiculous you have to do one or the other!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Yikes, I want to name someone profound, but you must know me by now, so I’m going to say, the Energizer Bunny. He’s cute, fuzzy, and he just keeps going, and going, and…
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
This is where I should say I’ve taken up cycling and white-water rafting, but the truth is I read a great deal, and teaching myself the lost art of braid-in rug making (google it). I also fundraise for the SPCA by making Christmas wreaths for dogs. They’re very inexpensive to make and raise a lot of money for pet rescue at the end of each year. I’ve included a picture,soplease feel free to copy my idea to use for your shelter fundraisers.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Right now, I’m watching The Big Bang Theory and Jam and Jerusalem, and I get my fix of world news satire from Saturday Night Live. I also love detective and mystery series like 7 Seconds on Netflix and just started watching the latest of Broadchurch!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
“Life of Pie” in chapter 4 of my book explains the ongoing love/hate relationship I have with food, so I won’t go further into that except to say it’s a struggle and right now cake is winning!
As for colours…I wrote a bitter little poem titled, “True Colours”,after someone stiffed me on a loan, and it was accepted for publication in the Canadian Stories magazine.
And music – well, I’m a whole lot rock ‘n roll!
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Here lies Linda P.
Mistakes were made!”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Readers, keep your eye on this Amazon link for an eBook giveaway coming soon!
Take a look at my author page at: UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Linda-Penner/e/B07BHTPD3Y/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1
And be sure to check out my facebook page for funny, weird and wonderful stuff at:
A Hitman is Cheaper Than Divorce! https://www.facebook.com/ahitmanischeaper/