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
Hi Fiona, my name is John Dill
What is your age?
I will be 63 years young in September of this year.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am from and still live in Greenville South Carolina USA
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was born into an average American family until the age of eleven when my family became dysfunctional due to my mother being diagnosed with Paranoid Scitzophrenia. At that time the only available treatments for this disorder were Thorzine and shock treatments, of which she was subjected to an unhealthy dose. When she was finally released from the hospital to come home, she didn’t know who I was. Beingher only child, she was my world. Not being able to stand seeing her in that condition I soon began running away from home and it became habitual to the point I eventually stayed away and raised myself. I’m very fortunate to have survived. The one saving grace for me was the era in which this occurred being the peace, love and drugs era or what is now labelled the hippy era. During this period of American history everyone was extremely friendly and trusting so I rarely went without food or a place to sleep. I hitchhiked around the country, being filled with a strong curiosity and desire to see what’s over the next hill.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have two books available on Smashwords/Amazon/Kindle/B&N/etc. of a four book series entitled The Braxin King. Book Three scheduled to release in late spring/early summer.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
At the age of six I began playing the guitar. This led to writing songs which led to poetry which led to short stories. Then I had a family of my own and was determined that my sons not have to grow up the way I did so I put everything aside and did what a man must do. Just last year…my sons now grown and on their own, with more free time on my hands I began to delve back into writing and found a website dedicated to aspiring writers entitled The Silver Pen. While frequenting this site I began submitting short stories and some poetry and was encouraged to continue writing. Finally, I decided to embark on a book. I quickly discovered most fictions are simply a series of short stories held together by a common theme or plot. Once I sat down, determined to write a book, I was amazed at how quickly the word count mounted. Pulling from my vast experiences in life and science I soon had the makings of three and one half books which I later edited down to two and a half.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I hit the submit button to upload my first manuscript to Smashwords for publication and sale.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The originality of the storyline and encouragement I received from SilverPen Writers.Org
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Imagination. I don’t recall anything in particular inspiring the choice except the storyline required a name for the lead species or “clan” as I had them calling themselves. I just liked the flow of that term…”Braxin”…and the story included a prophesied King…so it became, by default, THE BRAXIN KING.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I tend to follow my protagonists thought processes out in his/her dealings with the plot and also endeavor to keep my characters as believable as possible. This seems to bring out some amazing inter-actions between characters and conversations.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A great deal of this book’s science is possible and some even probable. I also tend to approach my writing from a philosophical and psychological perspective which encapsulates many of the scenes in a strong sense of the possible. The series is an intelligently written original storyline and is a classic work of art. I’ve had zero bad reviews and almost all five star.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Only from my computer to the fridge or toilet. Not necessarily in that order.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did, unfortunately the cover for book two is in need of work before Book Two will be available in paperback. I’ve all but decided to completely change it.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Love wins…always and All Will Be Well.
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’m old school so the most influential writer whose books helped me at a time in my life when I needed it most was Ayn Rand and her biggest hit “Atlas Shrugged”. Going even further back I love Henry Thoreau as an American writer who went unrecognized during his life. There are so many new writers now my mind goes haywire trying to isolate one from the group. Writing itself is evolving.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Other than individuals who critiqued my early submissions and helped me hone my craft, even my family was taken by surprise that I was now a published author of two books and more to follow. I did this entirely on my own, teaching myself how to use various softwares for cover design, formatting for E-book publishing and did all of my own editing. That was a task and took up lots of time but well worth it. Mark Coker of Smashwords has a free guide on formatting a manuscript for EPUB which was a lifesaver for me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The haste in its release. I knew so little about marketing after the fact. I should have started an ad campaign a month or two before I released the first book. But it was a dream of mine for many years and would not be denied.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Gosh, I don’t know. Mark Anthony is middle aged so maybe Harrison Ford or Bruce Willis?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Stay true to your vision.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Enjoy…as I know you will. You will feel what I felt when writing it.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
None at the moment…sorry. Got me old hands full with too many irons in the fire as it is. When I sit down to read a book I want to be able to focus on what I’m reading. With the way things are moving right now, just not possible.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No…come on I’m almost 63 years old. I remember the comics were my first love affair with literature and art.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I love meeting new people so no one in particular stands out right now.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Music and computer software. I enjoy an occasional discussion with my physicist friends on the current state of knowledge about the universe.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a big sci fi fan and action/adventure lover as well. Always have been.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Spaghetti, melange and old rock and roll.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Don’t want to be buried but cremated.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Not yet. I’ve only been in print since mid February so I’ve still got a few hurdles to cross.