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?
My name is Jennifer Sucevic and I’m 46 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m originally from Chicago, Illinois but was raised in Wisconsin.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology. I spent five years working in a public high school as a counsellor. It was a career that I loved. I resigned when we relocated out-of-state for my husband’s job. I have four kids who range in age from 20 to 9 years old. So, I’m busy!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just released a book- Hate to Love You! It’s a New Adultromance that takes place on a college campus.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been a voracious reader. It was an escape for me. It was duringmy last year ofcollegewhen I beganwriting my first novel. At the time, I was reading a lot of historical romances. I’ve always loved history- especially Medieval and Victorian England.Once I started writing, I was hooked. I’ve tried my hand at several genres- Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, Young Adult, and New Adult, YA Paranormal. After college, I took a year off and worked as a waitress at night and wrote during the day. During that time, I submitted my work to traditional publishing houses and agents. When I didn’t get any interest, I decided that I didn’t want to put my life on holdindefinitely waiting for something that might never come to fruition. So, I went to graduate school and became a school counsellor. My husband and I started a family and bought a house. When we moved for my husband’s job, we decided to add two more childrento our family and I was able to devote more time to writing. Wattpad really changed things for me. Ibegan publishing my work on that platform. I wrote Confessions of a Heartbreaker chapter by chapter on Wattpad before deciding to self-publish it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a writer when I self-published my first novel Confessions of a Heartbreaker. I sold around four thousand copies the first month. I’d spent so much time submitting my writing to traditional agents and publishers and getting rejected, that I felt I didn’t have anything to lose by putting my work out there.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was my love of history and romance that inspired me. Romance is always at the heart of all my stories. It’s the core theme. I’m in love with falling in love.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For Confessions of a Heartbreaker it was a story told completely in the hero’s perspective. So, it made sense to call it Confessions and Parker (the main character) was a player. So, it fit.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Throughout the years, I’ve played around witha variety of styles. I’ve written in third person and first person. With New Adult, I always write in first person and I usually alternate POV’sbetween the main characters (hero/heroine). My style reads as though it’s a flow of consciousness.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Most of my books take place in college. I try to keep them rooted in reality. Usually the hero/heroine are struggling with family issues and are trying to find themselves. I think most of us can identify with that. I struggled a lot during that time period. In most of my books, there’s some degree of my past or personal experiences woven into them.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
For the most part- no, I don’t travel. Although, last year, I did write two books that took place in Chicago. We planned a trip there and stayed downtown. We did a lot of sightseeing. It was helpful when I sat down to write the story.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
With my first book, I used a cover designer and I wasn’t happy with the creative process or the final result. After that experience, I learned to design my own covers. My last four books have been designed by Mary Ruth of The Reading Ruth. Her designs are amazing. I usually scour the stock photo websites to find the lookand feel I’m going for and then I design a mock-up to give her.She takes that idea and makes it a thousand times better.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I never set out with an intended message. I think of my books as cottoncandy for the brain, an escape from reality. My goal is to entertain. If there’s a message in them, it’s that love will always prevail.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, writing is my career. I spent 20 years trying to break into this field, so I’m extremely proud of my accomplishments. My goal is to publish three books a year. I spend more than forty-plus hours a week writing/editing. There’s not a day that goes by when I’mnot working in some capacity. Even when I’m on vacation or travelling, I make time to write.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t change a thing! I love Hate to Love You! It has just the right amount of humour and sexy romance. I’m in love with Brody McKinnon.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Before I wroteHate to Love You, I wrote two books that were Mafia-ish. I wanted to branch out and try something different. They didn’t do as well as I’d hoped. And that was hard. I decided to go back to what I first started writing- humour basedcollege romance. So far,Hate to Love You is doing well. What I learned from that experience is that I need to stick to what I do best.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
My inspiration for Brody in Hate to Love You is Taylor Kitsch, circa Friday Night Lights.
Love me some Tim Riggins.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
My advice for other writers is to never give up. I know that sounds cliché, but it took me 20 years to get where I am today. I am,by no means, an overnight success. There weretimes when I stopped writing orwanted to give up, but I would always find my way back to it. In this business, you have to be persistent. If what you’re doing isn’t working, figure out what needs to be tweaked or fixed, and do it. When my last two books bombed, I wondered if my career was over. I’d had a good run for three years and had made the USA Today bestseller’s list, but those two books weren’t selling. I had to look at what I’d done in the past that had been successful and go back to that style and format.
My other piece of advice is that social media is a wonderful tool to connect with readers but it should be treatedwith professionalism. What I’ve learned is that no matter what your opinion, you’ll end up offending someone and that has the potential to lose readership. I’ve seen it happen over the most innocuous of topics. My writing is a business and I treat it as such.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Very humbly I want to say thank you to my readers. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to make this dream a reality! I’m very grateful that I get to write for a living and that people are entertained by my work.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
At the moment, I’m not reading anything. I just releasedHate to Love You and I’m outlining my next book.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Sweet Valley High. I think I just dated myself…
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My kids make me laugh all the time. They have grown into hilarious people. They all have amazing senses of humour. I couldn’t be prouder.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Writing was my hobby for so long. That’s pretty much it. I love to travel and work out. Every spring, I try to convince myself that I enjoy gardening, but I don’t. I do, however, love the end result.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m embarrassed to admit that I love reality TV. I have no idea why, but I do. It’s a guilty pleasure. As for scripted shows- I love Unreal. Which, ironically, is about a reality TV show.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
As far as music goes, I love Indie Rock. Alt Nation is my favourite station on Sirius Radio. I like the Wombats, Atlas Genius, M83, and Night Riots. Right now, I love AJR’s Sober Up and Broken by Lovely the Band.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I honestly can’t picture that kind of future. I fought tooth and nail to make writing a reality, I won’t let it go easily. There have been times when I’vewrappedup a project andhandedit over to my editor, and then had nothing to do. It’s horrible. I wander around the house like I’m lost and watch really bad TV.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I would spend that time with my family. I have four kids and a husband who has a very demanding career. My kids are getting to that age where they have their own lives. The oldest is 20 and the next one is 16. It won’t be long before he leaves for college as well. I love when we can all be together.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
There are two sayings I would want written on my head stone. The first would be-In for a penny, in for a pound. It’s how I live my life. There are no half measures with me. I’m either all in or all out.The second would be that I was a ride or die chick. Because, no matter what, I always have my husband’s (and kids) back.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
As of yet, I don’t have a blog or website. I can be found on Wattpad,Tumblr, and Facebook. I keep readers up-to-date on what I’m doing on all three sites. On Wattpad, I usually publish the first three or four chapters of each new book a few weeks ahead of the release. And I can always be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions/comments or to be added to my mailing list.