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?
Thank you Fiona for inviting me. I’m Pamela Q. Fernandes and I’ve just crossed over the big 3-0.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m originally from India, but was born and raised in Kuwait.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a doctor and a medical writer. My family loves reading and books. A good day for my family would be a day when each of us can read undisturbed.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My romance novella Under A Scottish Sky is on discount. And I’ve recently sold a women’s fiction to Solstice Publishing.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I won a short romance competition which lead to my first romance novella, Seoul-Mates. Five years later, I have four books and so many short stories in print. I enjoy it so much that I don’t want to stop.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Last year, I’d say after Under a Scottish Sky came out, I sold more manuscripts and that came as a total shock. I finally started calling myself an author. Almost five years of publishing my first book.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Soeul-Mates was born out of my love for Koreans dramas. I loved Hallyu and their music and the emotions across Korean television. So much so when I wrote my first romance it was a star-crossed romance between an Indian girl and a Korean chaebol.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It was an interplay on the word soulmate. Since the story was set in Seoul, it seemed natural to substitute that and I ran with it. So soulmates became “Seoul-Mates.”
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Not really. Some stories I plot and some I just write by the seat of my pants. Some come organically, other require research. I love writing romantic suspense and it can be hard to keep those parallel plots running in the story. I find it super challenging to keep the pace on both those plots.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I guess there’s shades of me somewhere in the books I write, but I draw heavily from what I see, feel and observe. I am a people watcher too, so I often study people and then draw inspiration from them. I guess the more I write the less of myself I’m seeing in my books.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I usually travel a lot for work and so I’m very blessed to use those locations to write that includes Kuwait, Oman, New York, Chicago and India. Although, there are books which I’ve written based on places I’ve loved like Scotland and Seoul.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publishers worked with designers to have my covers made. The lovely cover for Under a Scottish Sky was designed by Tara from Fantasia Frog Designers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
With Under A Scottish Sky, I wanted readers to understand how the past can hold us prisoners. We either hold people ransom by not letting go or we suffer in silence waiting to be forgiven. Both my main characters are on opposite sides of this theme in the book and they realize they must make a choice.
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’ve suddenly started reading books with lots of angst. I recently discovered Lisa Kleypas and Linda Howard whose books I’ve now started reading like crazy.
I’ve loved George Elliot’s work. Its heart wrenching and is emotionally raw. I love her work.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My photographer who later became my friend,TejaswiniManerikar. She was I’d say one of the first people who encountered me as an author and shared my work with people. She did this amazing author portfolio, that’s how we met and shestarted telling people about my work. I’m ever so grateful for what she did and still does. She was one of the first people to take me seriously as a published author.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Definitely, it’s the long haul. Overnight success in writing takes ten years. Yup. It really takes time and I’m glad for it. Because writing only gets better with time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’d probably make it longer. Some of my readers complained it ended too soon and when I look back, I can’t help but agree.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned a lot especially working with my editors. The most important thing I learned was living in the characters skin. When my book came back with edits my main editor Nancy Schumacher, pointed it out, that the character wouldn’t say that or do that, because she was in the character’s skin. And it made me look at how I write point of view.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Ooh. I’ve dreamed of this a million times. I’d love Daniel Henney for the male lead and maybe Shruti Hassan for the female role of Katia.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep at it. It takes time, but it will happen. You will get better with each book.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Yesss. I want to tell my readers to enjoy reading and don’t hesitate to tell me what you liked and disliked about my work. I read all my reviews, comments and feedback, because it’s the only way I can improve.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading a crime novel called The Crow Trap by English writer Ann Cleeves from where the ITV series Vera comes from. I love this author too! I think my list of authors I love is getting too long. 😊
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember reading Thumbelina first as a kid and as a teenager George Eliot’s The Mill on the Floss, after a chapter of the book was part of our curriculum. It became my favorite story.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh very easily, in fact I’m always looking for a reason to laugh. So little things make me laugh but I love satirical comedies and I still watch old BBC comedies like Keeping Appearances when I need a laugh.
Sad songs makes me cry, the lilt of a violin, the flute in Dminor and soft piano, they all make me very sad.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Past: I’d love to meet Veronica Guerin or Dan Eldon, both photojournalists who were killed while doing their job. I would like to meet them and ask them how they had the courage to write with such grit and determination for causes which they ultimately had to die for. Veronica Guerin played a big role in getting Irish legislation passed so that drug dealers wouldn’t touch kids. That woman had guts.
Dan Eldon was stoned to death in Rwanda for only helping the local people with food and medicines. It was truly sad what happened to them but they’re people I’d like to have met just to see how they could be so passionate about a cause despite knowing the danger.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I like practicing the piano even though I’m not very good and I love to bake which I’m semi-good at! 😊
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m not a movie person but I love crime shows. I love Vera, Shetland, Inspector Morse, Inspector Lewis, Endeavour and the gritty British crime series.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
French fries, Violet, Country music (I’m an old soul)
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d be a baker. Yes. Baking brownies, all day, every day surrounded by sweet stuff. Yummy!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Girl With The Most Beautiful Smile!
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes, my website is https://www.pamelaqfernandes.com and I post everything that’s happening with my writing there. So do stop by…
You can also tweet me @PamelaQFerns.
BOOK LINK AMAZON: https://goo.gl/saosjh
B & N: https://goo.gl/je1A7Y
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://goo.gl/2ioBDC
Thank you Ms. Fiona.