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?
Lili Mahoney, somewhere in my 40’s, but who’s paying attention after you turn 21 anyway?
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born and raised in a small west Texas town but now live in the south-central hill country area of Texas.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I earned a BA in English w/ a minor in psychology while setting up housekeeping with my high school sweetheart. We have 3 rockstars, 2 boys and a girl, and they’re my greatest achievements.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m getting a website, finally. I’m also about to re-release my debut novel, which is the first in a four-part saga. It’s a Young Adult story about a girl and her horse, and all the trouble they get in.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was reading Twilight with some friends of mine and while I was in the middle of book three, Tory’s story(Barefoot Pastures) popped into my head and I had to write it down to get it to stop taking up all my brain space.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When people I didn’t know started paying money for a book I’d written and then leaving reviews. At times I still feel like I’m “faking it til I make it though”. That first royalty check was only about $30, but it was worth so much more!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Not wanting to go insane. I honestly NEVER thought about being a writer. I struggled through school because of being ADD and Dyslexic so I didn’t read for pleasure and hated reading scholastically. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s and reading because of peer pressure that the story just took up residence in my head and hold to be told.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It sort of just came to me because it fits Tory and Rusty, and where they spend their time.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
It’s a purging, really. I just start writing as the voices keep talking, like a movie playing in my head. I know lots of authors write an outline first or have a strategy on notecards, but it just doesn’t work for me. I probably have more editing to do afterwards, but that’s just the way it is for me.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I would have to say just a little. With Barefoot Pastures, Tory is a barrel racer, as I once was, but that’s the extent of likeness to me. Her personality is little inspired by my daughter. Feisty. Independent. At times awkward.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process? Not for the YA saga. My woman’s fiction/ romance, For Love Or Freedom, was born from a family trip we made to the Frio River. A gang of bikers cruised by one afternoon and this story of a mom and her daughter just started rolling through my head.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Barefoot Pastures is a picture I took of my daughter and the company that published designed the cover. It was a nightmare of an experience and I learned so much about working with publishers. It’s one reason I’m re-releasing. For Love Or Freedom was designed by LJ Designs and I love it so much because the flower is so integral in the story. They totally nailed it!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I hope that any girl reading Barefoot Pastures takes away the confidence that she can be true to herself and own who she is. It’s full of life lessons that I think most teens can identify with as a coming of age part of their lives.
For Love Or Freedom is a story about moving on with life when things are hurdled at you and you find yourself feeling a little out of control. I think women will be inspired for fight for what they want, what they love and to not feel guilty for it.
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?
Oh ,Wow. There are so many new writers on the scene right now it’s hard to keep up. A few I one-click anything they write is Natalie Gayle. Andrea Bills. Kacey Shea. Victoria James and Lou Stock. S.L. Scott. My all time favorite author is Larry McMurtry
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I was working at a Mother’s Day Out when I began writing and a few of the other teachers started reading my rough drafts before I’d really told anyone outside of my husband. I think my parents and siblings didn’t take it serious when I first mentioned it because they all knew how much I’d hated reading as a kid.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’d love to at some point. Right now, I don’t have the time to put enough into it to make a living at it. Being a self-published author takes so much more than just writing a story. You have to do all your own marketing and that’s a game I’m still learning how to play.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I don’t think so. I know that readers either love Tatum or can’t stand her, and some have commented on the portrayal of a kind of person being too negative, but I don’t think you can make every reader happy and I honestly don’t think they read much past the first chapter to see the story evolve. It’s the story the characters wanted to tell and I’m happy with it. That’s not to say there aren’t errors that were missed in editing that I’d like to fix, but I’m getting better with each book.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Absolutely. Each story teaches me something different about myself and my expectations as a story-teller. I think the last book taught me to look at each character, and learn who they really were and what they wanted as the story progressed.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Sheesh! I have no idea! Maybe Michelle Pfeiffer or Charlize Theron as Tatum.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just write. Get the words out and then study them and other stories you like and see how to make yours better. Then put on some armour and ask someone to read it and not a family member, but someone that will be honest with you. Take what they say as honesty to help you grow and see what you can do.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you for giving my fiction friends a go. I hope you grow as attached to them as I have. I hope their stories give you a chance to escape reality for a bit, but also inspire you.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished Love Notes by Michelle Windsor, great story!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first “real” book that I actually went and purchased on my own was Harry Potter. I was in college and had a Prof that was the ultimate Harry fanatic (we even had cake in class for Harry’s birthday!) I had to write a paper on one of the books in the series and got totally sucked in and went straight to the book store and bought the ones that were out already. Then waiting for the rest of the series to release was something I’d never experienced before. Then it was years before I read anything else, until Twlight hit the scene and my friends were all pressuring me to read it with them and see the movies.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Everything. Ha! I laugh pretty easy and cry even easier. My husband and kids were just making fun of me because I cried at the induction ceremony for my daughter getting in to NJHS (national jrhonorsociety) Basically, if someone is laughing, so am I. If someone is crying, I’m right there with them! And if it’s my kids, I’m all the way there!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Gosh, just one? I’d like to meet Julia Roberts. I think she’s a pretty spectacular individual
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Writing. Also photography. I like planting stuff but I can’t call it a hobby because nothing survives. I like making rugs out of old bedsheets but I just haven’t had time to do many lately.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch too much TV or see many movies. But anything action usually works for me. I also love the old classics like Gone with the Wind.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
FOOD – yes! HeeHee. I love to eat, but I am a pretty picky eater. I hate veggies and really only eat them if they’re covered in cheese or fried. I love a good steak or pulled pork. I LIVE on ice cream and gummy bears. Color – PURPLE even in my hair.Music – Gary Allen is the ultimate. I love everything he sings. I like most country as well as alternative rock. There’s really not much I dislike, to be honest. Music is really important to me and it inspires my writing. I’m really bad about putting a song on repeat until no one can stand hearing it every again.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d LOVE to be a National Geographic photographer! #dreamjob or a rancher. 😉
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“the best momma ever”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I’m working on a website and hope to have it launched in May, as well as a newsletter. For now, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @lilimahoney