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 Carmilla Voiez and I’m about to turn 47.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Bristol, England, but have lived in Scotland for the past 15 years.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m the mother of two daughters and two cats. Being too poor to stay at university, I’ve studied correspondence courses and one day I will have my degree. I’m a book worm, music lover, and cat whisperer. I’m openly bisexual and mildly autistic.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My short story “Something to Hold On To” has been accepted into the Rainbow Romances anthology. It’s the first sweet romance I’ve written. Usually my work is darker, although non-hetero sexuality is foregrounded in most of my stories.
Here’s a short summary of the story for Rainbow Romances – Jenny is a high-school student who’s in love with her best friend, Lucy. Unfortunately Lucy likes boys. Jenny is afraid to make her dreams come true and risk a broken heart. After numerous failed relationships, will Lucy be willing to redefine her sexuality, and think of Jenny as more than just a friend?
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote when I was a kid, but I came back to it soon after my second daughter was born and I felt I was losing all of my identity to motherhood. I joined the Open University and studied a Creative Writing course and discovered I had a talent for building worlds and telling stories.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I signed a contract with Stone Circle Publishing for Starblood, my debut novel – now available as part of The Starblood Trilogy and in graphic novel form. I was about to turn 40 and we had a huge celebration. I naively thought I was now financially set for life and I could dedicate all my time to writing books.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I wrote wasn’t the first book I released. I was working through a lot of things to do with motherhood and my marriage. After a lot of rewriting that book was released as The Ballerina and the Revolutionary, and is about needing to be free.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Ballerina is the mother and the Revolutionary is the child (now grown). It is also a fairytale that Crow’s grandmother told them about her origins. I use the singular they as Crow’s pronoun because ze is/they are genderqueer.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write about magic and perception, which are two of my special interests. If you know anything about Aspies we can become intrigued to the point of obsession about certain things or ideas. Psychology and mysticism are two of mine. My style, I’m told, is both visual and multi-sensory and readers often say they feel absorbed into the story as if they are one of the characters. I suppose the main challenge is to make sure I never get bogged down by the little details, but I edit stories thoroughly and deal with overwhelmingly descriptive scenes at that point in the process if there are any.
I call myself a horror writer, but in fact I write across a number of genres including fantasy, erotica and speculative fiction, but I am frequently drawn to dark spaces, especially dark parts of the mind, which gives many of my books a creepy horror aura.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Almost all of my stories are to some degree autobiographical. But, from the seed of that initial experience or moment, grows a fictional world. The characters can be gritty, flawed and realistic, but the events frequently have a magical or dreamlike quality.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t travel much; my funds don’t allow for it, but I read extensively, dream vividly and meditate. I guess it could be fair to say that I do most of my travelling inside my head.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Apart from the graphic novels, where the artist Anna Prashkovich painted the covers, Nicola Ormerod designs all my book covers. I love her work and she really seems to understand what I want.
Can I also give credit to my amazing editor? Vanessa Knipe is a star and has saved me from many an embarrassing moment.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That there is beauty in diversity.
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 love the Southern Gothic tales of Eden Royce and the fantastical worlds of Rosie Garland. My favourite horror genre author is Clive Barker. They all deal with magic in some way or another and each creates diverse and fascinating characters.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Richard Findlay, my first publisher. He saw something beautiful in my stories and helped me see it too.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, but I think I’m just starting out and have a lot of work ahead of me.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My latest release was a collection of short stories and one novella. The book is called Broken Mirror and Other Morbid Tales. I am actually really proud of it. Originally I felt that some of the stories were much stronger than others, but as I get feedback from readers it seems that everyone has a different favourite, and some stories I might have discarded or rewritten really speak to other people. Because of this I’m glad I didn’t change a word.
I ensure everything I release is carefully edited, so there is rarely an error that horrifies me.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
It might be better to use my work in progress to answer this question. Venus Virus is my first speculative fiction and is set in a near future dystopia where women are little more than slaves. It follows a violent rebellion and the building of a new supposedly egalitarian society. But finding ways to ensure everyone is treated equally is far more challenging for the characters and for myself as the writer than I anticipated, and there is the likelihood that the end result will not be the utopia I once imagined.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I’ve only considered this question with Starblood, so I’ll jump back to that series, if I may. My dream team of stars would require a few trips in a time machine, although I am sure that there are new actors who could do well. For Star I imagined a young Vivienne Leigh, for Satori a young Jonathan Rhys Meyers and for Lilith, perhaps the ever young Lucy Lawless.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write what you love. You will find an audience.
Never release a first draft; always ensure your work is properly edited.
Make friends in the industry and help each other.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I love you all and hope that, at least in some small way, I’ve helped you see how amazing you are.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
William James – Varieties of Religious Experience. I read a lot of non-fiction as well as fiction.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, not at all, but I remember the first horror book that terrified me: “To Wake the Dead”, aka “The Parasite” by Ramsay Campbell.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I make myself laugh a lot. I’ve come to find my weirdness endearing and when I catch myself doing something strange it amuses me. A lot of the world, particularly the inequality and hatred in it, makes me sad to the point of tears.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Emma Goldman or Maya Angelou, they were both incredibly strong and huge-hearted women who were very much pioneers for sexuality and personal freedom.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Other than reading? I love singing, although it’s just for fun. I also like walking and contemplating nature. I live by the sea and woodland so, depending on my mood, I have everything I need at my doorstep.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love horror shows and comic book adaptations. There have been brilliant ones recently. My favourites include: Ash vs Evil Dead, Legion, Preacher and Z Nation.
Film wise, I adore Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of the Water, and the original The Evil Dead.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favourite food – I’m trying to go vegan. I have trouble accepting the meat and dairy industry, but I keep relapsing, to my shame. I love tofu though and I can make a mean tofu stir fry.
Colours – I almost always wear black. Yes I am the witch down the street who keeps cats, what of it? But I love green, especially when it’s in the leaves, the grass and the sea.
Music – Goth and Punk – always. I was an 80’s teenager and haven’t really grown up. I love Virgin Prunes, Dead Can Dance, Dead Kennedys and The Damned.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Can I still read?
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
That’s X rated. 😉
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I want to be a tree. You can now have a tree grown from your remains rather than a tombstone. If I could choose which tree, I would be a weeping willow.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Both can be found at www.carmillavoiez.com. You can subscribe to my blog and newsletter to keep up to date.
Amazon author page = http://smarturl.it/CarmillaOnAmazon
Broken Mirror: Amazon link = http://smarturl.it/brokenmirrorshorts
Broken Mirror: Apple, Nook, Kobo, Indigo = https://www.books2read.com/u/49xBdp
Broken Mirror: also available in paperback/signed copies on my website.
Erotic Tales: Kindle exclusive = http://smarturl.it/TheEroticTales
Psychonaut: Release date September 1st 2018.
Starblood, the graphic novel: Amazon link = http://smarturl.it/sgnebook
Starblood, the graphic novel: comiXology (out April 25) =http://bit.ly/2Hfdm67
The Starblood Trilogy: Amazon link = http://smarturl.it/TheStarbloodTrilogy
The Starblood Trilogy: Apple, Nook, Kobo, Indigo = https://www.books2read.com/u/4DAMod
The Starblood Trilogy: also available in paperback/signed copies on my website.
The Ballerina and the Revolutionary: Amazon link = http://smarturl.it/Ballerina
The Ballerina and the Revolutionary: Apple, Nook, Kobo, Indigo, Scribd = https://www.books2read.com/u/bQBXqP
The Ballerina and the Revolutionary: also available in paperback/signed copies on my website.