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?
Hi Fiona, thank you for having me.
My name is Mia Brown, I write under M W Brown and I’m old enough to know better!
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from a small village in the Midlands, UK.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I studied Maths and Psychology at university and went into accounting before leaving the number crunching behind to set up my own business with my husband. That and a teenage girl keeps me very busy.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Last month I released my first novel Portraits in Flesh and it’s so exciting to finally see this in print. Just last week I had my third short story published in Full Metal Horror – a horror anthology full of terrifying monsters.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I used to love reading and writing stories at school but sadly writing wasn’t pushed as a career path, so I just carried on with my love of reading. It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I had an idea for a story and decided to start writing again.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Last summer when I held a copy of an anthology with one of my stories in my hands. It was the first time I had seen my words in physical print. It was so exciting.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
About five years ago, my young daughter had been playing with our satnav (GPS) in the car and had entered a load of nonsense into it. I thought that it would be great if the satnav gave us directions to ‘xzsjhgflg’. The idea stayed with me and grew. Eventually I realised that I had a good story idea and one day, about a year later, I just started writing.
Six months later I had finished Portraits in Flesh, a novel with paranormal, thriller and horror elements
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I’m a huge David Bowie fan and always try to incorporate a little something of his in each story write. The title was inspired by one of his songs
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I don’t know if I do. I know I’m not one of those writers that fills pages with flowery descriptions. I write for the story. I set the scene and then get on with it.As I like to write mainly darker tales, getting the horror across without being gory can be challenging and making sure the tension in the plot grows – which can be difficult when you’ve reread the story a hundred times.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
It’s all made up. I take elements from people I meet and then pick and mix the parts that fit the story the best.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, but I would love to. Maybe one day!
I use a couple of real locations in my book, some I have been to and some I have researched on-line. One particular locationwas Poveglia – an island near Venice. It has a particularly grizzly and fascinating past. I would love to visit (in the daytime) but the island isn’t open to tourists, you need to get special permission to visit.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The very talented Lindsay Jayne.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No intended message unless there is one my subconscious snuck in without me knowing
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 been a huge Stephen King fan ever since I can remember. The plots and characters always draw me in and I feel as if I am living in each story.
Since joining facebook I have discovered so many new fantastic authors – too many to mention. I’ve just read Jim Ody and Steven Carr, and I’m just starting one by Donna Maria Mccarthy. All I would highly recommend.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My Indie publisher – Bella Tulip Publishing. They may not be one of the big 5 but that means a closer relationship and they are quickly becoming like family
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
One day I hope to be able to write full time but at the moment it is just part-time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
The story is just how I intended it to be. Maybe as I write the follow up I’ll wish I could change parts, lol!
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
A million things!
I’m an pantser. I can’t write to a plan – I feel constricted. I know certain elements and scenes but the rest has to flow naturally and take its own path.
I had to relearn many grammar rules, long forgotten.
I leaned about Ventian history, hospital procedures, embalming and natural anaesthetics to name just a few of the things I researched.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Emily Blunt would make a fantastic Annabelle, she could portray the average woman thrown into extraordinary circumstances perfectly.
For the antagonist? He is very intense and handsome but with an extremely dangerous side, so for me I would say Tom Cruise or Jeffrey Dean Morgan but each to their own. Perhaps if you read the book you could let me know who you think would fit the part.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
When you first finish your manuscript, you will probably be excited and want to send it out to agents or publishers as soon as possible. Don’t. Put it aside for a few weeks and then edit again and again, I feel embarrassed now at the first wave of submissions I sent out. A valuable lesson learned – don’t be in a rush to submit.
One great technique I learned was to use text to voice to read my story back to me, it highlighted so many errors and places where it just ‘didn’t sound right’.
Persevere. Not everyone will like your work/story/style. You will find someone who does.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Always look both way when crossing the road and if you like a book, please leave a review (but not when crossing the road).
Also, a sequel is on its way and lots of short stories (follow my Amazon author page for updates).
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Biddy Trot by Donna Maria Mccarthy.
1984 by George Orwell
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Magic Porridge Pot
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The IT Crowd, Father Ted and my cat make me laugh.
I can cry at anything and have been known to even cry at sad adverts
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
David Bowie. I’m a huge fan. He has been with me my whole life and when he died it left a huge void. I would like to meet him to thank him, have him sing a song just to me and experience his wicked sense of humour.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love creating things. So, in my spare timeI bake, draw, paint, make jewellery etc.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I do enjoy a good horror film.
Some of the series out now are great – Supernatural, Walking Dead, Suits, Dirk Gently, Vikings…
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
It changes from day to day. Today it’s pancakes, green, Foo Fighters and David Bowie (always David Bowie)
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Make stuff lol!
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Playing games with my family
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Lived loudly. Died peacefully.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Here are all my links.
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/MWBrownWriter/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorMWBrown