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!Thanks for having me. I’m Heidi Catherine and I’m 43.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I feel very lucky to live in Melbourne, Australia, although I spend most weekends down on the Mornington Peninsula in a place called Rosebud. It’s so beautiful there and I’ve always loved the beach.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have a degree in Marketing and worked in that field for a number of years, which I loved. When my two sons were born I became a freelance copywriter and proofreader, which was easier to juggle with family life. Now that my boys are both in high school I focus on my fiction writing full time.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My third book is just about to be released by Crooked Cat Books. It’s the third in a trilogy about loving the same souls over many lifetimes. The first book in the series won Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Pro award and is called The Soulweaver.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always loved writing and dabbled in it in my teens and twenties, but I didn’t seriously start writing until my thirties. My mum had a children’s book published and it started me thinking that maybe it was something I might also try to do. And once I really got into it, I haven’t been able to stop!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s an interesting question because it’s not something that you get qualified for and the title happens overnight. It would be around the time when my freelance copywriting work started bringing in a small income. I was also working on my own manuscripts in my spare time, so writing had become a big part of my life.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The idea for The Soulweavercame from a conversation I had with my mother when I was a little girl. A widow was re-marrying and I asked my mum what would happen when they all got to heaven and the woman found herself with two husbands. My mum explained that in heaven there’s no jealousy – only pure love. I thought about this over the years and eventually decided if I merged this beautiful idea with the concept of past lives that it would make a love story very different to anything I’d ever read before. I loved writing it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Soulweaver was originally titled First Comes The Light but I didn’t think it was catchy or memorable enough. There’s a character in my book who’s called the Soulweaver and their job is to weave a soul into the life they’ll live next. As soon as I came up with that name I knew I also had my new title.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’ve written romance, middle grade, crime and fantasy novels so consider myself a multi-genre author, although at this stage only my romantic fantasy novels have been published. I think the most challenging thing for me is more around the book promotion aspect than the actual writing. It’s such a competitive market and extremely challenging to get noticed.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There are definitely small aspects of my own life in my books, but given that my characters die and are reborn into new lives, clearly I’ve had to use a bit of imagination! There have been a few times in my life when I’ve met someone for the first time and been certain that we’ve met before. It’s that exact feeling that my books are based on, rather than the actual event.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
That would be nice, but no! I write best while sitting at my desk at home while my kids are at school. And with thanks to the internet, most research on other locations can easily be done from home. I’m lucky enough to have travelled a fair bit in my life so can draw on those experiences too.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher, Crooked Cat, who generously give their authors input into the process so I had a lot to do with the image selection. I love the result!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Most definitely! Although nobody can be sure what happens to us after we die, I’m certain that there’s something out there. The Soulweaver is just one of a billion possibilities, and I hope that the story will encourage readers to think about what they believe. The main message of the book is that love never dies.
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?
A friend of mine is a school psychologist and a young adult author, which is a brilliant combination. Her name is Tamar Sloan and her latest book, For All to See, is complex and layered and she’s really been able to bring in her experience and knowledge of psychology to create flawed characters who are facing very real struggles. I’m in awe of her and what she’s been able to achieve!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Romance Writers of Australia. This is such a brilliant organisation with a strong community of writers who genuinely want to see each other succeed. I had a few short stories published through RWA and won their Emerald Pro award for The Soulweaver, which certainly helped me get it published. I strongly encourage any Australian romance writer to join this amazing organisation, even if you just write ‘romantic elements’ like me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. It’s not easy to make money from writing, but if you look at it as a business that requires patience and work until it makes a profit, then it can most definitely turn into a career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Thankfully no! My books were written and re-written so many times that I was able to change things as needed. I feel like they’ve all reached the point of being the best that they can be.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Every time I sit down to write, I learn something. Sometimes it’s about writing and sometimes it’s about myself. My most recent book taught me a few important lessons, but most importantly the value of a second opinion and fresh eyes. I had drafted the book but it was missing something. And I couldn’t figure out what it was until my wonderful friend read it and put her finger on exactly what it needed to lift it from being a good book to a great one. I could have read the draft one hundred times and not figured out what she saw straight away.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I think I could live with one of the Hemsworth brothers playing my lead character, Matthew. The fact they’re Australian is a bonus. Oh, and they might just be little bit good looking too.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write a book you’d like to read yourself! Otherwise it won’t feel genuine. And don’t think you can fool your readers – they can always tell. It’s only when your heart is in the story that the magic will happen.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
THANK YOU! Whether you’ve read my books or are just reading this interview… thanks for taking the time to get to know me a little better.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m just about to start The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan for my book group. I’ve heard lots of good things about it so hoping it lives up to the hype.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but I do remember my parents reading me Enid Blyton’s books when I was a child, especially The Faraway Tree and The Wishing Chair. Books have always been a huge part of my life.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My kids do both of those things. Frequently! And sometimes at the same time. I love it when a book is able to do that to me as well.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I think I’d meet myself from about 30 years ago. There are plenty of things I’d like to tell myself that would save me a whole lot of time and heartache! Although I suppose if I did that then I wouldn’t be where I am today and I do love my life. Sometimes our struggles are even more valuable than our victories.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Apart from the obvious one (reading) I love gardening. I spend hours outside pottering in my garden. I also like mosaicking, but haven’t done that for a while as it’s pretty time consuming and requires me to remove my head from the latest book I’m reading.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Right now I’m addicted to the second season of The Handmaid’s Tale. But I also love Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black, Stranger Things, The Crown… and the list goes on. If I’m completely honest, I also find myself watching a bit of The Bachelor and Married at First Sight – terrible, I know!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favourite food – pasta! I’m addicted. Favourite colour – blue (almost to the exclusion of all other colours). Music – Angus & Julia Stone and Vance Joy are my favourites at the moment and end up playing on repeat most days!
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Writing has become such a huge part of who I am that I find that really hard to imagine! I’d probably tackle my ‘to be read’ pile. That should only take me about twenty years or so to get through! So many books out there that I’d love to read.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I actually don’t want a headstone. I’d like to be cremated and scattered in the ocean. If people want to remember me, they can look take one of my books to the beach instead.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do! You can find me at www.heidicatherine.com with lots of information about me and my books. There’s also a sign-up form for my newsletter. Anybody who subscribes will be sent the link for three FREE stories as a thank you.
Purchase link for The Soulweaver:
Amazon Author page: