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 Stefanie Jolicoeur and I’m 42.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I grew up in both New Hampshire and Maine. I now live in Dover, New Hampshire
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have a business/economics degree from the University of Maine at Farmington but I always took writing classes. I’m married and have four kids (ages 13, 12, 10 and 8). I’m also a twin!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have a short story called Scales in the upcoming Dark Waters – A Mermaid Anthology coming out on June 30th.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing with the intent to publish in 2011, but I didn’t publish anything until 2014. I started writing because I felt like I had things to say, stories to tell. My dreams were filled with them. I needed to get them out of my head!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s a tough one. I think writers are always full of doubt about their ability and worry their work isn’t good enough. I guess it took a few years after I’d published a few books before I felt comfortable describing myself that way.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was Mousamus – A Gladiator’s Tail and it was inspired by the movie Gladiator and the lead character, Maximus. Something just clicked in my head, there has to be a mouse gladiator called Mousamus! I also wanted to write something my kids could enjoy.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write for age groups across the board (from very little children to adults). I worry sometimes that my language isn’t grown up enough for adults. I feel like there is a strong YA vibe to my writing style even though some subjects/scenes wouldn’t be suitable for that age group at times and that’s why I do them all so I can enjoy my light side and my dark side.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I tend to have the men in my books look and act like my husband (although not the jerks!!) A lot of my personal experiences make their way into the books, especially things that might have happened to me as a kid.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, I don’t travel beyond my imagination.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’ve worked with several different illustrators and cover artists. The design is usually my idea but the artist implements it with their skill set.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
For the kids, I want them to dream big and know that you can accomplish anything they put their minds to. The sky is really the limit. For the adult books, I just want them to enjoy a darn good story and if I scare them or make them think… that’s a bonus.
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 don’t know how new she is but I really like Gillian Flynn’s books. My all-time favorite author is Stephen King. I love the speech pattern he uses for his characters. He writes how real people talk, I like that. I try to do that too.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My friend and fellow author Ariele Sieling was the first person to make me feel like I was doing something right.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I wish it paid the bills! That would be amazing! For now, it’s a creative outlet that gives me a thrill with every sale. It blows my mind that someone would pay for my thoughts on paper. Super cool. I also love the whole process of book making. Getting a fresh book in your hands that you created is quite exciting.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I try not to look back. I like moving forward with the next project.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I’m always working on a few projects at once so it showed me I can focus when I really need to and that I can work with deadlines. I’m a procrastinator at heart so I’m always proud of myself when I get something done within the stated timeline.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For a YA I’m working on, I imagine Elle Fanning as the lead. For Scales, I’d love to see Jessica Biel. She was amazing in her recent tv show and I need someone who is willing to strip their look down to the bare bones to play Jane.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just to sit your butt down and write. So many people come up to me at events and say how they have always wanted to do what I’m doing and I wonder what is stopping them. Make the time. The dishes can wait. The laundry can wait. Sit down and write, even if it’s just a few pages every day. It will amount to something over time. I love the saying “Time will pass anyway, why not start now?”
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
For anyone who has bought and enjoyed my work, THANK YOU! For those out there looking for a fresh voice, I’d ask that you give me a try. You can find a book for everyone in your family with my growing library of titles!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’ve been really into self-help books lately (probably to help with the self doubt and procrastination!) I’ve enjoyed Jen Sincero’s Badass books and right now I’m reading Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I used to love mysteries as a kid, Harriet the Spy or Encyclopedia Brown were my favorites.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m not a big crier but if I get caught up watching soldier return videos, I’m usually fighting them back. A lot of things make me laugh, it’s one of my favorite things to do. I love sitcoms and bad puns.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’d love to meet Stephen King and have him tell me he loves my stuff. Then I can die happy.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Yes! I’m pulled in so many directions! I love cross-stitching, using a seed bead loom, painting, mosaics with paper… I could go on and on.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love science fiction even though I could never write it! Too complicated for this girl! I like the classics too, like Aliens. I also love comedies. I love Roseanne and the Golden Girls although I’m sure that won’t be a very popular answer given the recent events with Roseanne.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Chocolate anything, purple, I listen to the new stuff. Right now I like Ariana Grande’s new song, No Tears Left to Cry
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d play with my crafts! I’d do more reading.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Watching favorite movies and eating everything I love with my kids and husband. I’d probably want a bit of private time with the hubs too assuming I’m healthy enough in those last 24 hrs to make him really miss me. J
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Stefanie with an f. Kidding, of course. Something about being a loving person.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Etsy.com (search HappyHeartStudios)