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 so much for having me here. I’m Veronica Blake and I’m 64 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I have lived my entire life in a beautiful little resort town in the Colorado high country.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m the proud mother of three grown children and four beautiful grandchildren. We love to have big family get togethers, ride dirt bikes, camp, hike, and do just about anything that involves being outdoors. I’m also a caregiver for my 93 year old mom, and work a full time job for the government, in addition to writing.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
It’s not really news, but I’ve been asked frequently when my next book will be coming out, so I’d just like to let everyone know that although I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with caring for my mom lately, I am working on two new books whenever I have any spare time. One is the second book in my Blood Clan Series and the other one is the first in a series about reincarnation.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing stories about all the animals in my life as soon as I learned how to write. I didn’t want to forget about any of my cats, dogs, horses, or the numerous wild animals and birds I was always rescuing and bringing home, so I immortalized them in stories. In the fifth grade I wrote a story about my favorite cat for English class. My teacher gave me an A+ and told my mom I was going to be a writer when I grew up.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Even though it wasn’t until my twenties when I actually started writing novels, I think I’ve always considered myself a writer, because of those stories I wrote when I was little.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My amazing dad. He was an old rodeo cowboy, and he was always telling me stories about cowboys, Indians and outlaws in the Old West. I fantasized about living in those olden times, and knew I had to write my own stories of romance and adventure in the Old West.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title of my latest book went through several changes. For most of the time while I was writing the manuscript I called it Savage Bite. I kept trying to come up with something more fitting, but nothing seemed right. After the book was finished and I was ready to start submitting to publishers the perfect title just popped into my head. The book is about vampires and the legend of the Lost Dutchman’s Goldmine in the Superstition Mountains. What better name than just Superstition?
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My first eleven books were historical romances. I had read westerns since my childhood and knew a lot about the history of the Old West, so I felt familiar with the language, customs and writing style of books about that particular time period. But, when I decided to switch genres with my last book, I had a really hard time. Superstition is a contemporary paranormal, so I had to find an entirely different voice and style for this book. I rewrote it numerous times and it took me nearly five years to finish it.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Ha! I wish my own life was even half as exciting as the lives of my book heroes and heroines. My stories come solely from my fantasies and my eternally romantic soul. All of my books, however, do have some sort of true historical event or legend as the background story.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I’ve been fortunate to travel to some of the locations in several of my books while I was actually writing them, but most of my research comes from the Internet or from stories I’ve heard throughout the years.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
All twelve of my books are traditionally published, so the covers were designed by artists at the publishing houses. I do, however, know the name of the artist who designed my latest cover for Superstition. Her name is Debbie Taylor and I think she did an amazing job!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I’ve always considered myself to be a hopeless romantic, and I will always believe in soul mates and happy endings. I’d like to think in some small way my books inspire people to believe in a love that is worth the struggle and will last forever.
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 have many favorite authors, new and older, but Rosemary Rogers is at the top of the list. In 1974 I read a book she had written entitled, Sweet Savage Love. It was the first novel I had ever read with explicit love scenes. The hero and heroine were both so strong and their love was so fiery and passionate. I couldn’t get enough of that book. I was working on my first manuscript at the time. It was a western, but after reading Rosemary Rogers, it quickly became a western romance with explicate love scenes. I was honored and humbled to be seated next to her at a book signing many years ago in Oakland, CA. We had our picture taken together and it appeared in the Affaire De Coeur magazine. That experience has been one of the highlights of my career.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Friends. I have so many awesome friends who have supported me since the beginning. They are always there to cheer me on whenever I’m feeling discouraged about my writing.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. It’s always been my ultimate goal to be a full time writer, and hopefully, when I retire from my office job in a couple of years I’ll finally be able to accomplish that goal.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I was really pleased with how it finally came together after all the rewrites and frustration of trying to find my contemporary voice.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes. Changing genres is hard, or at least, it was for me. But, I’m so grateful I was finally able to overcome the challenges of switching genres so I could fulfil my dream of writing a novel about vampires.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Blake Lively would be perfect for my heroine, Dawn. There’s a Native American actor, Martin Sensmeier, who would make a great, Mateo.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
If you’re ready to give up, but can’t stop thinking about the book you want to write, then whatever you do, don’t give up. It will haunt you forever until you get it written. Writing is not easy for most of us and it takes true dedication to isolate yourself from the real world and create your own make believe world on the pages of your book. Also, writing is not for the faint of heart. Rejection and critics can be cruel, but the feeling of accomplishment, a good review, a little praise, and actually seeing your finished book makes it all worthwhile.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Most of all, thank you for being my readers. I hope that when you read one of my books you find a welcome escape from everyday life. It’s my greatest wish that the words I write can evoke feeling of happiness, love, passion, anticipation…every emotion possible during the time you are reading my book. If what I write can somehow touch your life in a small way, then I’ve achieved my goal as a writer.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’ve just finished reading The Driven Series by K. Bromberg and I loved it. I hear it’s going to be a mini-series. Yay!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Yes, very vividly. It was actually a Walt Disney comic book, entitled,. Lobo It was about a renegade wolf that was hunted and captured. It touched me so deeply I read it over and over again. I still have that comic. It’s a treasured memento.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
It doesn’t take much to make me do either. I cry easily over sad or romantic movies or anything to do with the abuse of seniors, children or animals. If I’m happy, I’ll cry happy tears. And I giggle entirely too much for someone my age.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
My material grandfather, Phillip Gonzales. He was killed in a mining accident when my mom was only fourteen years old, so I never had the privilege of knowing him.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love to camp and hike in remote areas and ride my ATV on the forested trails in the mountains where I live. Cake decorating and trying new recipes, taking pictures, watching/going to movies, and reading are just a few of the things I enjoy doing in my spare time.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a big fan of horror movies, especially if they’re about vampires. The Originals, Walking Dead, Fear The Walking Dead, Preacher and The Property Brothers are just a few of my favorite TV shows at this time.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
When it comes to food I have simple tastes like hamburgers, fries, pizza or steak. But, don’t forget chocolate and Moscato wine. I love all shades of pink. As for music, well, my music tastes are pretty diverse ranging from old county to heavy metal. Music is such an important part of my writing process and my life. I think this blog post I wrote a few years ago sums it up.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d hate to imagine that, but I guess I’d just be fantasizing about great love stories and wishing I could write about them. As it is, I’ll never live long enough to write about all the stories I have lurking around in my brain.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Hugging my grandchildren and children and telling them how much I love them and how proud I am of all of them.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
A romantic heart and a seeker of endless adventure.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have a blog, but I don’t post there I much as I should. I’m most active on my Facebook page. My oldest grandson told me Facebook is for old people now, so I guess that’s why.