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?
Florencia LaChance, aged 50 August 11, 1967 Leo!
Fiona: Where are you from?
Maine. I lived in Waterville/Winslow until age 13, then my Mother gave me up to the state and I was a foster-kid age 13 to 16 when I emancipated myself. I lived all over: Madison, Skowhegan, Gray, Auburn, Bath, Hinckley, Bangor…endless places
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I graduated from high school at age 17 and had an academic scholarship to Boston College. I became pregnant at the beginning of my sophomore year, which changed my life completely. I have a son named Joshua LaChance age 31, Morehouse alum and talented Songwriter/Rapper (@Whoislogic on SoundCloud and Instagram and he gave me the motivation to continue my education, be a successful Free-Lance Journalist, and go to Grad. School. I specialized in HR and Community Economic Development and eventually started my own business. I came from nothing, had no money, but by age 30, with a Plan, I had my real estate license which enabled me to save money, sacrifice and buy my first condo. I sent my son to all private schools and when he was 15, I bought a house in Snellville, GA
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just republished my Top-Selling YA GenX Memoir that was also a Top-Seller last year, but I was hacked–my Author’s Account on Amazon was hacked by a hater, so I am so happy that I had the courage to republish and it is again a YA Top-Seller in Ethnic Biographies.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was an avid reader before I started writing at age 8 when I was given my first Diary. It had a lock. As a kid I consumed books. I had an aunt that ensured I read all the classics, another Aunt who introduced me to Anne Rice, a best friend who shared with me C.S. Lewis: Chronicles of Narnia, I subscribed to book clubs as a kid and remember reading Judy Bloom, Madeline L’Engle and attempted my first story at age 10. Je taime books!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
My entire life. Getting published at age 20 and freelancing for papers such as The Bay State Banner, South End News, etc., –becoming a much-sought after grant-writer in the Boston community cemented my profession. By age 25, I had written a Novella, a screenplay, a short-story collection, a biography of my Uncle Malcolm “Shorty” Jarvis (late best friend of Malcolm X) and was publishing Social Commentary on topics such as Race, Class, Poverty, Women’s Issues and it was then that I started receiving mail, responses to my articles.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was bubbling up inside me and I just had to get it out. Once my son was born, I started putting aside an hour a day to write. I would just free-style, at the time I wrote my first Novella, I was also writing poetry and prose and my friends encouraged me to read my work at Open Mic and Poetry Jams. Being bipolar it is hard to stay regimented but if u channel the mania it can be amazing. My first book was written in a mania that had me up 2 days straight = 150 words. I type 70wpm and when i am on a roll I don’t stop till it’s all out. I often dream, wake, write. Now editing is another matter, lol. Necessary. I couldn’t live without my Beta Readers.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Ok, clarification, my book “Mulatto: Daughter of America” that I am promoting, is my 8th book. I picked the title because my birth certificate states I am white (white mother (true) white father (false). I was lied to my entire childhood and told I was every ethnicity under the sun (Indian, Italian, Spanish) because my mom was ashamed to have been with a Black man. Truth was my Dad was Black and it was not until my son was born, that the nurse or doctor wrote the word “Mulatto” under my race. I looked up the word, at age 19, not knowing what it meant, and discovered it was a derogatory name stemming from slavery. A “mulatto” or “mulatta” was the name of offspring from the slave master and slave. Now it is used to signify someone with a black and white parent but I find it as derogatory as how the word “Negro’ was coined from the racist ‘Nigger’ and the use of the last word is a constant debate by my Millennial son and me, who still remembers how oppressive and cruel that word was used against me as a child.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I am a multi-genre author. When I write, I try to be authentic to the characters I portray. In essays, I had my own voice after 1-2 years of writing. I was very influenced by Jack Kerouac’s freestyle prose, and it shows in my first Novella. It took me over 10 years to finish by just published Memoir. It’s much easier for me to write poetry, prose, articles, fiction/fantasy. At first the Memoir was more graphic, and I think I had a lot of anger. I would become overwhelmed writing about things I had tried to block out for so many years. So, I would put the book aside and come back to it. Last year, I decided I really wanted my book to inspire people 14+ and so I took out a lot of graphic details to make it teen friendly.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The book is my childhood – 20’s life story, all true.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I need to be in a creative environment typically, but I finished this book after going thru a year of hell and poverty and wrote it under challenging circumstances. This book freed my soul.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I found a great cover designer who is amazing and affordable. I gave her a pic and idea and she took it and created an awesome front and back cover. She also did the cover for my upcoming book ‘A Different Story’ and gave me a choice of 3 diff covers. When I was hacked I lost her phone number, but her name is Jessica Richardson. She is on Twitter and FB.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. That you can transcend your past, your negative experiences and your environment. I am proof that you can have dreams and actualize them by hard work, perserverance and faith. I talk about the importance of self-esteem and how to build up something you are stripped of. I show teens my bad decisions and my good decisions and let them learn from that.
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?
My three fav authors are Steven King, JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
Closely following them are Anais Nin, James Baldwin, Lewis Carroll
Some of my favorite indie authors are: Fiona Zedde (steamy romance); Robin Chambers (ya fantasy), Nico J Genes (romance), Alex Davies (MH Writer/Blogger), Andy Behrman (bipolar Dad/writer), Mistral Dawn (Dystopian); Ken Fry (Thriller) K.J. Simmill (Darrien Series). I am a long-time fan of Sistah Souljah, have met Terri McMillan as a young author and read all her books. I recommend a great new young talent, author of ‘Broken Crayons Still Color’ a story so moving it made me cry.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I have to give a shout-out to all my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Peeps who supported me during the first publication last Aug, through my being hacked off 5 Twitter accounts, a hacked Facebook account, and came back encouraging me with each new account. Twitter is a great environment for writers and encouragement.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I have made a living off of my writing since age 20. I do journalism, grant-writing, technical documentation writing, ghost-writing, you name it…check out my resume on linkedin/in/florencialachance2008
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes, I would not have cut so much out. I edited it from 350 pages to 200.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes. That if I can self-publish, any young writer out there can self-publish. All it takes is faith in yourself and self-discipline. There are literally tons of books (FREE on KU) that walk you through the process. I learned a lot about SEO Optimization and how to market a book effectively. There are so many forums on Facebook to cross promote your work and interact with more experienced Authors
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Lol. I am writing a screen-play, how did you know? Who would I like to play me in her teens-early 20’s? Zoe Kravitz is a great actress. I like her work and we have the same skin tone. She has my build when I was a teen. I love her in HBO series
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Yes. Read constantly and if u r serious about your craft MAKE the time to write daily.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I keep lists of great authors according to Genre on Twitter @AuthorCial and I want you all to know that I am a MH Advocate/Artist and writer who struggles with Bipolar Disorder and we all need to work on stopping MH Stigma. The reality is 1-4 people will suffer with Mental Illness (depression, anxiety) by age 25. I was not diagnosed until age 35.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
OMG, I read like 10 at a time. Ok, what is on my Kindle? ‘Indefensible’by Thomas Banks; ‘Bodacious Creed’ by Jonathan Fesmire; ‘White Rose Black Forest’ by Eoin Dempsey; The War Against Putin by M.S. King; ‘The Millionaire’s Wife’ by Shaline Boland; ‘The Lost Witch’ by Chandelle LaVaun; ‘Sister Carrie’ by Theodore Dreiser; ‘Facebook Marketing’ by Susan Hollister; ‘CreateSpace and Kindle: Self-Publishing Master Class’ by Rick Smith; ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows’ by J.K. Rowling
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
As a child I remember the Cat in the Hat.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Right now, my adorable granddaughter Journey age 16 months.
That we have a complete racist moron in the white house makes me want to cry. Every day its more trauma to the American people and the entire world now hates us. My heart aches for non-citizens who lived and served their entire lives being deported, having families ripped apart because of our President’s idiocy and racism.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Oprah. One word “amazing” She inspired me while I was pregnant, I saw her out there killing it in film, tv, and she loved books. I read ALL her recommended books and it gave ME the strength and determination to make it. I would like to thank her.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I enjoy oil painting, yoga, hiking, swimming, travel, fine dining and volunteer work
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I am not a big TV person but I fell in love with ‘Killing Eve’ and ‘Orphan Black’ on BBC. I love John Oliver and Bill Maher on HBO and ‘The Affair’ on Showtime. Diehard ‘True Blood’ fan. I love horror movies and classics like “Wuthering Heights’
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Sushi/Vegan. Turquoise Blue, all musical genres. I grew up on Classic Rock and Country in Maine. I hit Boston in 1985 when hip hop blew up. I like clean, inspirational Rap, New Wave, Grunge, R&B, Classical (Debussy), Jazz & Raggae/World Beat (Yousou N’Dor – The Lion a current fav) and House Music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would start a Women’s Indie Bookstore because I have to be around my best friends.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my son, granddaughter and family. I would write something to leave behind. I would read parts of my favorite books again. I would pray. I would watch “Fellowship of the Ring’
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I want to be cremated. No gravesite. I guess if it did, ‘Here lies Florencia LaChance, beloved Mother, Sister, Grandmother.’ I don’t know! I feel very young at 50!
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I am going to start a newAuthor Page on Facebook and it will be fb.me/authorflorenciab.lachance (give me a week). I have an Author’s Page/Bio under my book at https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B07F3TBLYH/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1532164830&sr=1-2-ent&redirectedFromKindleDbs=true
and florenciab.lachanceauthor on Facebook