Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Great to meet you Fiona! 😊
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
I am Sheri-Lynn Marean, and I just turned 50. ☹ ( I really don’t feel 50… )
Fiona: Where are you from?
Well, I was born in Scarborough, Ontario Canada, and have lived in quite a few different places, but I grew up in Calgary, Alberta. I now live in British Columbia, in rolling hills/farm country, surrounded by mountains.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m the oldest of 2 children in my family, and grew up riding& working with horses, drawing and selling animal artwork, and of course reading. I moved around quite a bit after I graduated, but finally ended up back in Calgary. Then in 2008 my family and I all left the big city and moved out to B.C.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I will be releasing my 8th book on Aug 30th. It is called Casstiel; Born of Lightning, and is the 2nd book in my spin off series; Dragonkind ~ 52 Realms.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I never imagined that I’d ever be an author. In fact, I would have laughed if anyone suggested it. I rode/worked with horses, drew/painted, did photography, raised Jack Russell Terriers, owned and operated a window cleaning company… but, I’ve always loved reading, would devour books. Always had one on hand, and loved scouring used book stores, or garage sales for books. Never went anywhere without one, then I started reading digitally, and in 2008 I read a book that almost made me toss my reader out the window! After that, I decided to try my hand at writing. I have always made up stories in my head, or thought what if this happened, or that… so in reality, I guess it wasn’t that crazy an idea. Though I never thought I had much imagination, but after reading a series I really enjoyed, I realized anything can go. Yes, rocks can speak.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I started my Dracones series, and then put it away for a few years, as my kids were young and I was busy, but then I got it out again and knew that I wasn’t going to stop until I published, so I guess I that was when I really saw myself as a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
That bad book I read, plus I have always loved the TV show Supernatural, and all the paranormal/magical/fantasy stuff. So when I decided I was going to do this, Vampires and werewolves were huge, and while I love them, I also love dragons, and no one at the time that I knew of, had any dragon shifter books. I call mine shifter, but really I think of them more as immortals who can turn into dragons.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
With help from my Dad. I went through a list of words/titles, and this was it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I tend to write what I love, so darker stuff, and I like deep characters, with flaws…I also love multi POV’s and a large cast of characters, where you start with one couple, but the next book is about one of the other characters and his or her soul mate, while you still get to see what the previous characters are doing. Plus, I love when they all come together like a family, though they may not be blood. I strive to make the reader fall in love with my characters, and in some cases, I get them to hate a character, then in the next book they learn more about that character and fall in love with him or her. 😊
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well, there is a lot of unreality to it all, but they do deal with issues that can happen to any human, and a lot of readers can relate too, or sympathize with. There is the fantasy aspect like dragons, magic, werewolves, vampires, witches, curses, other realms, but also self-doubt, guilt, anger, fear, some of and my characters have to deal with abuse or neglect in their childhoods, in fact, in my first book, they have to face the monster who hurt them …
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Mihaela Voicu did most of my covers, and she is fantastic. I did the cover for my prequel novella, and may do more in the future as I just finished a great cover course.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Sometimes there is more than one message, and no I am not saying what they are, you will have to read them, lol.
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 read nearly as much anymore, just no time, but I do have my favorite authors and series, and do my best to keep up with their latest. Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books and J.R. Wards Black Dagger Brotherhood have been huge inspirations in how I write my books. They are my fav’s and so is Gena Showalter, Nalini Singh, who I guess you could call her a newer to me author, as I just discovered her books about 2 or so years ago. I also love my friend and fellow author; Donya Lynne’s AKM series, plus always love Faith Hunter’s Jane Yellowrock and Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series, along with Christine Feehan, and yes, I do love Laurell K. Hamilton, these are just a few of the ones I love. I also have to mention that my friends; J.F. Lewis’s Void City Vamp’s are the best, funniest books I have ever read, so come one Jerry, get the next one out, please!!! I need a Fang fix!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I became friends with Donya Lynne, and picked her brain about writing, publishing, etc, and she was super supportive and helpful. Then I took a 3 hr Self-Publishing course at our local college and became friends with the author who put it on; Val Comer. She has also been a huge help and support. I didn’t really tell anyone else until I was ready to publish, but I also didn’t need any other support.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
For sure. It has become my career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, not in my latest. I’d change who I had edit my first book however, but live and learn…
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I am always learning, it never stops, especially when you have a great editor.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Hm, how much time do you have? Which book?
Okay for my first book; Dracones Awakening, I’d love Jensen Ackles/Dean Winchester or Tyler Hoechlin to play Jax, though they are both a little old now. I think Poppy Drayton with long wavy back hair as Tierney. Since Jared Padeleki/Sam Winchester is also too old, then I’d say Kit Harrington with dark, shaggy blond hair as Sami. Chris Hemsworth would be Zander with dark hair. Josh Holloway with long silver/blue &blond hair as Kyrian. And Steven Amel with dark brows, dark whiskers, and shoulder length black hair as Soroyan. Dylan Sprayberry with long pale blond hair as Thaniel. (Yes, I love Supernatural, Teen Wolf, the Originals, Arrow, GOT and so many more of these wonderful fun shows. lol)
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t do it. Just do it.
Even if you hate plotting or don’t do much, I highly recommend Debra Dixon’s GMC, (Goal, Motivation, Conflict) to make your characters & structure stronger. It is easy to make up a simple chart and use it. Also, KM Weiland’s Structuring your novel is awesome, and it has a ton of extra little tips, (ie; hooking your reader)
Make sure you use hooks. In your first sentence, paragraph, and all the way through to keep your readers reading, wanting to know more.
I spent months in a group called agentqueryconnect.com, and the learning experience was invaluable. So often I see blurbs that give away too much of the story so that you don’t need to read it, or it just doesn’t hook you. Learn to do your blurb right, there are many resources out there on how.
I recommend having a handful of decent Alpha/Beta readers. I call my first readers Alpha, as it is their job to question, find flaws or gaps in the story, basically tear it apart. Telling me it is great, does not help me to make it better. I also give them a specialized questionnaire to fill out, and find that helps big time. My Beta readers and ARC readers get it later, after it’s been edited, and they are the ones who like to pick out any typos that have been missed during editing. Don’t know how to find Alpha/Beta readers? Join some author/writing groups on FB, ask other authors whose books are in the same genre as yours to help.
Build a street team, they are invaluable! Get reviews. There are tons of places on FB to find people to review, but make sure it is in your genre. The big thing with reviews, follow up. Don’t be demanding, be appreciative and considerate of their time, but do follow up, or they won’t leave a review.
Hire a good Editor! Try & get a referral to a few, talk to the authors who they have edited for and find out what they have to say. Some have just slapped the title to their name, thrown up a website, and sound like they know what they are doing. Then get a SAMPLE edit of your work, to make sure you are compatible, and be sure to sign a contract. I’d also say get an editor who does a few passes.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you for reading and loving my books! 😊
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Between pleasure reading books right now, but I do have some writing resources I am working my way through…
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, I’ve been reading since I was young, but the first book that really got me to love-love readingwas The Black Stallion by Walter Farley. I then devoured the whole series.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My smart-ass family makes me laugh, and I crywhen my computer freezes up and I lose my work.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Yes. My dream is to meet/chat with and pick Sherrilyn Kenyon’s brain, big time. I’d also love to meet JR Ward, Gena Showalter and Nalini Singh.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Horseback riding, kayaking, drawing, or nowadays playing on Photoshop, and of course reading. Oh, and are watching movies and TV shows hobbies?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love soo many, too many to name, but I will try; DC and Marvel movies and shows, Guardians of the Galaxy, DC legends, Dare Devil, Punisher, Jessica Jones, Arrow, Flash, most Fantasy/Sci-fi shows. Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Originals, Lost in Space, The Expanse, Stanger Things, Santa Clarita Diet, Sense 8, Queen of the South, the latest Star Trek Discovery, Loved Star Gate’s, Altered Carbon, the Star Wars movies, Harry Potter, Xmen, and many more…
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Love Purple, fav music is Nickelback, and I love good, homemade Spaghetti, but can no longer have it. ☹
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Ride, draw, paint, watch TV, travel if possible, most of the stuff I already do. If I couldn’t write due to being unable to type, then I’d dictate my words.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my family/kids.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Never thought of it, but maybe, She flies with Dragons?
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes. Website; http://www.sheri-lynnmarean.com
And my FB reader group where I post a lot of what is going on;
Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B01B89QHVM?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true