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 Michelle Ann Hollstein and do I have to admit my age? 😉 It’s 43.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live in Oceanside, California.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a single mom with two wonderful children and two spoiled cats. I work from home as a Safety Analyst for an online company. For fun, I love to write books. To me writing a book is just as much fun as reading one. I have a BA Degree in Art Studio with a concentration in painting. I love tapping into my creative side.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m currently having my books made into audiobooks. I’m so excited! I love hearing the different narrators bring my stories to life. So much fun!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was working as an administrative assistant for a company in the desert and was bored out of my mind. I couldn’t just open a book at my desk and read when work was slow, so I decided to write one instead.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably after I’d written my 6th or 7th book. I was addicted and couldn’t stop.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had gone on a date with an eccentric musician when I lived in the desert. He believed a certain planet was going to be coming into our solar system and colliding with the Earth. Well, I was telling one of my co-workers that worked in our accounting department about my date. He laughed and said, “That would make a good book.” I remember looking at him and saying, “I think you’re right! I’m going to start writing it right now.” And, I did.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I’ve lost count on how many books and stories I’ve written, but sometimes the titles come to me before I even begin to write the story.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’ve written in several different genres; fantasy, cozy mysteries, paranormal mysteries, sci-fi horror, and also beginning painting books. I don’t know if I’d consider my writing as having any certain type of style. In every genre, I just go with the flow and have fun.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I write fiction in several genres, but there are always experiences, people, and places in my books that are based on real life. I like to use places I’ve been and know really well. Before moving to Oceanside, I lived in the Palm Springs for 11 years. Since I’d spent so much time in the Southern California desert, I love using the area in my Aggie Underhill Mystery series.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
A couple of my books were inspired by places I’ve been such as One Hell of a Cruise, An Aggie Underhill Mystery, I wrote right after I took a Mexican Riviera cruise. Both Vegas or Bust, An Aggie Underhill Mystery, and Beautiful Beginnings, A Vienna Rossi Paranormal Mystery, were written right after I returned home from attending the Marine Corps Ball in Las Vegas. In fact, I have a scene in both of those books where my characters from both series cross-over and meet.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The book covers for my latest books and stories I’ve been purchasing from SelfPubBookcovers.com. I love their covers!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My main goal is to provide a fun escape from reality for my readers.
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 love so many authors. I don’t believe I have a favorite. J.K. Rowling had inspired me to want to write my own books. After reading Harry Potter, quite a few years back, I’d written my Niberia Trilogy (which I’m currently rewriting). Recently, I’ve been reading a lot of Janet Evanovich and MC Beaton books.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Oh my goodness, I would be in writer’s heaven if I could write full time and make it a career. That is my goal and dream! However, as a single mother, I’m balancing my work, children, and writing. But the answer is yes, I see it as a career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No. I’m very happy with my latest work.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
My most recent books, my Fatal Reaction series, are in a completely new genre for me. I’ve learned that my writing is quite versatile.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Hmmm, I still have stars in my eyes thinking of my Fatal Reaction series in film. Ha ha! Honestly, I’m not sure who I would case to play the lead.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write what you enjoy reading. Don’t worry what other people might think. Have fun!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
No, nothing specific. I just want them to know that I think they’re fantastic!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m looking at my bedside table, and at the moment, I’m actually juggling several books; two screenwriter’s books, a Doctor Who book, and a Mr. Monk book. I’m also reading and studying Real Estate. I know! That’s a lot on my bedside table.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, I don’t. I do remember that I loved reading books by Judy Bloom, Beverly Cleary, and C.S. Lewis when I was a child.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Writing and painting.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love way too many shows and movies to list. I generally gravitate to either comedy, mystery, action/adventure, or Scifi. As much as I enjoy dramas or chick flicks, I avoid them because they usually make me cry.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love pizza! Unfortunately, I can only eat gluten free, but lately, I’ve been finding some really delicious gluten-free pizzas.
I love all colors! Must be the artist in me. However, I’m partial to a brilliant, yet deep, blue.
As for music, I mostly listen to Top 40, Hip Hop and R&B, but I do enjoy most types of music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
That’s so hard for me to imagine. I’m sure I’d spend my time either painting or singing.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I’d spend every second with my children. They’re my entire world.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Good Question! I haven’t thought that far ahead. 😉
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Website – http://www.michellehollstein.com
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/michellehollstein/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/mhollstein
Amazon authors page