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?
Hiya, I’m Mia Epsilon and I’m well over 21. I write a contemporary romance series called ‘Wedding by C & C’.
Fiona: Where are you from?
North Carolina, USA in the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia. It truly is ‘God’s Country’ here, with a different view every time you turn a curve in the road.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
I achieved the first my family university degree in 2011 (Bachelor’s in Education, concentration Early Childhood Development and Special Needs). I enrolled in coursesat the age of fifteenas part of a nursing degree. I married, became pregnant, developed toxemia, ended up on bedrest, and missed nursing exams when my daughter arrived. I had all intent to return, but her brother came along sixteen months later.
I never gave up the dream. My husband died. My children grew. As they entered high school, I started back university. Twelve yearslater, I walked the stage degree in hand. I still believe one of the greatest lessons I taught by example is dreams are obtainable. Nothing can stand in your way if you’re determined and work hard enough, even if it takes years.
My daughter is now mom to my only grandchild, a girl (my daughter is the only female with 36 boy cousins; she birthed the only girl, so far, with 14 boy cousins). She’s in her second year of…drum roll…nursing school.
My oldest son is married and has achieved the first in our family Master’s Degree (in Business). He’s my Dad’s twin in all ways, from appearance to manner. Their baby photos are identical except Dad’s are B/W and my son’s are color.
My youngest son has another year toward a degree in technical engineering. He’s currently experiencing his first serious broken heart, and is smart enough to realize where he went wrong and hopefully learn from it.
My example paid off in spades.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I just released Book 4, ‘Take on Me’, in ‘Weddings by C & C’. It’s near and dear to me, delayed way too long.
Book 5, ‘Let Me Know’, will be a longer wait. I wrote it four years ago. A huge eruptionduring a tropical storm is a major plot point for the characters. Mount Kilauea actually did erupt and spew lava right before release! I didn’t think it compassionate to publish. When ‘Let Me Know’does hit Amazon, half the proceeds will be donated to the HA volcano relief fund.
Since I let way too long pass between releases, I plan to re-release an extended short novella expanded and enhanced) ‘Leave Your Hat On’, part of my brand new ‘Modern Fairy Tales’ series. It should be out before October 2018. Get ready for a wild Mad Hatter stripper and a seemingly shy, timid Alice who shows him what Wonderland is all about!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I can’t recall a time I didn’t write. I penned my first ‘book’ at the age of five, a stapled and badly spelled pile of notebook paper. My Granddaddy and Dad were gifted story weavers: they held an audience’s attention for hours, telling tales of ancient Ireland. I wanted that ability, that gift. Mine is written instead of verbal.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In the third grade, (age eight) I wrote an essay about water conservation. It won a National award, with a judge commenting, “The finest author of her age I’ve ever read”. More than that, my Dad read the essay before his morning coffee. And smiled. THAT was when I knew.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I dreamed the characters and plot line of ‘Wedding Belle Blues’ several nights in a row, then wrote it in two weeks. After editing and more editing, the original bones of the story are there, but changed for the better.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
There’s a song…”Come on and marry me, Billlllll…I’ve got the weddin’ bell blues! Please marry me Billlllll….” (Be very glad you can’t hear me singing that, lol). I thought, “Okay, a domineering mother-in-law who is the textbook example of a steel southern belle… a wedding…and a heroine who loves Jazz”. The title fits. Perfect.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Not sure about a ‘style’. I tend to ramble (guess you’ve figured that out) so my first drafts always have lots of unnecessary words which get edited. I ‘see’ the story in my mind like a movie running…sometimes it skips around. I write what I seeand pray I’m painting a picture with words.
I feel my biggest challenge, and probably that of other writers, is trying to convince readers to try that first story and become a fan. There’s alwayscompetition, but we also have to fight for very limited time against I pads, I pods, 500 cable channels, Netflix, Prime, Hulu and tons of books flooding the market. I think readers get jaded (I do) when they download a book with a great blurb and realize it’s not an engrossing story, or the writing isn’t polished. Thechallenge is to prove I write great stories that won’t waste your time if you just give me a chance.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I plead the fifth on the grounds…naw, I’ll admit. There’s a bit of me in every heroine I write. And people around me.
Christine, in Book 1, (‘Take a Chance on Me’) is very much me, both in age and her life. The near-death plane crash she survives happened to me years ago on a return flight from Australia.
I’m a teacher like Anna, (‘Wedding Belle Blues’), am addicted to Doctor Who, chocolate and coffee. My former m-i-l was very… controlling.
I had a stalker like Emily in Book 3 (‘If You Want Me’) and had to discover who he was, and why he wanted to hurt me.
I fangirl over Tom just like Kirsten in Book 4 (‘Take on Me’). I mean, seriously. Who can’t adore Tom H.’s Loki, that naughty bad boy who is so very broken and really just wants his brother’s approval?
Like Aly in Book 5, (‘Let Me Know’), I long to see the world but am a family first person at heart. I overlooked for years the Man who became my soul mate.
Monica in Book 6 (‘When You Believe’) is based on a friend who challengedme to raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Through pledges for every word I wrote in a single weekend, I wrote almost 20K words and raised $500.Monica owns a Coffee Shop, one of my dream jobs.
I write under a pen name and fight family expectations like Amelia in Book 7 (‘The Write One’). Not British, but US Southern Mama presumptions, much stricter than anything the royals could demand.
In Book 8 (‘Stuck on You’), I introduce a character with breast cancer. She’s based on 1) the parent of a student who battles double breast cancer, MS and diabetes; 2) a close friend who’s independent, brilliant and a fellow cancer survivor; 3) and my very good friend who completed her last round of chemo and is, God willing, now cancer free. They are my real-life heroines.
Abbeville, the fictional town where some of the series is held, is a combo of my hometown as a child and my mountain town now. Hilo, HA is where a sweetcollege friend settled before her death a few years ago. She filled me full of Pele, the Goddess of Fire, tales until I had to write a book about her.The Ranch with all the cowboy brothers belongs to another family friend who shoots me fun facts like cows can lick their eyes.
I ‘write what I know’. And I research like heck for the rest!
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Le sigh, oh to travel for writing! Someday. I travel by proxy, relying heavily on friends’ descriptions, help, and endless patience to all my questions. I do base my stories on places I have travelled before, or would like to go soon.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
When I published with Breathless Press, Victoria Miller designed my covers. For ‘Wedding Belle Blues’, I asked for “a blue close to Tardis Blue” and she moved heaven and earth to find it for me. ‘When You Believe’ is her rendition of my mountain Main Street and Monica’s Coffee Shop.
Samantha Holt/Love Books now designs my covers and takes my breath with each one. She just completed ‘Leave Your Hat On’ and I can’t wait to share it!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I hope my heroines convey strength, independence, and that you don’t ‘need’ someone to ‘complete you’ as much as to enhance what you already possess. My heroines aren’t waiting to be rescued. Christine defeats a death attempt and nabs a murderer. Emily arrests her stalker alone. Aly saves herself and Harry from the lava flow. They are like angel food cake: great on their own, but enhanced by the icing of the hero.
I believe strongly in the power of family. Not all families are blood. The strongest are created by our hearts. Abbeville, for all its crazy folks, is a family. The Weddings by C & C crew is a family. Several characters realize just how much family means, and all the different ways we belong and are supported by the people who drive us the craziest.
I’m blessed to have such a family in my life. I cherish each and every member. Most of the time.
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?
New to me authors include Devika Fernando, who writes international romance; Collen Hooper, who pens very gritty young adult and DF Krieger, who writes same sex romance (which isn’t my cup of tea…but her stories literally yank readers inside). Their characters leap off the page and could be your sister, best friend, you.
My fav authors…too many to choose! I read every genre (except political). If an author can draw me inside the story in chapter one, I’ll stick with them. All of these do. I adore Charlotte and Emily Bronte, Stephen King, Samantha Holt, Nora Roberts, Julie Morgan, JD Robb, Edgar Allen Poe, Arthur Doyle, Torie James, Decadent Kane, Mary Higgins Clark, Leona Bushman, Janet Evanovich, Rebekah Lewis, Clive Cussler, Brantwijin Serrah, Louis L’amour, Sheri Velarde, Jo March, Tilly Greene, and JK Rowling. That’s just off the top of my head!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
It’s a tie.
My seventh grade English teacher helped me through a very difficult time (Granddaddy died, I was assaulted by a church member, and I was being bullied in school) by encouraging me to write every day. I still express myself better in written form than verbal. She also encouraged me to be a writer (I became a teacher first, which is sort of close).
I’m a cancer survivor. A group of very close friends have become family, and my ‘Gold Team’. They held me up when it hurt to blink. They made me get out of bed and write, gave me reasons to endure and continue the fight. They read what I write and tell me straight off when it stinks.
All of these folks saw the spark in me when even I didn’t. Writing to me is like air to every human. It’s not a want. It’s a necessary need.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Oh heck YES! In my current ‘day job’, I’m a teacher. It’s a calling and love, plus it pays the bills. But first and foremost, after Mom-hood, writing is my career and who I am.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
‘Take on Me’ is about the ultimate fangirl fantasy: Her mega star crush wants her, just her. I tried hard to show ‘the glamous life’ isn’t always glam: the pictures and stories we hunger for with our fav stars is a true evasion of their private lives. Not sure I stressed that enough or in a way which shows he may be the sexiest man alive, but he’s still a man, and deserves his privacy.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I adore Princess Diana and the British Royal Family. I cried for days when she died. But I never really understood how media hounded her for the stories we gobbled. When I began research for ‘Take on Me’, I realized what it must be like to be in constant spotlights, whether you agree, like it, or not. An incident at work put me in headlights; while not what mega stars experience, I felt invaded, angered, and more than a bit uncomfortable. I learned sometimes we need to curb our ‘thirst to know’ with human compassion.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
(‘Take on Me’) Tom Hiddleston IS Tom. I’d be Kirsten…actually, le sigh, Emma Stone would be an amazing Kirsten.
(‘Take a Chance on Me’) Meryl Streep would be an epic Christine. Colin Firth is Charlie. (‘Wedding Belle Blues’) Blake Lively would be Anna and her hubby Ryan is Robin.
(‘If You Want Me’) Ben Cumberbatch is Adam. Amanda Seyfried is Emily.
(‘Let Me Know’) Lily James is Aly and Chris Evans is Harry.
(‘When You Believe’) Jennifer Lawrence is Monica and Daniel Radcliff is Daniel.
(‘The Write One’) Keira Knightly is Amelia and Ryan Gosling is John.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write every day, even if it’s just a word or a grocery list. Always know words are fluid and can be changed. There will always be revisions. No story is ever finished.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope you’ll venture into the worlds I create and give me your feedback. I love comments, debates, and suggestions (I really do!). I want to know if I painted the picture with words, or made a mess.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading three. ‘The Who’s Who of Doctor Who’, with all the definite characters from all the seasons and shows.
‘Year One’ by Nora Roberts, which made me grab ‘The Stand’ again by Stephen King.
‘You’re the Rouge that I Want’ by Samantha Holt because I need a bit of lightness and sure true love.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
‘Cinderella’ by Grimm Brothers. I was in first grade. My teacher told me if I could read the book I could have it. I loved the story and this particular book was hand painted, absolutely gorgeous. I read it and she gifted it to me.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m a sappy thing who cried like a baby in Mamma Mia 2 (NO spoilers!). I cried when Doctor 11 dropped his bow tie on the Tardis floor then regenerated. I cry when I see senseless violence and crimes against children. I cried when Fred died in Harry Potter. I cry when I’m angry, which makes me madder, so I cry harder.
I laugh when I’m nervous and especially at the silliest things. I have a wild sense of humor and love screwball comedy like Space Balls, Who’s Line is It? and Robin Williams. Face Book memes like, “I keep trying to make protein shakes and they end up margaritas.”
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
To meet again…Granddaddy and my Dad. I miss them both every day.
To meet…tough, because there’s many on Face Book or social media I’d love to actually sit down, have coffee, and talk until the cows come home. I’d love to speak with Anne Boleyn, Princess Diana, Anne Frank, Prince William and his wife Catherine, Prince Harry. Queen E 1 and 2, because she was/is walking history. QE1 as the first strong Queen and QE2 because…wow, the things she’s lived through! WW2, and NO technology to everything electronic. She must have such memories!
And all 13 Doctors.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Reading. Reading. And did I mention reading?
Does Fangirling Marvel Superheroes, Doctor Who and Sherlock count?
I can cross stitch but haven’t in months. I’m not at all crafty. I kill plants right and left. I can cook but prefer to bake.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Guess Doctor Who doesn’t need to be said again. Sherlock. The Handmaid’s Tale (omg it’s dark, and all too real). Broadchurch. Downton Abbey. Kids Baking. Ghost Adventures. The Great British Bake Off. DIY shows like Flip this House. Storage Wars. Yellowstone.
Doctor Strange, The Avengers, Thor, Thor 2, and esp. Thor 3. (Because Loki).All Rom-Coms. Dunkirk. The Darkest Hour. Independence Day. The Quiet Man. Harry Potter. The Lord of the Rings. The Green Mile. Apollo 13.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I’m addicted to food. It’s a life long battle. I’ve learned to eat much better and I feel better. Grass fed and raised beef…you will never, ever go back. Bacon. Coffee. Chocolate. Tomatoes. Boiled eggs. Spinach. Lots of veggies. Ice Cream.
My favorite color is Tardis Blue. There’s few colors I don’t like, just some more than others.
Music…I’m a Jazz and Blues gal. But I listen to almost anything (can’t do heavy, heavy metal or rap).
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
For me, there is no future where I don’t write.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With family and friends, drenched in coffee, chocolate and ice cream, watching Doctor Who and sharing memories.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She wrote…She read…She lived
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Blog: https://miaepsilon.blogspot.com/ :Authors, Books & Chocolate: The True ABCs
Find my books: www.Amazon.com/MiaEpsilon
Blog Website: https://miaepsilon.blogspot.com/
Find my books: www.Amazon.com/MiaEpsilon
Wedding Belle Blues is currently FREE on Amazon and Smashwords 😊
Amazon Author link: https://www.amazon.com/Mia-Epsilon/e/B00DQ61FRM/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Take a Chance on Me:
Wedding Belle Blues:
If You Want Me:
Take on Me: