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?
Hello! My name is Mellie Miller and I am just about to turn 65. Yes, Mellie is my given name and isn’t short for anything. I inherited it from my grandmother, whose family was Irish.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born and raised in a little town just west of Toledo, Ohio. From there, I’ve lived all over the USA, from Southern California to Utah and Wyoming, Oregon to Georgia. We’ve been in Georgia for several years, so perhaps we’ve finally settled.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I went to college in Southern California, studying religion and French. I know. Weird combination. I played with the band and wind ensemble and sang in the choir. This is where I met my one and only, Steve. He’s a California boy and we’ve been together for almost 43 years. We have two daughters and five grandsons, so it can get rowdy during family gatherings. As far as pets, we have two kitties indoors–Miss Kitty and The Monster. Outside we have 4 others of the feline variety. As far as dogs, we have Bear and Boris. Bear is chocolate lab and Great Pyrenees, Boris is greyhound and great Dane. We have no problem with burglars…
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Earlier this year, I published Master of the Fleet, (written under the pen name Sultonna Nadine,) which is set in an alternate time-line of North America, when the French had a much greater influence on the country. The continent is divided into kingdoms instead of states, and elemental magic is a way of live. Our male protagonist has inherited the family’s merchant fleet and as Master of the fleet, he controls wind and water, keeping his ships safe on the high seas.
I should have another book out in my Gambler’s Folly series later this year, which will be The Russian. He’s a wolf shifter, over 500 years old, who has been alone since his soul mate died nearly 200 years ago. But it looks like the universe is giving him a second chance at happiness.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I learned to love writing in high school, when our freshman year English teacher took the first semester of class and made it a creative writing class. I didn’t consider trying to publish anything until a few years ago when one of my friends read a first draft (I know. Right?) and suggested I submit it.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess it would be when my first book was accepted for publication. Up until then, I didn’t have the confidence to claim the title.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was listening to some old folk tunes by the Kingston Trio. One of my favorites is called South Coast, and it tells the story of a man who won his wife in a card game. Somewhere in my mind, I wondered how that could be possible in this day and age, and my mind went into overtime to figure it out. Later that night, I dreamed one of the key scenes near the beginning of the book.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Since Karianna’s husband lost her to another man on one turn of the cards, I decided on Gambler’s Folly. It seemed apt. Gambler’s Folly became the name of the world they’d visited, where she stayed after being lost on a bet.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I generally have to figure out what happened to bring me to the place I am in my dreams. Yes, most of my books begin with dreams. Once I find a starting point, it’s mostly like stream of consciousness. The problem is in over writing. I have to do a lot of editing to cut it down to size.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I write Paranormal Fantasy Romance, so most of it isn’t really based on anything in reality. The first book especially has no bearing on reality as we know it. My male protagonist is a black leopard shifter and works for a division of Interpol which is mainly shifters. In some of the others, I draw from personalities I’ve known. Not whole personalities, but personality quirks which stood out.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I’ve traveled enough for non-book reasons to have a broad base to draw from. Since I write fiction, I don’t need to travel to research.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
For Gambler’s Folly, the publishing company did the cover. For the first two books in the Esperance series, a friend of mine who is an artist designed the covers. For the third book in that series, the stand alone, and the second book in the Gambler’s Folly series, our daughter designed to covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The women in my stores all seem to come from a troubled background of one sort or the other. But they were able to persevere and have it all come right in the end. I want my readers to know that no matter where you come from, no matter what this life throws at you, you are strong enough to see it through. And with a little luck, the universe will smile on you.
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 really enjoy Angel Nicholas’ books. She has three books out now–romantic intrigue. One of my favorite authors is Vonnie Davis. I love the way she blends humor and drama together with a lovely story line. Her books just draw me in.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I met a lady at a conference who asked if she could read what I’d written, before I’d published anything. She eventually convinced me to hand it over, and once she’d read the book, she insisted I publish it. Even suggested a couple publishing houses for me to try. As she wouldn’t let it go, I eventually submitted the book and it is now published.
Bavarlee Bernstein also helped draw interest to Gambler’s Folly by featuring it in his Facebook program, Let Me Tell Your Story.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I am hoping to make it a career. It’s is something I love, and something I won’t stop doing, career or not.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m sure, if I looked, I could find something to touch up, tighten up, or just chuck out altogether, but I’m happy wit it the way it is.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned how to put the little accent marks over letters in Word. Since my characters speak French as well as English, some of their endearments are in French, and I can’t stand looking at the words without the accent marks.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
If we’re talking Gambler’s Folly, it would have to be Adrian Paul. For Master of the Fleet? Perhaps Sean Bean at around 40.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write. It doesn’t matter what you write, but write every day. And don’t worry about the first draft. There is plenty of time to get that mess sorted.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Please leave reviews. Once you’ve finished a book, go over and leave a review, positive or negative, as long as you’re honest.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished Sanctuary by Teresa Gabelman.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It was one of the Rin Tin Tin books when I was about four years old. I loved that book, and I’m sure my mother was cursing the day she bought it as often as I read it and pretended to be one of the characters.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The cats’ antics make me laugh. Unintentional puns make me laugh. I’m a sucker for visual humor. I laugh at a lot of things. If I couldn’t laugh at life, I would have to kill myself. What makes me cry? Man’s inhumanity to man. The way people treat those they claim to love. Abuse of all kinds. One of my fathers main rules was to treat other living creatures the way I would like to be treated. Human or not, if it hurts me, it will hurt them.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’m not sure I can pick just one. There are so many interesting people, both past and present, the choice is impossible.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I have several. I play many different instruments, I paint in oils when I have the time and inclination. I both knit and crochet. And I’m a second degree martial artist, trained in Tang Soo Do. Aside from those, I love to walk out in nature. Since we live in the country surrounded by woodland, I don’t have to go far to enjoy it.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like things like murder mysteries and forensic type things. I love Midsommer Murders, Silent Witness, and I loved Wire in the Blood. For movies, I like comedies and romantic comedies. One of my favorites is Jut Desserts.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Food is a favorite. Oh! You mean specifically. Home made bread–another hobby. Roast duck with sauerkraut and caraway stuffing. Home made spaghetti and pizza.
My favorite color is black. I know. But I’ve loved the color since I was very young. Besides black, I love blue and green.
As far as music, my tastes are very broad. I love folk music, but I also love pop, some rock and metal, and have been known to listen to opera when nobody else is home. I also compose little songs occasionally.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I suppose I would work more on my art and music. There is only so much time and there are so many things I like to do that sometimes art and music get left behind.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Throwing a party with the family. Laughing at all the antics and enjoying the energy they put into living.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She lived life to the full.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Or you can catch me on Facebook.
You can find my books at most online book sellers.
Amazon author page