Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Hello, Fiona! It’s nice to meet you and your readers.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Elizabeth Black and I am ageless. 😀 I write romance as Elizabeth Black and I write dark fiction and horror as E. A. Black.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m originally from Baltimore, Maryland, home of Edgar Allan Poe. I now live innortheastern Massachusetts in a small coastal town that looks like something out of a Currier & Ives painting. Very New England. If you’re an H. P. Lovecraft fan, I live very near where Innsmouth would be if it were a real town.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a happily married woman who shares her living space with her husband, son, and cats. I have a B. A. degree in fine art, which came in handy when I did tech crew work for concerts, stage, movies, and television. I worked as a gaffer (lighting) for the movies Die Hard With A Vengeance and 12 Monkeys. I also did makeup, including F/X, for the acclaimed TV crime series Homicide: Life On The Street.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m releasing my book Happily Ever After: A Collection Of Erotic Fairy Tales in early 2019. I include sexy retellings of classic fairy tales including Snow White, Cinderella, The Pied Piper, Red Riding Hood, and more. Following the publication of that book, I’m going to release a second book in the series that will be sexy retellings of fairy tales from Africa and Asia.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing since I was a child but I didn’t take it seriously until about ten years ago when I sold my first erotic romance story. It was an erotic retelling of Cinderella. Suffice to say the sheen wore off the Happily Ever After marriage and Cinderella was bored. She gets help from a magical sex coach. It’s a very funny and sexy story. It will appear in my upcoming book Happily Ever After.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I sold my first story. It was that erotic retelling of Cinderella. I didn’t really take it seriously until then. A few years later, a publisher accepted my first published short horror story, which was about a crazy cat lady who gets plastic surgery so she may look like her favorite cat. It does not end well.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first novel is a paranormal erotic romance entitled An Unexpected Guest. It was inspired by my stay in a haunted bed and breakfast on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. I had some strange experiences in that building, which dated back to the Revolutionary War. I heard a party going on in the room next to me in the dead of night. I found out the next morning I was alone in the building all night! I’m currently working on a horror novel. I have not yet published a horror novel. Only short stories so far.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The main character’s love interest is a mystery to her. She owns a bed and breakfast and he worms his way into her heart. He is truly an unexpected guest in her B&B.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write both erotic fiction and horror. Both styles are quite different, of course. I don’t find anything about my style or genres to be particularly challenging.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I’ve based some of my books and short stories on my personal life. As far as the erotic romances go, I won’t kiss and tell. 😀 I will say my contemporary erotic romance novel No Restraint is based on my years working for a British sex toys company. I based my company in the book on American Apparel and the dot coms from the 1990s with their over-the-top perks.
I based my short horror story Infection (in Teeming Terrors) on my husband’s stay in the hospital for a leg infection. I wondered what would come out of that wound when the doctor cut it open, and my story just runs with it. My story We’re All Mad Here (in Zippered Flesh 2) is based on a socialite who has had extensive plastic surgery done to look like a cat. While I don’t have experience with eating disorders, I did research on them before writing Invisible, which appears in Zippered Flesh 3. That story won an award from The Solstice List by Mina Roos as did the anthology it appears in.Trailer Trash Zombies (my favorite title!) appears in Midnight Movie Creature Feature 2, and it takes place in a apartment complex based on where I currently live. I’ve turned it into a slum and it’s quite seedy. That one is a horror comedy.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Sometimes I travel. I visit haunted B&Bs and hotels partly for the lore and partly for story ideas. I based many of my stories on the area where I live so travel in and of itself doesn’t necessarily factor in. I do a lot of internet research.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Each publisher has an in-house cover artist so the designer differs for each book. I’ve hired Dawné Dominique to create the covers for my erotic fairy tales series which I self-published. She made the covers for Trouble In Thigh High Boots (erotic Puss In Boots) and Climbing Her Tower (erotic Rapunzel). I also hired her to create my cover for Happily Ever After: A Collection Of Erotic Fairy Tales.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I want readers to come away with a sense of wonder from my romance novels. I want to frighten and creep out those who read my horror fiction.
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 have several favorite authors in both the romance and horror genres. Romance: K. D. Grace, Lucy Felthouse, Selena Kitt, and Cecilia Tan are a few. In horror, Joe Lansdale, Stephen King, Trent Zelazny, Shirley Jackson, Richard Matheson, Daphne du Maurier, and Douglas Clegg. I also like Richard Preston, Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, Janet Evanovich, James Rollins, and Sue Grafton.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
When I was a child, an insane parish priest encouraged my writing. His poetry had been published by the New Yorker. The man was nuts. He used to berate the altar boys for not pouring in enough wine with the water for eucharist. My mother had stationery made that read “Glitters From Ginny”. This priest had his own stationery made that read “Baloney From Bobby”. He also had an invisible dog he used to show off to the Sunday school classes. I adored him.
Today, I’m a member of Broad Universe, a networking group for women who write speculative fiction. I get a lot of support there. I’m also a member of New England Horror Writers and New England Speculative Writers. Members give me lots of support. Finally, my writers group supports and encourages me.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. It’s a vocation and a calling.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, but I would market it better. I suck at marketing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I can’t envision how well a book is going to do. The books that I think are going to be runaway hits crash and burn, and the ones I don’t think twice about take off. I need to write as if each book is going to be a runaway hit no matter what happens.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Here are my casting choices for a few books:
Trouble In Thigh High Boots – Scarlett Johansson or Salma Hayek as Tita, my Puss In Boots.
Climbing Her Tower –Natalie Portman as Rapunzel.
An Unexpected Guest – Emma Watson or Sandra Bullock as Annie Winston and Jason Isaacs as Jason. Both are romantic leads. Isaacs usually plays villains but I saw him in a romantic leading role in Passionada and I knew he’d be perfect to portray Jason.
I haven’t finished a horror novel yet. I’m working on one called Hell Time, which is about a teenaged girl who may or may not be possessed by a demon. There’s more going on here than meets the eye. I could see either Chloe Moretz or Elle Fanning playing the main character, DaniBirchfield.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Never pay a publisher to publish your book. Money flows from the publisher to the writer, never the other way around. I’ve seen too many novice writers taken in by vanity presses and other scams. Don’t blow thousands of dollars to publish your book. Find a reputable publisher or agent. Always research publishers and agents to make sure they are reputable. I check the Absolute Write Water Cooler for information.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Enjoy my books and please leave a review.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Cipher by KatheKoja. I’ve been meaning to read this horror novel for years and I’m just getting around to it. It’s about a group of young people who discover an eerie hole in the ground that changes anything put into it and not in a good way. They call it the Funhole. It’s anything but fun.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but my favorite books when I was a child were picture books about foreign countries. They fed my wanderlust in later years. I also enjoyed ghost legend books by Hans Holzer and Elliott O’Donnell. I liked Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Agatha Christie, and Stephen King. As far as romance goes, my favorite author was Phyllis Whitney, who wrote Gothic novels like Thunder Heights. I also loved Edgar Allan Poe, which was easy to do growing up in Baltimore where he lived for a few years and then died under mysterious circumstances.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Cat videos make me laugh. They always cheer me up.
My frequent bouts with depression make me cry. They make it hard to write. I suffer from bipolar disorder. I deal with the mood swings and depression by getting out of the house, going to the beach, and watching cat videos.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Edgar Allan Poe. He’s my favorite writer. I’m curious what he was like in real life. He was probably fascinating.I want to know how he really died. I’d have also loved to have met Agatha Christie since I grew up reading her mysteries.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Walking on the beach, traveling, baking, and gardening.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Horror films! As long as they’re good and not stupid. There are far too many stupid horror films out there. Some of my favorite horror films are The Changeling, Alien, The Thing, the original The Haunting, Re-Animator, The Evil Dead, The Legend Of Hell House, and Dead/Alive. I also like the following more modern horror films: Get Out, [REC], Insidious, The Babadook, Lake Mungo, Housebound, Let The Right One In, and Sinister.. I like Asian horror like Ringu, Uzumaki, and One Missed Call. I also love period piece dramas on BBC America and PBS like PoldarkDownton Abbey, Home Fires, Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries, Vera, and Little Women. On top of that, I like crime dramas and cozy mysteries. I watch lots of cozies on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. My favorite TV show of all time is The X Files. The Truth Is Out There!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Music: trance, techno, ambient, New Age, Baroque, and Classical.
Colors – purple, red, and black
Food – Chocolate! Desserts of all stripes.Seafood – mussels, clams, oysters, shrimp, scallops. If I were to eat nothing but seafood for the rest of my life I’d die satisfied. I also like unusual food I’ve never had before no matter where it is from.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I try to not think about that. I’d probably travel since my husband and I are planning to move to either Hawaii or Italy in a few years. I’d spend a lot of time at the beach. I’ve always believed in living where you’d vacation. I live in a New England beach resort and I need to be by the water.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my husband, son, and cats.At the beach, of course.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Nothing special, but I want to either donate my body to the body farm in Tennessee or haunt a house after my husband buries me beneath the floor boards.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Here’s where you may find me on the web Elizabeth Black – Blog and Web Site (romance)
E. A. Black – Blog and Web Site (horror)
Elizabeth Black – Facebook
Elizabeth Black/E. A. Black – Facebook Author Page
Elizabeth Black – Twitter
Elizabeth Black – Newsletter
Elizabeth Black – Amazon Author Page (romance)
E.A. Black – Amazon Author Page (horror)
Links to my books:
Trouble In Thigh High Boots (erotic Puss In Boots)
Climbing Her Tower (erotic Rapunzel)
An Unexpected Guest
Zippered Flesh 2 (includes We’re All Mad Here)
Zippered Flesh 3 (includes Invisible)
Teeming Terrors (includes Infection)
Midnight Movie Creature Feature 2 (includes Trailer Trash Zombies)