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?
I am Magdel Roets, aged sixty-six
Fiona: Where are you from?
For most of my life I lived in Johannesburg, but five years ago we relocated to the Western Cape.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I studied literature at the Rand Afrikaans University.
I am married, have four married children and nine grandchildren.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
After I’ve read my first library book aged about ten, I was hooked, so to speak, on the written word. A year or two later, at twelve my imagination ran ahead of me and I wrote my first short story. I had so much to tell.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The moment I held my first printed book in my hands I knew I was a writer. It was a great moment, one I’ll never forget.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Observing how people react in many different ways to inherited wealth, I thought it might make a good story.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title of my first book in English has the double meaning: “My Father’s Will” referring to the requirements of the last will and testament of the main character’s earthly father without violating the will and purpose of the Father in Heaven.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Writing Christian fiction that is authentic, not “holier than thou” and never preachy, as many people expect it to be, is quite a challenge. Perhaps this presumption is also the biggest challenge in the marketing process of my books. People seem to think my characters are all “goodie two shoe” stereotypes.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The basic idea of inherited wealth comes from personal experience of people I knew well, from whom handouts were expected until there was nothing left to give.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I write as much as possible of what I know, to limit research and travel. Whenever a story takes my characters to a place I don’t know and haven’t visited, I travel by way of Google Earth.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publisher has a team of professional designers who does the work. For my latest two books, my own paintings were used in the designs.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
There are always messages in my books. My goal for writing is to uplift, encourage and entertain. If a readers takes something out of my book that stays with him/her for the rest of his/her life; that is a joy and blessing to me.
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?
Lately I’ve started reading more widely to familiarise myself with the work of writers I’ve not tried out before. The Snow Goose by Paul Galico is a very touching story and I will read more of his work in future. Regarding popular novelists, I have not come across an equal to John Grisham. He simply is the best. There is a certain integrity in his work no one else has accomplished.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My publisher. He is a person who goes the extra mile and more, to get his writers’ careers on track.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. I take it very seriously.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not much, no. if I have to change anything, it would be to give more detail and bring out a stronger message of never giving up.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Researching a book always adds knowledge that brings insight into things previously seemed irrelevant.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Sit down and get started.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I am your biggest fan. Ask or tell me anything as if we were neighbours talking over the back fence.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m halfway through a spy story by Len Deighton, a novel by Solzenitzyn and making an intense study of a book by Dutch Sheets.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It probably was the Bible. After that there were the Afrikaans Skatkis series and many other I don’t remember, only that I enjoyed all of them.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Looking in the mirror.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Eve. I want to see if she was blond.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Painting, gardening, walking along the beach taking pictures.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I used to enjoy watching good films, epics like Cromwell, Ann of the Thousand Days, Lawrence of Arabia; movies like Good bye Mister Chips, The Pursuit of Happy/iness, Sound of Music and My Fair Lady; TV shows like The A-Team, but lately there is little that interests me.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Salads, braaivleis, (barbeue), pasta and curry.As a sort of an artist I like all colours. Light classical, some of the golden oldies, The Gaithers, the praise and worship music of the Hillsongs group.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Read, gardening and painting
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I’ll write an autobiography in the form of a short story where the main character, (that’s me) show my hubs, children and grandchildren how much I love and appreciate them, the same for all relatives and friends, then I’ll make a painting for the cove image. There should be and hour or two left to water my plants and go for a stroll on the beach before I say: “Lord, into your hands I commit my spirit”.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have a free webinar: https://bit.ly/2GCK9FZ
I am a charter member of Author Masterminds, a group set up by my publisher where a number of his writers have a page for their books:
Facebook Page: @magdelwrites