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 Emma Jayne Mills, but I tend to just go by Emma and sometimes EmJay. I’m 42
Fiona: Where are you from?
I grew up in Nottingham, England, but I haven’t lived there in years.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
As I said, I grew up in England, but I now live in Spain with the hubster, three children (who I refer to as the Dandelions), three dogs, three chickens, two goats and a litter of feral cats who’ve taken up residence at the bottom of my garden.
We spent a lot of years travelling and moving around while the hubster was in the army, but we’ve finally found our forever home here in Spain.
I like my beer cold, my feet bare and my words uncensored!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest book related news is that I have a new release coming out on Halloween. A Claddagh in the Clover is the second in my Secrets of Frost Ford series and is the story of Mick O’Rourke. Mick is my Irish Rover, he came to England after being forced to leavehis home in Ireland, carrying a dark secret and his past is about to come back to haunt him.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written here and there, throughout my life, but I never actually managed to find the time to sit down and finish a full novel until we moved to Spain. Before that I was a pre-school teacher.
Writing was always a huge passion of mine and my English teacher at school always told me I should either be a writer or a teacher, I went the teaching route first, but I got there in the end.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’m not sure I even do consider myself a writer yet. I write daily and have that much coveted published novel, so I suppose I am a writer. Huh, looks like I was today years old when I first considered myself a writer!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
When I finally sat down to write Educating Callie, I actually had a completely different book in mind. I’d had a wolf shifter pack making noises in my head for years and it was their story I intended to tell, but I opened the document and Callie began screaming at me that she needed to speak first. Before I knew it Frost Ford was born. Since then, I have ideas on a daily basis and have a library of notebooks to keep them all in. I don’t honestly know where the humans came from, because paranormal is my thing and that’s my go to for reading and writing. Those wolf shifters are coming next year.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My first book, Educating Callie is the story of the final victim of a serial killer who has been nick named “The Teacher” by the media. I went through several names before Educating Callie came to me- Teacher’s Pet and Snow Angel (Callie’s nick name) were two of them. Educating Callie literally just popped into my head as I was writing one day.
A Claddagh in the Clover is a play on a special moment shared between my characters Mick and Enora when they were younger, before life decided to mess with them.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’m not sure I’m ever going to fit into a single genre, but my Frost Ford stories tend to lean on the darker side of life and my shifters are obviously paranormal.
I like to go with what my characters tell me, so Mick in A Claddagh in the Clover has been difficult to write because he’s the strong, silent type. There have been days when he just didn’t feel like talking to me.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I wanted to make sure there was some fun and a few lighter scenes in Educating Callie, because it’s such a dark subject- stalking, torture, murder. Some of the light hearted scenes are based on things that have happened to me (Jase and Callie joking around in the car is a regular thing between the hubster and me).
PTSD, which Callie suffers from, is an every day factor in my life so I also drew on that somewhat.
The darker scenes are not drawn on anything I have personally experienced, or anyone I know, thankfully. I do however, have a morbid fascination with serial killers )in particular Jack the Ripper) and what makes them tick. I’ve done a lot of reading and watched many, many documentaries and movies on the subject.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I have travelled a lot in my life and I definitely draw on those experiences. I like to write about places I have actually visited, rather than go on research, I find less scope for mistakes that way. Frost Ford is a made up town in the English Countryside, but the small town setting is typical of many places in England.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My cover for Educating Callie was designed by BettiBup at The Book Cover Designer.
A Claddagh in the Clover’s cover was designed by Rebeca at Rebeca Covers
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Although Educating Callie is thriller, there is a deep friendship among Callie and her friends. They count on each other as family and get each other through the darker side of life in a way only true friends can. I suppose the message there would be that family isn’t always blood.
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 vampires! I mean, if there’s even a hint of a vampire in a book, I will read it. I have two favourites at the moment- L. Ann and L. Gene Brown are co-authors who write a series called A Dark Legacy. Their characters are some of the best vampires I’ve read since Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles. I felt like the vampire genre lost its way a little bit, but these two are definitely putting the blood suckers back up there and are a force to be reckoned with.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Last year I met up with an old friend who I hadn’t seen for more than twenty years. We started as pan pals when we were maybe 14 and met up many times, before losing touch while I was abroad and she was getting married and settling down. When she came back into my life last year, one of the first things she asked me was “Why haven’t you written a book yet?” and I honestly couldn’t give her a good enough answer. She literally hounded me every single day until it was done. I can honestly say, without Kathryn I may not have ever written a single word, let alone published it.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, but I don’t have to see my name on any best seller lists or compete with any other authors for fame and notoriety, I’m happy that I’ve come as far as I have and I’m enjoying every second of the journey and the people I meet along the way.
For me, my career has always had to be something I enjoy. As a teacher I needed to be happy in my work, when that became more of a chore than a joy, I walked away from teaching. As long as writing makes me happy, I will continue to do it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think all authors would go back at some point and change things, particularly in their first novel. I know I’ve come up with a few things since publishing Educating Callie that have made me go “Oh, I should have done that.” but it’s a learning curve. Right now, I’m content in the knowledge that I realised my dream. It’s not a perfect manuscript, but I did it and it has given me the confidence to continue writing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, writing is hard!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
As soon as I began to hear Callie’s voice in my head I envisioned her as Adria Arjona who played Dorothy in the TV series, The Emerald City.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Do it! Just sit down and do it. Let the words flow and get it done. You won’t regret it!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you. The support of my readers means more to me than I can say. They have been fantastic and un-wavering in their support, particularly my beta readers and my Dark Hearts who have spurred me on and given me the kick in the butt I needed to keep going. I can honestly say that the majority of my readers have become friends and that’s a really good feeling.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m not currently reading anything because I’m busy getting A Claddagh in the Clover ready to go out to the ARC readers. Next on my list is Randi Cooley Wilson’s Vassago. I’m a huge fan of all her work, but her Dark Souls series is fantastic.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I don’t remember a specific book, just that I have always been a reader. I loved Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl as a child and devoured all their books. I recently began re-reading Roald Dahl with my youngest and I’m loving re-living all those adventures again.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My children are very good at doing both!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
There is a woman called Brooke Hampton who I follow on Instagram, who has become a real inspiration to me over the last few years. She really knows how to embrace who she is and be true to herself, which is something I’ve struggled with until recently. I would love to meet her one day.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
My hobby was always writing, now I do it all the time I don’t suppose it can be classed as a hobby, can it?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a comic book nerd. I love the Marvel and DC movies and TV shows, but also anything thriller or horror based. I can’t stand chick flicks! I want action and adventure, not sweet romance and girly giggles.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love Spanish food, there’s something so unpretentious about the way they cook. I can’t bare pretty dishes with no more than a mouthful on the plate, I want real food. I also have a major weakness for ice cream, which is something Callie shares with me.
Colour wise, I’m not a pink kinda girl. I prefer deep purples, reds, greens. I recently painted a wall in my living room black, the hubster was a nervous wreck while I did it, but he admitted to liking it in the end.
My music tastes vary. A lot. I can go from my teenage boyband fetish, New Kids on the Block to Metallica and follow it up with some Motown in a matter of minutes. I pretty much love all music genres.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d find a way to write!
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Honestly, I really don’t know. I know I would want to spend time with Hubs and the Dandelions, but there would be so many things I could squeeze into that time I’d be conflicted.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
The lyrics to Bon Jovi’s Sleep When I’m Dead.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have several places readers can follow me, my website/blog is only one of them.
On the blog I share teasers, excerpts and occasionally I have a blog exclusive free short story on there. You can also read Chapter One of Educating Callie there for FREE!
You can find info about all my current and future books on Goodreads:
Facebook is where I have my reader group, join up for exclusive giveaways, advance viewings of covers and ARC opportunities:
I also have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/emmajaynemillsauthor/
Instagram is probably my most active of my social media accounts, I show a little bit more of my personal side there too: https://www.instagram.com/emmajaynemillsauthor/?hl=en
And then there’s Twitter: https://twitter.com/emjaymillsbooks
And my Amazon page is here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Emma-Jayne-Mills/e/B077JYXR85/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1538309173&sr=8-1