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 Tina, better known as T. Torrest, and I’m 46 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Born and bred Jersey girl for life!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m currently hard at work on THREE books!
FAREWELL, MY SUMMER LOVE about a star-crossed love affair between a quirky young girl and a superhot lifeguard that takes place over multiple summers at the Jersey shore, beginning in 1986.
FORTY-SOMETHING about a group of five women who find themselves reunited after the death of one of their friends.
And the long-awaited BITCH, about a nightmare bridesmaid.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve written my entire life (short stories, bad poetry, embarrassing diary entries), but I didn’t start writing my first book until I was laid up on bed rest during my first pregnancy back in 2003.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
While I was writing my second novel. I’d just quit my day job to go all in on the writing thing. I was learning about marketing, cover design, formatting… all while working on a deadline for my next book. I figured I’d earned the title of “author” by then.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Boredom. LOL. Seriously, I was merely looking for a way to kill 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?
There are so many incredible new writers out there, but I don’t want to start a list and forget anyone because that would suck. As far as favorite, however, I’m going to have to go with my stock answer of Judith McNaught. Hers were the first romance novels I ever fell in love with, and eventually, that love of reading romance inspired me to start writing it, too.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title for your book, REMEMBER WHEN?
It’s an homage to my favorite author (see above) who has a book with the same title. Seeing as my story is about a grown woman looking back to her teen years, I figured REMEMBER WHEN fit the bill.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I find every bit of it challenging! I never went to college for writing or anything, so I don’t have years of training to get me through the process. Every word is a struggle for me. As far as style, I never set out to have one. It just kind of happened on its own. I write like I talk, so maybe that aspect came about a little easier at least.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I’d say it’s about 10% autobiographical. I graduated in 1990, so I actually lived through all the clothes, big hair, and pop culture mentioned in the book. There are a few memories from my real life that found a way in there (St. Nicetius is based on my high school, the parties and beverage choices were all authentic, the layout of Norman is a composite of some nearby towns). But otherwise, no. Sorry. I never went to school with a famous movie star or had sex with him in a tent.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Travel from my bed to the couch, maybe.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My original REMEMBER WHEN covers were created by a graphic designer girlfriend of mine I’ve known since high school. She did an amazing job! But seeing as it isn’t her career, I had to find an actual cover designer for future titles. I don’t remember how I got hooked up with Hang Le, but I’m so grateful I did. She’s a wizard!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Hard to say because I didn’t tell anyone I published my first book until a month after I’d already done it! I was terrified to put myself out there like that. Hitting that publish button has hardly gotten easier with each new title.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. The best career there is.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
If you’d asked me about any of my other titles, I’d have an entire list of regrets for you. But my latest book? I wouldn’t change a single word of TRIP. I happen to think it’s perfect.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learn something new with every new story. If I didn’t, that would mean I’m doing it wrong.
Fiona: If REMEMBER WHEN was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Ah. The million dollar question. I’m still not sure, actually. I know I’d want Layla to be an authentic Jersey girl. Not some poser putting on that godawful caricature accent that every actress seems to do. As far as Trip… damn. I don’t know. I’ve been looking forever and I still haven’t found him. Someone hot as hell who’s charming and cool with great comic timing and a smile that could melt butter. That’s not too much to ask, is it?
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write well. And if you can’t write well, don’t publish until you can. When you put out crappy books, it makes the rest of us indies look bad.
Practice your craft, push yourself to do awesome, and don’t ever give up. It will make the difference between bragging about your books… and having other people do it for you.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I love you? My life wouldn’t be what it is today without you?
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished the EVERY BREATH duet from Faith Andrews. I love how that woman chooses her words! It’s not often that a series will grab me. I’ll read the first book and never get around to finishing the follow-ups. But with this one, I was dying to know more!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
YES! And so weird that you asked me this… I popped into the library a few weeks ago, and happened to browse their “Free Books” shelf (who can resist a free book, amirite?). I couldn’t believe my eyes when I came across THE ENORMOUS EGG, the first chapter book I ever read. Not exactly a best seller, so it was bizarre to find it out in the world like that.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
LAUGH: My kids, my husband, naked people running
CRY: Sick kids, depression, those goddamn ASPCA commercials
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Well, there are lots of people I’d love to list here, but I just HAVE TO meet Judith McNaught someday. I need to look that woman in the eyes and thank her for the writing inspiration.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I’m a damn fine couch potato, if I do say so myself. I can watch movies all day long. I’m also a trained muralist, a pretty decent baker, a proficient interior decorator, and an amateur architect. I also own a humongous dollhouse which I’ve been working on since 1995.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
SHOWS: This Is Us, Archer, The Deuce, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, John Oliver, Younger, The Affair, Outlander… and I binge all 5 seasons of Friday Night Lights about once a year (but I fast-forward to the Tim Riggins parts).
FILMS: Way too many to mention. I mean, I have categories for movies I like!
But if you’re asking for all-time favorites, I’ll go with a few from my Top Ten: Almost Famous, Boogie Nights, Goodfellas.
Fiona: Favorite food, color, music?
MUSIC: 70s and 90s rock
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Editing, maybe? Seriously, I’ve been bitten by the writing bug. I can’t imagine never doing it in some capacity. So, if my well of ideas ever runs dry, I plan on helping other authors with theirs.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Jesus! This interview escalated quickly!
Okay, okay. I know I’m supposed to say something profound like “surround myself with family and friends,” but I’m going to have to go with “forget about the consequences.” I’d eat all the candy, drink all the booze, have tons of wild sex, and then spend like the last ten minutes of my life asking God to forgive me so that I wouldn’t ruin my chances of getting into Heaven. #SnarkyCatholic
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Damn, Fiona! I’m a little freaked out right now. I just wanted to have a fun little interview and now you’ve got me pondering life and death and all the existential questions of human existence… LOL
Okay, here’s my epitaph:
CAN ANYONE EXPLAIN
WHY WE BOUGHT
A TOMBSTONE FOR TINA?
SHE WAS CREMATED.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE: https://www.amazon.com/T.-Torrest/e/B00AX1CQVM