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?
Hi, Fiona. Thank you for having me as a guest on your blog. My pseudonym is Mickie B. Ashling, and I haven’t revealed my true age since I flashed my first fake ID. Let’s just say I’m young at heart and leave it there.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Everywhere and nowhere. I was raised in the Philippines and moved to San Francisco in the 80s. I lived in and around the Bay Area for two decades before moving to a suburb outside of Chicago. Istill don’t consider myself a native even if I’ve lived and worked here forever.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
As I mentioned in your previous question, I grew up in the Philippines. My maternal grandparents were Spaniards who migrated to a province in northern Luzon back in the late 1920s. My mother was born there and eventually met my American/Hungarian father at the end of World War II. I went to an all-girl Catholic school in Manila. I have one sister, four sons, one daughter-in-law, and three beautiful grandchildren—with one on the way.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m about twenty days away from releasing my first self-published novel. Most of my body of work has been published by Dreamspinner Press. In the last twelve months, three of my novels and one short story were released through NineStar Press. My upcoming novel, Yield, is the fifth book in a series. It’s edgier than the previous four novels in the series and explores the darker side of relationships. There’s not a lot of romance in this one, and when Dreamspinner gave it a pass, I decided to take the plunge and self-pub.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been a voracious reader and did well in my English/Lit classes. My classmates usually asked me to help write their essays. Becoming a bona fide writer was a dream that only materialized after my children were much older. I started writing fan fiction in the Queer as Folk fandom, and my readers and fellow writers gave me the confidence to submit my first original story to Dreamspinner. They published Horizons in 2009.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The first time I hit submit on my computer and my story went live on the internet. It was a terrifying moment but also extremely satisfying.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
As a mother of four boys, and living in California, we were a year-long sports family. I was constantly ferrying the kids to practice and staying through their games. Horizonsis the story of a closeted college kid who plays football and struggles with his grades due to ADHD. He falls for his emergency room doctor after an injury, and their forbidden love affair raises all kinds of questions.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My football player had to write an essay on the novel Lost Horizon by James Hilton. Since Clark (my protag) was embarking on a perilous new journey by giving in to his attraction, it seemed fitting to call the novel Horizons.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’m a combination plotter and pantser. My outlines aren’t very detailed, and I usually let my characters dictate the outcome of a story. I’ve tried bending them to my will in the past and it hardly ever works.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A lot of my stories are based on actual events or people I’ve known, but there are also those that are completely imagined from the start.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I’m a gypsy at heart and will use any excuse to travel. So yes, visiting locations for my planned novel is part of my process, but not always possible.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Through the years, I’ve had the good fortune of having amazing cover artists. Anne Caine, Reese Dante, Catt Ford, Paul Richmond, Natasha Snow, and Kanaka to name a few. For my upcoming novel, I went with a premade I found at Book Cover Zone. I was browsing one day and fell in love with this image, which suited my story perfectly.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I wanted to write about imperfect characters who are products of their shitty pasts and have no idea how to control their impulses. My MCs are beyond broken and resort to extreme forms of BDSM for relief. Writing my characters realistically rather than romantically was my goal. We can’t all be lucky enough to live a romance novel, and I got tired of reading stories that were easily resolved with a stellar blowjob. Some of us have to struggle to find even a glimmer of happiness.
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?
This question always comes up during interviews, and I think it’s unfair to name a few when there are literally hundreds of writers who have caught my attention and influenced my writing. I will tell you that I don’t like ‘sweet’ stories. Political thrillers, murders mysteries, historical and/or erotic romances are my preferred genres.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I’d have to say Elizabeth North, CEO and owner of Dreamspinner Press. She was instrumental in getting my career off the ground.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
After 35 published novels, I think the answer is a resounding yes.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Since it’s my first self-pub, I learned a lot about the process. It really takes a good team to get the finished product on the shelf and I had the best with the people behind Superior Author Services. I have to credit author Lane Hayes as well for her generous advice and ongoing support.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I can see an older Wentworth Miller in the role of Sami and a younger, blonder Tatum Channing playing Jay.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Read a lot. Respect and endorse fellow writers. Try not to read reviews. Spend the extra money on promotion. Most importantly, write!Your great novel will never get published if you don’t start with the first line. Set a daily goal and try to stick with it. Give it the respect and discipline you’d give to any day job, and soon it will be your only job.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you for reading my books. With hundreds of choices presented daily, I’m always honored and humbled to hear back from satisfied readers.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished Lethal White by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling’s pseudonym for her murder mystery series). I’m currently reading Amy Lane’s A Few Good Fish.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
It was most likely a Nancy Drew mystery. I must have read the entire collection.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I enjoy dry, sarcastic humor. Intelligent stand-up comedians with great dialog always trump slap-stick. Crying isn’t really my thing. They say tears are good for the soul, but I’m more a reach-for-the-candy to soothe my broken heart type of gal. I must be a cold-hearted bitch, or I’ve learned to save the tears for thecatastrophic events in my life.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Anyonewho can provide some factual information on my paternal ancestry. The man who fathered us was always a dramatic blending of fact and fiction, and long after his death, I still have no clue. None of the genealogy sites provided answers.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Traveling, sightseeing, walking, and reading. I usually watch movies on TV instead of in a theatre.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Outlander, Blue Bloods, Rake, Shameless, The Rookie, Madam Secretary, Swat, Stephen Colbert, The Crown, Young Sheldon, The Voice, The Great British Baking Show, Chicago Fire, Med, and PD. None of the rebooted shows appeal to me.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I enjoy a large variety of food, but I mostly stay away from red meat. Sugar in any form is hard to resist. Ice cream is a guilty pleasure I can have year round. Red, brown, and navy blue are favored colors. My musical taste is eclectic.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I can’t imagine not writing, but one never knows. If money were no object I’d travel year round.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Ignorance is preferable to knowing how it’ll end. I’d probably take a pill and sleep through the main event.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I don’t plan on having a headstone. Cremation is the way to go, and I’d like my ashes scattered over some body of water.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Mickie B. Ashling is the pseudonym of a multifaceted woman who is a product of her upbringing in multiple cultures, having lived in Japan, the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East. Fluent in three languages, she’s a citizen of the world and an interesting mixture of East and West. A little bit of this and a lot of that have brought a unique touch to her literary voice she could never learn from textbooks.
By the time Mickie discovered her talent for writing, real life got in the way, and the business of raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing–and the inevitable emptying nest–dreams of becoming a published writer were resurrected and she’s never looked back.
She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. Her award-winning novels have been called “gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking.” She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.
Mickie currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.
Books by Mickie B. Ashling
A Tangled Legacy
Once Upon A Rainbow (NineStar Press Anthology)
Through My Own Lens
One Pulse (Dreamspinner Anthology)
Momentos: Mick’s Journey
BAY AREA PROFESSIONALS
Bonds of Love
Forged in Trust
Being With Him
THE OPEN SERIES
The Sixth Chukker
A Sequel to Forged in Trust
Bay Area Professionals
A promising encounter takes a dark turn.
Captain Sami Soros and Father Jay Blackstone cross paths at a major European hub. When systems shut down due to a cyber-attack, flights are delayed and the resulting chaos is unprecedented.
After having served three tours in Afghanistan, recently discharged Sami struggles with his new civilian status. Emotionally depleted, and dangerously edgy, he views most of his fellowmen with utter contempt.
Jay is returning to his parish in San Francisco after a month-long retreat meant to shore up a crumbling vocation. All vestiges of spirituality melt away when he sets eyes on Sami.
They begin a clandestine affair fueled by a shared addiction to extreme forms of BDSM. Their relationship goes off the rails, and Jay reaches out to Rino Duran, a former seminarian. With the help of Dr. Ethan Marshall, Rino’s full-time Dom, the established couple attempt to separate truth from lies to give Jay and Sami a shot at happiness.
Yield is available exclusively on Amazon and Kindle Unlimited.