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 write as “Kivutar Amy Koski,” my maiden name, and also under my husband’s name for my literary work. I do this to separate my erotica from my literary novels and poetry. My name is Amy, Kivutar is the goddess of pain from the Kalevala, Finnish book of mythology (my father was Finnish). I am 55.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Birmingham UK, spent many years on the south/south-west coast as a military wife.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I went to a grammar school in Birmingham, studied law at university, and worked in criminal law most of my career. I married Bruno, my husband, we have no children as such but several lads who might as well be… (lol). We live on a 10-acre croft overlooking the Moray Firth in beautiful Scotland, although we’re currently buying a place in Andalusia – we have close friends there, and our boat is berthed there too. We live an unconventional, BDSM lifestyle, which was the inspiration for my “naughty” books…
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m working on two literary novels, one of which should be ready for editing within a month or so. I’m also working on a sequel to my first novel, which will not be ready for some time as it’s on the back burner – a sequel to my first novel.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing tentatively as a teenager, and used to write for both school and university newspapers, but I never really produced proper creative work until we retired and I found the time to create characters and words in my mind. I find myself overwhelmed with ideas and plots, and not enough time to work them into feasible stories for books…
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I suppose when my first book was published. I’m not sure I regard myself as a writer now, it’s not something that I consciously thought about, it just seemed to happen.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
That’s simple: 50 shades… a friend bought the trilogy for me as a Christmas present, and I was appalled as how poorly written it was, and ill-researched. I read voraciously, and of course I have much knowledge of BDSM practices. 50 shades has almost no plot, flat characters and relies on shock to attract readers. I wrote a more realistic, considered and believable book that can be enjoyed by those not necessarily into BDSM, or as a “starter” for the curious types. It is well-researched, and deeply characterful (not my words lol). Most who have read it say it blows 50 shades out of the water. Not hard, in my opinion. If only it had sold as many copies…
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It’s the name of the lead Character – Genevieve – unoriginal I suppose, but it fits the book, and the trials and tribulations she goes through. I have some insight into sending your man off to war, so I used that anguish for the book. The new one is a little more creative – “The Piano Player.”
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I suppose everyone has a writing style, and I tend to think it is almost impossible to quantify your own writing in terms of voice and timbre. My poetry tends to be likened to Kipling which is quite a complement. I can’t think of a close match for my literary work, unless it’s Sebastian Faulks – Genevieve has been favourably compared with “Birdsong” – and I think my BDSM tales are pretty unique. I focus on female domination and fetishism – particularly latex rubber which is very close to my – and Bruno’s – heart. Unlike many of the more shallow works of this kind I always try to make a believable scenario with proper characters and a plot. I think my readers have come to expect that now, which makes the next “spicy” book all the more challenging than the last.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I based Genevieve partly on my own experiences, partly on research of the “English vice” so prevalent in the 19th and early 20th century, and tried to weave a tale that was realistic, yet entertaining. As I said earlier, I know the helpless feeling of watching as your man goes off to fight, and that translated beautifully into the scenes from book II. The closest to my own situation in the erotica titles would be “The Rubber Disciplinarian” although that is very loosely modelled on us, and there are elements of our lifestyle (and depravity lol) in all my Koski titles.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Not at all. I’ve travelled all my life, postings abroad to Hong Kong (before its return to China), Singapore, even the US when Bruno was instructing, as well as the West Indies, the Middle East, and many more. They say travel broadens the mind. I suppose it must have coloured my writing, but I wouldn’t say it influenced me particularly.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My PA – Graham Wicks, a very close friend from service days. He’s very talented with covers, and also edits my work – when he gets time. Wicksy never advertises, he’s one of those PA’s who is constantly busy because he’s good. Word of mouth, they say, is the best advertising.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In Genevieve, I tried to showcase the thought that one man’s meat is another’s poison. Lawrence of Arabia was a famous devotee of flagellation and I used his example to show that one’s sexuality is not an indicator of the quality of the person. There are many other messages too, such as the futility of war (and the courage and fortitude it breeds) as well as the ability of the rich and powerful to mitigate its effects. Only two influential people I could find had sons serving on the western front – Rudyard Kipling (whose son was killed with the Irish Guards) and Prime Minister Asquith’s son (who survived). The paucity of the offspring of the rich and powerful in the trenches tells its own tale. My erotica is really just about fun, although again well-researched – especially “Oliver’s Twist” set in Victorian London, based on the famous dominatrix Theresa Berkley.
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 read so many, and there are some erotica writers (a few, but some) who write thoughtful cogent work – Jay Willowbay, and T M Andred: I particularly like “Anna” by Andred. My first, and most enduring, love will always be Charles Dickens, but I was raised on a diet of the classics so everything from Thackeray to Kipling and GK Chesterton… I love Faulks, and Michael Ondaatje, Markus Zusak, and many more – the list is long!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My PA, Wicksy – he nagged and nagged, telling me I had a talent and should use it. In fact he was indefatigable…
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’m not sure. There are so many out there trying to get published, and although I’ve managed it it’s not as though I’m fighting off movie offers with a stick… I genuinely love my writing and although I make a modest income, I would do it for free. All the same it would be nice to land the big one… lol
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nothing. Not a thing. I’ve already edited it twenty times, and Wicksy can be brutal when he edits. We had several fights about certain sections, which he won…
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned so much, from the abstract realities of the trenches and how country estates operated in that era, up to silly things like revolvers don’t have safety catches.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
“Genevieve?” Claire Foy.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t stop. Get the words down, make them count, then find yourself a good editor. If you can’t find one – or can’t afford one – walk away from the manuscript: start another one, build a greenhouse, redecorate. Treat that manuscript like the plague… when you come back to it you’ll read it with another’s eyes and you’ll be horrified…
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Please take the time to leave a review – good, bad, indifferent – they all matter. Authors put lots of work into books, (it took me 20 months to write Genevieve) and just a few words makes all the difference – honestly! It’s not about the fame or money, it’s about the story!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
“Fatherland” by Robert Harris, I’ve just finished “The Boy in Striped Pyjamas” by John Boyne.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I don’t, but my early reading was Enid Blyton, C S Lewis, “BB” (Denys James-Watkins) and the “Romany” series by George Kinnaird-Evens, and don’t forget “The Hobbit…”
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I cry silently each remembrance day when we attend the usual service, for the friends we lost. My attempts as learning Spanish make me laugh and cringe in equal measure.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Charles Dickens. I want the ending to “The Mystery of Edwin Drood…”
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Writing… I love going out on our boat – himself has taught me to drive it (pilot it lol) but every time something the least bit awkward shows up he takes the wheel… I love riding, and I’m also a qualified Scuba diver. (I’m sure it’s just so he can get me dressed up in rubber…)
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I rarely watch TV – it’s mostly rubbish. Books teach you how to think, TV teaches you what to think…
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I like seafood (except squid/octopus), I’m partial to traditional English fried breakfast, and curries.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Still drink vodka… But really, probably go out on the boat with Bruno, watch the beauty of the mountains and the sunset, and drink vodka…
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Don’t you stand there watching me, for where I am you soon must be…
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I haven’t updated it for some time, I’ve been busy writing, but here’s a selection…