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 everyone. First I’d like to thank Fiona for inviting me to guest on her blog. I’m Loretta C. Rogers and I’m happy to meet all of you. I am 74 years young and still going strong.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am a native Floridian who currently lives in Georgia USA
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.)
I’m a farm girl who grew up wanting to raise horses. Instead, I became a teacher, and retired after 27 years. Writing became my second career.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest news doesn’t involve writing. Just before Christmas my first great grandchild was born. Gus is a delightful little guy and has stolen my heart.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
As a teacher I wrote educational articles, but my journey as a fiction writer began in 2003. While teaching I taught writing and literature. I soon found out that essay writing was a lot different than fiction writing.I joined a wonderful writers group: Tampa Area Romance Authors (TARA) to educate myself, and boy o boy did I learn a lot.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
My first historical romance novella, ISABELLE AND THE OUTLAW, was published December 11, 2007. I’m not sure I considered myself a writer at that point. I believe it was when my historical romance novel, BANNON’S BRIDES, was named Best Book by Amazon USA and by Amazon UK in 2009 that it finally sunk in that I was really a writer
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
When The Wild Rose Press was a new publisher they sponsored a contest where the story had to be a time-travel romance and take place in an ivy-covered cottage in England. My imagination began working overtime. I was actually shocked when ISABELLE AND THE OUTLAW won in the historical romance category. The prize was a publishing contract. Lucky me! I’ve been with TWRP since 2006.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Even today I labour over titles. However, Isabelle is the heroine who fell in love with an outlaw. It seemed logical to title the book: ISABELLE AND THE OUTLAW.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I am a planster. Which means I’m a little bit panster (butt in chair and let the ideas flow), and planner (I always plan my main and secondary character’s GMC) and I also do character sheets. If I don’t know my characters and their goal, motivation, and conflicts, then I can’t bring them to life on the page. I’m not a plotter. I don’t do diagrams, and I don’t do sticky notes. As a planster, I enjoy the surprises that my characters bring to the story.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
At my age, I’ve had a lot of life experiences. For example, beyond my career as a teacher, I was a rape-crisis/suicide prevention counsellor, and a court advocate for indigent women. I’ve also been a certified lifeguard. My husband and I raised cattle, and I trained skittish horses to enter horse trailers. In our younger years we were avid campers, boaters, and participated in horse-endurance trail rides. So, yes, I do call on these experiences when I’m creating characters and plot situations; and often, depending on the time-period of the story, I fictionalize true-life events that I’ve experienced.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I have travelled some for research. My historical romance LADY ADEL’S CAPTAIN is set in England and Ireland, and portions of THE WITCHING MOON is set in 1800’s Ireland. I’ve visited both countries for pleasure and research. However, TAMING THE LYON is set in 1910 east Africa. While I would have enjoyed going on a pictorial safari, I didn’t feel the current political climate was safe. So, I visited my local library quite often for that research.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The Wild Rose Press has wonderful graphic artists. Debbie Taylor and Rae Monet do most of my covers. However, Lisa MacDonald created the cover for my September, 2018 anthology, FATE COMES SOFTLY.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Oh, yes. I hope readers grasp that no matter how difficult life is to never give up because there is always hope, and light at the end of the tunnel.
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?
Linda Tills is a new author that I’ve enjoyed. Her novel “A Man with a Pure Heart,” is an excellent read with a powerful message. My two favorite authors are Virginia Henley and Nora Roberts. I’ve studied both their writing styles. Virginia builds her plot with lots of description and realistic dialogue. Nora is the queen of shifting POV (head-hopping) but does it so smoothly that it doesn’t break the flow of the story. Heather Graham is another favorite. She knows how to weave the plot so intrinsicallythat it keeps me turning the pages.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My first critique partner, Wilma Fasano, saw potential in my writing. She not only taught me so much about the formula of writing, but when I would doubt my abilities, she was always my best cheerleader.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would have to say that after eighteen published novels with several being best sellers, the answer is definitely “Yes!” I hope my imagination lasts forever.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
When writing WHEN COMES FOREVER; release date July 2018, I was in the midst of trying to finish the book, sell my house, and then pack up the house, and move from Florida to Georgia. I needed to get the book finished and to my editor, so yes, I think I rushed the story a bit. There are places that need a little more elaboration. Reviews for the book have been great, so perhaps readers don’t see what I as the author sees.
FioIna: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
In all the hub-bub of having to keep my house show-ready clean, and then having to leave the house on a moment’s notice when the realtor needed to show it, and then the whole ordeal of having to pack up, I learned that even under the most adverse writing conditions, that writing is what kept me sane.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
If WHEN COMES FOREVER was made into a movie (that would be a dream come true LOL!) the hero, Jesse Starr would definitely be played by Chris Hemsworth, and Hayden Panettire would play the heroine, Rebecca Throckmorton.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Writers should not expect to get rich. They should write for the love of writing. Never stop learning the craft of writing because times change and affects every genre. Take care of your health. We writers tend to get lost in the story and therefore sit for long hours. Set a timer to remind you to get up and move around. Chocolate is wonderful, but eat healthy snacks. Join a professional writers group. No one understands what writers go through like other writers. And for every time you write “Then End,” celebrate.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
As much as writers appreciate readers, we would love it even more if readers took a few minutes to write reviews about the books and post them on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, or even on their FaceBook page. Reviews areways of showing writers how much their books are appreciated.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Currently I’m reading Sally Fields memoir “In Pieces” and I just finished “Robert B. Parker’s The Hangman’s Sonnet” by Reed Farrel Coleman.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
From an early age I was a huge fan of horse stories. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell was my first book, followed by all of Walter Farley’s Black Stallion books.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m such a sap that I cry over sad scenes in movies, I even cry during happy scenes. My 27 year old grandson makes me laugh. He’s so funny. I think he should be in movies, but then again, I’m biased.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’m a fan of western movies, so in the past I would have enjoyed meeting John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart and Audie Murphy. Today I’d love to have tea with Queen Elizabeth, and perhaps join her in a morning ride on one of the palace horses.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I gave up hobbies when I decided to become afull-time writer. However, hubby and I do travel, I read, I enjoy trying new recipes, and I’m addicted to crossword puzzles.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I mostly enjoy DIY programs, the Western channel, and the Hallmark Movies and Mystery channel.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Music: the 60’s oldie but goodies; Food: lemon garlic shrimp, BBQ, and southern fried chicken. Colors: Red (for empowerment), and Blue (for calming).
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
If I could no longer write and had to choose a new career, I would rescue horses, retrain them, and open a stable where disabled children and adults could ride.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
No one likes to think about “the end” literally, but I would book a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico, and spend the next 24 hrs being pampered and catered to by cruise ship staff. I would drink mojitos and dance like no one was watching. Oh heck, if I going to die, who cares if people watch me gig around the dance floor. LOL!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“Here lies Loretta C. Rogers. She did it her way and had fun doing it.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Because I’ve been in transition for the past few months with moving from one the state to another, I’m still unpacking boxes and trying to get settled. This means I’m a little behind with events and special offers. And while my website is under constructions, readers can visit me at:
All of my books are available at USA https://www.amazon.com/Loretta-C.-Rogers/e/B004948XP2
Thanks so much Fiona. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed answered all of your questions. I truly appreciate what you are doing to help promote authors. And by the way, the heroine in my historical romance, BANNON’S BRIDES, is named Fiona. It’s a lovely name.