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 there. Thanks very much for inviting me to join you. My pen name is Fenella Ashworth and I’m 42 (so am currently enjoying being the answer to life, the universe and everything…..)
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from the South of England.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Nothing too exciting to report. I did pretty well at school, then onto University where I got a degree. I’m married and the mother to a delightful little boy (although I might be slightly biased).
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’ve started 2019 off with a bang, releasing two books (‘Virtually Lovers’ and ‘To Love, Honour and… Oh Pay’), both of which are being well received, which is always a great feeling.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I don’t remember a time I haven’t written. Certainly throughout my teens, twenties and thirties, I was writing quite a lot of non-fiction articles for various publications. But it wasn’t until the birth of my child at 40 that I took the plunge and felt brave enough to publish the fiction I’d been storing up for years. And I haven’t looked back since 😀
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when my first article was published a couple of decades ago, in a magazine called ‘Sussex Life’. I remember going into a newsagents at London Victoria railway station and looking at the magazine in astonishment thinking ‘I wrote that!’
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was called ‘First Love, Second Chance’. Although I only published it within the last year or so, the story was based on a hopeless crush I had throughout my teens and twenties. Nothing ever happened between myself and this guy in real life, but in the pages of the story, I get the happy ending I would have loved! It is the first in a series of books (The Daniel Lawson Series) which I’m continuing to write, so the crush lives on!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The two characters (Emma and Daniel) knew each other as teenagers and he is Emma’s First Love although nothing ever happened (sound familiar?!). But it isn’t until they meet again in their 30’s that the fireworks ignite. Hence, ‘First Love, Second Chance.’I’ve since released 9 other books and choosing the title never gets any easier!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write erotica. I think my writing possibly stands out a little because I love to throw some humour into my stories and make my readers laugh and feel good, whilst also giving them a good read and turning them on. So much humour can be found in the most common of situations – in fact they are often the funniest. Also, as so much of sex happens in the mind, I also spend a while really building the anticipation.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I hope all of my stories are 100% realistic and authentic. But the stories themselves tend to be perhaps 1% my experience, 99% my imagination. For example, I wrote a short story called ‘The Art of Anonymity’ (available to read for free on my website www.fenellaashworth.com if you’re interested!). The spark of the idea came about because I walked past a really cute guy when I was out shopping last year and we caught each other’s eye. That was all that happened. But then my imagination kicked in…. what if that wasn’t all that happened. What if we bumped into each other again and allowed that initial spark to burn white hot?
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t have to travel at all, other than into my imagination. However, I do most of my best thinking whilst out walking the dog, so I suppose you could say I walk several hundred miles before I complete each book!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No message. Although I often receive feedback that my stories have made guys better lovers because it gives them insight into what a woman wants in bed ….so that is pretty awesome!
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 can’t get enough of Katie FfordeJ Her stories are filled with real people, often in humorous situations and the stories just provide a great escape from everyday life.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I guess inadvertently my parents. They ensured I received an amazing education, so I have all the tools I need to write accurately. I also inherited a very strong work ethic from them so am able to stick at something (even when it’s difficult) and be a completer/finisher. Essential if you ever want to publish a book!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I see it as a very fulfilling hobby. If I made it my career, and paying the bills was suddenly reliant on me writing 5000 words before breakfast, I think the pleasure of the activity would quickly diminish.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My latest book is called ‘To Love, Honour and… Oh Pay’. I released it a few weeks ago and I’ve been overwhelmed by the number of sales I’ve had. So no, I wouldn’t change a thing! In fact, I’d like to replicate it please 😉
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Each time I publish a new book, I’m gradually learning more about myself and what my brain needs to work effectively when writing.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Somebody gorgeous as the male lead… I reckon Jamie Dornan or David Tennant would more than fit the bill!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up. Don’t take any one specific piece of advice/criticism too much to heart. There are a wide range of readers out there, with a wide range of likes/dislikes. Just because one critic doesn’t ‘get’ your work, it doesn’t mean it isn’t any good. And if you can’t get a publishing contract, self-publish – it is extremely easy and you maintain control of your work that way. It may be more of a slow burn, but is that such a bad thing?
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I appreciate their loyal, amazing support more than they know. And their kind comments and constructive feedback keeps me driven to want to write more.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
A Compromising Position by Carole Matthews – nothing too high brow 😉
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I used to love “The Wind in the Willows”. Not sure it was the first book I read, but definitely one of my favourites.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Laugh – Many things. I have a great sense of the ridiculous and can be guaranteed to laugh very regularly throughout the day, often at inappropriate moments.
Cry – I don’t really ever cry…it is very rare anyway. But I feel a burning anger when hearing of cruelty to children or animals.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Mmmm, I think Jamie Dornan and David Tennant will probably do for this answer too – probably don’t need to explain why!
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Walking, writing (obviously), and a fine weather gardener. I used to love horse-riding although haven’t done much in recent years.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love the Mentalist, but I think that is largely thanks to Simon Baker! Also love a good romcom. And you can’t beat some of the classic British comedies either – Blackadder would have to be a firm favourite.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Nothing specific – although I do love rock music. Ideally playing loudly in the car, singing along, where nobody else can hear how tone-deaf I am.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I don’t think I’d know how to exist without writing to be honest. It is part of being me.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Double-checking my financial affairs are in order so my son’s future is secured. Phoning friends to ask them to be there for him as he grows up. Writing letters or making video recordings for him to receive each year of his life without me. And then cuddling him tight and sharing some chocolate! Boring but honest.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I told you I was ill.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My website is www.fenellaashworth.com which lists all my work and freebies (and has a blog). My latest book is called ‘To Love, Honour and…Oh Pay’, available on Amazon. The website also provides links to all of my stories.
Authors Amazon Page USA https://www.amazon.com/Fenella-Ashworth/e/B078R3PQT1/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1548669583&sr=8-1