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?
Hello everyone, I am romance author J. M. Davies but to my friends I am Jen. Before, we move on, I must say a huge thanks to Fiona for inviting me here today, cheers. As for my age, promise you won’t share this titbit with anyone—I am fifty-two.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Cardiff, Wales, and I never ever imagined I would leave, because I loved my city. But, fast-forward many years, when my husband was offered the opportunity to move to America, we jumped at it thinking what an amazing adventure it would be. So, in 2001, we moved across the ocean to New England, and I now live about forty minutes north of Boston.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Myupbringing was pretty normal, both my parents worked. My dad was an architect, and my mum worked as a receptionist at the local hospital. I have three sisters, I’m the middle one. One day, after visiting an old people’s home with my high-school, I decided I wanted to become a nurse and worked in local government, until I was old enough to apply. Once, I qualified as a registered general nurse, I spent the next ten years working in a huge teaching hospital on the surgical ward. Years later, I trained to be a midwife, because I knew I loved working with mums and their families.
Ooh, I have a story to tell here. When I was little, maybe around seven, I told the boy next door, I was going to marry him. We were great friends, and he totally agreed. Now many years later, and I had forgotten the story, I met a lad, called Paul Davies who made me laugh but was a right flirt. Well my mum reminded me of my childhood days, and the boy next door, who was called…Paul Davies!!! I went on to marry Paul, (not my next-door neighbour) and we have been married for twenty-two years. He is my biggest supporter, and always pushes me to keep going. We have four boys, two cats, and a rescue hound called Ella. Now, I work at being an author full-time.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Well, my latest paranormal romance, Becoming the Witch came out on the 26thJanuary 2019. But I have another book coming out soon, a contemporary romance called Forgotten Love, which will be out on 12th March 2019. This is going to be a busy year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Ihave always been a writer, but I started to write full-time and creatively around ten years ago. Honestly, it wasn’t a conscious effort. I had ideas for stories percolating inside my head and for years, the characters had been screaming at me to write their story. Then, one day, I had just moved back to America for the second time, and I sat in my new home by the pool as my kids splashed in the water and I started to write the story of Mia Childs and ThePromise. At the time, I didn’t know what I was doing, and I simply let the words flow. It took me the next four years to re-write the story, until I felt brave enough to submit the manuscript to a publisher.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Ooh, not for ages, and then I would only say the word in a hushed voice. I think it took several books and for other people to refer to me as a writer, before I believed it to be true.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Ooh, many things really, my family, my life experiences, and a wild imagination.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Ha, the title The Promise, sort of came out of how I was feeling at the time. I felt I had let my family down and broken a promise by moving back to America, again. I wanted to explore the idea of making a promise and the hurdles you face trying to keep it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Writing is a challenge, but I love it. My writing style is always changing. I tend to write mostly third-person point of view in the past tense, but that doesn’t mean I won’t try first person perhaps in another novel. I like to give the main characters a voice, so you know what they are thinking. I write romance, but have written contemporary and paranormal, which are very different when constructing characters and plot, but both involve undertaking research. My routine goes something like this…
1 I have an idea for story…yay!!!
- Outline usually creating a storyboard, Pinterest, chat with my writer friends, drink loads of coffee…really excited!
- Read, research specific topics, make notes on index cards. Create character sheets. Dreaming…still enjoying what I am doing.
- First draft…I will write until I finish the entire story. Good days and bad days wondering why I ever wanted to be a writer…don’t eat or sleep properly in the phase!
- Send sections to Beta reader and await feedback.Feel sick at this stage as I wait for feedback
- Rewrite…rewrite, rewrite… I enjoy rewriting. At this point, I love adding detail to the story and filling in the plot holes.
- Edit Again, this is something over the years, I have started to look upon at the time to strengthen the story and I enjoy it more than I used to.
- Take a break. Which is really hard.
- Revisit the MS and make any last changes.
- Send to editor
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The characters in all my books experience things that are realistic, personal loss, betrayal, fear, love, disappointment, joy, and sadness. I based the characters on my life experience,or what I know others have gone through. For example, in Marnie’s Plan, which is the story of a woman who mapped out her future only to have it disappear, when she catches her boyfriend in bed with another woman, and her grandmother develops Alzheimer’s. These events change the course of her future. This book was a deeply personal story because my mother suffered with Alzheimer’s disease. It was at times a difficult story to write, but I felt compelled to do so.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, but it certainly helps. The Vineyards of Allegretti is set in Montepulciano, Tuscany, and I was in touch with the vineyard for research purposes while writing the book, but I didn’t visit there until after it was released. However, certain places such as Bridgton, Maine, a place I visit often did inspire me. My next release, Forgotten Love is set there.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I have had the pleasure to work with several cover artists. Dawne Dominique, Danielle (The Vineyards of Allegretti) Doolittle, and Gabrielle Prendergast ( The Rise of Orion series) Plus, I design my own, Marnie’s Plan.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
As I have several, there are different messages I think in each one, but overall, I think the message is for women to be strong and overcome the challenges they face.
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 am always reading, so choosing one new author is hard, but I am about to start reading Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us. I read her book Hopeless and was totally hooked by her incredible storytelling. She is amazing.
I love Diana Gabaldon and Deborah Harkness, because I admire how detailed and thorough their world building is. They create such wonderful characters too.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My friends some who are writers themselves, and the readers have supported my journey to become a published author. When I am going through a phase of huge self-doubt, I usually will post on my FB author page, and the readers are very supportive. `
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, a lowly paid oneright now.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I am not sure if this is just me, but when I have the manuscript back after the editing process, and I read through, usually at this point, I am done and ready to move on to the next project. However, there are times, when I have read the book later and think I could have changed something. I guess, the bottom line is you could always make changes, but at some point, you be satisfied and stop.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I always come away having learned something new. With Forgotten Love, due out 12thMarch 2019, it was to keep rehashing and to dig deeper.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Ooh, I would love all my books to be made into movies. I think for the part of Ella Masters, from The Rise of Orion series, I would choose Saoirse Ronan, she is a brilliant Irish/American actress.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Hm, I guess to never give up if this is what you want. To read as much as you can, but to be true to yourself. Ooh, and to develop a tough skin, not everyone will like the books you write!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thanks for buying and reading my books. I hope you loved them. Your support is invaluable. Keep reading books. Love you.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Don’t Let go (The Invisibles) by Michelle Lynn.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, sorry. I still have a collection of Winnie the Pooh books that my mum read to me though!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
James Corden makes me laugh…every time! I still cry about my mum who passed away in 2017.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet Nora Roberts, because I admire her work ethic and love her books.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I love yard sales where I buy items to renovate and recycle. I enjoy baking, hiking, and road biking. I also used to make Swarovski crystal jewellery, but I don’t have the time sadly anymore.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Right now, I am loving The Resident. I also just finished watching Outlander, which I love, and I cannot wait for Game of Thrones to start in April!
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love Italian food. I love purple and blue colors. Music, ah, I have a mixed taste from Coldplay, London Grammar, to Holst.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Well, I would probably work in a bookstore or start my own coffee/wine/ bookstore!
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
That is a terrible question to ask…that’s not enough time to do all the things I want to do, but I would want to spend it with my family by the beach.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She had a wild imagination!
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have both.
My website is http://www.jenniferowendavies.com/
Here is my author page on Amazon. USA https://www.amazon.com/J.M.-Davies/e/B06Y6DY5B6/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
I love to hear from readers anytime.