Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Hi Fiona! Thanks for taking the time to interview me!
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Sure, my name is Laura Burton and I am thirty-years-old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Well, I was born in Weston-Super-Mare in England. But we moved around a lot as I grew up. I spent most of my teenage years in Bristol and If I had to choose, I would probably consider that is where I am from.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I went to Clifton High School and studied English, Classical Civilisation and Business Studies. I met my husband when I was just eighteen-years-old and we married soon after I turned nineteen. We have three children – all boys – and a crazy Poochon puppy named Daisy. I home-school and have my mother living with us. It’s busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Well, I have recently released my second novel in a series of clean and wholesome romance books. It’s called “Love Me, Sweetie.” My first book is a romantic suspense and has garnered a lot of excitement over here in England. I am going to be on the radio to do an interview next week, actually and I have a few proposals in the mail to agencies. It’s exciting times.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was around five years old. As soon as I realised that people wrote books, I decided that I was going to write as well. By the time I was sixteen, I had written 4 books and countless stories and poems. I remember rushing my chemistry GCSE paper and then spending the rest of my exam time playing out the next scenes in my Harry Potter fanfic I was working on at the time. I got really into Harry Potter fanfiction for a while.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Honestly? I’m not sure I have ever NOT considered myself a writer. It’s just who I am. How I best communicate myself, and even when I’m not writing, I’m scripting what you might say to me in a conversation or playing out scenarios in my head of spectacular things I might do in the future.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I can’t remember what inspired my first book exactly. But I do remember helping my dad in the garden one day, I was holding the hose and watering a palm tree when the sunlight caught the water at an angle and a beautiful rainbow formed by my feet. I stared at it and a whole story entered my head. Just like someone downloaded the information right into my brain. I remember hurrying into the house and picking up a pen and paper and began to write immediately.
My first published book, I wanted to participate in NaNoWriMo – an annual writing competition where writers all across the globe commit to writing a 50,000 word novel during the month of November. I had the idea of a simple romance set in Bristol when I started, but characters introduced themselves to me and the story turned darker than I planned. The result is a rather exciting, fast-paced romantic suspense novel.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I wanted a title to signify a love story, so “Love Me” was fitting. But the love story I had planned turned into a crazy whirlwind of secrets, threat and excitement. By the end, you think pretty much everyone in the story is “Crazy.” So, the book became “Love Me, Crazy.” The idea being, that the main character is telling her man to love her, while also calling him crazy.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I am quite versatile in my writing. Sometimes I write in first person, other times it’s second person. My narration is to-the-point and more-descriptive than perhaps you’d expect from an easy-read novelist.
I find it very challenging to describe scenes and locations without losing the pace of the story. As a reader, I would skim over some of Tolkien’s descriptions for example, because I like to get to the action. However, creating the world is really important, so I’m trying to find the right balance!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My new release, “Love Me, Sweetie,” is the by-product of a lot of personal experiences I have been through in recent years. The undercurrent of the story is grief and how it affects people and their ability to forge relationships. On that basis, I feel the book is quite realistic. However, there are some elements that are put in for a dash of comedy and I always like to add a little craziness into my stories. If my readers don’t gasp or think “What the heck! I did not see that coming!” at some point in my books, I’ll be disappointed.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
They say it’s important to write about what you know. Which is why my first two books are based in places I know very well. However, I am going to do a huge road trip in America in a few months and will be using my experiences there to write some stories set in new and fun places. I do think it’s important to travel to the places you plan to write about. Otherwise, how else do you find out what a place smells like? What the air feels like! Or read about the way the light changes the colours of buildings!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My sister Gemma Nielsen, she is a very talented graphic designer and without her amazing creativity, I would be lost!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In “Love Me, Crazy” I want the readers to think about love and the difference between being protective and being possessive. There is also the message that life is not easy and straight forward. Horrible thingshappen, but love can prevail.
“Love Me, Sweetie” is a message of hope for people who are hurting. Whether you are a victim of abuse, bereaved or abandoned in the past, it is possible to find love and become stronger for it. The book explores vulnerability and the tug-of-war between doing what you feel obligated to do and doing what is right for your 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?
There are far too many to choose. I love Jenny Han, and I’m excited about anything new she brings out. My all-time favourite writer is perhaps William Nicholson. I just love his writing style and his ability to capture my attention from the very first page. I was entranced by the “Wind on Fire” Trilogy.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I’ve been really lucky to be supported by so many people. It would be difficult to name just one person, but I have to give credit to Alisha Talevinukuleka, who has been a cheerleader and supporter even during the times when I have doubted myself.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I see it more of a calling, than a career. I definitely hope it will be something I can call a career, but to me it is so much more than a job. It’s just who I was born to be.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I consider myself a student of writing. Always reading, always learning. So, I am certain I’d go back and find things to change, however, I’m really proud of how the book has turned out and the bittersweet moments within the story. There is perhaps one sad twist I may have taken out, but then the whole story would have changed, so I’m not sure.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Absolutely, my characters come to life and I am humbled by them and the way they respond to situations. I have learnt that grief can make you bitter inside and close your heart to the ones who love you. I have learnt that something as terrible as losing my father, and the emotions that come with that, can create this beautiful book that can offer some hope – and healing – for others. Which has taught me that intense grief and sorrow can be channelled to create something wonderful.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Amanda Seyfried would be a great Ada. She is so fun and bubbly but would also beautifully portray the emotions with heart and have us all tearing up! She would also look amazing with bright pink hair!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Start out by writing what you love and read as much as you can. Be humble. Expect some people to downright hate your work. But you will find people who love what you write, they are your tribe. So, don’t worry about everyone else.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you so much for reading my stories and I cannot wait to present to you my next novel. The storyline is mind-blowing. You’re in for an exciting ride!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Right now, I’m reading a lot of unpublished books by fellow indie-authors. All great stories that will be coming to the market soon. It’s exciting!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first memorable book that I read was the Little House on the Prairie Books.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a really dark sense of humour. If a bad guy is monologuing and then gets shot and dies, I’ll be chuckling to myself. Or I laugh at irony. I cry if a pet dies in a book. Or every time I finish reading Return of the King. Gets me every time.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I am such a fangirl. If I met any of the people I look up to, I would spend the whole time crying and squealing. I’ve always wanted to meet the Backstreet Boys, and dance with them on stage. Or I’d love to do stand-up comedy with Michael McIntyre!
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I really love to play Fortnite with my kids. I am a bit of a gamer in general really. I love Fridays’ because in our home that’s movie night. And I really enjoy playing the piano. That, and listening to music while taking my dog for long walks.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a TV/Film addict. I love watching The Walking Dead, The 100, Grey’s Anatomy and Supergirl at the moment.
I love the Indiana Jones movies, Star Wars, 90s romances like Runaway Bride and You’ve Got Mail. I love a good comedy too, Zombieland is possibly my favourite.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I have a sweet tooth. Cakes, chocolate, donuts…I love them all.
My favourite colours are pinks, purples and reds.
Music? I’m a die-hard Backstreet Boys’ fan. I will listen to the same song over and over until I’m sick of it and will move onto the next one. I never get sick of “Larger than Life” though.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Acting. Or stand-up comedy. Or both? I really wanted to be Luna Lovegood in the Harry Potter movies, I even sent off an application but never heard back. Sad times. Good thing this is the present and I am allowed to write! Maybe in the future I’ll get to be Rita Skeeter when they remake the Potter movies!
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Oh dear, only 24hrs? I can’t decide if I’d want to be surrounded by family and play games, while eating as many donuts as possible. Or spend the time alone watching as many movies as possible. Either way, I’d do a lot of crying, because I’ve got a whole lot of living to do yet!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She laughed. She loved. She left.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My blog is: www.laurasbeautifulworld.com and I have a weekly newsletter that readers can subscribe to for free stories, recommendations, news and updates on releases. I also have a facebook page: www.facebook.com/laurasbeautifulworld and I am active on Instagram @lauras_beautiful_world