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?
My name is L.N. Manning and I am 39 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am from a little bitty town outside of Houston, Texas.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I am a disabled momma to two adorable yet annoying fur-babies, I graduated college in 2005. And I am a proud Diet Coke-aholic!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I released my debut book in January, Escaping Their Pasts, Crescent Edge Pack book 1. I am currently in the middle of book 2, hoping to have it out in March, fingers crossed.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I never wanted to write, never thought I was creative enough to do anything like this before. I was chatting with a wonderful writer named Morticia Knight, and she encouraged me to try. It took her a bit, but I gave in and here I am!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Wait, I’m a writer? I don’t think that I will ever consider myself a writer. Maybe if I ever get to the level that Nora Roberts or Kelex or Lynn Hagan or Lisa Oliver, I might but not now.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Morticia Knight gave me the encouragement I needed, then I needed to figure out what I wanted my main characters to look like. When I came across the first image of my cover model Daniel Chiorean, I knew he was my Jonathan. And it just came from then.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My genre is MM (gay) paranormal romance, I have a lot of friends that are gay or bisexual, and the struggles that I have seen them go through with their families or society, we all have to deal or at least come to terms with our pasts to become comfortable in our own skin, we all have to escape our pasts to grow into who we want to be. That is where it stemmed from.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write from the hip. I tried to plan out what direction I wanted the story to go in or what I like to read and seriously tried to force my characters to conform. Yeah, they laughed at me and told me they will do what they want.
What is challenging for me is that I am a woman writing a male/male shifter story. I am not male and I am not a shifter but I think I have finally found the balance that I was lacking when I started the first book.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I guess the only thing that could be similar would be the friends that I have that are LGBT that have had horrible experiences coming out to their families. Let me say this, if you have a child, what is the main thing that you want for that child? You want them to be happy and fall in love and spend the rest of their lives happy with someone that treats them with respect and love, right? What does it matter who they love? Love is love. Period.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, but I wouldn’t mind sitting back on a beautiful beach with a fruity drink in one hand trying to type on a lap top with the other.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Amanda Walker did my cover for me, I absolutely love it! She is amazing.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No matter where you come from or who your family is, or who they are supposed to be, you make your own family. Family doesn’t have to be blood.
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?
New authors that I love, wow, Connor Crowe, Drea Roman and Xarina Price. My favorite author is Lisa Oliver, her’s were the first MM books I had ever read. And it was completely by accident, too! She has a huge series, that is fabulous by the way, and I was flipping through iBooks one day trying to find something new to read and there was a free series starter for that series, and I read the blurb and I swear it said Kane and Shawna, not Kane and Shawn. I started to read it and I was like “Oh! Um I don’t know about this.” But I couldn’t put it down. Lisa’s characters are so tangible that just fall in love. They are from all different points on the spectrum and I love them.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I have an author group, and when I felt like I couldn’t do it or I needed help, they were there for me. Giving me love, praise, and encouragement. I also have a couple of go-to readers that will tell me honestly if something sounds stupid or it isn’t right.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to see if I could make a go at a career in writing. We shall see, stay tuned.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would have made it longer. I think that I made every point I wanted to make with this book, but I think that I should have made it longer. Never know, I could add more to it and re-release it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Oh my, YES! I had a 3 hour chat with an amazing author, Cree Storm. She gave me the best advice that I think I received and I try to take her advice with every word I type now. She told me that you have to be willing to put a piece of yourself into your book, if you aren’t then don’t waste your time because it won’t work. After she told me that, I went back and reread what I had already written and I trashed the whole thing and started over. And it was easier. When I took that huge piece of advice, the words flowed, the scenes came together and the worlds aligned for me.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Oh, um. Well, let’s see, to play Jonathan they would have to be muscular, almost bulky so I want to say Chris Evans, with his scruffy little beard. And for Ethan, there was a show about 15 years ago called Queer as Folk. And there was a beautiful blond kid that played a main character, his name is Randy Harrison. That would be my dream choices.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
I made a huge mistake during the first week after I released my book, I got on Amazon and read the reviews. 90% of them thought the book was good or great and I was so excited. On day 5 I opened up Amazon to look at the reviews and there was one that gave me a 1star and accused me of plagiarism. I was devastated. I would try to work on my second book and my hands would shake. I came to the point to where I was almost having a panic attack. It took me a little over three weeks work past that in my mind. So, stay away from reviews, they will either like it or not. What you write might not be their cup of tea and instead of not reviewing the book and moving on to another one that is more up their alley, some people will leave reviews for your work that are bad or unflattering. It’s just a fact of life as an author that I learned the hard way. I am lucky to have some amazing author friends that were able tp talk me off the ledge.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I love each and every one of you. I am wide open to take any criticism or praise. I am willing to talk and chat with anyone about what they think needs work or what they want to see more of. I love you all and I hope I can one day write someone’s favorite book.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Topaz Heat by Connor Crowe
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is the first I can remember
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love to laugh and I have a twisted sense of humor. I love memes and the goofier or dirtier the better. I also have a love for classic Abbott and Costello Movies, they are hilarious.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
That is so hard to choose one, I have two. John Wayne and Nicola Tesla. I have always loved John Wayne and have paintings and images of him everywhere. And Tesla, because the man was a genius! Edison wasn’t half the genius of Tesla. He thought of WIFI and tried to implement it at in the early 1900s.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I used to, lol. I used to bowl 5-6 times a week and participated in national and state tournaments until my body decided that it couldn’t do that anymore. Now I read and write.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Anything funny or action packed. Nothing chick flicky lol
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
My favorite color is orange, I listen to rock and metal and some popish music, and foods… hmmm. I love to eat chicken and turkey, and tacos. I love to cook, I make a version of Sheppards Pie that I adore.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would retreat into my books and music and play with my dogs.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Playing with my dogs. And throwing a party. I don’t want a sad funeral, I want a party and music and dancing. I’ll be ok, celebrate my life not my death.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She tried and did it. Never give up and never surrender.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Instagram – www.instagram.com/l.n.manning
Twitter – www.twitter.com/lnmanning1
Amazon Author Page – www.amazon.com/author/lnmanning
Website – www.authorlnmanning.com
Facebook – www.facebook.com/LNManning/
Manning’s Minions Author group – https://www.facebook.com/100027901101576/posts/225163001757068/