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?
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Norwalk, CT, but now live in Rhode Island.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have a bachelors degree in English Literature and Secondary Education as well as a Masters in International Relations.
Fiona: Tell us your about your book.
Song of Atlantis is a story about the sustainability of earth. My heroes discover the Lost Continent of Atlantis, and inside its caverns they discover that this ancient civilization had mastered the science of producing unlimited amounts of clean energy using the earth’s vibrations. When they try to bring it to light, evil men in the employ of wealthy people heavily invested in carbon producing industries try to kill my good guys.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I had made many writing attempts over the years, but all those stories hit dead ends and I couldn’t save them. Then one night I started writing Song of Atlantis and I couldn’t stop. The story started flowing faster than I could type. I actually got to a point where it seemed like something else was taking over the writing. I had several moments where I said, “I didn’t know the character was going to do that.” It was an out-of-body experience.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think it was when I had fully wrapped up Song of Atlantis and it was on Amazon.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I had many inspirations over the years including childhood and adolescent memories, comic books I read as a kid, teachers who inspired me to do better, real life people including family who came alive in the book, inspirations from my experience in the Marine Corps, books I had read, and many others.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
For some reason, as I was writing about the ancient Atlanteans, I needed to give them a unique foundation for their technological excellence. I decided that all their communications, speaking patterns, and technology – including the ability to produce clean energy using the vibrations of the earth — had a foundation in music. Hence the title.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My writing style is to tell a good story, and I come from a long line of good Irish story tellers, and to make it as visual as I can.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are the experiences based on someone you know, events in your life or history?
The book can be classified as speculative fiction or science fiction. It does require the reader to suspend disbelief for a while, but the story line is plausible. My characters are mostly composites of people I’ve known over the years. For example, one of my secondary characters is a brilliant computer engineer whose sideline is playing blues guitar. He also has a huge stammer, but it goes away when he sings. He is based on a guy I once knew.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Bless the internet and my own book collection, I never had to travel to any of my locations to provide a realistic picture of places in the book.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did with good suggestions from my publicist and from the CreateSpace self-publishing site.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The basic message is that our planet is in danger. We put it there and we can fix it, but that will demand a major resolve and immediate action on the part of everyone.
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 read a wide range of literature and also join a bunch of friends who are serious about reading once a month for what we have come to call the Guinness Book Club. We meet in a nice local pub and talk books, and we have just completed our twelfth year. One recent writer who has blown me away is Elliot Ackerman. His books Green on Blue and Waiting for Eden are remarkable. Someday when I grow up I want to write like him. Over the years my favorite author has been Charles Dickens. I’ve read almost everything of his and have re-read David Copperfield more times than I can count. Same for Jack Schhaefer and Shane.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
No one else outside my family even knew of my desire to write.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I will write until I can’t, then I will take up baseball again.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? In the trilogy?
I’ve discovered that every time I go back to look at something I have written I decide that I could write this sentence better or describe that scene a little more clearly. I spent six years writing Song of Atlantis and I finally had to say, “It’s done already. Put it on Amazon and go have lunch.”
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned that it is satisfying to write something of my own and now I can repeat that effort.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I have four principle characters. The main one is a PhD Anthropologist who happens to be Lakota Indian (his genetic background is critical to the story). I looked up Native American actors and found at least three who could act his part. My female lead needs a Maureen O’Hara to play her. I have ideas for a few of the other principal actors, but nothing concrete. When a writer draws a character, the reader needs to put a face and body to that character. I have done that and if the book takes off, I will have Hollywood actors begging for the roles.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
The same advice I think any good artist follows: do it and don’t be afraid; lay it all out there; if the public doesn’t like what you produce, it’s their loss. I have an acquaintance who read an early draft of Song of Atlantis. He said my heroes were too perfect. I told him to write his own book.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Yes. Go onto Amazon and buy Song of Atlantis in either paperback or Kindle versions.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Steven Hawking’s Brief Answers to the Big Questions.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Maybe not the first one, but way back when I was a small child I read Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows. It made me fall in love with reading.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
What makes me laugh? Hmm… Fawlty Towers; any number of the Monty Python shows; the comedian Stephen Wright. What makes me cry? Sometimes a really good movie will get me emotional. I always cry at Best Years of Our Lives.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
There are a load of people I would have loved to meet. Who wouldn’t want to have drinks and a chat with Plato, Jesus of Nazareth, Buddah, Leonardo DaVinci, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, Eleanor Roosevelt, or Albert Eienstein?
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I play guitar a little – much less than I would like. I also golf whenever I get the chance. But reading is my favorite hobby.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch any of the usual commercial TV fare, but my wife and I love film. A short list of favorite films include Jean deFlorette/Manon of the Spring; To Kill a Mockingbird; Shane; The Best Years of Our Lives; Chariots of Fire; The Verdict; Lord Jim; The Razor’s Edge; and This Land is Mine.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love all kinds of seafood. My favorite color is blue. And I love the music of Eric Clapton, and also, particularly the early years, of George Harrison.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Read, travel, and golf.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Orbs non sufficit – Gone to Atlantis
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I have a really good website for the book which is, shockingly, called https://songofatlantis.com/ .