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 Grahame Peace ,and I’m rapidly approaching my sixty-first birthday.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Huddersfield in West Yorkshire in England.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Writing is now my full-time occupation. For most of my working life, I worked for the National Health Service in Mental Health Services. Nursing is my background; I have several nursing qualifications including a degree in Health & Social Care and a Master’s degree in Innovation and Leadership. I retired from the NHS nearly five years ago. I live with my partner of 22 years.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m currently working on my next book which is the fifth in my Ghost from the Molly-House series. A couple of weeks ago my latest book came out on Amazon ‘A Journey into Fashion (The Dressing Room)’ it’s a touching, amusing, coming of age story, set in my home town of Huddersfield, and of course it involves fashion, but it’s so much more than that, ultimately it’s about the power of love and friendship.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I retired nearly five years ago from the NHS, and I’d always enjoyed writing, but most of it had been work reports and academic assignments. I like writing about my home town of Huddersfield and thought I had a story to tell; my writing grew from there. I think it takes a lot of bravery to write and put your work out there; it’s very exposing, so it took a lot of courage; I’m still learning.
When I published my first book in 2014 (no longer in print) I had one scathing review, it was done with real venom, it was a real rant, and although some of the comments were justified, a lot of the things that were said were incorrect and untrue, it almost felt like a personal attack. So, I lost confidence for a while, but slowly I picked writing back up again, and the scathing review taught me a valuable lesson. But as I say, I’m still learning and probably will never stop, like it or not; everyone has an opinion.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think writing is a craft that has tolearned; I would say I’m still learning my craft and probably will never stop learning.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Like I’ve said, I like writing about my home town, and I’ve always been interested in the high-end fashion industry, I’ve no idea where that comes from, so my starting point was Huddersfield and fashion.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I called it The Beauty Room;it’s starts at a prestigious beauty awards ceremony in London in 2002 and then goes back to Huddersfield in 1950. It’s about a character called Barbara Day,and it’s a humorous story about her journey into the world of beauty,and there is some fashion in it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My fictional book genres are humour, paranormal-supernatural-historical-fantasy, mysteries, and fashion. I do a lot of historical research for my books. For my ghost stories, I mix historical fact with fantasy. But I try to make all my books amusing.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Like I’ve said, I do a lot of historical research for both my ghost and fashion stories. Having worked in mental health, I know a lot about the difficulty’s life can throw at people, so I try to make my books entertaining. Certainly, my experiences and people I know or have met over the years do creep into my books, but I’m not saying who they are!
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Yes, places I’ve visited appear in some of my stories, and it’s another reason why I write about my home town of Huddersfield, it’s a fascinating place, although now it’s dominated by the University.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
All my book covers are done in the USA by a company called JD & J Book Cover Design; we’ve been working together now for the past two years.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Well, I don’t know if there’s a message exactly, but my books are about tolerance, love, friendship, acceptance, and doing the right thing.
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 don’t think I have a favourite author; it depends on what I’m reading at the time. I like the classics from people like Jane Austen; I also like the pace of a Dan Brown book. I’m currently reading a book by Darcy Coates, which I’m enjoying. I also enjoy biographies, particularly ones about historic fashion designers or film stars. I enjoyed Bette And Joan: THE DIVINE FEUD by Shaun Considine
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Family have been supportive, but in all honesty, the driving force has been me, although I suppose Amazon gave me and many others the opportunity.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love my writing to be a career, but I’m not there yet, I take it very seriously, I work at it every day, but I treat it as a very demanding hobby.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My latest book is still a work in progress, but whenever I look back at my earlier work, I always feel I could have done it better, that’s because I never stop learning.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Because I do so much historical research, I’m learning all the time. My last ghost book The Psychic Agency had two stories, one about Ancient Egypt, the Abydos Temple and all their gods, the other about a werewolf and an ancient 15th-century castle in Scotland, so I learned a lot. I dread to think what someone would think if they looked at my internet search history!
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For my ghost series someone like Nicholas Hoult or Taron Egerton to play the main character of Jasper Claxton.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
All I can advise anyone to do is to stick at it, do it for the love of writing, not to get rich and famous.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
The importance of leaving constructive book reviews, they are so important to writers, please always leave a review for books you’ve read, especially if you’ve liked them.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates, I like her work.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I think it was something by Monica Dickens, but I can’t remember the title.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Life, life and all of its many foiblesmake me laugh and cry; I find I cry more the older I get, things move me, I’m an emotional person, my book characters move me.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
For me it would have to be the late Cristóbal Balenciaga, the most celebrated haute couturier who ever lived, he was known as the couturier’s couturier, Dior called him ‘the master of us all’. I’ve visited the Balenciaga museum in Getaria in Spain; I was allowed to have the whole museum to myself after it had closed, it was a 60th birthday present from my family. It was eerie but amazing. I would want to know everything about his early life in Getaria, what had inspired him and how he developed his many couture innovations and fabrics. I do know a lot about him, but it would be good to hear it from the man himself, although he was quite a reclusive character, he rarely gave interviews. Of course, there are many others.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I’m a Taurus, we like all the good things in life, so the gym is a must, but I enjoy art, good food, wine, architecture, the theatre, and of course, fashion. I also enjoy travelling, preferably first-class! Which I do very rarely.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Because I worked in Mental Health, I don’t like anything too dark, I like escapism, but I love documentaries about the golden age of Hollywood, and high-end fashion, I like to be entertained, not traumatised. Of course, one of my favourite films is Breakfast at Tiffany’s with the late Audrey Hepburn, but there are many more.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I like most kinds of food, probably Italian is my favourite, as for music, I have a very eclectic taste, but I do like music from the 1980s, I particularly like the Sheffield electro-pop band The Human League.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I think I’d have to find a job, even if it was working for a charity or in a charity shop. I need to keep busy.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my partner and family, there is nowhere else I would want to be.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
He was OK
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Check out my website www.grahamepeaceauthor.com
My facebook page https://www.facebook.com/gpeaceauthor/?modal=admin_todo_tour
My Twitter page https://twitter.com/GrahamePeace
My Instagram Page https://www.instagram.com/grahamepeaceauthor/?hl=en
All my books are available worldwide on Amazon.