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?
LW: I’m Lorelai Watson and I’m thirty.
Fiona: Where are you from?
LW: I’m from the teensy little town of Adairsville, Georgia. We’re in the exact middle of Atlanta, Georgia and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
LW: I’ve lived in Adairsville all my life. I went through all three Adairsville schools, elementary through high. When I was in the second grade, my teacher loved a story I had written for an assignment and she told me and my mother that I’d be an author one day. I loved books so much and the idea that I could one day be an author just thrilled my soul and I never let go of it. Twenty-two years later, here I am, publishing my debut novel, Ain’t Nothin’ but the Devil, and realizing that dream of being an author.
That moment is also part of the reason why I became a teacher. I graduated in 2011 from Dalton State College with a B.S. in Early Childhood Education and again in 2017 with my M.S. in Education. I’ll be starting back a third time to work toward my education specialist degree.
Best of all, I’m a wife and mother of two children. My husband, Scott, and I have been married for nearly nine years. We have a five-year-old son, Rhys, and a two-year-old daughter, Everleigh.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
LW: Ain’t Nothin’ but the Devil released in March 2019 with Limitless Publishing and my goal is to finish its sequel, The Devil’s Storm, by June 2019. With any luck, it will also be published in 2019 or early 2020.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
LW: I have been writing since I was seven or eight. Ever since the concept that I could write my own stories popped into my head, I’ve scribbled away in notebooks and read all I could. Writing serves so many purposes for me — my own entertainment, self-fulfillment, therapy, self-expression, etc…
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
LW: I don’t think I’ve ever not considered myself a writer, honestly.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
LW: Honestly? I began writing it in high school, and I had a very flirty boyfriend. He very unconsciously flirted with lots of girls. Don’t get me wrong, he was a good guy, and we’re still friends, but he was definitely my inspiration for Lee. One night I was really upset about it and I spent the night with my best friend, and since we were both writers, our idea of great fun on a weekend night was writing together. So we’re sitting in her grandmother’s den in our pajamas, and this idea of a woman being so incredibly heartbroken over her husband’s infidelity that she would commit suicide popped into my head. A similar opening scene of what takes place in Ain’t Nothin’ but the Devil soon took shape, and the more I wrote, the more curious I became about these characters and soon enough, Madeleine, Lee and Adrian’s story began fleshing itself out.
It also cannot go without saying that Madeleine’s struggles with depression are similar to my own. I dealt with depression throughout my teenage and early adult years and had always suffered from low self-esteem. A lot of that depression ceased when I met my husband and I started figuring out who I was as a person. Meeting him and finally getting through college and becoming a teacher really helped my find my self confidence. I told myself so many times that I would never find someone to spend my life with, or graduate, or publish a book. Fighting depression and anxiety are so incredibly hard. I hope that those with depression can read Madeleine’s story and see they are not alone, and that there is always hope.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title comes from this conversation Madeleine has with her mother-in-law, Maggie Beth just days after Madeleine’s suicide attempt.
“I read an article about depression the other day from a Methodist minister up in Ellijay. He said depression ain’t nothing but the
Devil,” Maggie Beth stated. “He’ll lie to you all day about your worth until you believe him.”
Madeleine raised a brow and took a sip of her wine. “The Devil’s a formidable foe.”
Maggie Beth nodded. “He is… but he’s not an impossible one.”
John 8:44 explains that the devil is a liar and deceiver, and I remember when I was depressed, I would believe so many lies about myself — that I was unworthy and lacking in so many ways. It’s also a double entendre in a way, because while Madeleine and Adrian’s love for each other is very real, most would just look at the circumstances of their relationship and decide it was based solely on temptation, or “nothing but the devil”. I’ve caught some flack in one review that Madeleine and Adrian never actually have sex, and that’s because I wanted it to be obvious that even though their relationship is an affair, lust is never their focus, even though they are definitely attracted to one another.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
If I have a specific writing style, I don’t know what it is. Angsty maybe? Emotional? Are those styles? As far as my genre goes, Ain’t Nothin’ but the Devil is technically more of what I would consider a women’s fiction or family drama novel, but the strong love story and continuation of the arc in the next two books made me classify it as a contemporary romance. The romance genre and I have a bit of a love/hate relationship. A lot of people feel very strongly about having a rather formulaic love story that must result in the quintessential happily-ever-after (HEA).
I love writing about love. No emotion is stronger or feels as good. But love in real life is a tricky thing, as we all know. It’s not always straightforward and easy, and sometimes it’s as disappointing as it is wonderful. Love, even if it’s real and true, doesn’t always result in a happily ever after, and sometimes, people make hurtful decisions that don’t make sense. I struggled very much with giving Madeleine and Adrian a happily-ever-after in the end of Ain’t Nothin’ but the Devil. I just didn’t see that being realistic, but due to demands of the genre and to give readers a little peace between now and when The Devil’s Storm, I had to. (Don’t get me wrong, I love them together and they will get an earnest HEA, even if they have to face some challenge in getting there.)
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Readers say it certainly seems realistic. As far as experiences go, I think I’ve experienced a lot of the events in the book, but in a much smaller scale than my characters are expected to deal with.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
When I started writing the very baby drafts of Ain’t Nothin’ but the Devil, I really wanted to make it set in some big city, like New York or Los Angeles. After all, Lee and Adrian CEO are responsible for running a big corporation, and Madeleine’s a rather celebrated author, so it would make sense for them to be from a city like that. But as I got older in the process of writing it, I realized that I wanted to set it right here at home, or close to home in Atlanta. I love my town and state, and highlighting my little corner of Georgia has really been a hit with local readers. They love seeing the street names and well-known houses like McCollum Manor, or the Barnsley Gardens resort. The Devil’s Storm will take place between Atlanta and one of my other favorite Georgia towns, Savannah.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My publishing company, Limitless Publishing, contracted Deranged Doctor Designs to do the cover and what a gorgeous job they did! I love it so much, and it reminded me so much of the scene where Madeleine finally decides she’s in love with Adrian. It was perfect.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Oh, so many things. But if I could hit any main point more than anything else, it would, again, be to let others with depression and anxiety know that they can have hope for a brighter future. It may take therapy, or medication, or talking about your emotions you’ve been holding back from others, but you are so worth it, and your life can be something beautiful.
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 really enjoy Jojo Moyes, Lianne Moriarty and Anne Rice. I love their writing styles. Lianne Moriarty is who I want to be when I grow up.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
My best friend, Jessica. We’ve been friends for about nineteen years now and in the beginning it was built over a mutual love of reading and writing. She’s always my sounding board for bouncing ideas, or provided critique and advice whenever needed, which is about every day. She has helped edit, and made my manuscript pretty for publication. I don’t think I would have ever been successful without her.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely. Is it making me a living right now? No, but I’m just now getting started. I hope it will only grow and flourish in the future.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I might have picked up the pace in the beginning of the book.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
So, so much. This particular reincarnation of Ain’t Nothin’ but the Devil took seven years to write. Now that’s a long time, but in that time, a lot of life was happening. I got married, finished my bachelors, started real grown-up work, had a baby, got a masters degree, and was pregnant with my daughter when I finally finished. I knew nothing about plotting or planning and didn’t have a system that worked for that process. I also didn’t write every day, which was a big mistake. Now that I’ve grown more as a writer, The Devil’s Storm should take me about six months to complete, while balancing more responsibilities than ever.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Best. Question. Ever. I have this totally planned out.
First off, I would need Chad Hurst to get into acting to play Lee. (Check out his Instagram and his work with Anthony Squires. Looks JUST LIKE Lee.) If Chad didn’t want to act though, I think Chris Hemsworth would make a great Lee, and we know he’s got the acting chops. Jared Leto would make a great Adrian. He’s the closest to what Adrian looks like in my head. Elizabeth Lail would be the perfect Madeleine.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Oh Lord. No. I feel like I’m the one who needs the advice. I can say this — if the story will not leave your head, if it consumes you constantly, it must be written. Maybe it’s weird, or unsellable. Maybe all your friends and family hate it. Write it anyway. Write it for you and no one else.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I’m sorry for putting you through an emotional roller coaster; however, please do not expect that to change. Like ever. Life hurts just as much as it elevates, and I want to capture it all.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished Verity by Colleen Hoover. It was my first Colleen Hoover read and it was amazing!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I have very clear memories of my parents reading me The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter books as a child. The first chapter book I remember reading and just falling in love with was R.L. Stein’s Ghost Beach from the Goosebumps series. I was a very voracious reader as a child. I kept two or three books on my person at all time.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My husband and children make me laugh, and my kids at school. Goofy conversations with my friends. Stress makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’d seriously like to meet Jesus and ask him a few things so I could understand the world a little better.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Travelling. Whether it’s down the road or out of the country, I love to see and experience new things.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
ooh! TV! I love Game of Thrones, American Gods, Stranger Things, YOU, and I LOVE a good period drama or a 90’s romance.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Color: lavender, Japanese food, and I love all sorts of music but rock is my main squeeze.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
How is that even possible? I don’t know what “not writing” is. I would die inside.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With all my family and friends, enjoying good food, music and either a movie, play musical, etc… All my favorite activities.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
More than anything, that I was a good mom.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes, please follow my page on Facebook!
Amazon authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/Lorelai-Watson/e/B07P2FCXP8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1