Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Hi, Fiona, thank you for inviting me today.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
I’m Lynda Rees and in my sixties, old enough to know better, but I do it anyway. My motto is More Fun Faster.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live on a small horse farm in north-central Kentucky an hour south of Cincinnati and an hour north of Lexington. The community is so small, when I leave, everyone notices. We have a rescue cat, a goose who adopted us, a donkey and three horses. We’ve lost several of our horse herd the last couple years. Losing my German Shepherd, Tuffy to old age left me without a dog for the first time ever. Maybe when my heart heals I’ll get another. I’m not there yet.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I worked 36 years in marketing and global transportation for Procter & Gamble, sold real estate for 35 years, and sold mortgages, mutual funds and securities. I was born in Bonnyman, mining town in the Appalachian Mountains in Eastern Kentucky near Hazard, KY. Our men were miners until my Dad moved the family to northern KY to find stable, safer work.
It was an interesting time. Until the late 1978 the Cleveland Mob literally controlled Newport, KY. It was a mecca for gambling, prostitution and sin. Celebrities worldwide flocked to Newport from the 1920-70’s to entertain or to be entertained. A strip club flanked every corner and several were on every block. It was a bustling era, and local economy thrived. Of course, violence was involved. Successful business owners notwanting to play the syndicate’s game, suffered consequences.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’ve got a lot in the pipeline I’m excited about. The best is my latest romantic mystery called Real Money, Book 9 of The Bloodline Series. In this story I draw on experiences from my real estate career and link in notorious characters from Newport’s and New York City’s heydays.
Real Estate Agent Chloe Roberts lands in an assassin’s crosshairs, when she uncovers shady family secrets. Chloe’s fiancé disappears without a trace. Returning to Sweetwater, Kentucky to establish a new life in her hometown, she is pursued by a married ex-boyfriend, a billionaire developer and stalked by a jealous female. Her discovery of a murder victim interrupts her budding relationship with adorable Deputy Leo Sanders, and he may lose her to a famous country singer. Prime suspects are Chloe’s wealthy client and a former gangster, presumed long dead; but Chloe is the next target.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I learned to read at five-years-old and knew I would be a writer. I’ve been writing since I was a teenager. I wrote for pleasure and professionally for business in my marketing and global transportation careers. I’m published in magazines, newspapers and advertising copywriting. I’ve written multiple children’s books for my grandchildren.
I got serious about publishing novels as I neared retirement from P&G. I’ve published an award winning historical romance, Gold Lust Conspiracy, about a woman’s survival in frontier Alaska during the Alaskan Gold Rush. I co-published with my granddaughter, Harley Nelson, a middle-grade children’s book titled Freckle Face & Blondie.The sequel comes out later this year titled The Thinking Tree. My stand-alone romantic mysteries about mobster descendants are titled God Father’s Day and Madam Mom.
Operation Second Chance will launch fall 2019. Misfit youths find each other years later when the motorcycle riding, security guard mother is stalked by a murderer willing to kill again. Her long-lost, high-school pal, turned sexy, Special Forces Navy Seal struggles to reconnect, save her life and build a normal future.
My latest work launches 5/9/19.Real Money,Book 9 of The Bloodline Series. The first of the series is my award-winning Parsley, Sage, Rose, Mary& Wine. It remains my best seller and one of my favourites. The Bloodline Series is set in the fictional town of Sweetwater, KY surrounded by white-fenced race horse farms. The quiet-paced area has its share of murder and mayhem, causing havoc with love lives of my beloved characters. Each book deals with a new catastrophe and different couple’s struggle to discover happiness.
I expect to publish three how-to, non-fiction books during the next year.Titles are: American Dream—Own A Home, Be an Everyday Millionaire, and Bet Horses & Win.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In my thirties I realized I’d become a professional writer, though it was many years before I became a professional story teller. During my corporate career I took every writing course available. I perfected the crafting documents to convince management to invest heavily in projects and influence heads of the shipping industry to partner with us for mutual benefiton my projects.
When I decided to become a published novelist, I turned to courses on the craft and industry. I spent the first couple years studying and researching for my first book, Gold Lust Conspiracy. As you’re probably aware, historical works require extensive research. It was a massive undertaking and a labor of love.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was trying to decide what to write during a lengthy vacation to Alaska. Mike and I fell in love with the region and developed a special attraction to Skagway, the Gate to the Alaskan Gold Rush. I immersed myself in the area’s history and also studied the California Gold Rush, which petered out prior to the Klondike strike, leaving San Francisco and North Western Territories littered with disgruntled, out-of-work miners, crime in the streets and an abundance of homeless people. The more I dug into data about these fascinating events, I began to believe a conspiracy theory my quirky husband put into my head. With a romantic spin, Icreated my award-winning historical novel, Gold Lust Conspiracy.
Savage, lawless, 1880’s frontier Alaska,is a man’s business world. A woman isn’t welcome. The lumberjack who adores her deserves better than Jessie, with her haunted past and overwhelming responsibilities. She must survive, thrive and prove to herself she’s worthy of love.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It’s a love story about a lusty time, a brutal place, about survival, forgiveness set in turmoil of a massive political conspiracy.A troubled widow doesn’t believe she’s worthy, and a heart-broken lumberjack wants a second chance at love. Gold Lust Conspiracy seemed to fit the story well.
Real Money: The law considers real estate the only real property people own. Everything else is intangible. Chloe is an agent, making money selling real estate. Crime is about passion or money. The title flowed naturally.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your styleor genre that you find particularly challenging?
I enjoy spunky women with guts and grit, and mature men who are strong and capable. Everyone has issues and daunting back stories to deal with and emotional leaps to take. Love is never convenient, and rears its head when least expected, usually with pitiful timing. Even the sweetest community has crime and suffering. How we use experience to become better, sometimes together, makes a good story.
Hence, my slogan: Love is a dangerous mystery! Enjoy the ride.©
Fiona: How much of your latest book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Real Money is about Chloe Roberts, a real estate agent. This book and the three following it will be about agents in that industry. I’ve had many comical, amusing, sometimes terrifying experiences in my sales career. They wouldn’t all fit into a single book. When you open the door to a strange house, you never know what you’ll meet.
The sequel, The Bourbon Trail, will be out later this year. Chloe will return with her mother Ava and a love interest, bourbon distiller.
I’m searching for a title for the third book and am running a contest. I’m giving away a FREE copy of Real MoneyeBook and one of any the winner’s choice from my published works. I’ve attached the book cover and blurb below. Your fanscan email suggestions for the title firstname.lastname@example.org . Subject: TITLE CONTEST
UNTITLED:A real estate flipper clashes with her neighbouring competitor. They’re thrown together when she discovers a dead body in her renovation.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I wish it was always necessary. I love it and have travelled extensively throughout Asia, South and Central American, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands and across the United States. I’ve worked with awesome people, dealt with foreign laws and customs, experienced interesting cultures and seen a multitude of exotic sights on this abundant wonder called earth. It pays to step out of one’s comfort zone to understand what is going on in the world.
The sad fact is I travel less these days. I order lots of books, read everything I get my hands on, haunt every library within driving distance, and use the internet. Most of my stories are set in Kentucky, so I know the area well. Maybe I should write another historical and take a lengthy trip to soak in a new setting’s history.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I work with several intensely creative artists, depending on the book. One is from Argentina, one from Venezuela and one from England. We communicate mostly via email. They are extremely efficient and easy to work with, so I keep going back. I use the same font, regardless. Most of my books have a similar look and feel, but I admit when I started the series, I didn’t brand as well as I could have. I’m considering new covers for a couple of the books. My children’s mysteries have a more whimsical look and feel. Both come from the same designer.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Love is a dangerous mystery! Enjoy the ride.©
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?
My favoriteis Lie Catchers by Rolynn Anderson. I couldn’t put it down.
Others I recommend are:
Mike: The Firefighters of Station #8 by Samanthya Wyatt. The series is addicting.
Just Desserts and Other Very Short Stories by Vicki Batman is a fun, light-hearted read.
A San Francisco Gold Rush Romance, Gold Rush Romances Book 3 by Mona Ingram. I read the series out of order, but loved them all the same.
Acting Married by Victorine E. Lieske was a lovely read with interesting characters.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I belong to several RWA chapters like KOD, MARA, FTHRWA, CRW, NTRWA. Fellow writers from these groups have been valuable supporters of my career.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Absolutely, I can’t not do it. Writing is in my blood.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Nothing, I love it as it is.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes, I learned more about body decomposition depending on conditions. I’ve been studying human trafficking and will incorporate it into my next book. It is shocking discovering how prevalent it is in our country—in all communities.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Funny you ask. I think about it as I build each new character in my books. Kate Hudson would make an awesome Chloe Roberts in Real Money. Joseph Gordon-Levitt would be a perfect Deputy Leo Sanders.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Study your craft. Learn the industry. Be diligent and tough-skinned. Keep your butt in the chair. Put words on the document. Edit, edit, edit, edit and edit.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope you enjoy my books, that I hear from you and we become lifelong friends.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
1-800 Ireland by my friend Josie Riveria,is my current read.I’m loving it.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I learned to read with my grandfather and the Bible.
I read Eight Cousins by Louisa Mae Alcottat five years old, and fell in love with reading because of the adorable children’s novel.
The Daring Nellie Bly by Bonnie Christensen built a fire in my gut that has never gone out, inspiring me to write. I often wondered, however, why Nellie didn’t write it herself. She was an admirable character and fantastic writer.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum Series has caused me to laugh aloud on more than one airplane, embarrassing myself. Then I’m crying the next minute. I adore her skill and wish I could write comedy as well as she does.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Dolly Parton, Cher and Hank Williams, Jr. We’d get along great and have a blast together.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Spending time with family and friends is my greatest joy.I adore horseback riding and anything water related—swimming, boating and fishing. I read constantly, paint, sketch, garden, travel, knit and crochet.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like mysteries:The Rookie, Lethal Weapon, Hawaii Five-O, McGuiver and Magnum
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Pizza, steak, turkey, ice cream, sushi, crab
Green and yellow
Anything by Waylon Jennings, Credence Clearwater Revival, old rock ’n roll, classic country, blues or happy bluegrass or Cajun music. I love happy music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Travel, take photos, try exotic dishes, sketch and paint.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I’d have a party by my lake with friends and family. We’d eat my favourite foods, drink cheap wine, cold beer and ice water from my spring. We’d swim, listen to lively music and dance until I drop.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She did it all and loved it.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Thanks for asking. Yes, I can be reached in these ways:
http://eepurl.com/cTtS09 Become a VIP: