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?
I’m Samantha Goodwin and I’m a 32 year old debut author.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live in Leeds in England.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’ve written professionally for my business career as a Chartered Marketing Manager for over a decade before turning my hand to fiction. In my day job I work for a national charity that supports people with learning disabilities. I’ve recently become a new mum to my young son, Jack, so me and my husband, Chris, are still working out our new roles as parents!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’ve just released my debut crime mystery novel, Murder at Macbeth, which is now available to buy on Amazon (as an ebook or paperback). It centres around a talented, young actress who unwittingly stabs herself live onstage after a prop knife is tampered with. It’s a classic whodunnit as suspicion immediately falls on her eclectic band of castmates and the detectives have to figure out who had the motive to kill the show’s leading lady. Bitter rivalries, secret trysts and troubled pasts are just the beginning of the story…
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written stories, ever since I was about 5 years old. I find it to be a really positive creative outlet, it makes me feel so alive! Murder at Macbeth is my first full-length novel, before that I mainly focused on short stories and poems.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I first considered myself a proper writer when I was in the midst of writing my debut novel. There is something incredibly exciting but also daunting working on your first published work!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always wanted to write a book and it was my husband, Chris, who finally convinced me that I could do it. Also, it ended up being the last proper conversation I had with my Dad before he died suddenly of encephalitis two years ago so I felt very driven to finish it as a tribute to him. I found the whole process of writing very cathartic during grieving, it was helpful to be able to pour my energy into something positive.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I thought Murder at Macbeth perfectly captured the whodunnit nature of the novel. I’ve always been fascinated by the superstitions surrounding Macbeth about it being cursed and the fact the play itself is about corruption and deception provided an interesting parallel to the murder mystery.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
The story unfolds as the detectives interview the seven suspects and their different perspectives gradually reveal the scandalous events leading up to the death. For me, the main challenge was how to humanise each character so that the reader felt empathy for them so there was more to them than simply being a suspect in a murder investigation. That really helped to make the story more gripping and the twists more unexpected as the readers get genuinely hooked on wanting to know what happened.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All of the characters are fictional, but certain aspects of their personalities have been drawn from some people I know, including myself! Lesley Thomson, the bestselling author of The Detective’s Daughter series, once told me to ensure that all your characters have both positive and negative traits to help humanise them. I found that really useful insight to help flesh out my characters and make them more interesting.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Sadly not! I should have set it in Greece!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I’m incredibly lucky to be married to a professional Graphic Designer, Chris Goodwin, who designed my book cover for me. I’m so thankful for his talent as he was very skilled at taking my vision for the cover and transforming it into something far better than I could have ever imagined.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
It’s hard to say too much without giving away major spoilers, but I can say that a major theme is acceptance. It’s something a lot of the characters struggle with in various ways and it causes a lot of devastation. I definitely hope readers grasp how much unnecessary pain could have been avoided if they were to have made their peace with certain situations.
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 have been overwhelmed by the support of the Instagram online writing community and have had the pleasure of discovering some great new authors, including Carol Deeley, Danie Jaye and Simi Sunny.
My all-time favourite author is definitely J.K. Rowling. The level of detail through which she brought the Harry Potter universe to life is astounding. The fact that there is an entire theme park dedicated to her books’ world is incredible to me.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I participated in the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival Creative Workshop and I found that all the authors I networked with there really supported my commitment to become a published author. It was really valuable to gain special advice from some of the UK’s bestselling crime authors, including Elly Griffiths, Louise Welsh, Lesley Thomson and Henry Sutton.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do already write for my career as a Marketing and Communications Manager. Perhaps one day in the future I’ll be a full time fiction author, who knows!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I wouldn’t actually. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last three years getting it to a stage where I am really happy with it.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I was surprised to find how much reading books outside the genre I was writing in helped to spark ideas and keep me motivated to keep writing. I found it really useful to explore a whole range of books as I learnt so much from how different authors presented their stories.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Ooh interesting question, I would love for the book to be made into a film! I would like Richard Madden (Robb Stark from Game of Thrones) to play the role of D.I. Robson as I think he would bring a lot of depth to the role. Then for the murder victim, Nikki Gowon, who is also a key character in the story, I would like to cast Ajiona Alexus who is known for playing Sheri Holland in 13 Reasons Why.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
I think it’s important to believe in yourself and surround yourself with positive people who will spur you on. Writing groups and online communities are great for when you need advice. It’s good to make those connections early on so you don’t feel isolated and are motivated to keep going.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Expect the unexpected as the plot unfolds. Don’t think you know someone because of how they first present themselves. All is not as it seems…
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading The Dare by Mia Carter. It’s a great mystery!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
As a child, I remember loving The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I’m a big fan of going to see stand-up comedians, such as Michael McIntyre and Josh Widdicombe, that never fail to make me laugh. I probably cry the most at weepy movies, or Grey’s Anatomy!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’d love to meet the director and writer, Joss Whedon. I’m a big fan of the Marvel Universe and of course, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and I think he is such a creative mastermind with such a unique style. I’d love to pick his brains about how hebrings his creations to life.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, countryside walks and watching movies. I also love the theatre and am particularly fond of musicals – my favourites are Rent, Wicked and The Lion King, all of which I’ve seen multiple times!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Unsurprisingly I’m a big crime fan! So I love TV shows like Criminal Minds, CSI and Blindspot. I enjoy loads of different film genres, but particularly love action thrillers and anything from Marvel Studios.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love almost all chocolate (although controversially not Oreos!) Favourite music at the moment is Michelle Branch, The Calling and George Ezra.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Probably talk, a lot! I’d have to tell my stories somehow!
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
The best way of staying up to date on special offers and updates is to follow me on Instagram: @samanthagoodwinauthor
And I do have an author website as well: https://samanthagoodwinnet.wordpress.com/
Buying link UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Macbeth-gripping-British-mystery-ebook/dp/B07QXGR13V/ref=sr_1_1?qid=1555963438&refinements=p_27%3ASamantha+Goodwin&s=digital-text&sr=1-1&text=Samantha+Goodwin