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 Doris McCraw but I write fiction under the pen name – Angela Raines

My age is lower than eighty and more than sixty. (smile)Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m originally from the mid-west, near the Mississippi River. I now live in Colorado at the base of Pikes Peak.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I spent twenty years working with troubled teens and enjoyed that career immensely. After retirement, I continued with performing as an actor and musician, but in 2013 decided to pursue my love of storytelling, but this time in written form. I also re-enact the lives of Katharine Lee Bates and my favourite, the author- Helen (Hunt) Jackson.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

On April 6, 2019 my latest novel, “The Outlaw’s Letter” was released. It is a Western Historical Romance and I had a fun time getting the story of Hetty and Grant on paper. I especially loved including all the pieces of history for the areas they travelled.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Like performing, I started telling stories at an early age. I remember writing plays when I was about nine, and have always written poetry, plays and short stories.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m not sure when I started thinking of myself as a writer. I think since I’ve always been a storyteller, I hadn’t thought of it.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book came about when someone asked if I would like to be a part of an upcoming series. Up until that point, I’d written short stories and novellas.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

My first novel “Josie’s Dream” just came about organically. The main character, Josephine Forrester had always wanted to be a doctor, so the title came from her desire to follow her dream.

The current novel, the central inciting incident is my heroine trying to deliver a letter to a man who’s been labelled an outlaw.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

When I first started writing stories, I usually wrote almost everything in dialogue. My biggest challenge was adding the descriptions, but not to the point of overwhelming the story. It is still a fine balancing act for me.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I will almost always include pieces of history in my stories. To me, the add colour, context and realism. Many times my characters are composites of people I know and people I’ve researched.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

For my Western Historical stories, I’ve usually travelled the area the characters have travelled. For the Medieval stories, I rely on research, maps and descriptions from those who have been there.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

For my Prairie Rose Publications covers, I usually supply the photos and the publisher has someone design them. For two of the novels, I’ve used CarpeLibrum, again with my supplying photos of what I want. I consider myself lucky to have an area that is picturesque and access to models who fit my idea of the characters I’m writing about.

 Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

A message, that is one I have to think about. Usually it comes to the idea of offering your life for those you love and redemption.

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?

 As an obsessive reader, I have a hard time choosing a favourite. Some who have influenced me are Gwen Bristow’s “Calico Palace”, Grace Ingram’s “Red Adam’s Lady” and Andre Norton’s Witch World Series. All the stories had elements that I found intriguing and I hope that my readers will find something like that in my works.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Cheryl Pierson from Prairie Rose Publications. She still is a wonderful supporter of my work and that of so many others. This is in addition to being an amazing author/storyteller herself.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. It is the thing I can continue to do when I’m ninety, as I keep telling my friends.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

At this point in time, it’s not been out long enough for me to think back on it too much. In addition I have been finishing a short story and started another novel.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

As with all my books and stories, I do a lot of research on people, places and events that take place during the time I am writing about. I will say, I learned there was a horse and goat show that was advertised heavily in Colorado Springs, Colorado during the time my heroine was travelling in the area.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Oh, that’s a good question. Who would I like to play the leads? I really don’t know.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Follow your dream, find like minded people who support you and go for it.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I would love to interact with my readers even more than I do now. I would also encourage them to let authors know, and not just me, what you think of their work, offer reviews, and recommendations to other readers.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

A book on ghost towns of Eastern Colorado, a book by Lindsay Townsend, and a Lauran Paine western.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No. However, I do know I made my mother and father read to me constantly as a child. I think they were glad when I could read for myself.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Life is one big story, full of fun and laughter. I probably get the biggest kick out of my cats chasing each other or a piece of something on the floor I didn’t get picked up quick enough.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I confess, there are so many people from history I’d love to meet Hildegard of Bingam is on the list. Her life fascinates me. One of the female Viking warriors and of course Mark Twain. I grew up about seventy miles from Twain’s home town.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I would say, everything I do is a hobby. I enjoy it all so much.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Old Westerns, Supernatural, Doctor Who and oh so many more, when I have time.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Believe it or not, I’m not fond of any food. Love red and purple and classical music and hard rock make me happy.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Work as an actor.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Reading, writing and taking a walk.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

She always was growing and following a dream.

 Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

My website, www.angelaraines.net is currently down. It should be back sometime in June. I write for, primarily: https://prairierosepublications.blogspot.com/ and https://westernfictioneers.blogspot.com/

In the meantime people can follow me on my Amazon author page:

USA  https://www.amazon.com/Angela-Raines/e/B00N0HJOVG?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1556076936&sr=8-1

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Angela-Raines/e/B00N0HJOVG?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1556097269&sr=1-1