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 Brea Behn and I’m 35 years old. I am a hybrid author with seven books and five short stories published.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am born, raised and lived in Wisconsin my whole life.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’ve been married for almost seventeen years to my husband and we have two children. A girl and a boy (12 and 10). We love animals! We currently have beef, chickens, a dog and seven cats. I am currently pursuing a degree in digital marketing with a certificate in graphic design with intentions to start my own business soon.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have two books I’m working on right now. One is the second book in a series that I wrote with my children. A YA super hero series that I’m seeking representation for. The other is the first book in a dystopian series.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began seriously writing when I was fifteen years old after my twin brother died from a handgun accident. As a grieving twin I had a hard time finding a book on grief that I could relate to. So I started writing one instead.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It took me ten years to finish my first book. It helped me heal a lot. More than that though it made me realize how much I love to write. I started writing a fiction book just for fun. When I finished it several people told me I should try to get it published. After 52 rejections and a couple of scams, I finally got a yes from a publisher. That’s when I first seriously considered writing as a career.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I guess I jumped ahead didn’t I? As I stated before, grief led me to writing my first book. Which by the way, I will never publish. It was a big mess of emotion and grief. Instead I pulled it apart and wrote a self-help book for teens with it years later.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My first published book is called Wolves in the Woods. I actually wrote the title before I wrote the book as I often do. The Wolves is the name of a gang in dystopian Wisconsin that literally chase the main character in to the “Big Woods” of Wisconsin. Wolves in the Woods. I thought it had a nice ring to it. Although as an amateur I didn’t realize how many people would be disappointed that there is no animal wolves or werewolves in my books. Oops.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I would call my writing intense. As dystopian often is. I keep readers reading. They won’t get very bored reading my books. I find the most challenging part of dystopian is to keep things balanced between fiction, but realistic. I prefer more feasible stories. Even zombies can be feasible if told well.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There are pieces of me in all of my books. Especially my grief for my twin. That’s the beauty of writing. You take those raw emotions out of your head and put them somewhere else, even for just a while. Also, here’s a cool fact. Every book I’ve written has a twin in it somewhere.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, because all of my books are either based in Wisconsin or in a fictional location. I chose it that way for authenticity. I would love to travel more someday and include that in my writing though.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Three of my seven books were commissioned by the publisher I was working with at the time. Three were created by professional cover artists I work with. Finally, my newest book (The Colors of a Mind) I created the cover myself.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Wolves in the Woods has a message of survival. No matter what you go through, no matter how hopeless or painful there is always hope. You can overcome things you never thought you could.
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?
Tons of new writers! In fact, I read mostly indie authors these days. Sarah Noffke, Amy Bartelloni, Casey Bond and Christina Rozelle are a few that I love to read. My favorite author is Stephen King. He writes brutally honest and intense. He strips people to their core selves. Which I love.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I had several good friends that were incredibly supportive. They believed in me even before I knew I could do it. I also worked with the UW Madison’s writing department and they were incredibly helpful and encouraging.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I believe writing can be a career. I think it depends on the person writing. If they want it to be a career it takes a lot of work, but of course it can be. If they just want to write as a hobby, there’s nothing wrong with that. I consider my writing as a career, because I work very hard to make it one. Same applies for writing anything, by the way. Not just books. I know some great bloggers who make a living that way.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
My newest book is a middle grade called The Colors of a Mind that I wrote for my daughter. My agent spent a long time trying to get it traditionally published and it came very close. In the end it was not successful and I decided to self-publish it. No, I would not change anything in it, but I had bigger dreams for it if that makes sense.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learn something with everything that I write. That includes books, but also all the things that go with it. The cover, the synopsis, the blurb. Even the one sentence to describe the book teaches me something. I’m always learning and striving to improve my writing. I think that should always be the case for every writer.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For my Wolves in the Woods book, I would love to see Rachel Hurd-Wood play Braelin, the main character. She has the eyes I imagined and I feel she could pull off the intensity of the role.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Writing a book is a huge challenge all by itself, but don’t give up! Write it for you.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you so much for believing in me and giving me a chance. Your feedback is more valuable than you know. Thank you for reading!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m mostly reading text books right now until the semester is over. I have a list to choose from this summer, however.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I’ve either been read to or reading my entire life, so no I don’t!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My kids, haha! Seriously though much more laughter than tears. Especially my son. He is a big joker.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would love to meet J.K. Rowling. She inspires me and my kids so much. Plus she’s a very cool person.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Lots of them. I love movies and plays. I crochet, make my own soap and can fruits and vegetable. I also love animals and foster for our local Humane Society in the summer.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Dystopian of course! The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Dr. Who and Star Wars are some of my favorite.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Pie, navy blue and I’ll listen to anything (except country).
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d travel. I have many places on my bucket list to see.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my friends and family. I’d probably write them each a letter.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Probably close to the same thing that I wrote for my twin brother’s marker:
Twin, sister, friend and mother. Gone, but not forgotten.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
You can sign up for my newsletter, buy my books or even contact me to speak at your next event. Thank you!
Armen Pogharian said:
That’s great that you’re able to write with you children. My children are a little older (to be fair so am I), and they still enjoy providing input as I write. Best of luck to you.