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?
Hi Fiona, nice to talk to you again. Last time we spoke I was two years younger, LOL, so I have just celebrated my 43rd birthday. For those of your readers who do not know me, I am Toni Cox, fantasy author and believer in dragons.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Germany, but I spent more than half my life in South Africa.
Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
Once I finished with school, I studied horsemanship and did my SANEF instructors’ course. Unfortunately, I never finished, as I fell pregnant with my son.
I have been working in the timber wholesale industry ever since but studying various subjects in my private time. I have a diploma in Project Management, Photography, Photoshop, Digital Marketing, Roof Truss Design, and Nutrition.
I love learning and am currently doing a course on Amazon Marketing.
My super-supportive husband is always there for me, even if I need coffee at 11pm because I just need to finish that last paragraph.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My new release is called LUKE. It is an Elemental novella and releases on April 30th. It is the 4th book in the Elemental short story series but, like all the others, it is a stand-alone novella. If it is fantasy you’re after, this book is for you.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
When I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2013, I was looking for something to help me cope. Reading and writing has always been something I turned to from a young age, so that’s when I decided to make it more than just a hobby.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After I published my first book. I considered myself a novice author with much to learn, but an author, nonetheless. It inspired me to keep on writing.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The story of Maia has been with me since I was a teenager and has grown with me over the years. When I made the decision to write that first book, Maia demanded that she get the lead role. 😉
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Maia is an Elemental, being able to control the elements. During the book, she comes into her power, so rises up to be the person she is meant to be – Elemental Rising.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Writers are often classified as plotters or pantsers. I don’t know if I fall into either of those categories.
I do a lot of research for my novels, as well as extensive worldbuilding and character detailing before I start writing. I will then do a “word vomit” where I will write down a loose summary of my story. This is usually 1-3 A4 typed pages, depending on the length of the novel.
From there, I just start writing.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All my books are pure fiction & fantasy, but my characters all have some traits or other that are my own, or something I may have experienced. Some of the views my characters express, may also be my own. It all depends on what character it is. If it is a villain, I may have based it on trait I do not like in a person.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
With my illness, I do not travel well. I’m pretty much a home body and that’s where I am happiest. I write with a laptop, but I use a TV as my screen and my wheelchair as my office chair. It is a comfortable set up and that’s where you’ll find me most of the time.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I have several cover designers now, as I now write different genres and different styles of books.
Southern Stiles Designs
Simply Defined Art
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Always! Every one of my books carries a message. You can read the books and simply enjoy the story, but if you dig a little deeper you will find a message in every book I write, even the short stories.
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?
Over the past few years I have met so many aspiring authors; just like me; that have amazing talent and are up and coming in the industry. Some of them have already earned a best seller rank with a book or two.
I cannot name them all, but I urge you all to look into the indie author community, for there is some outstanding talent there that should be read and can definitely compete with the traditionally published, international authors.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The indie author community in South Africa. They are a wonderfully supportive group of people.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, definitely. Since last we talked I have come a long way and I am now almost writing full time.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, not in my latest book. I will, probably, publish a revised edition of my first book some time down the line, adding to it some of the experience I have gathered over the years.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learn every day that I write. It is a journey.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I would love for The Wachowski Brothers to direct it, and Alicia Vikanda as Maia, the main character.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Never give up and carry on writing. Learn as much as you can about marketing.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I am currently writing a dystopian novel called RESILIENT. I will release end May/beginning June. Keep a lookout for it. I am super excited for this book.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I never read one book at a time, so here they are:
Liberation – by Sian B. Claven
Fate of Dragons – by Alisha Klapheke
Rise of the Seer – by Brandon Barr
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Black Stallion by Walter Farley
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’d like to meet some of my peers. Being in South Africa, I know most of the authors only through Facebook. I would love to be able to go to England and America to a book fair and meet them all in person.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I crochet when I don’t write (which isn’t very often)
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I hardly ever watch TV, but when I do, it is either fantasy or paranormal.
GoT, Bitten, I Zombie, Supernatural, Jupiter Ascending, Avatar
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Mushroom Ragout and Pecan Nut Pie, Purple/magenta, Of Monsters and Men
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Why would you ask such a horrible question? You are torturing me, LOL. I’d probably go into designing graphics.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I’d spend it with my husband
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I followed my dreams!
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
FB Group: www.facebook.com/groups/toniselementals
Amazon: USA www.amazon.com/author/tonicox
About The Author
Born in Germany in 1976, Toni Cox moved to South Africa in 1991. Although she has spent much of her working career in the timber wholesale business, she is also an accomplished horse rider, has a diploma in project management, photography, and nutrition, and has a passion for books and all things fantasy.
From a young age, her dream had always been to put her imagination into words – give the stories life. When she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 2013, she decided life is too short not to follow her dream. So, with the support of her husband and three children, she began writing book 1 of the Elemental Trilogy in January 2015.
Toni Cox writes Epic Fantasy, Young Adult Fantasy, Sci-Fi Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Dystopian Fantasy, and Dark Fantasy. She is a firm believer in dragons.
Here are the links to my books:
ER kindle: http://mybook.to/ElementalRising
EB kindle: http://mybook.to/ElementalBetrayal
FE kindle: http://mybook.to/ForbiddenElemental
Elemental Box Set: http://mybook.to/ElementalBoxSet
OF kindle: http://mybook.to/OnFireTC
MT kindle: http://mybook.to/MidnightTales
JIL kindle: http://mybook.to/JasmineInLove
Luke kindle: http://mybook.to/LukeTC
Forbidden Love Box Set: 8 October 2019
Thank you for your time, Fiona 😊