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 go by the pen name of P.C. Darkcliff, and I’m 41—not ready for a junkyard yet, but old enough to see the expression “happy birthday” as an oxymoron.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in the Czech Republic but grew up in Canada. As I’ve also lived in Bulgaria, Portugal, Turkey, and Spain, I like to think of myself as a world citizen.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I graduated from journalism, but after working for a year for a small Canadian newspaper, I decided to travel around Europe and the Middle East and teach English. I’m now living in south-western Spain with my wife, Rosa.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’ve just sent the first chunk of my second novel, The Priest of Orpagus, to my advanced/beta readers. My editor is working on the rest of the manuscript, which I hope to publish sometime this summer. My friend and critique partner DW Brownlaw and I are also compiling an anthology of short fantasy stories, which should also come out in a few months.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I pretty much started writing as soon as I learned my letters. It was kind of a natural, even compulsive thing. I remember sitting in my grandparents’ dining room, scribbling a story about a talking dog.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
That’s an interesting question, and frankly, I’m not sure how to answer. I’m still waiting for the royalties from my first book so I guess I’m not officially a writer yet. In my heart, though, I’ve been a writer since Grade 1.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I guess it was Czech fairy tales, which teem with pretty wenches who take on malevolent but slightly thick-headed demons. I decided to adapt these stories, give them a modern flair, and sprinkle them with magical creatures of my own creation. Another big inspiration was Faust and the idea of a mortal selling his soul to the devil.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I don’t even remember how “Deception of the Damned” sneaked into my head. I must say I’m quite proud of it, though, as it it is unclear until the very last chapter who is the deceived and who is damned.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
One of my readers described Deception of the Damned as “rich in color and texture, bizarre and almost grotesque, but somehow still beautiful.” My style has also been called intriguing, artistic, literary—and fun. I think that if you have a good imagination, fantasy is probably the easiest genre to write. After all, fantasy worlds are boundless, waiting to be filled with whatever creatures and magic you can think of.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I was fortunate enough to have a lot of adventures during my nomadic years, and many of them have spilled onto the pages of my stories. I also met really memorable characters (for better or worse), whom I have also immortalized in the “earthly” parts of my books, in a distorted and exaggerated form to make them even more colorful and unrecognizable.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I travel for pleasure, but I always carry a pen and paper with me, just in case. My novels are set in countries I’ve lived in or at least visited. For instance, my upcoming novel, The Priest of Orpagus, takes place mostly in Turkey, where I spent a year as an English teacher.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
It was the talented Andjela K., whom I found at People Per Hour. She’s now working on the cover for The Priest of Orpagus, and I hope she’ll do the cover for the upcoming novels, as well.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t think I’m that much of a philosopher. I simply want people to have fun reading it, to visit the worlds I created, and to experience the same emotions as my characters, from fright to hilarity.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
It is my great friend Lesley Leachman, who has read practically everything I’ve ever written, and who’s been cheering me on for years. Thanks, Lesley!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
That’s my biggest dream. Definitely.I don’t need to be rich, even though a bit of fame would be nice, but I would love to quit my day job and dedicate all my time and strength to producing new books.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I think it’s too early to think of that, as I only published Deception less than two months ago. I’m sure that when more time passes, though, I’ll start wincing at the mistakes I made.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I’ve learned a lot, especially from the feedback I got from my editor and beta readers. I think my writing is much cleaner and forcible now than it was a few months ago, and I’m grateful to everyone who helped me achieve that.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
That’s a tough question. I never watch films or TV, so I don’t know any young actors or actresses who could do that. Since the main character is a beautiful, black-haired, swarthy girl, I’m imagining as lightly younger version of Mila Kunis would be ideal for the part.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
I could perhaps pass on the good old pieces of wisdom I’ve learned: beware of adjectives and adverbs, avoid unnecessary words, and—most importantly—show, don’t tell.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you all for your support! As a debut indie writer, I truly appreciate every purchase and relish any kind of feedback. My inbox is always open and you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Path of a Novice by the increasingly popular R.K. Lander, who is also my self-publishing guru. I can highly recommend her Silvan Saga to fans of epic fantasy.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first one I remember was Little Nicolas by Rene Goscinny. I still even recall some of the scenes and lines. I wish that one day I could write such a memorable book.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Since I teach English at a private language school, I deal with a lot of restless and hot-blooded Spanish children. At times, they make me mad, but they never push me to tears, fortunately. And they do make me laugh quite often.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
It would probably be H.P. Lovecraft, the late master of cosmic horror. His stories influenced me quite a bit while I was creating my own creatures and demons, and I would love to find where his inspiration had come from.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Apart from the obvious, reading and writing, I love cycling and swimming in the sea. I’m very lucky to live in a country where I can go swimming most of the year, and where I can ride my bike anytime I want. I also love traveling, but I’ve been too busy with my books to do that, lately.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Although I never see films, I sometimes watch an episode of Family Guy just before I go to bed,when I’m too tired to read and write.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I really love traditional Czech food: thick gravies and dumplings. I also love Spanish and Chinese food. I’m a huge carnivore, and I had a hard time when I spent a year without pork while living in Turkey. I’m a fan of the color black and heavy music.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
To be honest, I can’t imagine a future without writing, but I guess I would do a lot of traveling. Then I would settle down in a jungle village somewhere in South-eastern Asia and become a farmer or a fisherman.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I guess I would go for a swim and then take my wife for a ride along the coast. And since it was the last day of my life, I would probably make a beer stop at every beach bar along the way.
Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone?
“Here lies a damn good writer. He died old and happy.”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Of course. People can visit www.pcdarkcliff.com to find out more about my projects and get a freebie on my giveaways page. I’d also like to mention that the Kindle version of Deception of the Damned is now discounted to 99 cents at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PMR5SCK/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=pc+darkcliff&qid=1552681811&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull
Thank you very much for the interview, Fiona. I really appreciate your support!