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, my name is… Okay, my pen-name is Janina Carol (J.C.) Seal, and I’m 47 years old. Yes, that’s right. I know I’m quite old to publish my first book.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Germany, from the beautiful Black Forest area.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m happily married. I live in a small townhouse with my husband, my wonderful daughter and my tomcat. I work part time as a lab technician in cancer research.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My first book, “Fallen Angels” (Angels and Demons, Book one)https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PP3YFSB/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_awdo_.4ZdDbFJJY2DVhas just been properly edited by TE Tim Blackburn from www.wassup-authors.com. The new and better second edition should be available on amazon kindle, KOBO, Barnes&Noble, iBookstore and Google Play Books now. It also got a new cover, designed by Candace Bowser from Darkwaterartsdesigns.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Not even a year ago. It started in October 2018 as some crazy idea in my head, spurring me to write a fan-fiction short story, “Blood Moon” in Aimee Easterling’s werewolf universe. I sent it to her. Not wanting to read it herself (because of getting influenced in her writing), she had a friend of hers check it out. It was declared good enough to share. I put it up on AO3 and she actually shared it on Facebook as well as in her newsletter. Then, the next crazy thing happened. She asked me if I was interested in co-authoring a short story with her. I was thrilled, and scared witless at the same time. I agreed. In November2018, my pen-name J.C. Seal was created, and in February 2019, “Pool Party” was published. By then, I had also started writing “Fallen Angels”, my first own book, in my own universe.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Oh, I guess everything is so new, I still don’t. TE Tim Blackburn called me “one of his authors”. I asked him if that’s what I am, and he replied with “definitely yes”. It still doesn’t really register in my brain. Sometimes I think I’m only dreaming.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
It was Aimee Easterling’s acceptance of my work. She was really happy about the parts I contributed to “Pool Party”. She told me to try writing my own book, supported meby answering my numerous questions. Otherwise, I’d never have dared to try doing this.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It was the title I gave the file I was working on, because it explained what I was writing about. The title just stuck, I never changed it afterwards.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Since it’s my first book, no, I don’t have a specific writing style.
The most challenging thing is probably writing in English. I usually read English books, because so much gets lost in translation. That’s probably one reason I ended up writing in English. Second, writing in German just sounds like crap, I don’t manage to put my feelings into German words. J.C. is my alter ego, my emotional half, and she’s thinking in English. By creating the pen-name, she was finally set free.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I wrote it, so certain aspects of my life are definitely wrought into the book in many places. Writing a book is baring part of your soul to strangers you’ve never met, and probably never will.
The setting ispartly realistic.It plays on today’s earth, in an alternate universe. It’s a paranormal fantasy world rooted in history, with new interpretations of old legends about Angels and Demons, mixed with mythology about ancient Gods. Descendants of Angels and Demons are still roaming the Earth today, hiding from the modern world.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Not physically. I had to do research about mythology and history, so you could call it travelling through history inside my own mind. For some locations, I travelled on earth via Google maps, searching for the right island, the right mountain, using aerial view. For other places, I had to travel backward in my own memories, trying to bring them back to life with my words.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The wonderful Candace Bowser from https://www.facebook.com/darkwaterartsdesigns/
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I guess the main message is pretty basic. Don’t give up, even if it takes a long time. Believe in yourself. Don’t close your heart, although you might get hurt. Learn to accept and to forgive.
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?
The authors I have read most recently were Aimee Easterling, of course (everything in her werewolf universe), and Becca André (Final Formula and Ferromancer Series). What strikes me most is that I can dive into their universes and live, breathe inside while reading. I don’t really see the words, I see the world, feel, smell, experience what the characters do. It needs a special writing style, it doesn’t work with just any book. Sorry, but I honestly can’t explain what exactly it is that makes it work.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
After finishing the first draft, I asked my friend Norma Moore Sutton if she was willing to beta-read for me. At the time, I still had no clue what I was doing. She corrected my typos and blunders, telling me she liked the book. Without her, I wouldn’t have dared to self-publish it. She was the only one to see the manuscript before I published the first edition.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would like to, but with only one book so far, it’s too early to make plans. I’m working on it. Book two has already been sent to Norma for beta-reading. I have started with book three. Maybe one day, I can see it as a career. For now, it’s a wonderful hobby I never want to miss again.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
What a fitting question. I actually did add some new scenes during the editing process. Other than elaborating on some details, no, I wouldn’t change anything.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
The proper question would be, is there anything I didn’t learn? Yes, one thing I had obviously down from the beginning was “show, not tell,” at least that’s what I’ve been told. Other than that, I basically needed to learn everything, from formatting to getting rid of typos, overused words and so on. I also learned how to use Calibre to make my own .mobi files, learned to write a synopsis, or a cover letter for submission to publishers.
Many heartfelt thanks to my editor and teacher TE Tim Blackburnonce again. Without him, none of this would have happened. After joining www.wassup-authors.com, he wanted to have part of my book for evaluation. I sent the whole file, because I had nothing to lose. He liked it, told me it was 4 stars, told me to get it edited properly. He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Now it’s 4.5 stars and has been submitted to five publishing houses. Right now, I’m waiting what will come of it. Sometimes I must pinch myself to realize I’m awake.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Wow, never thought about that before. The first who comes to mind is the young version of Alexander Siddig playing Bela, with his current self playing Bela’s father Beliel.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Believe in yourself, in your vision. Don’t stop writing because others tell you it’s not worth it. Don’t despair when you are smiled upon, when your “antics are tolerated”. Find the right group of people to support you, people who share your dreams, who help you make them come true. I was lucky I did.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
First of all, I really hope everybody reading my book will enjoy the story. So, dear readers, if you liked my book, please be so kind to leave a review on the platform you bought it. Thank you, your support is very much appreciated.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Nothing currently, which is a rare thing. I have been too busy writing book three, correcting book two, formatting book one, getting my facebook-page up, answering questions for blogs. Thanks for having me, Fiona!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The very first book ever? No, I don’t. It was probably some children’s book when I was six. I do remember the first English book I ever read. I was staying in the USA as an exchange student when I was sixteen. My host-parents had four younger kids. I was standing in the public library in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, watching the kids pick out their next read. I picked a book at random for myself, ending up with “Dragonsong” by Anne McCaffrey. It was the beginning of my passion for stories reaching beyond the confines of the mortal human world.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Hmmm, difficult question. Things that make me laugh are a good joke, a scene in a film, a funny situation, my latest typo making the sentence sound weird. What I don’t like is laughing at other people’s stupidity, the way it’s often displayed in sitcoms. I hate those. Laughing at someone else’s expense is not funny at all.
Things that make me cry are emotional scenes in books or films, like lovers breaking up, beloved characters dying. In real life, things like tortured people or animals. Seeing that, I sometimes wish I had the courage and strength to make the torturers lights go out with a well-placed punch to the nose.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
If my book is ever done as print version, I’d love to meet Tim Blackburn personallyto give him the promised, signed copy of Fallen Angels.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Writing, of course. Playing computer games, watching some series in the evening. My cat, my house, my garden. Being part of the parents’ council at my daughter’s school and a committee member of the gardening society around the corner. I’d love to do more, so could someone please invent a time-stretching machine, enabling me to fit it all in one day in addition to working, eating and sleeping?
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The last film I saw at the movies was Avengers – Endgame. I love the films to those superhero-comics, although I don’t like reading comics at all. The pictures just kill my imagination.
Some series I like watching are NCIS L.A., Hawaii five O, the remake of Magnum P.I. I also watched The Good Doctor recently. Currently, I’m watching Riverdale with my daughter.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Spaghetti Bolognese, Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce, Barbecue, cheese fondue.
My favorite color is green, although I wear mostly blue and red.
Spanish (Alvaro Soler).About half the songs in the German iTunes charts (kick out rap and everything German).
“A Million Dreams” from the soundtrack of “The Greatest Showman”,
Every night I lie in bed
The brightest colors fill my head
A million dreams are keeping me awake
I think of what the world could be
A vision of the one I see
A million dreams is all it’s gonna take
A million dreams for the world we’re gonna make
The chorus just states perfectly how it feels to write.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I don’t know. To make me stop, something incredibly sad must happen to rip the joy of writing from my heart. It’s no future I want to live in.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my family and my closest friends. Settle my affairs surrounded by those who love me. Maybe even tell them I’ve been writing. So far, only my husband and daughter know about my alter ego.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Don’t cry for me. It’s not the end, but a new beginning. I’ll be waiting for you on the other side.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
You can join me on Facebook for the latest news: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJCSeal/
or write an email to: email@example.com .