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 A L Walker and I am 46.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Oklahoma, raised in Texas, and now I am in Arizona.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was one of those kids who could never decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. I did a little of everything. I have a bachelor’s degree in dance, and taught dance for a brief period. I was a stockbroker at a large mutual fund company for many years. I’ve played the clarinet for years and have a parrot addiction. Now I am writing all the stories I’ve had in my head for years. I’ve been married for almost 18 years and have two teen boys.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My first book is being released on September 19, 2019. I have several more planned. I recently attended Phoenix Fan Fusion with my sister HarleyCyn, who is a professional cos-player, and plan on attending several more conventions before the year is over.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote a lot when I was young, I did want to be an author. But I wanted to be a ballerina more, at least at the time (my teens), and I knew that there was a short window for that, so I put aside writing for many years. I still wrote in my head for my own enjoyment, though, any time I was bored, or waiting, especially when I was working in the corporate world. I had an hour one-way commute, lots of time to write in my head.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I was about 13. I had written several short stories, and all my teachers liked them. I had a similar experience in college, with nonfiction writing, but I was still pursuing my dancing dreams.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Well, I had worked and saved long enough to ‘retire early,’ my kids were old enough to not need the attention they did when they were very young, it just seemed like the perfect time to get back to my dreams of being an author. And now I had all these stories to tell. This particular book series was partially inspired by all the many times I took my kids to carnivals, and the fascination I had with carnivals and abandoned places when I was a kid. Also, my mom used to tell us all sorts of stories about the interesting places we passed or visited when we travelled, some real, some she made up. This series of books is directly inspired by her.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title was inspired by roadside attractions, especially Route 66. Its kind of an old-fashioned pulp novel title.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I am not sure I have found my exact writing style yet. For this book, I have been told it is charming and reads like a fairy tale. It’s a fairy tale that rejects the traditional tropes of masculine and feminine in favor of pure fantasy and escape for readers who are ultrasensitive to violence, upset, and reminders of traditional mores.
One of my biggest issues is sticking with any particular genre or formula. This is probably because I wrote most of my stories in my head and wasn’t worried about that at the time. My current book is a YA/NA Scifi/Urban Fantasy Romance. I originally did test out the querying waters, and the multi-genre was definitely a challenge to agents.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Many, many of the experience in the book are based on events from my own life, places from my own life, but, just like a roadside attraction, reality and fiction are blurred. Fiction with a veneer of realism.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
For this book, travel was essential. We spent a lot of time on the road when I was young, and I have continued that with my own children. There’s also the fact that most of this story was crafted on commutes as well.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Ok, this is a hard one. But basically, a person on Fiverr, who only came partially through, I’d rather not mention who, as the cover itself is perfect. The rest of the cover, for the paperback, is currently in design and nothing had been finalized unfortunately.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No, this book is for fun primarily, relaxation, a nice side trip from life.
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?
A few new authors that I have enjoyed are Richard H. Stephens, Julie Campbell, and R D Trimble. Tim Fay also has an interesting book coming out that I am looking forward too called Surbanese.
My favorite author for many years was R A Salvatore. I loved how he could handle both combat scenes and highly emotional scenes as well, in the same book.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
That would be Jennifer Perry. She is a great mentor. And the most helpful woman on Earth.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I do hope to make it my career, although I am still interested in many things, still not sure what I want to be when I grow up!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not really, but give me a couple of years, I might have a totally different point of view.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Other than that I can do it, I can sit down and write a book, I have learned so much about marketing and networking, and meeting so many wonderful people. It makes my life before that seem so isolated.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I have no idea!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
No matter if you are traditionally published or independently published, marketing is a must. People cannot find a product that they don’t know exists. Get yourself out there!
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Enjoy life in all its stages. There can be something to like no matter where you are or what you are doing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Just finished Of Trolls and Evil Things by Richard H Stephens.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I remember vaguely reading something about astronomy when I was in kindergarten. I started reading at a very early age, so its hard to remember a time I wasn’t reading!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My kids and birds make me laugh everyday. I also enjoy memes and silly YouTube videos. I cry anytime I remember all the good times I had with my family when I was young (my father and mother have both passed away).
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
William Gaines. He did so much for artists and writers everywhere, yet he isn’t mentioned in any history books. He passed away before I ever got to meet him, which I had hoped to do when I was a kid, at a convention some time in the future.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Small parrots would be my main hobby. I also still dance. I enjoy videogames of many sorts and watching small YouTube channels on gaming. Keeping up with my yard is a hobby of sorts as well, although that can be a real chore in the summer in Arizona!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I mostly watch YouTubers. I watch a handful of people who do Minecraft, like RogueAlchemist and GrimOptimist as well as a couple of individuals who feature roadtrips and attractions, specifically JustinScarred and Adam the Woo. I also have a few dance channels I follow, including Ballerinas by Night. As far as movies go, my Netflix list is five years behind! I have way too many interests, and movies honestly take too much time.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
York Peppermint patties, pink and black together, the score of Coppelia.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Oh, there is so much to choose from! Could go back to teaching dance or fitness, could start a bird store, could do a YouTube channel. Or look at stuff I’ve always been interested in but never pursued, such as interior design. The one thing I don’t want to do again is work in a corporate environment.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I would spend it with family and my birds, just hang out at home.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
At Least She Tried
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
www.andreawalkerfin.com as well as lots of social media sites. You can find links to most of my social media on my website.