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?
Thanks for having me, Fiona. I am Birgit Stubblefield, and I’m 63.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Frankfurt, Germany. In 1983 I married, and moved with my husband to Kentucky. I’ve lived here – off and on – since then.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Ah– one year ago, I retired from the mortgage business. I enjoyed working with new and repeat home owners, but tell me tell ya…I haven’t missed the stress of it. That doesn’t mean I’m not busy. To the contrary. It seems my days are flying even faster. I’ve been married 37 years, live in a rural Kentucky town with my husband, and my dog, Harper.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Currently, I am working on the third title in my Oak Creek series. The second title, ‘Beneath TheSurface’released last November. I took a little time off, so I’m still in the early stages, but I am thrilled to have decided on the new title, ‘Yard by Yard.’ Usually, I don’t settle on the final title until later in the process. But not this time. And my cover is finished, too. My designer produced an image I’m totally in love with.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wish I could say it had always been my passion. But besides writing mortgage applications, I did not pen anything until 2013. That’s when lightning struck.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I wrote non-fiction books, and fiction short stories about dog rescue, first. I didn’t consider myself a ‘writer’ then. I’d say that changed when I realized I was hooked on writing.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A puppy on steroids. It’s what I call the cute white fur ball – or should I say fireball – we adopted from a rescue organization. Harper wasn’t destructive, just a terrible terror who never slept. Lucky for him was so cute.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
‘Secrets in Oak Creek’ is the first book in the series. The charming small town in rural Kentucky hides a big city secrets. I’ve tossed around several options, but in the end the title was a perfect fit.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
To sit down, tune out everything else and just write can be a challenge. Although I am retired, and at home most days, you’d think I have all the time. But, I admit, I am easily distracted. Marketing, emails, messages, they all need attention. And then there are social media… I find my rhythm at the end of the day, usually after everything quietens down for the night.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I am pulling from some of my own experiences, as well as those of my friends. It’s the spice in the stew that gives a unique flavour. I believe readers appreciate it.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I do love to traveland follow the call whenever possible. Since I started writing this series, I am looking at every place I visit with different eyes. I haven’t travelled for research in particular, unless a Saturday afternoon trip to an abandoned home off the beaten country path counts. I’d been looking for an old farmhouseto photograph as potential cover photo, so when a realtor friend gave me the address, I had to see it. Walking around the decaying home, the heat of summer, the silence, the tall dead tree in front the house – well it gave me shivers. Recalling the experience later, I think it made a difference in the description of the scene. But, the internet is an awesome tool to visit places, too.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I wouldn’t attempt to design my own cover. My knowledge of graphic design is very limited, so for me this isn’t an option. I’ve searched the net for covers I liked, then researched designers. I connected with a wonderful cover designer who gets what I am looking for.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My novels are contemporary fiction with each addressing a different social issue. I hope the reader will be able to connect and relate.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favourite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I am reading many Indie authors in different genres, and I have more than one author I consider the favourite. But, Nora Roberts is an astonishing author whose crisp writing style I admire and love. With the number of books she produces each year, I can only imagine the self-discipline behind it. She is a true inspiration and role model.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
With my first book, I contracted with a small publishing company, although we terminated the contract by mutual agreement. I am a member of a fantastic writers’group. I leave each meeting encouraged to write and become better at it. Besides my group, I have the support of a numbers of authors, and a network of other professionals whose encouragement keeps me going.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I am retired, and my writing has become my hobby, and intense hobby, because it feels like a full-timejob. Am I seeing it as a career? If the opportunity presented itself, I definitely would consider it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Certainly, I would.In my latest book, and in all others. Isn’t there always room for improvement? Every author I’ve talked to would have done something different, or better. I’m no exception.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Oh, my. Yes. Every book provides the opportunity to learn. There is so much research involved with writing that one can’t help but to learn from it. It can be quiet the journey. Sometimes you even end up with a lovely gift to yourself . . . like this sweet signature Tiffany bracelet one of my characters had received.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
For Ryan I’d choseactor Kit Harrington, and Jennifer Lawrence for Emily
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Read. Read. Write. Repeat.
Don’t let anyone discourage you, but keep honing your craft each and every day.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Just a heartfelt thank you. Whether it’s purchasing the book, leaving a review, or reaching out to let me know you enjoyed the story, your support means the world.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just started reading ‘The Lost Queen’ by Signe Pike.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I’ve read books as long as I can remember. Under bed covers, with a flashlight. But honestly, I don’t remember the first one. Brothers Grimm comes to mind.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My husband. He has the ability to make me do both. He’s a goofy guy who likes to make people laugh.
Animal abuse makes me cry.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
So many fantastic people I wouldn’t mind meeting, but to be honest, I’d like to meet with my brother who was supposed to visit from Germany next week. We were so excited and planned on a fun time. Instead, he unexpectedly passed away. So, I would love to meet him one last time, saying the things that were left unspoken.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Next to writing, reading is my favourite hobby.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch many shows or films. But, I couldn’t wait for season 8 of Games of Thrones. That’s over now, so now I wait for Outlander to return. I’m looking forward to it. Episodes of Law & Order, and Chicago PD are a couple favourites.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Can’t live without Mexican & Italian.
My clothes are mostly black, charcoal, black, and more black. I do love the bright and soft colors of my flower gardens, though.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Read. Become a dog foster mom.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I’d be with my husband and son in a Scottish pub, drinking to a life well lived.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
So much left to do
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
To read an excerpt from my WIP, please visit my website.
Website is www.BKStubblefield.com.