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’m Rita Delude, and let’s just say I watched the first moon landing while it happened.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m originally from Troy, NY, but moved to Merrimack, NH when I married my husband Ron.
Fiona: A little about you self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have a MFA in Writing and taught writing at Nashua Community College in NH for seventeen years. I have four grown children and nine grandchildren. My husband and I now live with just one rescue dog named Daisy.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I have a horror/suspense novella called Sister’s Revenge releasing soon that my first reader claims is my best read yet. He read it in one sitting and can’t stop talking about it. That really excites me.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Since I was about in third grade, teachers saw a gift for writing in me and picked me for special writing projects, school newspapers, school speech writing, etc. I wrote a twice weekly column for our local newspaper for almost twenty years plus feature and travel stories, and countless magazine articles. My foray into fiction writing, however, did not start until I retired from teaching because that freed up my time to concentrate on the work that fiction writing demands.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In eighth grade, when I was chosen by the school’s principal for the school newspaper.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was not my first published book, but it has been published. My first novel was Catch.net. It’s the story of Janice Hartigan, whose name is a combination of my cousin, Janice, who died of kidney disease when we were both thirteen, and Hartigan, my journalism teacher in high school. Janice a college professor who has moved to New Hampshire and is looking for love on the internet on a site called Catch.net. During that time, I was a college professor and my sister was looking for love on the internet. I combined the two and got the story that people enjoyed. They especially liked Janice’s friend, Wanda, so the sequel, Caught in the Middle, features Wanda Sterling and her husband, Joe.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
All of my books are inspired in some way by the people and experiences in my life. I didn’t want to use a real dating site name. My husband, Ron, and I enjoy fishing, so I came up with the idea of having a fish-themed dating site and called it Catch.net using the idea of catching a love with a net and the site has a date lake, nibbles, bites, and other fish related references.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
Although I consider myself mostly a contemporary romance writer, I’ve ventured into horror, paranormal, vampires, YA, sci-fi, and more in my writing because I like the challenge of new genres. My writing style is clean and concise. It comes from a journalism and magazine writing background where you don’t have lots of space to space for unnecessary words.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
All of my books have some element from me or members of my immediate or extended family. There might be a favorite saying that someone uses or an incident that happened to one of my kids, or a situation one of my sister or my brother faced, but none of my books are truly auto-biographical or follow the true course of events. They are merely inspired by them.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I often use places I’ve traveled to in my stories. For example, in Chance Meeting, which will appear in Accidental Attraction, a boxed set to be released in September, the couple meets at Canabie Lake Park. I go there annually, and know the location well. In fact, I took five grandchildren there just last week.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Most, but not all, of my work is through Crazy Ink Publishing. They design my covers. My Catch.net and Caught in the Middle covers were designed by my niece, Jessica Greeley, who is a graphic designer and freelance cover designer.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, I believe at true love can be found. You just have to keep looking.
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?
My favorite new writer for horror, which I’ve really taken a liking to lately, is Erin Lee because she always offers something so different. I never know what to expect, but it is always great. My favorite new romance writer is Lorah Jaiyn because her stories are sweet romance and often about people who aren’t in their twenties, but older and often involve an animal or two.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Crazy Ink Exclusive authors have been outstanding in their support. These are authors who have signed two-year exclusive contracts with the company. They support each other in so many wonderful ways.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, it is my second career. I retired from my first and have started my next chapter with this new career, and I love it.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Dracula’s Choice is my latest book to be available to the public. No matter how long and hard you work on a book and write, rewrite, edit, and edit, when it’s published, there is always something you would change. For the author, I think, a book is never truly finished. I’d likely have Emilia fight against Dracula’s charms longer and harder than she did.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
For Dracula’s Choice, I did a lot of receive into the time period when Dracula was supposed to have lived, the area where he resided, the fashion, vampires, and more. It took nearly a full journal of research before I could start the story. Yes, I learned a lot.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
A young Julia Roberts. I don’t keep up with the movies anymore, so if there is someone with her feistiness, dark hair, and tall, lean look, that’s who I’d like to play Emilia from Dracula’s Choice.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
If you are just beginning, check around locally for a writers’ group to join. Libraries often have them. Take adult education classes and workshops in writing, read, read, and read the genre you want to write. Network with other writers. Work at your craft every day. It’s not a whim to be a writer. It’s hard work to write, rewrite, throw out paragraphs and pages that don’t work, rewrite again, edit, edit, and edit. Show your work to someone you trust will be brutally honest and not tell you sweet things you want to hear. That’s where a writers’ group can help. Prepare yourself for rejection and keep trying.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I can’t thank them enough for their encouragement and support. I appreciate each person who has purchased my books and my short stories in anthologies. Spending your hard-earned money and trusting me to entertain you is a leap of faith, and I value that more than you’ll ever know. Those of you who have written review deserve a gold star. Reviews are so important and so special. Thank you.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished Piano Man by Rena Marin and loved it. I’m reading Beyond Wonderland, an anthology based on the Wizard of Oz.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I can’t say if it was my first. My first was probably Dick and Jane, our school reader. But a favorite was Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
If my husband, kids, or grandkids hurt, I cry. My husband and my grandkids make me laugh. My dog makes me smile every morning when she greets me with her belly faced up for me to rub.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’d love to meet John Steinbeck. He’s my favorite classic writer. He was a journalist before he wrote fiction, and his books really appeal to me. He wrote about real people and relationships, which is what I try to do. I’d love to get some tips from him.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, quilting and crafts. My first published book was Kaleidoscope. In it, Alice Glover opens a custom quilting shop. You see, I incorporate my life in my books.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Project Runway, Yellowstone, The Village, The Good Doctor.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Anything with marina sauce or chicken, blue and purple, and country music are my things.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d read, quilt, do crafts, travel, and fish.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I’d get my immediate family together. With children, their spouses, and their children, there are nineteen of us. We’d play games and tell our fondest memories.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Book and Main Bites: https://bookandmainbites.com/RitaDelude
Links to the books I mentioned in my answers:
Caught in the Middle http://mybook.to/CaughtMiddleCI
Armen Pogharian said:
You’ve written quite a few books and done quite well for yourself. We’re of similar vintage and I too have a Troy, connection. I spent 4 years there during the mid-80s. It was rough then, but based on stories older alums told me (no doubt embellished) I suspect it was a tougher place to grow up in the 60s/70s. FWIW, it’s undergoing a bit of a revival these days and seems to be headed in a good direction now. Best of luck to you.
Callie Carmen said:
Rita and Fiona:
Wonderful interview. I loved reading Catch.net. And yes I really like Wonda. Rita great author tips.
Liz Gauffreau said:
I enjoyed your interview. It’s great to meet another New Hampshire writer. I’m in Nottingham. Best wishes for the continued success of your writing career!