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?
Hello! I’m Punam Farmah, 35 and middle-aged.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Birmingham, England. A Brummie born and bred
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
By day, I am a teacher and counsellor. I teach Psychology and humanities, and as counsellor I get to work with and meet lots of different people. Born and raised in Birmingham, I have two very supportive siblings and two fabulous parents.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Earlier this year, I published my latest contribution to the Peace Novella Series. This was a collection of short stories, and I am currently working on the next instalment. As such, I have inky fingers. I am also one of the attending Authors for the Birmingham Author and Reader event scheduled for July 2022.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was sixteen, and I had day-dream. It kept playing on loop, so I had to find a biro and make a note. This was all very immersive, a story, something to be carried away by. It was all handwritten, typed and saved on several floppy disks.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The minute I stood in the kitchen with a copy of my book. It had my name on it, was tangible. As the rest of the books followed, I’ve grown to be more used to seeing m name on things.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Chilies, and courgettes; of all things! I’d written a few guest blogs for a gardening website, and I have my on gardening blog. I wanted to share on a different level, and I thought writing a book would be useful to others.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
By thinking about the story makes me feel. Fragments, is about loss and bereavement. Two things that tear up our worlds.Kangana, came from a Bollywood song! But also reflects a key aspect of the story
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’ve been told that I write the way that I speak, so I’m taking that as a good thing! It is my natural voice, I guess. As such, my writing can feel like a monologue, a conversation at times. It’s a weird slant on being an omniscient narrator. As for genre, I’ve yet to find one! Most of my works have been contemporary romance, as that was what I wanted to experiment with at that time. I do find that with contemporary romance, I write with characters of south Asian ascent, and this does feel like a challenge.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Quite a lot, actually! Each book is part of my own personal timeline. Fragments was the product of two bereavements. The gardening books, chimed with my development and growth as both an allotment holder and a trainee counsellor. Kangana and Postcards from Peace come from a very positive part of my life.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No directly. I do travel, I love to travel. So if I go off on an adventure, I might remember it a few months later and it feels right to use it as crafting tool. This does mean that when I travel, I find a map to help me capture things. For example, a trip to Rome ended up in Fragments. An adventure to Stratford upon Avon to a Ceilidh, made it’s way into Postcards from Peace.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did, the images and artwork are my own for the most part. A couple of images are sourced and thankfully, I was able to work with a professional to make them special.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
That we are all human, all capable of actualising out potential. As such, we are all different and unique. These differences should bring us together rather than divide us.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The whole armada of the Peace Novella Series. That’s S.H.Pratt, Sandra Hurst, Tee Smith, A.H. Stagg and S.Jackson Rivera to name a few. They’ve been a huge support. I also have small army of fellow gardeners, The Grape Family, who have always been on the touchline, offering encouragement.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I see it as a string on my violin; something that I do alongside teaching, counselling and blogging. Simply because these things tessellate and form what I like to do. That said, if it became a career, I wouldn’t complain!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Oh, I don’t know. I think I would open up the town of Peace, Montana a bit more; use other characters to make the universe a bit more tangible.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yeah, certain characters are more liked than others! It’s okay to dislike one of your own, and that if readers feel the same, then that’s a good job done. Even as an author, you don’t have to like everyone.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Ah! I know the answers to this! When it comes to the Peace books, Aidan Turner would be the choice. I don’t for one moment think that Gianluigi Buffon-yeah, the goalie-would want to make a career change for Kangana.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Write it all down, keep everything. Nothing is wasted. Pen, notebook. Use a fountain pen, they are pure magic.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Take a chance on me. See where the books take you. Read, review and share.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Anything! I love having a library close by.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Captain Pugwash! That or Pirates of Dark water…..
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Human beings, doing what they do. I’m all very observational!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
William Shakespeare. I want to know what he thinks about what the world has done to him. How did he write those plays and sonnets, what was going on? He was a genius, a master and his writing is just pure…theatre.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Gardening, writing, travelling and sometimes cooking. There are also colouring books.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Boxsets! I’m a big Star Trek, Buffy and bones fan. I’ve got Angel and Serenity too. Batman is rather cool too. Then there’s Bond…..
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Lamb Biryani, with bourbon, please. I do rather like purple. Maroon5 Live on my shuffle, with Adele.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Grow fruit and veg, prepare for a zombie Apocalypse.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my family, on a sofa watching movies.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She came, she saw. She gave it one hell of a shot.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do. Full details at www.horticulturalhobbit.com
Amazon Authors page UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Punam-Farmah/e/B015RECRL8/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1
Postcards from Peace
Retreating to Peace
RTP Paperback https://amzn.to/2H9NKvr
Plant pot tales.
Sow grow eat