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 Fiona, thanks for interviewing me. My name is Marie Anne Cope and I’m 48 years young.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in the south (Marlow), grew up in the north (Manchester), and now live in North Wales (Wrexham)
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have worked as a salesperson and a banker, before eventually training as an accountant, working for over a decade in practice and industry before setting up my own business. I’m also a yoga teacher and live in a little bungalow with my two cats, Jasmine and Texas.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I am working on the final volume in the Bonds Series – Eternal Bonds – and am in the process of writing the timeline for the novel.
I have also formed a readers’ group for my Facebook Page, called Scary Ramblings with Marie Anne Cope.
On Halloween, I have been asked to headline a short story event in Wrexham, which is all very exciting.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
At primary school, having watched Jaws without my parents knowing, I opted to submit my version of a severed arm being found washed up on the shore into the class short story competition, graphic drawings and everything. To say it didn’t go down very well was a bit of an understatement. I was rapped on the knuckles and told never to write anything like that again. I never did. Not a word. Not for over fifteen years.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably once I’d published Bonds. Despite having short stories published before this, there is something about publishing a novel that makes it real.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A wedding of all things, and it was this that changed my path from short stories to novels too. The wedding was being held in an old village church. At the back of the church stood an ancient stone coffin covered in engravings. It was this coffin that sparked my interest and it was during the service that my imagination took flight. If it wasn’t for that wedding, Bonds would never have been born!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It was originally called Family Ties, but I wanted something more mysterious and which had various meanings. If I remember rightly, I scoured the Thesaurus looking for ideas. Bonds won out, due to its multitude of meanings, and represents the theme of the series well.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write longhand so it takes me much longer to write a novel. I guess I’m just old-fashioned; I simply cannot create through a keyboard. I also have a method to my writing which involves several stages; this of course adds time to the whole process.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My novels are pure fiction, my knowledge of the subject matter garnered through reading books and watching documentaries, films, shows etc. Whilst they are fictional, they deal with issues that affect many people, such as self-belief, and learning to accept and be comfortable with whom you are.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t need to travel to create my stories, but I have travelled and I’m sure the experiences on my travels have found their way into my writing to some extent. I am planning on a trip to Transylvania though, hopefully next year!
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I have two very talented friends who have done the design work for me. Jenny-Lee Fisher helped me create the Bonds Series and Tales From a Scarygirl Covers, whilst Jonathan Brier brought The Misfits to life for me.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The underlying theme and message which runs through both the Bonds Series and The Misfits is that of learning to be yourself, to accept who and what you are, irrespective of whether you are ‘different’ from other people. There is nothing wrong with being ‘different’; all the best minds are and were. It’s about holding your head up, being true to yourself, and saying ‘this is me!’
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?
I meet a lot of new (for me) authors at the various events and festivals I go to and have a stack of books to read. One author that stands out, but whom I haven’t actually met, is Robert Bryndza. We read his novel, The Night Stalker, at the book club I run, and I fell in love with his writing and his characters.
As to favourite writers, I have to go with James Patterson and Jeffrey Archer. I even had the privilege of meeting James Patterson in July at the Theakston Crime Festival in Harrogate. I love Patterson’s Alex Cross and Women’s Murder Club novels. He has a way of drawing you into the narrative so you become part of the characters’ lives.
Archer is similar, but he holds the torch of being the ultimate storyteller for me. Kane and Abel is my favourite novel, but his Clifton Chronicles blew me away too. Archer is a master storyteller, and when I read one of his tales, I become so immersed in the story I am often bereft when I have finished!
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Aside from my drive, determination and belief in myself, at the time of publishing my first novel, Bonds, I had the unwavering support of a fellow author, Stephan J Myers, who guided me, advised me, and acted as the sounding board I needed. He was invaluable in my journey.
Before Stephan though, there was Stephen King and his novel On Writing, which gave me the kick in the pants I needed to just take a chance and go for it!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do, although, at the moment, it is the accountancy business which pays the bills!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not the latest one, but certainly in my earlier writing. When I first started, I had an obsession with the pluperfect tense when writing about the past. Although technically correct, it makes for clunky reading sometimes and so I would change that. In fact, I recently invested time in going through Bonds to make those changes.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned that making a novel much darker in the subject matter does not put off my readers.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I cast Bonds as soon as I’d written it if I’m honest. I would cast Gerard Butler as Antony Cardover and Ashley Greene as Becca Martin.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Finish your story or novel completely before you start editing it. If you don’t, you run the risk of never getting past the first few chapters.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
There is much more to come! To keep up to date, they can join my mailing list through my website, where they will also get a FREE novella!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but it will have been a Beatrix Potter one, so I’m going to go for Squirrel Nutkin, as this was my most read book.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Many things make me laugh, but it is cruelty to animals which makes me cry and want to seek vengeance on the animal’s behalf.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Jack the Ripper, to ask why he did it and what he had against women (that’s assuming the same person did all those murders which I don’t think is true).
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Plenty. I love the cinema, concerts, the theatre, reading, ghost hunts, learning new things…
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Too many to list, but I love US shows – crime, medical, supernatural, emergency services.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I’m not a foodie, in fact the sooner someone invents a pill that constitutes my three meals a day, the better.
Colour wise, I love blue, red and purple.
Music wise, I have a very eclectic taste, as my concert history will prove, but my all-time favourites are Bon Jovi, Bryan Adams and Meatloaf. I have seen them all in concert on numerous occasions. Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell III album is the album I listen to while I am writing.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Read. I have so many books I haven’t read, and I keep buying more!
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my parents.
Fiona: What do you want written on your headstone?
‘Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today’
Marie Anne Cope lived her dream.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Yes, my website is www.marieannecope.com. Here readers can find my blogs and film reviews, plus the chance to sign up to my mailing list and receive a FREE novella and short story.
My Amazon author page UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marie-Anne-Cope/e/B00BE44PWU?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1566845173&sr=8-1