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, I’m S. H. Pratt and you can call me Stef. As for my age… dirt? No? How about I don’t age anymore, I only level up. LOL
Fiona: Where are you from?
I am *from* Montana, but I *live* in Olympia, Washington where I count the days until I can return to Montana.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’m the mom of three gifted (no really, I had them tested LOL) children – all teens. I’m a word junkie – word puzzles, games, challenges – I love them. No, my teens won’t play Scrabble with me. I live a quiet life doing all the “Mom things” and loving on our two cats. Social life – that’s non-existent by choice. I’m the youngest of seven, only one of which is a boy. I’m an oddity among the odd and proud of it. LOL
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I guess my biggest news is that, after two years off, I’ll be doing live events again beginning in June 2020. I published my 16th book this year and hope to have some new goodies by next June as well. My goal is to have a book to release in conjunction with my first event next year.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing on and off for most of my life. I wrote an entire book – it was probably pure garbage – by the time I’d finished high school. But I can’t even access that book because it was written on a bazillion floppy disks on a Commodore 64… yikes. My first published book was in July of 2013.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Oh, I don’t know. I never was much for labels, I’ve just always been doing what I love to do.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I was bored in high school… but that book we shall not speak of. LOL As for my first *published* book, I was angry with my husband. I killed him in effigy in the book. (See, it really is true you shouldn’t tick off an author. LOL)
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
“Always, my love” is something the hero always said to the heroine so it made sense to use it as the title.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My style is to write the story as the characters dictate and use a whole lot of psychology to back them up. The most challenging thing I face is finding readers who don’t mind the hefty psychological roller coaster ride. LOL I think I scare some off because there is so much basis in psychology.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
If you know me well, you can find the “Easter Eggs” of myself that I weave into every book – some are easy to find and others a bit more challenging. But I try to make my characters “people” that everyone can relate to. They have regular jobs, regular troubles and fears, but the often have extraordinary circumstances that make the story more exciting. However the extraordinary circumstances are often things you’d read about or hear about in the everyday news reports.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Oh man, I wish I could travel to do my research! It would make some things so much easier. Alas, no. The most travelling I’ve done for any bookish stuff would be home to Montana for pictures. I snuck my best friend out of her work and hauled her into the Crazy Mountains so she could help me capture the majesty of the mountains I wrote about in my Crazy Mountain Series.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Covers are usually a collaborative effort between me and my husband. He’s a photographer (for a hobby) and knows the Photoshop realm. He and I bounce ideas around until we have a notion of what we want then fiddle with it until it’s right. Some covers are easier than others, but all of them tell a little story about the story within.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In every book, I try to convey that everybody deserves love and can overcome whatever demons they are haunted by.
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?
Oy, favorite authors… that depends on genre. I am all over the map when it comes to reading so to choose one would require a specific genre selection. One author whose book I loved was Gloria Herrmann and her book “The Pass Through”. It’s beautifully unique. But my tastes in books are entirely mood dependant and therefore different things will strike me at any given time. One time I’ll like the slow burn, the next story I’ll enjoy the combustible heat. I’m a moody reader. LOL
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Linda, my best friend of nearly 40 years is always there. She helps me with Montana pictures (because she’s there LOL), listens to me blather about whatever I’m working on, and even went so far as to create a gorgeous scrapbook for me of my journey as a writer.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I see it as a passion that I’m lucky enough to treat as a career. I could do the nine to five but I’d rather be writing. LOL
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
In my latest? I’m going to have to say no. “Beyond the Dark” is the quintessential “light at the end of the tunnel” sort of story with a patient, slow burning love story and extraordinary friendships and family dynamics all woven together. I am super proud of that story.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Oh my gosh, I learned a ton! I hit so many walls with it that it took a small army of professionals to help me navigate my characters into their happily ever after. In the end, even my readers have reported learning new therapies and coping mechanisms from it.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Oy… I don’t know if I could manufacture an actor that compares to the picture in my head. In “Beyond the Dark”, for instance, the leading man, Malaki, was inspired by the model, Nicolas Simoes. This, however, was an altogether rare event as usually I just make up the feature I want for my characters and have no real person to draw from. But if I had to choose a close approximation of what I see for Malaki in an actor, I’d say Cheyanne Jackson would be an exceptional Malaki.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
You do you, but for the love of all that is holy, do your best you. Don’t just slap words together and toss them out as a book, take pride in your book and it’ll show.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Don’t be afraid of my books. I always make things right in the end and tissues are optional.
Seriously, don’t worry about the psychology part of my writing, just let the story take you away. I promise a happy ending always.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Right now, I’m enjoying DragonStar by C. K. Brewer – a nifty little fantasy book that is a fun read. And I’ve been reading my way through the rest of the Peace Series novellas. Sure, I wrote two of the collection but I haven’t finished reading all the other great stories the other amazing authors contributed.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Absolutely. Green Eggs and Ham. I still love it. LOL
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My kids usually make me laugh so hard I cry. But the reality is, I’m a true Cancerian and it takes very little to draw emotions from me. I just have learned to keep them more private these days.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Ooh, just one is tough. There are three women who I would go far and away out of my way and spend a fortune to meet. They are Carol Burnett, Julie Andrews, and Betty White. They are just so incredible and I would be beside myself.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Oh yeah. I am a hand quilter, taught by my mom and grandmother. I also love to read (obviously LOL), watch old musical (Sound of Music, Mary Poppins, and Annie are tops), watch football (American NFL style) and baseball – the football I watch from the high school level (where my son goes to school) through the collegiate level and into professional, do puzzles – word and jigsaw, and play games – board and PC. I often do several of said hobbies at the same time. LOL
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Well, I don’t watch TV unless its sports. But movies, like books, I’m all over the map with and am a moody watcher.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite food… probably pasta or a good steak (depends on my mood – are you sensing a theme here? LOL)
Favoritecolor… deep loden green
Music… is again all over the map and mood determined. Music also drives many of my stories so I’ll hyper-focus on one song/artist through the writing of a story then move on. LOL I know, I’m odd.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’d probably rejoin the nine to fivers until I could retire… unless I was independently wealthy by some miracle. Then I’d move myself back to Montana and live off the land in the shadow of the Crazy Mountains being a quiet philanthropist who bolsters children’s and service veteran’s charities.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Making memories with my children… all the memories.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I don’t intend to have a headstone, but if I did, I’d want it to say something like “She was a cool mom who wrote grand stories of adventure for us to love.” Or something cheesy like that.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My website is always the best way to find all the news… especially if you sign up for the newsletter (linked to the website), which is: http://shpratt701.wix.com/books-by-s-h-pratt
The newsletter will often have contests, giveaways, and other fun things.
Plus there is always Facebook, Twitter, Bookbub, and all the other usual places:
Amazon Authors page USA: http://www.amazon.com/author/shpratt