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, My name’s CM Angus, author of Speculative Fiction, SciFi& Horror and I’m in my 40’s.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Originally from the North east of England but for the last 20 years I’ve been living in Yorkshire.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
What can I tell you…I struggled with English at school since then have had a pretty varied education culminating in a PhD.I’m lucky enough to have two great kids, a wonderful wife and an extremely cool dog.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My Latest news is that I’ve recently signed the first book in my Fixpoint series to they guys at Elsewhen-press. The first book: Overstrike is a Speculative Fiction spanning 4 generations of a family haunted by the prospect of an approaching alternate reality where their child has been erased from history – The story has a strong narrative, and touches on themes of retro-causality, ethics and free will; It explores ideas of cause, effect and retribution and follows the path of Matt Howard, whose child, Ethan, is at risk, as he, his father & grandfather attempt use their own abilities to manipulate reality to discover and prevent whoever is threatening their child.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
It’s a long story.
I’ve always been an avid reader, but until recently I’d never thought write. However around 5 years ago I suddenly got the urge to begin. After soaking in the bath one Saturday morning in 2014 I announced that I was starting a novel. 5-years later I’ve published both Horror and SciFi and that same now-finished novel will be published in February 2020.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably when I first saw one of my books for sale on Amazon and then held in my hands a published paperback with my work inside.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book in which I was published was a horror anthology by Fantastic Books Publishing supporting the charity “Freedom from Torture.” FBP do great work and it was a real honour to be included in this.
More recently, my first novel (Overstrike: Volume 1 of the Fixpoint series) was a real labour of love.
As to what inspired me, in both cases, it was that I felt I had stories inside of me that needed to be told.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The Fixpoint Series follows a family of “fixers” who can locate an alternate reality and stamp it on our own – effectively obliterating the current timeline.
Vol 1 is called Overstrike which is a term used when making coins where if a coin turns out bad – you re-stamp it, or overstrike it.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’d say my style is a mix of different influences. There include stream of consciousness, Socratic-dialogue& philosophydoused with a little bit of magical-fantasy. This is set against a backdrop of alternate-universes and a driving SciFi-thriller. Trying to blend this mix together in a coherent way and make it convincing was an awful lot to take on.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There’s a lot in there that has basis in fact. Some of the characters’ mental health issues have echoes of an episode I went through following a near-fatal car crash. Some of that is still very raw.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I didn’t absolutely need to, but I choose to visit some of the key locations to tighten up the bolts during editing. This included visiting Churchill’s war bunker where Overstrike opens in 1948 – Definitively a hugely emotional experience.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
As Overstrike comes in early next year – this is currently being worked on by my publisher’s art department but with inputs from myself.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
At one level, Overstrike can be viewed simply as a Sci-Fi, alt-hlistory/time-travel thriller. But at another level, the Fixpoint Series attempts to tackle deeper issues
Book 1: Overstrike, is an exploration of morals, society and free will.
Book 2: Chimera, continues where the earlier book leaves off but explores themes of gender, identity and self.
Book 3: Origins concludes the saga but tackles spirituality, magic, self-actualization & transcendence
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’ve recently acted as a beta-reader for a fellow Yorkshire author Nick Stead. So fro new authors I’d have to say him. I found Nick’s treatment of the Pendle-witch story extremely engrossing – definitely one to watch out for.
As for a favourite author, I’d have to say Charles Bukowski – His grittiness is unparalleled.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
It would have to be The Huddersfield Authors’ circle – a really supportive local group.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
It is definitively something I take seriously and would like to think it could be one day.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
As it’s still in the editing stages I’d have to say yes. But these changes are minor.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
*Laughs*I learned that it takes a lot longer than you’d ever think.
Fiona: If your book were made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Overstrike is very visual, *laughs* so I think that could work as a movie very well. They’re 4 main characters in a family over time so oldest to youngest my dream-cast would probably be
- Ian McKellen,
- Jim Broadbent,
- Martin Freeman and
- Quinn Lord.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Advice – that’s a hard one.
If the past is only dream – then each of us has the capacity to continually reinvent ourselves.
But the gap between knowing and believing still yawns wide.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I’ve poured a lot of myself into my work, find me on Social media and let me know what you think.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’ve got a two on the go at the minute – playing catchup.
Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s tale and James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Maybe not the first but definitely remember being influenced by CS Lewis’s Narnia series and definitively also A.A. Milne.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The world, in all its gloriousness and monstrosity.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
My father as a young man – when life was new.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I seem to pick up a new hobby each year.I’m a multi-instrumentalist and an enthusiastic martial-artist. I’m also a Reiki master and meditate regularly.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Anything that we can engage with as a family. TV & movies are becoming a solitary affair these days which I find saddening.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
This changes on almost daily basis:
- Good Coffee
Tomorrow – who knows…
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Again: If the past is only dream – then each of us has the capacity to continually reinvent ourselves. Who know’s but I relish that prospect.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
As I live today, feel sunlight on my skin, gratitude in my heart and see a smile on the face of my wife.
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?
Absolutely! You can find me by searching “CM Angus”
Amazon Authors Page USA https://www.amazon.com/author/cmangus