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 Carmel McMurdo Audsley and have just celebrated my 65th birthday. That sounds ancient when I say it out loud, but in my head I’m still 35.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live in Brisbane Australia.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I’ve worked as a Journalist and Editor on newspapers and magazines for a lot of years. I hold a Bachelor’s degree majoring in Journalism, Literature and Philosophy. I ‘retired’ from full-time journalism a few years ago, but still edit and publish a magazine and have just had my ninth novel published.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest release book is called ‘Seven Deadly Sinners’. It’s a novella, so a quick read, and is set in outback Australia in 1957. Travellers are forced to stay at a strange old isolated pub because the five-year drought has finally been broken and the rains have come. They are trapped, with no way out – and one of them is a serial killer.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing stories from my early teens, had a great career in Journalism and now have the joy of writing novels.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As a Journalist, you write to get paid, so if you get paid for your writing, you are a writer. As an author, I still like to get paid but that’s no longer the main motivation. If you get up every day wanting to write, then you are meant to be a writer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I wrote a children’s book twenty-five years ago but work and family life were busy so I put creative writing on hold. When I started researching my family’s history in Scotland, I uncovered so many stories of people of the time that I wanted to write a book to pay tribute to them. That turned into a trilogy.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Ours, Yours and Mines is a book about families and how they coped in mining communities in the 1800s. It’s the story of every family who lived in the miners’ rows – ours, yours and mine – but a lot of folk say ‘mines’ instead of ‘mine’ so it seemed a good fit.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I write historical fiction and, while the research is critical, it can be arduous. I takes me about a year to research and write a novel.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
My first three novels were based on my family’s history. The next trilogy The Undertaker set in Edinburgh, is fictional but I have incorporated details of real places, events and people.Murder In The Bush is based on the true story of William McDonald who travelled to Australia from Scotland in 1885. He made a lot of money but didn’t get the chance to spend it as he met a bizarre end. The latest book Seven Deadly Sinners is purely fictional.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I have travelled widely in Scotland and Australia so I can draw upon my knowledge of people I have met and places I have visited.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I have some knowledge of graphic design because I have edited a few magazines and needed those skills. I had a traditional publisher who took care of the design process, but now I’ve brought all aspects of publishing in-house.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
All of my novels are different, but if there is one over-riding message I would say that good triumphs evil, and that if you work hard you will reap the rewards.
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 read and review a lot of books for new writers. I think if you have experience in an industry then you should use that experience to help those who are just starting out. I don’t have a favourite and, as much as I love reading the classics, I really enjoy discovering new writing.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I’ve worked in the publishing industry for a long time. I think it is the confidence in knowing what I’m doing (most of the time!) that has been my biggest support.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No I wouldn’t change anything. I put a lot of time and effort into each book and don’t release it into the world until I am completely happy with it. However, if I was to write the same book again, there would be differences because that is the nature of creativity.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes. I learned a lot about how people coped without electricity, running water and a toilet in such an isolated area in the outback. People in remote areas often don’t see another soul for months at a time. It’s a hard life.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
In The Undertaker series, I can see Eleanor Tomlinson as Kate Grainger with flaming red hair and a take-no-prisoners attitude.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Yes. Don’t be afraid to take advice and constructive criticism. Write with your readers in mind.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I value every person who buys my books. The fact that they have taken the time to read the blurb and spend their hard-earned money is greatly appreciated. I always write back to readers and love getting their emails.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I was given an advance copy of a book on fermentation so that I could provide a review. I love reading and reviewing non-fiction books on all subjects.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first hard-cover book I owned was given to me as a Christmas present when I was about ten. It was called Two Queens at the Abbey, but I still remember my readers in the first of school.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My grandchildren make me laugh. Cruelty to children makes me cry, and it makes me very angryl
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
There are lots of people I would like to meet – Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Walter Scott, Robert Burns, Shakespeare – but I’ve come to know them all quite well through the wonderful written work they have left the world.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I’ve been lucky enough to work at something I love – writing – and there’s never been much time left for hobbies. I do read a lot and love going to the theatre.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Any British crime shows and inspiring documentaries about people.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I like Japanese food, favourite colours are pink and blue and enjoy classical music and any popular music from the 60s and 70s.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would teach writing. A lot of people are great storytellers, but not necessarily writers, so I would teach storytellers how to write for publication.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my husband, daughters, grandchildren and sons-in-law.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Here lies a hard-headed woman – she never gave up.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
My website features excerpts from all of my books at www.scottishbooks.webs.com
I also publish a magazine for ex-pat Scots in Australia, and feature Scottish writers. You can see the latest issue at
You can also see all of my books on my Amazon author page USA