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?
My name is Erin Raegan and I am 29, turning the big 30 in January!
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from Maryland, but ever since my husband joined the Navy, we’ve called many places our home.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Well, I have an amazing husband, and together we have a seven-year old monster of a son and two fur babies: A Chihuahua named Leeloo and a German Shepard named Odin. We currently are stationed in Connecticut for the next few years and we love it here! It’s so pretty and we get all the seasons which is a huge plus for us.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My most recent release is called Pythen Blessing and is the sixth instalment in my Galactic Order series! I’m now working on a little holiday tale, and the third installment in my Defy the Ravaged series.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always written in some form, ever since I can remember. Poetry mostly.Though, I think I really fell madly in love with writing stories around 6th grade. My older sister had been sharing a notebook between her trio of friends and together they would write little stories. I was jealous, of course, always jealous of my big sister, so I tried to start a notebook of stories with my own friends to be just as cool but yeah, it was a no-go. My friends did not see the appeal! But I wasn’t ready to give it up. It grew from wanting to be like my big sister to wanting to finish the stories I was hoping to share with my friends. And from there, I was off and never did let it go.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I first considered it the day I hit publish on Amazon. Before that, it was just a hobby.I really never thought of myself as a writer and I guess that was because I never showed anything I had written and completed to anyone after.. maybe fourth grade? But once the Zon sucked it out into the world and I made my first dollar, I was ready to claim that title!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Um, not sure. I had always written little stories. But If I had to really think about it, I think my first real Novelwas written because my husband deployed. It was a particularly long deployment and that same year my son started kindergarten. Even though I worked, I still found myself listless and missing my husband, kind of bored. I had a lot of time on my hands in the evening and so I sat down and just started writing and writing. It stopped being a short story and then eventually became a full novel.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles are always different for me. Sometimes I don’t have a title until the entire book is finished and sometimes I have a title and I’m not even sure what the book is going to be about. Those are always fun because the title will then inspire the story.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
This is always a hard question for me. I can’t really look at my writing and look for styles. It’s just sort of mine. My style. Hah! That makes no sense but that’s how I see it. And all of it is challenging but also none of it is! It’s always fun. Dialogue is my favorite part and also a challenge. And transitions from scene to scene will get me hung up because I just want to get back into the action!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
So, I write Sci-fi and paranormal/fantasy. I try to make it as realistic as possible in unrealistic worlds. I want my character’s reactions to be realistic. How would I react if aliens invaded? But I also like to have fun with it. I try to build my worlds on enough possibility that the impossible is easily accepted.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I write mostly from home, but I find traveling helps a lot with more realistic story lines. My sci-fi worlds come straight from my head but when the scene is on earth it really is nice to visit new places and imagine the story there.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My sister! My first book was made on pennies! There was no money for a professional cover artist, so my lovely sister offered to help me out, Cortney E Designs. I love the design aspect of cover art but put me in front of the programs and I am useless. I fell in love with that first cover so much I’ve begged her for every single one since. As long as she’s willing, I don’t think I could ever look elsewhere. Working with her is so easy and fun, it makes the process that much more enjoyable.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My characters are always telling a story and sometimes they come through with an underlying lesson or message. But for the most part it’s all about the experience in my books for me. I want to take my reader to a new world to experience something fantastical and new. Pull them out of their comfort zone or wrap them in something warm.
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 fell in love with sci-fi with S.E. Smith, and Penelope Fletcher opened my eyes to the stranger and more fantastic side to sci-fi. R. Lee Smith introduced me to the darker side. And Ruby Dixon allows me to curl up at night with something fun and light. There are so many fantastic authors I could never name them all, but some of my one-clickers are Anna Hackett, Amanda Milo, Tiffany Roberts, Honey Phillips, LaurannDohner, Poppy Rhys, SJ Sanders, and Stacy Jones, I could go on forever. I love all genres though. Penny Reid is one of my top-five along with Erica Stevens, Jennifer Armentrout, Linda Kage, and Mariana Zapata. Tammy Falkner is a new favorite of mine as well. All of these great authors strike me and inspire me. My reading time has dwindled significantly since writing full time, but reading is so very important to me for my own writing. It keeps my brain moving and imagining.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Always my readers! From the first one to the last. They allow me to write and I could not do it without them. Before I self-published though, I ran a childcare center out of my home for the Navy. I loved all my kids and when we moved away it was so hard for me to let go. But, that first book I wrote during my husband’s deployment was written when my kiddos went home with their parents every evening. My son and husband will always be my biggest supporters, but those little kiddos were a close second. They didn’t know I was writing about aliens! But they knew I loved to write, and I would sit down with them and we would write our own little stories during the day together and act out our own imaginary tales. Their creativity and appetite for stories inspired me every day. Imagining new worlds and characters with them will always be some of my best memories with them.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I didn’t at first. I published a few months after we moved, during yet another deployment, and that was because I couldn’t look for work until the sale on our house went through and my husband and I decided if we would open up my childcare home again. While he was gone, I just decided to go for it and I published and when he came home the book was doing so well he encouraged me to hold off on finding another job and giving writing a full time chance. Now I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There’s always something I would change. I think there always will be. My first could have been better edited. Again, I was broke! But even now that I have a great editing team, I always look back and think: I wish I had added this, or I wish I had expanded on that. They never feel quite finished for me. I’m never ready to let them go!
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I would have to say that I can push myself beyond what I thought. We lost one of our fur babies recently, Minnie, it was sudden and devastating and at first, I couldn’t bring myself to write a single world. I was so used to her sitting with me during my writing hours that I felt depressed every time I sat in my chair. But I found my way through the pain and my writing actually helped me with her loss.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Oh gosh, I don’t know if I could imagine one of my books as a film. I get too picky about books to film, I don’t think I could ever agree to have it made. I would want total control over everything and I know nothing about filmmaking! And these characters are so distinctive in my mind that no living person would ever feel right to me. They are real to me.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
There is so much I could say, but for me it was not knowing how to get started at first. So finish that book. No matter what you want to do with it, write what you want to read first. Then you can dive into the intimidating world of self-publishing. But don’t get hung up on the financials. It took me far too long to publish because I was so worried about having that very expensive cover and advertising. All of that is for sure important and a key factor in sales, but your words are what a reader will talk about the most. The story is the most important part. And then reach out. Reach out to other authors. So many helped me in my journey and now I try my best to pay that forward to new authors.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I want to tell them that I love them! They are the best and so very amazing and supportive. I have come so far because of them. They are my friends, my confidants, my backbone. They single-handedly drive the stories from me. They inspire me every day.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
This very moment I am 10% into Loki Renard’s: Mine. It was very hard to tear myself away from it today, but I was at a coffee shop. I suspect I won’t be going to sleep until I finish it. This weekend, I’m diving into a brand-new author, Harpie Alexander, and her debut novel: Aykeetan. The cover is gorgeous, and the blurb is so interesting. I try to read new authors as often as I can because one, you never know what you’re going to get from them and that is half the fun, and two, I was once a new author and had a reader not given me a chance I would not be where I am today.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No way could I remember that, but I do remember the first ebook I ever read. My father had given a kindle to me in 2012 for Christmas while my husband was in boot camp. I was a new mother and a mess, and that kindle was my best friend. Amazon had recommended Captured by Erica Stevens to me. Book 1 in her Captive series. I opened it just to play around with the kindle’s features and didn’t put it down until the book was over. I read the entire series and every single thing she’s put out since.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My son. He is my joy and the best thing I ever made in life. He makes me laugh constantly. And any time he does something to show his growth I bawl like a baby. It embarrasses him to no end. But I am not ready for him to grow up. I also cry at anything with a sad ending. Books, movies, comics! My husband constantly gets on me because he thinks I miss out on so much because I will avoid all movies and books unless I 100% know they have a happily ever after of happy for now ending. If it’s something I can’t avoid or I want to see bad enough, I will push through it. But basically, I am that sobbing woman in the movie theatre you do not want to be sitting next to at the end of End Game.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Pfft. That is an impossible question. There are so many long gone and in the present that list just keeps growing! Hundreds of people that have influenced so many aspects of our lives today and so many that still do.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Writing. It’s my job and always my hobby. Panting/drawing. Reading. My puppies. Playing with my kiddo. We are a WWE family as well as avid comic book lovers.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Anything Sci-fi. Horror is the only genre with an unhappy ending I can willingly put myself through without getting hives. I love scary stories so much. End of the World scenarios are like my happy place.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Foods are: mac n’ cheese w/ tuna! Sound gross but you are missing out! Cream cheese on crackers, CHEESE in general! Favorite colors are purple and lime green. I will listen to anything, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Country, Metal…classical. I’m up for anything.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would be involved with childcare again in some capacity. Whether through my own childcare home. Getting my degree. Or even fostering. Fostering is something me and my husband have wanted to do for a long time, but we worry with our military lives, the moves would be harder on our family.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my son and husband. They are and will always be with most important part of my life. I would soak up every last moment with them.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Hah! I have no idea. I don’t think I’ll stick around to find out. I’ll be off to bigger and better things.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
And you can always catch me on facebook! It’s my home away from home.
Pythen: Galactic Order Book 1: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HMR97Y1
Home World: Galactic Order Book 2: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K441XQG
War for Earth: Galactic Order Book 3: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N53DS3L
Juldo Made: Galactic Order Book 4: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07QQTLFJX
The New King: Galactic Order Book 5: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07VZMYB2D
Pythen Blessing: Galactic Order Book 6: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Z5DLDST
Willow: Defy the Ravaged Book 1: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07TFH7S81
Thrive: Defy the Ravaged Book 2: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07WK4GWM4
Amazon Author Page USA: https://www.amazon.com/Erin-Raegan/e/B07HN8945Q