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?
I’m Leeah Taylor and I am 35 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
Very sunny, sometimes too sunny, Orlando, Florida.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was adopted at birth and blessed with two amazing parents. I was raised in Ohio, so cold, until I was thirteen and then my family moved to Orlando, Florida. I’ve called that home ever since. I certainly don’t miss the snow!
I am married, 17 years now, to an amazing and supportive husband and we have two children; Lucas, 12 and Kaylee, 6. They are both on the autism spectrum and there’s never a dull moment with the two of them. As a special needmomma, it’s almost always chaos lol. But I love them and wouldn’t have them any other way.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’ve decided that 2020 is the year I chase and catch my dreams. I’m excited to announce that I’ll be launching the first in a seven book series of paranormal romances on January 31st.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
When my parents moved my brother and I to Florida from Ohio, I was thirteen and in the middle of seventh grade. It was a culture shock going from small country town to big city madness. As an introvert it was very intimidating. It was the middle of the year and just after winter break. Cliques and groups were established, and I was the certified new kid. And 13/14 year olds can be cruel. Not a good feeling. It was lonely and isolating.
This is where I discovered writing. I wrote a lot of cringeworthy self-insert boy band fan fiction. But it helped combat that loneliness and isolation I felt. Once I hit my twenties, I found that I loved writing more when it was original ideas and I knew without a doubt that I wanted to be a writer.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After I finished my first story. Looking back at it now I cringe really hard, but it was about 38k words and all mine.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book came from my love for all thing’s vampires, romance and paranormal. It was truly a labour of love and I spent years writing it.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It went through a variety of different titles before I finally settled on Surface Below which was a plan on the setting in the book, which was the idea that there was an underground supernatural world filled with vampires, wolves, and magi’s.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I prefer to write in third person limited POV past tense, which is challenging since I write in Romance and the trend there is usually first person present tense. But I do stick with the typical dual POV for romance, sometimes even more POVs depending on the story.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Most of the situations and experiences in my stories are loosely based on my own life experiences. I write fictional cities/towns with vampires, witches and wolves. This usually awards me a lot of freedom to do whatever I want, as long as I can make it believable.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t have to travel though I did pull inspiration for my fiction town of Sterling, Georgia from my love of Savannah, Georgia and St. Augustine, Florida. Two places I love to visit as often as I can.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
My very good friend, Anne. She’s learned Photoshop over the years as a hobby and as a fellow writer, knows a lot about cover design.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
In my most current series I’m getting ready to launch, I didn’t go into the story with any message in particular. It’s about four vampire brothers, their love interests, and their home of Sterling and the different conflicts in it that affect their lives and romances.
But with each book I wrote in the series the more messages and themes came through. The big one that sort of encompasses the entire series is family always matters or the bonds of family beyond blood.
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 am a big fan of Jeannine Frost and her Night Huntress series with Cat and Bones. She writes strong female leads and weaves them into gripping tails of love and conflict.
On the indie side and almost exclusively what I read now, I’m a huge fan of K Webster. She writes dark and taboo romance. While I love writing paranormal romance, I love reading romance in general. Her writing is always full of twists and turns I never see coming.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Back when I published my first book, Surface Below, I had a very close friend, Jessi, that I met in a writer’s group on Facebook. She was an amazing cheerleader and spent so many hours with me- way into the wee hours of the morning, helping me write that book. If it wasn’t for her I probably would have never hit that publish button.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’d like to. I lost my father a couple years ago to cancer and I quit writing for a long time after. Mostly because I just didn’t have it in me. But late 2018 I realized that if there was anything my father didn’t do; it was wait for things to happen. If he wanted something, then he made it happen.
I made the decision then to get my butt in a chair and write this series because I wanted to make this a career. If there’s anything I’m good at, it’s telling a story with twists and turns and a happily ever after.
So yes, in 2020, I’m determined to make writing my career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Not a thing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I learned a lot about myself as a writer, yes. I found my voice and style. I found my strengths and weaknesses. And I’d say that even on a personal level I’ve learned a lot about myself.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Funny enough I have character inspiration boards dedicated to the actors I’d love to see play my characters. For Damien, my most stubborn of the Frost brothers, I’d love to see Joseph Morgan play him. Lucien Frost, my diplomatic peacekeeper, Daniel Gilles. And lastly, my sweetest and favorite Frost, Oliver, I’d love to see him played by Nathaniel Buzolic.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
There are technically no rules to writing. Write what you want. You don’t need permission to write. Just do it.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Keep an eye on 2020! I’ve got a lot coming out this year including all seven books of Kings of Sterling. It’s been a year long in the making and I can’t wait to share the Frost brothers complicated love lives and lives in general with you.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
None currently but I have a very long TBR list lol including K Webster and M Robinson.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and that’s where my love of reading started.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
My husband makes me laugh. He’s got a sense of humor that I can’t love enough. If I’m upset he’ll make it his job to cheer me up.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Aside from writing, I love to crochet.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Oh my goodness, so many. Where do I begin? Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The Originals, Criminal Minds, Mindhunters, Riverdale- just to name a few.
I haven’t really watched many new movies lately. The Avengers was a bid deal in our house for a while and I love a good superhero movie.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Burgers and Fries! That’s my all time go to favourite. Blue, purple and pink. And music is always all over the place. My Spotify is a hot mess. It can be playing What Ifs by Kane Brown one second and the next song will be Beautiful People by Marilyn Manson. I love everything.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I’m pretty sure that will never happen. Like I can even imagine waking up one day and my mind being that quiet.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Those are the two best ways to keep up to date with all happenings.
The first book in Kings of Sterling is currently available for preorder here at $0.99 until release day and then it goes up to $2.99
I also have a five chapter preview available for download as well if you sign up for my newsletter here
You can grab a copy of Surface Below on Amazon
Get the latest on releases from Amazon USA