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 Fiona, Firstly thank you for inviting me for an interview with you. My name is Paul Zunckel, I am 62 years young.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live in sunny South Africa
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I was born in 1957 in Zimbabwe, then known as Rhodesia. My family moved to South Africa in 1966, where I completed my schooling at Kingsway Senior High School in Amanzimtoti.
I did my two years National service in the South African Defence Force as an Ops Medic, wanting to follow my heart and study medicine, but life got in the way.
I was employed in Air Traffic Control for twenty years, and have been involved in Management positions for over twenty-five years. I have a Human Resource Management Diploma, and am an accredited Facilitator.
I love to write as it takes me into another world, and I enjoy the reaction that I receive from readers.
Apart from writing novels, I also play the guitar and write my own material, although I am unable to read music. Music forms a big part of my life, and I can lay claim to having cut one CD, although , “I’m too old to be an idol.”
I have two children from a previous marriage, and have been married to Lucie the love of my life for the last eighteen years. My family and I live in the Eastern Cape, South Africa along with man’s best friend, a cross Alsatian/Lab who answers to the name “Pooch” and is at my feet every time I sit down to write and will not move until “his human” is finished and types The End.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I am at present busy with my tenth novel in my Piet van Zyl African Adventure series, titled “Savage Moon” and am hoping to have it completed early in 2020.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I started to write in August 2014.
I was having a hard time finding employment and getting in the way at home. Lucie suggested that I sit down and put a story that I had in my head down on paper so I reckoned why not. A local magazine might buy it… then she said to me…”I know that you will start it, but will not finish it.”
A light went off in my head and I completed my “Blood Trilogy” in four months… I truly believe that I have been blessed with the gift to write.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I signed my first contract with a publishing house. I submitted a standalone novel titled “Mask of Deceit” which they accepted. They then offered me contracts for all my work on Amazon and Smashwords if I was prepared to withdraw them, which I did. Unfortunately things did not work out. I got copyright back and am now on the Indie route although I am still open to any publishing house offers.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My loving wife and soul mate, Lucie.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
It might sound funny, but the books name themselves. A seed is planted in my head and the book is born along with the title.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I like to be able to capture the reader within the first few paragraphs.
It is a difficult question but hopefully this review will help.
“The writing is clean and straightforward, unlike
any style I’ve read to date. What I loved most is the genuine connection I felt to the scene, to Africa, and its wild nature which served as the perfect backdrop.”
As I said earlier, I truly believe that I have been blessed with the gift to write. Once I start a new book the plot, characters and story just flows through my head onto my PC and the only challenge is the number of hours in a day.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A lot that happens in my books is realistic as well as experiences that have happened, but I do admit to having a dark side and this tends to come out in the books. I have been asked if Piet van Zyl is my alter ego, but that would be telling. I take the myths and legends of Africa, throw in some facts, stir them up and end up with an African Thriller.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I was very lucky to move around Zimbabwe, Zambia and South Africa as a child and I do all my research via friends who are involved in Safari or use reference books or Google, so no I do not travel much now days but allow my imagination to do the travelling.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Eeva Lancaster “The Book Khaleesi”
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
All my books carry a message. Good always triumphs over evil, no matter what it is… never give up and always believe.
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?
There are some many great Indie Authors out there. Paul Crude, S.J.Herman, P.J.Webb just to name a few.
I did enjoy reading anything that came from the pen of Stephen King… all his early work really had each book a page turner. The suspense in his novels was great.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
A lady living in the USA. Ms Angel Ernest
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I am semi-retired so yes, writing is a career move for me and a way to support my pension.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I would not change the content but might research the title more thoroughly.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Every time I write, I research and learn something new.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I would like an unknown, up and coming young actor to play the role of Piet van Zyl and watch him grow into the role as Piet has in the books.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Never give up following your dream and always accept criticism be it good or bad with a smile and learn from it.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I would like to thank them for their support, the wonderful reviews and just to let them know that in Africa, you never know what is watching from the shadows.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Midnights Lair by Richard Laymon
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
To be honest no… but I was hooked on all the Edgar Rice Burroughs from a very early age.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
A good joke or movie. People also have that effect on me.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
My Grand-Father on my Mother’s side. He was a big game hunter in Rhodesia in the early days and I could pick up a lot of tip’s from him for my Piet van Zyl series.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Yes I do… Cooking… Playing Guitar… People Watching… Reading
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Supernatural on TV. Thrillers on the Big Screen
Fiona: Favourite foods, colours, music?
I enjoy a good Eisbein with Hot Mustard or a BBQ. Love the open fire.
Favourite colour is blue
I enjoy the bands from the 70’s and 80’s
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Run a Guest House
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
With my wife and family. Get my affairs in order and know that they would be taken care of.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“I believe I can fly”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Facebook: Paul’s Facebook Page
Devil in Eden
Fangs of Fury
Mask of Deceit
My Amazon Author page USA http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00Q8L4NZ8