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?
James Craig Rice, but I go by Craig and I’m, uh, let me grab a calculator, damn, it broke apparently it doesn’t go that high, so let’s see birth year is, ok, current year, divide by the circumference of the earth, ok, got it. I’m 50 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from a town so small that most people don’t really realize they drove through it. It’s called Mounds, Oklahoma. In 2003 I moved down to New Orleans.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I attended college, but never completed my education, something I’ve wished for ever since. Life prevented that. I have two daughters; one is twenty-two and one is nine. Because I love to confuse people, I want to share a little more about me than usual. You’ll have to read all the way to the end to get to the truth. My older brother, who is my uncle, was the first-born child, until I was born, then I took that position to the rest of my siblings. My Dad is my uncle and brother to my Mother who is my aunt. My younger brother and my sister are both my first cousin with my sister being the child of my aunt and uncle. My youngest brother and sister are not even related to me, neither is my father. In case you are now wondering, I am in fact my own first cousin. How it works out, is that when I was four years old, my mother passed away. My older brother, same mother, different father was adopted by my grandparents. Myself and my younger brother were adopted by my uncle and aunt, and my youngest sister was adopted by another aunt and uncle (brother to my mother). Later, my biological father remarried and had two more children, but due to adoptions, I’m no longer legally related to any of them. So, if you’ve read this whole thing, you now know how screwed up my family is, but I love them all.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m currently working on two projects. One is a Sci-Fi/Mystery about a man who has lived thousands of lifetimes and is being troubled by a vampire from his past. The other is an erotic/romance. The main character is haunted by self-doubt until he runs into a woman who opens his world to her desires of becoming an adult video producer.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always had a creative imagination. When I was in 9th grade, friends of mine introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons and I soon found that I loved creating the games that we played. This led me to my first real writing attempt. I wanted to write a fantasy novel. At that time, it was all done by writing it out with pen and paper and well, I wasn’t as focused as I am now. Over the years, I made several more attempts, especially when I got a word processor and I could save and edit my story a lot easier, but like many of my drawbacks, I let life take charge instead of taking charge of my life. It wasn’t until a co-worker a few years back asked me why I wasn’t writing if I was a writer and that kind of put a fire under my ass and I published my first novel.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve called myself a writer for as far back as I can remember, if I was going to put a year to it, I would have to say somewhere around 1985.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
There two things that made me do it, the first was my co-worker who asked me why I wasn’t writing. The other was an indie book that I read that was so bad, I said I could do a better job than that.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
My first book, I’ve unpublished it as I was never truly happy with the end product, was a title I never liked but couldn’t come up with anything better. I rewrote the book and I kept wracking my brains on a title and it just suddenly hit me. My current erotic/romance title has changed probably a dozen times, but I think I’ve finally settled on the title My Two Wives, though, that could still change.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I’ve found that writing first person is the easiest for me to do, I’ve tried to do third person, but find that my writing tends to be disjointed when I do that. I know it might not make sense, but I find writing the sex scenes to be challenging, having to think out ever way to make each scene different so that it isn’t a rinse and repeat encounter. I want them to be hot, but there is only so many ways you can describe the same action in a different way.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
There are two things that I demand of myself when writing. The first is that the situations have to feel like they could really happen, even if the reader has to suspend belief for it to be real. An example would be someone is casting a spell, the spell has to fit some form of logic, it can’t be presto change-o and bam you turn a chicken into a tea pot. In that kind of thinking, I would be asking myself, did I just kill the chicken and now it is a tea pot or does the chicken suffer by being a tea pot and maybe one day, it will be turned back into a chicken? If I can’t make some logic of it, then how could I expect the reader to? I use personal experiences in all of my stories, obviously if I’m writing about a magician, and having never been a magician, I can’t say I’ve experienced that, but instead, I would ask myself, if I was a magician, how would I react to being able to do that. In High Speed Hearts, Jim’s dad, worked as an autobody repair man, Jim loved cars because of it. Both of those come from my own personal life. My Dad is an autobody repairman and I love cars. It was an easy way for me to relate to the character and make him be someone the reader could feel is real.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
High Speed Hearts takes place in Jackson Mississippi. I’ve driven through there a couple of times, but only stopped to get gas and pick up a dog my family adopted. I’ve done research on the city, but for the most part, modelled the city to meet my needs without making the city look bad in the eyes of the reader. My current WiP both take place in Oklahoma which makes it a lot easier. Having spent the majority of my life there, I can easily describe the area with little problem.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
The covers for High Speed Hearts, book 1 and 2 were both royalty free photos I found on the internet and I used Fiver to get the covers put together. My original book, no longer available, I purchased the cover from RockingBookCovers.com which I would highly recommend, if you can afford the price. I plan to use them for the next book and maybe as replacements for the High-Speed Hearts covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t really have a message.
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?
Ever since I started this journey of indie publishing, I’ve networked with many other indie authors. Eva Pascal is brilliantly talented, Martha Perez just as much so. I seek inspiration for my erotic stories from Amanda Maghri and Pebbles Lacasse.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I get a lot of support from other Indie Authors, too many to even list.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I would love for it to be a career. I see myself as a realist, I’ll never make more than a few bucks from my work, but if I have one reader feel like they read a great story, then that is rewarding enough for me.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes, I found that I’m never truly happy with my final product, thinking back on things I wish I would have done differently.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Yes. Writing is a job, I may never get paid for it, but it demands as much of my time as my day job does. Without putting in that time and effort, it won’t ever go anywhere.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I think Ryan Reynolds would be great, he has the right amount of humour and when needed, seriousness that fits with my idea of main character.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up. If you get lost, we all do, take a break, but don’t turn the break into years or never. Clear your head by doing something else, until it all comes back and then get your ass back to work. Your story won’t finish itself.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Read. I know that doesn’t make sense, but everyone should read everything, news, books, comics, the side of a cereal box. We all find that genre we love, but expand yourself. Passing up a book because it isn’t in your preferred genre, might mean you missed out on reading your new favorite author.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m currently reading Coaching Rayna 2 by Pebbles Lacasse. I’m also reading the Harry Potter books for like the dozenth time, as well as Rapier by R.A. Corea.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I had read several books before, but not many. But the book that helped me discover my love of reading was Gremlins, the novelization of the movie. It is the first book that opened my eyes to the benefit of reading. My friend Glenn was reading it at the time and we had all seen the movie. He kept talking about how much more detail was in the book as opposed to what we saw in the movie. I bought the book and read it in twenty-four hours and realized that books could take me places that I’ve never been before.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love reading books that make me cry and or laugh. These books always have great characters, characters that you can care for because they are well written. Using Ron Weasley from Deathly Hollows, when George was killed, he was devastated and I felt that loss. On the flipside every character in the new Star Wars sequels are so one dimensional that if any of them had died, I wouldn’t have cared.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Amanda Maghri or Pebbles Lacasse, both of them are very talented authors that I would be honoured just to be in their presence.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I wish I had more time to get back into table top gaming, Vampire the Masquerade is an assume story based game that I love to play, I do, still play Everquest off and on, but other than that, my time is tightly divided between family, work, and writing.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Since the Mandalorian has come out, been watching that, the live action Teen Titans and The Expanse. As far as films are concerned, I love a good action movie or a movie with a great story. Other than Star Wars, there isn’t any particular movie that I could really point to that immediately comes to mind, well most of the Marvel movies are great.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
When it comes to food, I’m finicky as hell. I love steak and can’t think of a time that I ever turned it down. My favoritecolor is red, particularly that deep shiny blood red color. Not meaning to sound sick, I’m not like that, there is just a richness to that shade of color that I love. Music is one of my weirdest traits. I can’t tell you who sings what songs or the names of the songs I like, but I enjoy everything from classical, to classic rock, to rock, to country, to some rap, to jazz. About the only music I frown on, is the violent rap lyrics that promote acts of violence or dehumanizes women.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I better be dead.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I would spend it with my family, doing the things they love the most and hopefully creating a way that they could remember the best of me.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Here lies Craig, his final words were Oops.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Just my Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1281671125291262/