Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Hi Fiona. 😀
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
My name is Faith, and I’m old enough to scare children off my lawn.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Texas, and grew up in Houston. I left home at 17, came to New England and have beenhere since.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie,your education, family life, etc.).
Once I got my head together and decided I didn’t want to work at ski resorts the rest of my life, I put myself through computer school and got into the Boston high tech scene. At some point I took classes in software engineering. But I had my eye on a different future, and when I finally got freedom and means, I did a mic drop and fled north to write books.
Family?Cats, fishes and trees, mostly. Though my family here in the north who took me in like a stray and accepted me unconditionally are every bit as precious.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I recently discovered Mac-in-Cloud and Vellum, and did a book geek happy dance whilst reformatting all my stuff. Presently, I’m about to hand over The Hunter’s Rede to my editor. The book was originally published by Double Dragon, and edited with them, but well, the editor who handles my work now is from another dimension,so we’re going there.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
When I was a kid. I loved books and kept journals to cope with a toxic home environment (journals highly recommended, btw). I got serious about writing fantasy in my late 20s, when my demons started playing hardball and I discovered how powerful and healing writing was.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Long after I was one. I started writing back when big NY publishers and literary agents were the only way in, if you were serious about it. When I worked as a technical writer, I had no trouble thinking of myself as that—because I was getting paid. But until I wrote a great deal of fantasy, cut my teeth and developed a style—oh, and got accepted by a publisher—I was insecure tellingpeople I was a “writer” in any romanticized, tortured soul, “Are you published?” context.
In retrospect, all those criteria and qualifications were bullshit. I was a writer because I was writing. If I hadn’t, nothing would have happened.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was a sprawling 250,000 word beast I never published, and I went through nothing short of a spiritual crisis leading up to it. It was a training ground. I always wanted to write fantasy, and after a long detour, that desire reared its ugly head like something unleashed from a well. Ideas and characters and places began to come up; I kept notebooks full of it. I evaded putting down that first linefor a long time, until I decided to re-read LOTR for about the tenth time. That kicked my ass over the cliff.I’ll spare you the gory details.
This work later formed the basis for the novels in The Chronicles of Ealiron.They’ve gone through quite a few incarnations since then.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I went through a slew of dark titles having to do with shadow figures, malevolent unseen things, and the like. But the world it took place in was always called Ealiron, right from the start. I don’t know where that came from.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
For the longest time, I avoided tryingto describe my writing style. I couldn’t see it objectively, and I was afraid of sounding like I was full of shit. Now I cheat and go with how readers have described it: flowing, immersive, articulate, engaging, lyrical, intense, poetic.
For me, writing style is like oil painting. I start putting the paint on and go through an anxious time when it’s this incoherent mess and it drives me mad and all I can do is workit until it starts to get that feel. The challenge is trusting that it will.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
None specifically, but things naturally emerge from the soup pot of my experiences, often in odd ways. The lines are blurry.
I was fairly seasoned before I started recognizing things in my books like archetypes and metaphors. I also realized I had a knack for capturing patterns like that, though sometimes it was a long time after I wrote it before the light of recognition came on.
My cats have a way of padding into my work. I’ve had quite a few of them, and here and there, one will step up as a specific character.(I know. Cat lady. Whatever.)
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, but there are places I’ve been that had a strong influence on things like landscapes, climate, etc. For instance, I was heavily inspired by MonheganIsland, Maine when I wrote The Gray Isles.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Guilty as charged.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I wouldn’t attempt that for fear it would come across preachy or contrived. A story isso subjective, and every reader brings their own thing to it, like a mirror, or a filter. I prefer to let things take their course.
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 love a great many books, but to blow me away it has to be written very well and immerse me, bring me someplace dark and beautiful. The list is always changing. Some of my all-time favorites, authors who’ve mastered the craft and influenced me to the soul in one way or another are J.R.R Tolkien, Ursula K. LeGuin, Bernard Cornwell, Bernd Heinrich, Clarissa Pinkola Estes, and George MacDonald. To name a few.
As for new authors, I loved The Ashen Levels by C.F. Welburn and The Crow and the King by E.G. Stone.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
Do invisible friends count?
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?
Amazingly, I’m fairly content with my latest book. This is of course subject to change without notice.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
I could write a book on the things my editor has taught me. Aside from that, I learned that any character, no matter how minor or seeminglymessed up, has secrets, wounds, loves, needs and the potential to be a hero.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
There’s enough advice for writers out there to break the internet. Here’s my two cents: Don’t rely too heavily on advice. Just write. Learn in your own way, on your own instincts. Any guidance you need will have a way of finding you.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you. Thank you for every read, review, comment, share, tweet, blog and emoji,any way you reach out. I am grateful.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
From the youngest age I can recall, I had a complete set of Childcraft and World Book Encyclopedias that I loved. And my father used to read me Greek and Roman mythology for bedtime stories.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a black, irreverent sense of humor. That, obscure geek humor and goofy cat videosare handy for finding out who my friends on Facebookreally are.
What makes me cry is a longer list. Hurt, suffering and abused animals of any kind, destruction of the environment, abandonment, isolation, betrayal, grief, hopelessness. Certain songs and movies. Nothing in particular.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Na, people stress me out.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Oil painting, drawing, aquariums, gardening, plants (I like to grow things).
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Anything involving monsters, werewolves, ghosts, vampires, aliens, mythology etc., vintage scifi, Gothic horror, scifi horror, fantasy, medieval war movies, fairy tales, British humor, British detective, nature
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,music?
I love Indian food. I could eat it every day.
Dark, rich earthy colors. Like a forest or a Dutch Masters floral painting.
Music, oh dear yes. Vintage rock, very hard rock, heavy metal, industrial, progressive, Celtic/Scandinavian folk, dark ambient, classical, game soundtracks…
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
In the woods. With a cat.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
Nothing. I want my ashes put into one of those bio urn tree things that you plant in the ground. They have turtle-shaped ones, too, that you can set loose in the sea.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
https://ftmckinstry.com/ 😀 Thanks!
Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/F-T-McKinstry/e/B0060NB9Q0/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1