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 Rhiannon D’Averc, and 29 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I’m from the UK! I live just outside of London.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I actually rebelled a little against my (fairly obvious) destiny of writing when it came to university. I have a degree in photography, but about a week after graduating I took a job as a copywriter. The irony! I’ve been a writer for my whole life, really, ever since I could hold a pen. I used to write down little stories and make things up to tell my younger cousins.
2020 is a big year for me as I’m getting married. I’m looking forward to starting the next chapter!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
My latest release is Blood Alcohol, book three in the Serial Investigations series (November 2019). I’m now working on book four. The title as yet has not been revealed! That will be coming out in March 2020.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I was always writing, as I said, from the point when I could. In terms of really trying to put a novel together, that started when I was 17 and attempted NaNoWriMo for the first time. I didn’t quite get to 50,000 words, but I did have a novella on my hands which I was pretty proud of. That hasn’t yet seen the light of day, along with about five other full-length novels I have sitting on my harddrive! They’re all fantasy or YA, and as I publish crime books at the moment, I’m not sure when I’ll do something with them. Maybe I’ll publish them under a pseudonym.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think I always have. When I was really little, I think I was six or seven years old, we had a ‘career advisor’ come to talk to our class. Of course, it wasn’t really serious stuff – most people were talking about wanting to be an astronaut or something like that. I told the guy I was going to be an author – not that I wanted to, but I would. He laughed, and my teacher told him with absolute seriousness that it was true. I’ve always remembered that. I thought of myself as a writer just waiting to get old enough to break out and do it.
As a child of that age I thought I’d be a best-seller before I was 18. I also thought I’d be married with kids by then too – obviously, my sense of time was a bit warped haha!
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book I wrote was a dystopia. It was kind of inspired by what I could see going on around me, and a thought experiment about what would happen in the next thirty-plus years. Sadly, some of it really has come to pass. Sadly both because that means we’re heading into the kind of awful future a 17-year-old history student could imagine, and because I never got it published, so no one will believe I really did predict it!
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I always play around with titles a lot. I’ll have a few different ones when I’m working through it, and then settle on the one that feels most representative of the book. With my current series, Serial Investigations, all the titles start with ‘Blood’. I have a huge list of words that could come after, and I look through these while thinking about the plot to find what fits best.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I have a process, for sure. I always start with a plot outline and follow this by fleshing it out chapter by chapter, from start to finish, no skipping around.
Crime fiction can be hard because you want to give readers lots of clues, but not so many they solve it right away. I like to try and mislead the reader by letting them see who really did it, then throwing a lot of other red herrings in the way so they doubt themselves. It’s fun hearing people who are halfway through trying to guess!
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Probably quite a lot! I like to add realism by using real things, mannerisms, thoughts, likes and dislikes, habits. Almost all of the settings in Serial Investigations are real places, down to the fact that their flat is a real one that I found in Whitechapel. You can go around and visit all the places they go to, though I don’t always give precise names or addresses. A little bit of detective work for the reader would be needed to figure out the actual locations.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I don’t HAVE to – Google Maps is very helpful. But I do like to set the books in places I really have been. That’s why most of the books are in London, with a little foray into Kent where I live now.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did! I actually do some work as a graphic designer, so I wanted to put them together myself. There were a lot of drafts, a lot of studying other books in my genre, figuring out what works and what doesn’t.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, I think there’s an overall message that will come through across the whole Serial Investigations series. I’m interested in crime, what pushes people to murder, how we can prevent it. I do believe a lot of serial killers might not have gone down that road if circumstances were different, and we need to look at the circumstances we are creating in society.
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?
My absolute favourite is Haruki Murakami. I just love the fantastical worlds he creates and the character-driven approach to this weird and wonderful journey. This year I’ve loved reading Carmen Maria Muchado, Cole McCade, Rick Mofina, and plenty of classics (I’m very partial to a Dostoyevsky tome).
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I’m going to go ahead and name myself. The thing is, it took me a long time to realise that the only thing holding me back from being a published author was me. I had to sit down and write a book that I thought might sell, with a conscious effort to understand the market. I had to stop faffing around with projects that weren’t going anywhere. Once I stopped holding myself back, everything happened fast.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, absolutely. I ghostwrite alongside writing my own books, so writing is 100% what pays my bills.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I probably would. I would update and change all of them. I am too much of a perfectionist. Having them published is honestly a relief, as otherwise I could spend years on re-drafting them over and over.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
So much! I always do. There’s always that police procedure you didn’t know about or so forth. There’s a good long research phase for each book.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Oh, this is such a hard one. I’ve actually got two mains – Ram would have to be played by a Skarsgard brother. As for Will, I keep getting asked this and I just don’t know. I need to start watching more Korean dramas. I don’t have enough knowledge about their actors!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Just write. Honestly, so many writers spend a lot of time worrying about every single aspect of the publishing industry, but you’re never getting anywhere if you don’t start by writing.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
There is so much more to come. I can’t wait for them to see the plans I have for the series – the first 20 books are plotted out already. Stick with me, it’s going to be a wild ride!
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I’m just starting Demons by Dostoyevsky.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not at all – I’ve been reading since a very young age, I was ahead of my peers at school. I also read prolifically – I do a 52-book challenge each year and I always win.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Can there be a concise answer to this question? Too much to mention!
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I’d quite like to meet Oscar Wilde. I’m sure it would be a great chance to get some new unheard epithets.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I love embroidery, I do it to relax. I then sell most of it off as it’s the process that I enjoy the most, and then I have nowhere to store it all. I also love reading, watching movies and TV, any way to absorb a story.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love dark and gritty stuff like Peaky Blinders or The Boys, and I balance that out with excellent comedy. The Good Place and Insatiable both make me laugh out loud, and I am never not in the mood for Brooklyn 99.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love Italian food, especially pizza; pink; and I guess you’d call my taste indie rock. I like a lot of music, though.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I can’t imagine it! However, I do currently run an indie fashion magazine called London Runway. I guess if I wasn’t writing I would dedicate all of my time to that.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Grab my fiance, snuggle up on the sofa with an old favourite, and – no, I’m lying. I’d be typing furiously for 24 hours trying to finish my latest draft. I hope he’d sit next to me during, though!
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
I don’t really mind. Maybe something cryptic that will infuriate future archaeologists.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
I do indeed. There’s also a free short story in it for them! It’s at: https://rhiannondaverc.co.uk/
Amazon Authors Page UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Rhiannon-DAverc/e/B07R1RH44R/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1