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?
Laura A. Barnes – Late 40’s nearing the fabulous 50’s
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Des Moines, IA, grew up in Pleasant Hill, IA. My husband and I moved around a bit, but we are now settled in Altoona, IA.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I have been married twenty-nine years and we have three children and two grandchildren. In May we will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. When I am not writing, you can usually find me reading something or watching movies. I love going to the movies. I like to run too. I have run a few half-marathons. The last few years I have taken time off from running but would like to get back into it this year. Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to travel. My husband and I have started taking trips the last few years. We have been to England, Scotland, and Ireland. Our next trip will either be to Italy or Switzerland. We haven’t decided yet.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I released my sixth book I Shall Love the Earl in December. This is the third book in my Tricking the Scoundrels series.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
About four years ago, all my children had left home and I found myself with more free time that I knew what to do with. I looked into an online writing course and decided to take it. Our final assignment was to write to 500-word story. The course encouraged me to write more.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When I wrote my first story in the 2nd grade. I knew then that was what I always wanted to do. To open my imagination to the possibilities of an amazing story.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
After I finished the online course, I realized I could take that 500-word story and turn it into a book. With my family’s encouragement I worked to create my first book Rescued By the Captain.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I had another title for the book, Found at Sea. But the title had already been used on a couple of different books. So, I played around with a couple of other titles, then settled on Rescued By the Captain once I realized I would make this book part of a series and I would Rescued By the as part of the other books. Rescued By the Spy and Rescued By the Scot finished up my Romancing the Spies Series.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I am a true pantser. I take a general concept of an idea and keep writing from there. Sometimes, when I am near the end of the book, I will write down ideas on how I want to wrap up the book, but for the most part I just let the words flow on their own accord.
With writing historical romance, I find getting the write wordage particularly challenging. Trying to not sound too modern and having my story reflect the era that I am writing in.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
The majority of my books are from my imagination. But I suppose in some way they either reflect something from my life, whether it be a relationship, or a mood I’m in, or something that has happened to me before. In my Whom Shall I Kiss… An Earl, A Marquess, or A Duke?, I showed how two friends could have a strong relationship as if they were sisters. I meant for this book to show the dynamics of sisterhood and friendship. That your friend could be like a sister to you or your sister could be friend. Like my sister is to me. And in I Shall Love the Earl, I showed the special bond of a grandmother. They shared the love of romances, while with my grandmother we shared the love of soap operas. What I wanted to relate was how my grandmother loved me for who I was as the grandmother loved the character in the book. Every now and then I will give my character, characteristics from somebody I know. In every book, I will have a comment in there from something my husband usually says. He doesn’t know this, because he doesn’t read my books. LOL!
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
No, but I have found after I have travelled it has opened my mind up to new scenes or story lines to put in my books.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
A woman named Carrie from Cheeky Covers. I found her on the internet for my first book. She is amazing and so patient. She has designed all my covers. I send her the photo and my ideas, and she usually has my covers ready for me in a 2-3-day turnaround.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I think in all my novels, I try to deliver a message that life and love is not always perfect and that you have to work together to achieve the results you desire. That you must open your heart and trust in one another.
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 have recently found Danelle Harmon and Scarlett Scott and started reading their books.
My favorite author is Kathleen E. Woodiwiss. I have every book she has written. I love the details of her books and the emotions of her characters as they come alive.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I would have to say it would be the writing group I joined: The Central Iowa Authors Group. I met them in my first year of NaNoWriMo. They are a fantastic group who offers encouragement to everybody in their circle.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes. I am hoping that in a few years, that I can quit the day job and write full-time. In the meantime, I will keep typing away.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I might make my hero less of a scoundrel. I portrayed him as more of nicer guy in the first two books of the series but turned him into a scoundrel for his own story.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
That when your trying to portray something of your own life into one of your books, but still make the story its own is a bit tricky. It helped to remind me of how precious I considered my relationship with my own grandmother.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
With my latest book I Shall Love the Earl, they are both redheads so I guess I would have to choose:
Michael Fassbender as Roderick Beckwith
Christina Hendricks as Dallis McPherson
But Jason Statham can play any role in the book!!
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Keep writing! Also, it is fine to listen to advice from other writers, but always go with your own gut instinct. Don’t let others influence or change your writing style. Write to please yourself.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Thank you so much for reading my stories. Also, thank you for all your kind words. Your reviews, emails, posts on my social media, offers me so much encouragement.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
A Highlander’s Need by Aileen Adams
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first historical romance I read was The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
The quirkier the comedy the more I will laugh. Also, anything my grandkids say or do. I cry at anything sad I read or watch. I hate it when anybody dies on a television show or in a movie. The tears won’t stop falling.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
I would have to say John Elway. I loved watching him play football.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Besides reading or writing, it would have to be watching movies and running.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love Criminal Minds, 48 Hours, Dateline, Outlander. This year it has been Sheldon, Modern Family, Goldbergs.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
Favorite color is Green. But I also, love Red and Purple
Favorite foods is anything pasta.
Favorite Music: Country, rock.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I would like to own my own business.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Spending every minute with my family.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
She was blunt and to the point, but she loved with all her heart.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Amazon authors page USA https://amazon.com/author/lauraabarnes
Links for my books:
I Shall Love the Earl
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/ishalllovetheearl
Whom Shall I Marry
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/whomshallimarry
Whom Shall I Kiss
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/whomshallikiss
Romancing the Spies-Collection Set
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/romancingspies
Rescued By the Captain
Rescued By the Spy
Universal Link: https://books2read.com/rescuedspy
Rescued By the Scot