Here is my interview with Kari Holloway

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?

Kari: Hi Fiona, thanks for having me. My name is Kari Holloway. I am 31.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Kari: I’m from a little town called Leesburg, Ga and the surrounding area.

Fiona: A little about yourself (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

Kari: My free time is spent with my kids or playing games with family and friends. I love Fluxx; it’s a card game where the rules are always changing, and if anyone wants to try it, go with the Wizard of Oz set.

When I’m not spending time with family, I run a small writing group with some of the best admins/people I know, format books for other authors, and work on my own writings.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Kari: In October I released Strings Attached—a sweet clean romance set in Charleston SC between a comic shop owner and a music teacher. I am preparing for the 1st collection of the Devil’s Playground series—it will feature the first four books in the series. And I also recently launched a pen name.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Kari: I’ve never stopped, and I know many writers say that, but I remember trying to mimic Louis L’amour when I was like 8.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Kari: It was after I published three novels.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Kari: Boredom.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Kari: The titles come to me. Sometimes it’s what a character says or a scene in the book triggers it. Strings Attached is the only exception to that, and I had to ask friends and family what they thought before settling on a title.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

Kari: I think my style evolves with each book. I’m not sure there’s 1 thing that I can look at and go “this is my style.” Before Strings Attached, I wrote novels in 1st person and short stories in 3rd and only ever one POV. Strings Attached changed that, it was in 3rd with two POVs.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Kari: Consciously, I’d say nothing outside of Cracked But Never Broken and Gunpowder & Wool are based on my life, but subconsciously, we’re a sum of our experiences and sometimes we don’t realize where the initial thought began.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Kari: So far, no. But I would love to travel and flesh out some experiences in some areas before writing one of the other ideas in my journal.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Steven Novak of Novak Illustrations did my Laughing P series.

German Creative on Fiverr does my Devil’s Playground series, Strings Attached, and the newest cover for Writer’s Guide to Microsoft Word.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Kari: The message always evolves, revealing things that I hadn’t realized when I wrote it. Hope, though, is the message I champion. And that our path may lead us to better things if we stop trying to force ourselves into a box of expectations.

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?

Kari: Cait Ashwood and her Shaman series. Those covers were amazing, but then to read her epics. Makes me envious and proud to be able to call her a friend.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Kari: Ames. Doty. Paone. Menefee. O’Neil. I could name hundreds of friends that I met through various FB groups that championed me becoming an author. Some of them knew before my family did, and others I discovered along the way.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Kari: That’s my goal. It’s hard, tedious, draining, inventive, thought provoking process that isn’t stagnant.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Kari: No. I have a love hate relationship with Strings Attached. I struggled with it, forcing myself to not walk away when it got difficult, but growth only happens when we have tostrive to complete something.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Kari: I did, but I’m not sure I could ever quantify it into words.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Kari: Wow. That’s a hard one. I don’t watch enough T.V. or movies to know of all the possibilities, but Kyle Williams would be played by Travis Deslaurier and Carissa DeVul would be played by Anna Kendrick, maybe?

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Kari: Write the draft completely before you begin to worry about if this paragraph flows or getting feedback. By the time you finish the draft, you have a good idea of where the story is going, things from the first chapter through to the last will need to be adjusted to match the path that you’ve laid.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Kari: I enjoy fan mail and backpack figures from Anime shows.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Kari: I’m not even sure. I haven’t seen my kindle in weeks.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Kari: Nope.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Kari: Depends on my mood. I sometimes find myself crying at stupid commercials, but Land Before Time where Little Foot’s mother dies always gets me to cry. And laughing, well it doesn’t take much on that either, it just depends on what’s happening.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Kari: I always wanted to ask Shakespeare if he approves of how schools handle his plays, but I also want to asks other authors if they really picked the colors for symbolism or they picked them just to pick them.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Kari: I’ve let my hobbies slid a lot in the last few years. I do collect Sailor Moon things.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Kari: Well on my DVR there’s SWAT, SEAL, MacGyver, Graham Norton Show, and Doctor Who—though to be fair, the on the nose rhetoric of the newest season has made the show go from a priority to watch to when there is nothing to do.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Kari: I am trying new foods all the time, but I love ribeyes, medium rare. Favoritecolors are a multitude—Black, Blue, Green, Grey, and Purple. And music, I prefer country and don’t have a favourite artist.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Kari: I’d probably be working retail, possibly doing frame shop—handling pictures and frames, or maybe go into streaming games.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Kari: With family sitting around like any other day.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

Kari: For every time there is a season, and a life is lived in between the years.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

Kari: Yeah. If anyone wants to check out my works, learn more about the different genres I write in, order signed copies—which I do have some specials going on, and stalk me on social media, join my newsletters, and such, they can check out my website. www.kariholloway.com

Amazon Authors Page UK  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kari-Holloway/e/B019IYHUWE/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

USA  https://www.amazon.com/Kari-Holloway/e/B019IYHUWE/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1541947890&sr=1-2-ent

Strings Attached— https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07GQ1SYN7?tag=lunanara870ed-21    (available everywhere)

Cracked But Never Broken— https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cracked-Never-Broken-Laughing-Book-ebook/dp/B01M2DKTMS/?tag=lunanara870ed-21  (available in KU)

Forgotten— https://www.amazon.co.uk/Forgotten-Devils-Playground-Book-1-ebook/dp/B06XYVC4MY/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1541947758&sr=1-2&keywords=Forgotten+by+Kari+Holloway   (free)

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Here is my interview with Carla M. Cherry

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! My name is Carla M. Cherry, and I’m a poet. I’ve had about forty poems published in various publications and published four books of poetry through Wasteland Press: Gnat Feathers and Butterfly Wings, Thirty Dollars and a Bowl of Soup, Honeysuckle Me, and These Pearls Are Real. I am in my forties.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I am a proud native New Yorker.

Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).

I come from a close-knit family. I was surrounded by loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, my parents, and my younger sister. Because I wanted to provide students with the same kind of well-rounded education I received in New York City public elementary and secondary schools, I became an English teacher. I earned my Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Spelman College, my Master of Arts in Social Studies Education from New York University, and my Master of Science in Adolescent Literacy Studies from Lehman College of the City University of New York. I have an adult son and a niece who is a junior in college.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I just had five poems published in Black Noise Books’ Winter 2018 issue of CultureCult Magazine. It is available on Amazon.com here.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I have always loved to readand wanted to mimic the writing style of my favorite authors. I began to write poetry when I was in second grade, after falling in love with Nikki Giovanni’s poem “Ego Tripping”.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After I got my first publication credit–my poem “Niece”, published by Anderbo in 2007. You may find it here or in my first book Gnat Feathers and Butterfly Wings.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I needed a way to expel the angst I felt after my father died from cancer in 2005. I spent three years culling my collection of poems for gems I wanted to revise, taking poetry workshops to write and revise new material, and then organizing the collection.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title of my first book is Gnat Feathers and Butterfly Wings. It was a phrase my Aunt Bea would say to me during my visits to her North Carolina home when I was a little girl and I would ask her what we were going to eat.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

Poetry is my favorite writing genre. My writing style is narrative; I tend to tell stories in my poems, and we writers are supposed to show, not tell! Creating imagery is challenging for me–I struggle to find unique ways of describing thingsand avoiding cliches is paramount! When I wrote my poem “Cold-Blooded: Why I Hung Up Last Night and Blocked Your Number”, which was published by Eunoia Review, I eliminated a lot narrative details and focused on imagery to relay my story. You can read the poem here and in my second book, Thirty Dollars and a Bowl of Soup!

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Many of my poems are fictional. I sometimes write what I’d like to see in my own life or in the world, but I often write poems based on current events or real experiences. For example, in my poem, “Diaspora”, which was published by Random Sample Review, is about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan and the attacks of Boko Haram.

“Water warriors march with brown water in bottles. No politicians put in jail.

They get to allocate $80 million in federal aid, and it ain’t enough to replace all the pipes.

Will the walleye forever swim up the Flint River to spawn?

How many men in Flint will become impotent?

Chelation therapy flushes lead through urine. Does not undo damage to axons, synapses, IQ.

Will the people of Flint get enough Vitamin C/calcium/iron/garlic/cilantro/oregano?

Will Snyder give them 64 ounces of pure water per day to drink?

The Game/Cher/Diddy/Donny Wahlberg can buy only so much bottled water.

No cure.

No end–20,000 killed and 2.5 million Nigerians displaced.

86 murdered in Dalori. Bullets and firebombs.

Bodies aflame:

Fire peels the epidermis, the dermis shrinks/splits leaking body fat.

Muscles dry out, contract, and the limbs sometimes move into

poses of agony: arched necks/backs.

This poem in its entirety here and can be found in my second book, Thirty Dollars and a Bowl of Soup.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I do. I would love to physically travel more but personal obligations have prevented that, so I rely on my imagination and research! I often read news articles that inspire poems. I’ve also been inspired by works of art; they inspire me to imagine what life was like in various historical periods. For example, I was struck by Edward Hopper’s painting, “Table for Ladies” and wrote a poem called “New Freedom”:

“Do they ever think about the burn in my back

from ferrying fruit and meals from kitchen to table

or how my waist itches

from tying this apron’s bow as tight as my smile?”

The entire poem can be found here.

 Fiona: Who designed your book covers?

Timothy Veeley, the owner of Wasteland Press, designed all my book covers.

 Fiona: Is there a message in your poetry that you want readers to grasp?

I want readers to bring their own experiences when they read my poetry. Hopefully they’ll find personal connections and derive their own meaning. Overall, my poems express the importance of love and justice. For example, my poem “Thank you, Amber Rose” is my challenge for people to think about rape culture and victim blaming:

“With a wave of the switchblade–

Walk!

Before you ask why I was there unescorted, at 17,

a snatch of privacy is hard to come by

for a girl with watchful parents

and a house of open doors…”

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 favorite writer of all time is Toni Morrison. She unapologetically and fearlessly explores the African-American experience, and she makes me think. Reading The Bluest Eye challenged me to explore the impact of colorism on the psyche of people across the African diaspora. Beloved introduced me to the story of Margaret Garner.

Although she can’t be considered new anymore, I am enamored by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’ve read almost all of her books. Her writing is so engaging and empowering for women.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

My longest and dearest friend, Dr. Tanya Manning-Yarde, has been most supportive of my getting published. She is a poet also, and we read and critique each other’s work. She is an honest but tactful critic and celebrates my every achievement!

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely! A career is an occupation in which there are opportunities for personal advancement, and writing has become that for me.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I can’t say that I would!

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I’ve been inspired to learn more about the technical side of publishing, such as layout and graphic design.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I think it would be fascinating to create a film based on a book of poetry! I would love Viola Davis to play the lead–she is so beautiful and courageous!

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Read a lot of books in different genres! Take writing classes whenever you can. Develop a keen eye for detail and a thick skin. Network with other writers and find writing mentors who love you enough to critique your work honestly. Submit your work for publication–there are so many online literary journals who are open to new writers. Define success for yourself; you don’t have to be a household name in order to be a great writer. Hard work, belief in yourself and your talent, and a support system for your artistry will prepare you for the opportunities you seek or that will find you.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

If you’ve bought one of my books, thank you so much. If you’re interested in purchasing them, they are available through Amazon; my author page is here, You can also buy them on Barnes and Noble.com; the link is here.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Alan Light’s What Happened, Miss Simone?

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Yes! The first book I ever read was The Emperor’s New Clothes, and my first favorite book was Gwendolyn Brooks’ poetry book, Alone.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Great jokes make me laugh. Losing people I love and cruelty to people or animals makes me cry.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I would love to meet President Barack Obama and talk about the healthcare system, race relations in America, and why George Zimmerman is still free.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Reading books is my most beloved hobby, but I also love to dance–Chicago-style stepping. I enjoy cooking as well.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

“Black Lightning”, “Insecure”, “Queen Sugar”, “Love Is”, “Black-ish”, and “The Chi” are my current favorites. I was a real fan of “Seinfeld” and “Mad Men”.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

My favoritecolor is green. I am a vegan, and I love Jamaican “ital” (vegetarian), Indian, Mediterranean, and Ethiopian plant-based meals. I love gospel music, jazz, reggae, and old-school R&B!

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I’d have joined the Village of the Ancestors by then!

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live. How would you spend that time?

I would sit on the sofa with my mother, sister, son, and niece watching movies and laughing.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

She loved, laughed, taught, and fought through the fountain of her pen. Job well done.

 Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

My website is here:https://www.carlacherrybxpoet1.com/

Readers can follow me on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/blackbutterfy18/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/carla_bronxpoet

I just started a blog. Please feel free to stop by, read a post or two, and leave a comment!

Amazon Authors page  USA   https://www.amazon.com/Carla-M-Cherry/e/B077BM6RGW?ref_=pe_1724030_132998060

UK   https://www.amazon.co.uk/Carla-M-Cherry/e/B077BM6RGW/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1541758973&sr=1-2-ent

Here is my interview with L.R. Black

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 L.R. Black and I’m 35 but I act like a teen most days.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Greenville South Carolina

 Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I’m married to my very own lumberjack and we have two kids…a wonderful and stubborn teenager and a tween that is going to send me to the nut house one day. We own and operate a beef farm and all of our animals have become pets in one way or another. I have four furbabies…all Blue Heelers who have the run of everything and think they make the rules. I’m the middle child in my family and have a slew of nieces and nephews that are my world. I’m a SAHM and home school both of my kids in between writing and running our farm.

Now for the fun part….I’m dirty minded, always laughing and a bit on the shy side. I love to read, and my kids and husband will tell you that some days I would rather read than eat or sleep. Halloween is my favorite holiday and fall is my favorite season. I’m a Pinterest addict and love kid’s movies and fairy tale stories. Daddy Kink is one of my favorite genres and I am a paranormal and sci-fi junky. I’m obsessed with Bubble Witch and my sweet treat is ice cream and Twizzlers. I’m a country girl, raised on a farm and not afraid to get dirty, but on the other hand I love stuffed animals and cute dresses and shoes. I am pretty much an open book and love talking books with friends and readers.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Next year I’ll be publishing a short story in an anthology with a group of amazing authors.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve written stories and poetry since I was a teen, I was encouraged by some very special friends in 2016 to finally publish my stories.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

That’s something I get asked a lot, and no matter how many books I write and publish it still hasn’t sunk in that I am a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book was a taboo office romance that I wrote because the characters would not stop banging around in my head until I put them to paper. It’s unpublished right now and is undergoing a new edit before it will finally be published in 2019.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I titled it after the Hero in the book because he was such an overwhelming pain in my ass alpha.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

My writing style is Heroines that are a bit innocent but are sassy and stubborn and are always in need of a spanking from the hero. I love possessive heroes and age gaps with the men being older and the women younger but of consenting age. All my books are Daddy Kink and spanking books. Each book I write has its own set of challenges, characters are finicky like that.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

My books are all fantasy and how I think a hero should be. There are some details in my books that are inspired by people I know.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

No, my books are all written from local destinations.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I have always designed my covers, there are a couple of my books that haven’t been released yet that have been done by a cover artist.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes, never stop dreaming, don’t be ashamed of who you are and the types of books you love to read.

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?

 That’s a tough one because I am always meeting new authors and finding new stories to love. She will probably be on my case for fangirling over her, but my close friend Brianna Hale is my favorite author. She was writing Dd/lg books before the genre became super popular.She has a way of telling a story that is poetic and sexy at the same time. She can write under any genre and make it a five-star read. I tell her all the time that I want to be like her when I grow up. lol

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Shannon, my best friend and unofficial PA. She always knows when to light a fire under my butt to get me moving.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I honestly don’t know at this point, I enjoy writing my stories and I do it more for my readers than to make a career out of it. My readers always come first.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I would have started writing it earlier than I have so I could be finished with it by now.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Yes. Don’t procrastinate, my readers will tell you I don’t do release dates because I am the worlds worst at keeping to a timeline.

 Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I have never thought about this, I think it would just depend on which of my books is made into a film, of course it would have to a be a stern, possessive daddy type of actor.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Yes. Never stop writing. You are going to have days where you are on top of the world and the next day you will want to throw your computer through the window and trash your writing. This author gig is hard and an emotional struggle, but if you really love telling your stories then never stop.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I love you all, each and every one of my readers have brought me to where I am today. Thank you for putting up with all my crazy life distractions and sticking with me from book to book. Everything I do is for ya’ll.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m on a bit of a Rachel Van Dyken binge right now.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first book I ever read was Anne of Green Gables

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Sad movies make me cry and romcom romance books make me laugh.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Jane Austen. Her books are what started my love addiction to novels.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Boy do I ever. I love to do crafts and read of course, painting and coloring are top of my list.

 Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I love anything about Greek and Norse mythology.

As far as tv goes,The 100 is my addiction, Bellark for the win!

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Italian food is my weakness, pink and purple and glitter are my favoritecolors…yes glitter should be considered a color. Lol

I will listen to any kind of music that catches my attention.

 Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I would go back to reading and reviewing for authors.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Having a big dinner with my family.

 Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

Not my circus, Not my monkeys.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

I have a website that I try to keep updated. www.lrblackauthor.wixsite.com/home

https://www.amazon.com/L.R.-Black/e/B06VXN3FPS/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

Here is my interview with Zoe Blake

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?

My name is Zoe Blake and a lady never tells! 😉

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m originally from the East Coast but I now divide my time between Chicago and Grand Rapids, MI.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

In real life aka outside the book world, I am a well-known event planner and restaurant owner. I basically design memories for a living.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I am currently working on a really fun series which will feature strong women who are all criminals. I love it because it is usually the Hero who is on the fringe of society.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

A writing career was not my original plan. I actually only wrote my first book to make a couple extra hundred dollars to buy my husband something special for Christmas. (We had just opened our restaurant and money was tight.) The book took off and soon the publisher was asking for more. My writing career was launched.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Honestly, not until I became an indie author. Up until then, I was just writing quick and dirty stories and sending them off to the publisher. Once I became an indie I began to focus on branding, marketing and series writing.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

To be honest, my inspiration was to write something super kinky that would sell. Sex sells but kinky sex sells even better.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I am a plotter. All of my books start out with a detailed outline. The most challenging aspect of dark romance is to create a dark and dangerous character but still have something about them that is capable of attracting and giving love.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Very little. It is all fantasy. 😉 The closest book to a real experience would be “Worth Fighting For” about dating a Marine. I also dated a Marine officer so certain experiences of my own are related in the story. Oh…and that story also opens with two women breaking into an ex-boyfriend’s apartment…I may or may not have helped a girlfriend to do that…depending on the stature of limitations.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Most of my historical books take place in England, where I lived for several months so I know about the area and London. My other books I do extensive research. I do have a book coming out in late 2019/early 2020 that will require I travel to Romania.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My cover designer for my indie books is the very talented Harper from Dark City Designs. She does great work and it is a lovely collaboration.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Besides embrace the dark and dirty? hahaha

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 mostly read Victorian classics so my favoite authors are the Brontes, Collins, Austen, Wharton, James.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Like most dark romance authors, very few people outside my fabulous group of author friends know I write.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not a thing. I love both of my most recent releases. They are my first attempt and horror and I’m really loving the new genre.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

My latest book, I did quite a bit of research into ancient biblical lore and the early teachings of the Christian faith so it was pretty fascinating.

 Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Tom Ellis from Lucifer.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

If you are writing for your own passion, then write whatever your little heart desires. If you are writing for others to read, as a career or for any kind of success then you have to pay attention to the market. Readers will tell you what they want to read.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I hope you are enjoying my dark and dirty reads and thank you for all the lovely support over the years!

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m a big fan of the Victorian classics and historical non-fiction. I just finished reading “Liar, Temptress, Solider, Spy” which is the historical account of four women who went undercover during the Civil War. Next I will be reading “Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief” as research for my new series.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first full-length book I remember reading was The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pène du Bois. I was an avid reader even as a child. I remember never liking the short books a teacher would pick for the class book report and always asking to read a longer, more intense novel from the classics. It got to the point where my teachers let me read whatever I wanted independent of the class. I remember all those early books. Hans Brinker, Little Men, Watership Down, A Wrinkle in Time, A Cricket in Times Square.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Chef Hubby makes me laugh…all the time. We are best friends and love joking around.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Catherine the Great. She was a fascinating, powerful and extremely intelligent woman.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Tons. I needlepoint, ride motorcycles, love archery and target shooting. And garage saling….I consider it a hobby. 😉

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Anything Sherlock Holmes based (I’m a huge fan) so Sherlock, House, The Closer, Monk…and anything on the ID Channel.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Favorite Food: Champagne, Caviar, Soft Shell Crabs, Filet Mignon

Favorite Color: Purple

Music – I have very eclectic tastes from Classic to Country to Pop.

 Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I would go back to event planning which I also love doing.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Sitting in St. James’s Park in London enjoying a great meal with Chef Hubby.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

She came. She saw. She conquered.

 Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

www.zblakebooks.com

https://www.amazon.com/Zoe-Blake/e/B00N6GVCZM/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1541687800&sr=8-2-ent

 

 

Here is my interview with Nick Stead

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?

Hi Fiona, I’m Nick Stead, currently aged 30 but I’m not far off 31 now!

Fiona: Where are you from?

Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

Well, as you might expect English was always my strongest subject but for a long time I had dreams of being a zoologist and studying wolves in the wild, so after school (which I hated with a passion) I went on to do an animal management course at college. By the end of that I’d decided I didn’t want go into working with animals for various reasons and I’d drafted Hybrid by then and already had dreams of getting it published, but I knew I needed a back-up plan in case my writing never took off so I then did a second course on IT. I fully intended to go straight into work after that but the college were also offering a HND (higher national diploma, which is a university level qualification) course in web design and the tutor did a good enough job of selling it that I ended up doing that as well, though all that course really taught me was that web design isn’t for me! I struggled to get my head round the coding side of things and I’m not a natural when it comes to designing either. Since finishing my studies I’ve mostly done proofreading to pay the bills, but that work’s come to an end now so I’m waiting to see what 2019 will bring.

As for my family life, currently it’s just me and my two cats. They drive me crazy at times but they do keep me company through the long hours sat at my pc trying to write, as long as they don’t jump up on the desk! There’s been times when entire paragraphs have disappeared because one of them has managed to walk across the keyboard while I’ve got text selected and replace those carefully crafted sentences with random letters. I’d be screwed without the undo button!

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Hmm there’s been a few exciting things this year but I guess the most recent news is the horror anthology I’m going to be featured in with my short story, Raven’s Curse. The anthology is titled Made in Britain, compiled by Kevin J Kennedy and published by Hellbound Books. It’s set for an early Dec release in time for Christmas so keep an eye out!

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I always had a love of stories from an early age but it’s really thanks to my cousin, ‘Lady’ Sarah, that I started writing my own. Basically, she’d written some short fantasy stories featuring close friends and family as the main characters and I couldn’t get enough of them, so I kept nagging her to do more and more until it reached the point where she was sick of my nagging and suggested I write my own. She helped me brainstorm the first three chapters of what eventually became Hybrid, though I seem to remember her main input was to do with her own vampire character. Originally it was just going to be a short story like she’d done but I had so many ideas that it soon began to grow into a full length novel, and then a series.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably at around 15, once I’d started on Hybrid and realised I had a full length novel on my hands.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

When my cousin got me started on it, there was no question as to what type of story it was going to be – I’ve had a love of werewolves for as far back as I can remember and spent most of my childhood pretending to be one, so Hybrid pretty much started out as my own personal werewolf fantasy and grew from there.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

A werewolf is essentially a hybrid of wolf and man in my opinion. Even when my character looks fully human, his inner wolf still lurks beneath the surface and he still experiences lupine cravings for raw flesh and offal. So I went with Hybrid as the title.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I would say my style is pretty descriptive and atmospheric, which is something that has evolved over the last few years spent honing my skills. I tend to write a lot of action packed stories but I have done slow build horrors for some of my short stories as well. And I generally write graphic gore scenes.

Probably the most challenging thing now is the gore and the werewolf transformation scenes, simply because I’ve written so many of them already! It’s becoming increasingly difficult to think of new and creative ways for characters to die and to make the descriptions for those bloody deaths feel fresh, and trying to write transformations without repeating phrases I’ve used elsewhere can be a struggle at this point.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Hybrid is a very personal story on a lot of levels. I was bullied at school like my character is, and I did suffer with depression back then which my character also goes through (in his case brought on by his lycanthropy). There are some scenes taken straight from real life, and my fictional self’s family life is reflective of how it was growing up. There were a lot of arguments between me and my dad, but I’m happy to say we get on a lot better these days.

Hunted and Vengeance are more or less pure fiction, and I imagine the same will be true for the rest of the series.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I’ve not really needed to for my Hybrid series, but I did take a trip to Pendle for my next book on the witch trials of 1612. It’s only just over the Yorkshire border but it was good to see more of the area they’d have lived in. Google maps was invaluable for that as well.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My current publisher, Wild Wolf Publishing, sorted the covers for me. But they are great at being open to suggestions, unlike some publishers who I’ve heard give the author little to no say in the process!

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I’ve always been passionate about animal rights and I believe animals are far more intelligent than we give them credit for, so I tried to get that message into Hybrid through the voice of the wolf side to my werewolf (it’s essentially like a split personality in my books). So many people seem to think human lives are worth more than other species and I wanted to challenge that view, and pose the question: why? What makes humans so special? Just because animals can’t talk English doesn’t mean they’re stupid, lesser beings to mistreat and abuse as we see fit, or slaughter needlessly. Killing for food and survival is one thing – that’s nature’s way, and I do enjoy a good steak as much as the next man – but killing for sport or poaching endangered animals for their body partsare both terrible practices it’s about time we stamped out. Hopefully my character’s musings about these things will make some readers think more about our place in the natural world and the respect we should have for nature and other animals, and I hope the day will come when blood sports and the like are brought to an end, and sick people who kill and mutilate animals face the same consequences as they would for harming other people. I just hope that day doesn’t come too late for all the species already on the brink of extinction.

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 don’t read nearly as much as I used to so I’m probably missing a lot of great new authors, but I’m really enjoying S.L. Mewse’s Primal Progeny series (also about werewolves). And Graeme Reynolds’ High Moor trilogy is one of my favourite werewolf series to date.

I’m not sure I have a favourite writer as such. There’s books I love because the stories really grab me, but there’s not really any authors where I’ll buy every single thing they write because I’m a huge fan of their style, etc. It’s more about the stories than the writing for me as a reader, though the writing obviously has to be good enough to grab me and draw me into the story, or I’ll just lose interest and move on to the next book.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

I’m gonna name Huddersfield Author’s Circle as an entity – the group has really helped me grow as a writer and without their continued support I probably wouldn’t have got this far, or improved so much since finishing that first draft of Hybrid all those years ago.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Definitely; my dream is to one day be successful enough as an author to live solely off my writing, but I’ve a way to go yet before that becomes a reality.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Well, technically my latest book isn’t out yet so I still have plenty of time to make changes before my publisher sees it. But with the last one that was released, no, I haven’t thought of anything I wish I’d done differently.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

During writing the Pendle witches (currently in the beta reading phase) I learnt a lot about the early seventeenth century whilst researching, including some of the customs of the time and the politics that led to the witch trial of 1612. I also learnt a lot about the witches themselves and the craft of the cunning folk, as they’d have called themselves.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

I honestly have no idea. I have mixed feelings about film adaptations of my work – on the one hand, if it was given the right treatment to really bring my book to life on screen that would be amazing to see, but on the other hand so many book to film adaptations don’t really do the original book justice, and it would be so disappointing if that proved true for any of my books. So I’ve not given it that much thought to be honest.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Writing can be tough and often you put in a lot of hours of work for little reward, but when people read and enjoy your work that can be really rewarding in itself, even if you’re not making much money from it. So stick with it if it’s something you enjoy. Just don’t get into it thinking it’s going to be a get rich quick scheme – because for 99% of authors it really isn’t.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I would just like to take this opportunity to thank them for reading my work and give a big thanks to those that take the time to leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, etc. and share my posts on social media as it really helps with reaching a wider audience. I especially love when readers engage with me on Facebook or Twitter, whether it’s just a quick tweet/comment to say they can’t wait for my next book or a tweet to say they’ve finished a book and really enjoyed it – that sort of thing really makes my day and it helps motivate me to keep on writing.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’ve just started The Talisman by Stephen King, on the recommendation of a friend.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No but I do have vague memories of reading at home with my mum, who encouraged me to learn before I’d even started school. I can tell you the first werewolf book I ever read though – Werewolf of Fever Swamp by R.L. Stine, part of the Goosebumps series.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I don’t cry often – I think the last time was when my cat got run over, 4 years ago. But I am always laughing with my mates or at TV shows.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Probably Old Demdike after a year spent living in her world (or at least, the version of it brought to life in my imagination after doing all the research on what we know of the Pendle witches). I’d love to see her work her craft and hear her side of the true story, which I hope I’ve done justice to in my fictional take on it.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I used to be an avid gamer but don’t really get time for it anymore, and I read far less these days because I’m always so busy writing and then reading over my own work! I love going to gigs and enjoy theme parks, and I’m a larper (live action roleplay). Think that about covers it.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Mostly horror and fantasy, so for TV, things like American Horror Story, Supernatural, Game of Thrones, Constantine, etc. but I have got into a bit of historical drama recently as well like Vikings, The Last Kingdom and Black Sails. My favourite movies include Van Helsing (for the awesome werewolves), Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser and Lord of the Rings.

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Food wise I love my meat, especially steak and roast beef. Favourite colours, I’m a bit of a goth so it would have to be black and blood red. Music wise I only listen to rock and metal. My favourite artist is still Alice Cooper but I also love Metallica, Megadeth, Powerwolf, Rob Zombie and Hammerfall to name a few.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Probably pretty similar to what I do now, just without the writing stuff which would mean a lot more free time on my hands! I’d still be playing World of Warcraft (which I had to give up when Hybrid came out as there just wasn’t the time for it anymore) and other video games, and I’d be reading other people’s work a lot more if I wasn’t so focussed on my own. I used to go through several books a week back in my school days!

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

I’d probably spend it with close friends and family and a lot of beer, laughing and drinking and trying to forget what was coming when the 24 hours were up. Maybe I’d spend an hour or two looking into a supernatural way out, like rituals to summon demons so I could try making a deal for more time. You never know, one of these ancient rites might work!

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

Here lies Nick Stead, author of all things dark and monstrous. Now enjoying a well-deserved retirement. In Hell.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

My main author site is www.nick-stead.co.ukbut I also have www.hybridseries.co.ukfor that series specifically. I’m on Amazon, Facebook and Twitter as well:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nick-Stead/e/B010LSHNJ6

https://www.amazon.com/Nick-Stead/e/B010LSHNJ6

https://www.facebook.com/officialnickstead/

https://twitter.com/nick_stead

 

Here is my interview with Melanie Moreland

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?

Melanie Moreland and old enough to know betterJ

Fiona: Where are you from?

Ontario, Canada

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I live a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with my beloved husband of twenty-nine-plus years. Nothing means more to me than my friends and family, and I cherishes every moment spent with them. I am also the proud mistress to a fluffy, rescue cat, Amber.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I have teamed up with ReadMeRomanceand will be featured on the season two podcast. I am also finishing up a surprise release that I hope to unwrap for my readers this holiday season.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve always loved to write. Stories always filled my head, but I kept them to myself. I started being active in the online short story communities. I met a lot of wonderful, supportive people as both a reader and a beta. With their encouragement, I decided to try writing myself. The rest, as they say, is history.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve been publishing stories in various venues for awhile now. I guess that would be when I hit publish with my debut novel, Into The Storm.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

One particular friend encouraged me to share with others. When I wrote Into the Storm, I dedicated it to her because of her belief in my abilities to tell a story.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It simply came to me. It was a book that dealt with a woman on the run in the winter, and it suited the storyline.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I usually dive in and start with an idea. The story grows and changes as I get to know the characters more. I have written outlines, and I will refer to them, especially when I hit the wall, but most of the time it is me and the characters learning as we go together.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

All the characters in my books are based on people who have impacted my life profoundly or on the fringes. Often there are scenes that I will derive from a real life experience or one told to me.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

No. They are all based in Canada.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My graphic designer is Melissa Ringuette, Monark Design Services. She has designed 7 of the 10 books I’ve written as a solo artist.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That love exists in many different forms. Whether it be the ‘one’, friends, family, it’s all about loving and loving hard.

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?

Lauren Blakely, JR Ward, Carrie Elks, just to name a few—all very different authors, but I love them. I have others, but the list would take a while. LOL

I’m a mood reader. I bounce around genres sometimes.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

I didn’t even tell my family I had published a book. My husband, Matthew, was and is my biggest supporter.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I gave up my full time job to do this full time. Haven’t looked back since.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. Once the story is told, it is exactly as I intended.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learn something new each book. Sometimes phrasing, sometimes plot development. It’s always a lesson.

 Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Depends on the book.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Find people you trust and get them to be honest about your work. Otherwise you’ll never be happy with the final outcome. Don’t be disappointed if they have any constructive criticism, but allow what they say to marinate. Don’t react right away. Allow it to process to help strengthen your story.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

That I am grateful for their support and the fact that they choose to read my work.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Genealogy by Mae Wood. It is a novel based on real love letters set in WWI. It’s a dual timeline romance. It’s truly a beautiful story.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I think books I read in my earlier life that inspired my love of reading, and then writing stick out in my mind the most. Little Women, The Anne of Green Gable books, The Hobbit, and Lord of the Rings series. I often reread all those.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Usually the simple beauty and power of words.

 Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I admire so many authors out there today. Especially ones that are willing to take a risk to do something a bit new or stretch their imagination. I really love authors who create a big huge world like JR Ward did for Black Dagger Brotherhood series. However, if I could peek into one in particular is would be Lawrence Sanders. He can capture myfocus in one page, and I’ve re-read every book he has written many times over.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Cooking. I love to cook and bake. There is something about feeding people and making them happy that feeds my soul. My PA requests payment in cookies so there is lots of baking and shipping of care packages. My other downtime vice is music. I can’t tell you how much money iTunes has received from me. Both music and cooking is something I share with my husband. He’s my biggest supporterand fan, so any time away from the writing, he is a part of my activities.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I don’t watch a lot of TV. Cooking shows mostly.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Any kind of music. Various blues are my favoritecolor. Food – potatoes – any way. Love them.

 Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

READ!

 Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

With Matthew, holding hands talking about our life together.

 Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

She was here. She laughed. She loved. She tried.

 Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

 Facebook Author Page: http://bit.ly/2wlWE1z

Melanie’s Minions (reader group) http://bit.ly/2wOwbdJ

Newsletter https://www.subscribepage.com/melaniemoreland
Website: http://bit.ly/2iLv0Xi

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2uQ4Ckj

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ql5R95

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2vIBTKq

Bookbub:  http://bit.ly/2vrs5oY

YouTube:  http://bit.ly/2eIuWq5

Pinterest:  http://bit.ly/2gmdBjj

Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/2gtNOtk

Tumblr: http://bit.ly/2xy0xlT
Book+Main: http://bit.ly/2AuWp4S
United By Romance Goodreads Group: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/751726-united-by-romance

 

Here is my interview with Meghan Holloway

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, thank you for inviting me to interview. My name is Meghan

Holloway, and I am in my thirties.

Fiona: Where are you from? 

I grew up in the south, in the foothills of the Appalachians.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I found my first Nancy Drew mystery in a sun-dappled attic at the age of eight and subsequently fell in love with the grip and tautness of a well-told mystery. I flew an airplane before I learned how to drive a car, did my undergrad work in Creative Writing in the sweltering south, and finished a Masters of Library and Information Science in the blustery north. I spent a summer and fall in Maine picking peaches and apples, traveled the world for a few years, and did a stint fighting crime in the records section of a police department. I now live once more in the foothills of the Appalachians with Aidan, my standard poodle, and spend my days as a scientist with the requisite glasses but minus the lab coat.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news. 

My historical thriller, ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, has been picked up by Polis Books and will be published May 14, 2019. I am thrilled to share this story with everyone. The protagonist is an ordinary man drawn into extraordinary circumstances, and I think the tale will appeal to fans of historical dramas, literary fiction, war and military fiction, and mystery thrillers.  Rhys Gravenor, Great War veteran and Welsh sheep farmer, arrives in Paris in the midst of the city’s liberation with a worn letter in his pocket that may have arrived years too late. As he follows the footsteps of his missing son across an unfamiliar, war-torn country, he struggles to come to terms with the incident that drove a wedge between the two of them.

Joined by Charlotte Dubois, an American ambulance driver with secrets of her  own, Rhys discovers that even as liberation sweeps across France, the war is far from over. And his personal war has only begun as he is haunted by memories of previous battles and hampered at every turn by danger and betrayal. In a race against time and the war, Rhys follows his son’s trail from Paris to the perilous streets of Vichy to the starving mobs in Lyon to the treacherous Alps. But Rhys is not the only one searching for his son. In a race of his own, a relentless enemy stalks him across the country and will stop at nothing to find the young man first.

The country is in tatters, no one is trustworthy, and Rhys must unravel the mystery of his son’s wartime actions in the desperate hope of finding him before it’s too late. Too late to mend the frayed bond between them. Too late to beg his forgiveness. Too late to bring him home alive.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Writing, telling stories, has always been a compulsion for me. My love of stories began with reading and with sitting on my grandfather’s knee begging for tales from his boyhood. As soon as my hands learned to fashion letters into words, I’ve written. I do not know if there was ever a conscious choice to write. Storytelling is simply part of what it has meant to be me. If I had to pinpoint a source, I would say it is the Celtic blood in me, and I inherited the tendency from my grandfather, who spins tales with as much talent and care as a master weaver.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I have long considered myself a writer. Writing is simply part of what it is to be me I considered myself an author when I received my first contract with a publishing house back in 2011.

 

Fiona: What inspired you to write your book?

I grew up hearing stories about my grandparents’ experiences during World War Two. It is an era which has always fascinated me, and I think the title “Greatest Generation” is a fitting one. The men and women of that era lived lives of honor, sacrifice, and commitment.   I have long wanted to write a story set during the war, but it was not until a friend gave me a writing prompt that the character of Rhys Gravenor came to me and the story of ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH was born.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH is about a veteran of the Great War who is still very much suffering from the shell shock that plagued the remnants of the generation that made it home from the war. After his experiences in the 38th Welsh Division in WWI, Rhys swore that he would never set foot in France again, but that is exactly where he finds himself in August of 1944, propelled back into a war-torn country in a desperate search for his missing son.   I wanted a title that encapsulated the dogged determination my protagonist shows as he breaks his promise to himself. The line is Shakespearean, from Henry the Fifth in Act III, scene 1. The scene begins in the middle of the blockade of Harfleur, as Henry’s army has blown up some French fortifications. His rallying cry to his troops is

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;  Or close the wall up with our English dead.  In peace there’s nothing so becomes a man  As modest stillness and humility;  But when the blast of war blows in our ears,  Then imitate the action of the tiger. . . .

I thought that first rousing utterance was a perfect title for my story about a poetic man, still emotionally wounded from the last war, forging his way into the most important battle of his life.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging? 

A friend told me once that when he reads my work, it is akin to watching a play. I am a very visual writer, and I want my readers to see the story unfold in their minds as they read. The challenge with that is finding a balance of detail. I love to include rich detail, but I also have to strive to ensure the details are enriching to the story and do not slow the momentum of the plot.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you  know, or events in your own life?

Well, I do write fiction, so there is always an amount of suspension of disbelief involved. That said, I try to create an immersive story that reads authentically. To achieve  that authenticity, I portray the historical details—setting, speech patterns, attire, weaponry, world views, etc—as accurately as I can, bolstered by the research I have conducted. And while none of the events of ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH are based on the lives of anyone I know or on my own experiences, to achieve that immersion with the read, I did draw on some of my own experience to flesh out certain aspects. For example, I am an avid hiker and mountaineer. A portion of the story takes place in the French Alps, and I incorporated my own experience into that of the protagonist on his trek through the mountains.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process? 

I did not take a trip specifically to write this story, but I am familiar with France and have travelled through various parts of the country in the past. For several of my future books, though, I have some research trips in the works.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The fabulous designers at Polis Books came up with the cover for ONCE MORE

UNTO THE BREACH, and I could not be more thrilled with it.

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I think regardless of the era or setting in which I write, I am always exploring the human condition, the labyrinth of the mind, and the grittier side of our existence. ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH is a tale of war and loss, but also one of family and hope.

It is about the love we have for those closest to us, the ease with which we can wound the people we care for the most, and the lengths to which we will go to seek atonement.

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 tend to read what I write. I love the thriller genre, and my To Be Read pile is constantly growing. Currently, my favorite newer authors are Peter Swanson, A.J. Flynn, and Jane Harper. I also enjoy the works of Harlan Coben, Tana French, and Mark Sullivan. I love authors who bring the past alive with a poet’s touch, authors like Michael Ondaatje, Eoin Dempsey, and Anthony Doerr. I love Mary Stewart’s novels, and she will forever hold the place of my all-time favorite author. I reread her mysteries annually, and I love her keen eye for setting detail and her witty dialogue and her classy heroines. I am also a big fan of nonfiction, particularly survival narratives and exploration stories.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your  commitment to become a published author. 

The Creative Writing department at my alma mater was an invaluable supporter of my commitment to become a published author. I was one of the first dozen or so students of the program, and the courses I took, the professors I studied under were phenomenal. I would not be the writer I am without the talented tutelage I received at the undergraduate level.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

At this point in my life, I balance writing with working full time. I am an information scientist, which involves a lot data gathering and analysis, content management, building databases, etc. I love what I do and I work in an exciting, cutting edge field. I would love to eventually reach the point where my career is being an author. That is certainly my longterm goal.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I am currently in the editing process of my upcoming release, so anything I want to change before the release is something I still have the ability to do.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book? 

A tremendous amount, actually. I spent two years conducting research before I ever set pen to paper with this story, and throughout the writing process, I was still reading reference books and primary sources to ensure the details of my story are historically accurate.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead? 

I never have a specific person in mind when I am writing, but now that ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH is in the publishing pipelines, I could envision Clive Owen playing Rhys if the book were ever made into a film.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Keep writing and be willing to accept criticism, especially when it is constructive. Writing a story is hard work, but it is not until the editing process that it becomes a novel and you cannot edit a blank page. When it comes down to it, you have to treat writing like it is a job. Make the time every day to put words on paper. You are often entirely too close to your story to recognize its weaknesses and where it needs bolstering. Listen when others make suggestions. And realize that once your story is out there, not everyone is going to love it. The reader’s opinion is his or her prerogative.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers? 

I have seen this tendency of late for authors to expect things of their readers— reviews, plugs for their books, etc. I think that is a very misguided assumption, that your reader owes you something. So I would like to take this opportunity to thank readers. Thank you for spending your hard-earned money on my book. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to read my book. I have put a product out into the world, and you have consumed it, and I appreciate that immensely.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I am currently going through the editing process for ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH, so I am actually reading my own book. But I am also reading Past Tense by Lee Child, Transcription by Kate Atkinson, and The Butchering Art by Lindsey Fitzharris.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I do. It was a delightful picture book by P.D. Eastman called Are You My Mother? That book, along with Go, Dog. Go! by the same author were my favorites as a toddler.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I cannot watch or read anything—positive or negative—about animals without welling up. The purity, trust, and innocence of animals never fails to touch and move me. As for what makes me laugh, a good many things, but consistently my standard poodle’s comedic antics.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why? 

I would have loved to meet Mary Stewart. She is my favourite author, and she was a pioneer in the romantic suspense genre. Her wit was so subtle, her heroines possessing such inner strength, her descriptions of settings unparalleled. I wrote her a letter years ago, and I received a handwritten response from her. I have it framed and consider it one of my prized possessions.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies? 

I am an avid fitness swimmer and swim ten to fifteen miles a week on average. I love to hike, conduct genealogical research, ski (alpine and cross country), crochet, bake, cook, and hang out with my standard poodle.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I love suspense and action thrillers. The Bourne series, Body of Lies, The Last Legion, Open Range, and Robin Hood are some of my favorites. I am also a bit of a documentary junky. I love nature, anthropology, archaeology, and history documentaries.

There are some great ones available on Netflix. As for TV shows, I love a number of the grittier mystery series like Shetland, Hinterland, and Happy Valley, along with some of the lighter ones like Midsomer Murders and Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. I am also drawn to the shows that combine travel with something that interests me, e.g. Andrew Zimmern’s Delicious Destinations because I love good food and Josh Gates’s Expedition Unknown because archaeology never ceases to fascinate me.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music? 

Oh, I love good food, so it is challenging to pick a favorite. I have a few strands of Irish genes I’ve found through my genealogical research, which supports my vast love of potatoes in all forms and fashions. There is no way you could cook a potato and I not eat it. I enjoy a wide array of regional cuisines, so it would be easier to tell you what I won’t eat:  fish because I am allergic, coconuts and apricots because I find them vile, and desserts with nuts because dessert should not be desecrated by nuts. My favorite color is purple, and I enjoy instrumental music, particularly piano, cello, and dulcimer music.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Go insane. Not writing is unfathomable to me.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

I would probably spend the a bit of time ensuring the people I care about the most know how much they mean to me, splurge on a delicious meal at a restaurant, and then curl up on the couch with my poodle and reread some of my favorite books.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone? 

I cannot say I have ever given this any thought. I do not intend to have a head stone, but perhaps I will have my urn inscribed with my favorite poem, Dylan Thomas’s The force that through the green fuse drives the flower.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and  special offers? 

I do indeed, and I would love for readers to join me on social media. My website is https://www.meghanholloway.com/  and I can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram under the handle @AMeghanHolloway.

Here is my interview with Unspoken Poetic

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?
Hey there! My name is Grayson, but my publishing name is Unspoken Poetic!  I’m nineteen, almost twenty years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from Boston, Massachusetts. Residing a south of the city!

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I went to a trade school for High School. Studying Culinary Arts, even though I knew I didn’t want to do that with my life. The only passionate thing I have for culinary anymore is Baking and Pastries. But that isn’t what I want for my career anymore, but fun to do on the side! Family life, that’s a long story haha. I am the youngest of four brothers, so I’m the baby! I have two biological brothers, and two step brothers. My father originally married my biological mother, but she passed away when I was a baby. He later remarried my step-mother, who took me and my two brothers in as one of her own. While there have been challenges through this, I’m grateful for them. I also have a baby niece, Brianna, she is truly the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me. A little more about me, I am nearly twenty years old like I stated. I am part of the LGBT community, as I originally came out as gay, but then recently came out for who I really am, a transgender male. It has been one of the hardest moments to overcome in my life, but I’m thankful for my supportive family and my wonderful girlfriend, who always have my back!

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Few months back, September, I released my first published work. Which was my poetry book, Misfortune But Perseverance, which covers the mental health downfall after losing loved ones. Right now, I am currently starting the process of my second book, which is currently untitled. I am very excited for this new work, as it steps outside my poetry background, and brings creative storytelling to my work. While it will still involve bits of poetry, it is going to be more a NonFiction memoir, balancing with poetry!

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing at ten years old, just little blurbs and such. Nothing great when I was that young. I started because with my background, I struggled very harsh depression and anxiety, and I never thought ‘therapy’ would be the right thing for me. So I turned to spoken and written word. Which has helped me grow into the person I am today. With each word I write, I feel the support of my deceased mother, and grandmother alongside with me, who keep me motivated. They are behind every single story, and word I write.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Although, I have been writing for almost ten years, I didn’t consider myself a writer up until more recently. I began sharing my work online via Instagram at the beginning of this year, and finally getting my stories out there. I would say I didn’t consider my writer until this year.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

What inspired my book most, was the fact that since I was so young at the time my mother died, I never truly got to give anything back to her. The three years I had with her, while I may not remember it, there was nothing but love from her end. The stories I hear about her, she was an amazing and supportive mother. And I felt like she deserved this, she deserved to have someone tell the story of how it at first, ruined us, but how it also brought us more together as a family, and made us stronger. Same with my grandmother, she is also a big part of the book, she passed away when I was twelve, and she was the biggest inspiration in my life, and while I got twelve years with her, I still wasn’t old enough then to give her what I knew she deserved. So, Misfortune But Perseverance, is for them.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I came up with the title, Misfortune But Perseverance, rather easy actually. Almost every childhood memory, ‘Misfortune’, bad luck, tragedy surrounded it. Someway, somehow. But yet, here I am, still standing, as strong as I can possibly be, and I’m ‘Persevering’ through, and keeping my head up high.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

Most of my published writing, is poetry. But I also do excel in creative writing and long compositions. The most thing I find challenging about poetry, is being different. A lot of people want to get the same message across, and you don’t want to do it the same way someone else did. You want your own personal touch in it, and sometimes that can cause a stressful writing tense for me.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

My book is 100% based on my own experiences, and life. There is not one lie within the book, completely a work of nonfiction.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I don’t necessarily travel to work, I will go around different sceneries sometimes. But most of my work is done at my home desk, where I sit and ponder for hours. Misfortune But Perseverance was written at my home desk, and also at my mother and grandmothers grave. It really depends on the message and story I’m trying to get across. If it’s a warmth sense of work, I usually will start the draft at my desk, and go finish it somewhere in nature like a park or something simple. But I don’t travel far with my work.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I designed the cover, it’s very simple, but it speaks to the story. In my book, Misfortune But Perseverance, you hear a long of similarities and descriptions of roses, which is why I chose a rose as the cover.

 Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The main message for my readers, is that it’s going to be okay. Even when everything you love is ripped away from you, and you feel the sense you can no longer go on, or love, you can. It’s going to be tough, but you will get through it. In your own, creative way.

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 don’t necessarily have a ‘favorite’ writer. I read all sorts of work, whether it is a well known author, or someone else I see who brings their work online. One of my favorites to read at the moment, is The Poetry Bandit, he is truly a wonderful amazing poet. People who can tell their story, with and without being vague, and up front, always catch my attention. Someone who, in just a couple of words, can get you feeling their emotions and understand completely what they are trying to say. That’s what really strikes me in authors work.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Just one? Oh jeez, that’s a tough one. If I were to just choose one, it would have to be my girlfriend. We’ve been together almost two years, and since day one, she’s always supported what I wanted to do with my life, and how I wanted to tell my story. While we started dating before I was posting my work for others to read, she was the only one who saw my work before I came online to do so. If it wasn’t for her always pushing me to get my story out, I don’t think I would have done it yet, as I’m very shy when it comes to my life, but I’m very grateful I did it when I did. I actually wish I did it sooner.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I definitely do. All I ever wanted was to be a writer. While it can be hard to transform your hobby to your career, I’m trying to do everything I can to do so. I practice my work every single day, craft new ways to reach my audience, and bring forth my stories, in hopes that it will help me pursue writing as a career.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

That’s a hard question. Yes and no. My first book is very raw, as it was completely done by me, no outside source. I love the sense of rawness it has, and how it’s very ‘me’, and no one else. But I do wish, I took a bit more time to try and tweak a few things here and there. But overall, I believe it is truly a great sense of work, for being my first published book.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Between Misfortune But Perseverance, and the book I am currently writing now, they are both nonfiction and based on true life situations I have encountered. And with writing them, I have learned a lot more about myself. It’s one thing to write a story about someone else, and make up a new character. But you truly need to learn yourself inside and out to be able to completely write about yourself.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

That’s a tough question too. Since the story is about my past experiences and my life, I would be the lead character. So I would probably say Jonah Hill. Our personalities are very much alike, we’re both very outgoing, humorous, and joyful. But at the same time, in past work he has done, he’s also been able to balance the humorous rolls he plays, with the more serious and complex rolls. I think he would be a good fit.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

For other writers, my main piece of advice would be, don’t listen to anyone else. You create the story, imagery, and message you want to write. And don’t listen to anyone’s harsh comments if they don’t agree with your message. Writing is about expressing yourself, not pleasing others.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Most important thing for the people who pay attention to my work,
Thank you for supporting me, in any way shape or form. Whether you are just a social media reader, or you have purchased my book, thank you for all the kind support you give. And I hope you continue to stick by to hear more of my stories!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I just finished rereading ‘A Walk to Remember’ by Nicholas Sparks. Now I am about to read, ‘The Haunting of Hill House’ by Shirley Jackson!

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I can’t remember the very first, but the first book I remember reading was the Amelia Bedelia series, back in early grade school.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Very simple things make me laugh, I’m a very joyous soul, so I try and find the best and the humour in almost anything. But I’m also the type of person, who laughs in awkward situations unfortunately. Which can just make it way more awkward. Crying, isn’t hard for me to do. While I am very humorous, I’m very sensitive when it comes to certain things. Tragedy in the family, is what sets me off most. Whether it’s a human loss, or an animal loss. I get very attached to everyone surrounding and supporting me, so loosing that breaks my heart.

 Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Out of anyone, past or present, I would most want to meet Amy Winehouse. I grew up around her music, and truly grew and inspired from her story. Many people told her no, and she did everything possible to get where she was. Unfortunately, her passing made it impossible to actually meet her, but she truly is an inspirational artist to me.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

When it comes to my hobbies, my biggest two are writing, of course haha, and animals. I have a strong love and passion for animals. I have eight of my own, and tend to them all lovingly and passionately. I love to volunteer and help the animals in need at local shelters, even if it’s just to say hi, give them a pet, and give a spark of hope to them.

 Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Currently, my favorite show is ‘The Haunting of Hill House’, on Netflix. I just finished it recently and it was so well done, really can’t wait for season two! Along with that, most Netflix originals I love, especially the cartoon animations that have been coming out. My favorite being BoJack Horseman. I tend to stick to comedies as it always lightens the mood no matter what!

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I grew up in a very Italian family, therefore my favorite food is tied between chicken parmesan or lasanga. Very Italian at heart, and in stomach haha! Color, definitely agray/black tone. I tend to find more appeal in darker set tone colors than lighter. My favorite genre of music is rap. My ultimate favorite artists in the industry being, Mac Miller, Sif The Grey, Jake Miller, Hoodie Allen, Drake, and Post Malone.

 Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

Oh boy.. I have no idea. I would think I would fall back on my education, go back to Culinary and pursue that. While I don’t enjoy it, I am very gifted when it comes to preparing and executing meals. But, that would still break my heart if I were to ever start writing.

 Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

I think about this question a lot, ever since ‘The Purge’ came out. No doubt would I surround myself with my friends and family. I wouldn’t want to do it any other way.

 Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

Ah, I never expected to be asked this question.. Took a lot of thinking to figure this out. But I would want it to say something along the lines of, “Still trying their best”, or, “Beware: Writing in process”. Either something a bit humorous to fit my personality, or just my overall quote that I think whenever something gets tough, “Try Your Best”.

 Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

I do have a blog, I just recently started it. So still learning to figure out how to do my best with it. To keep up to date with me, all you need to do is either follow me on Instagram, WordPress, or Facebook!
I always update those sites as to what I’m up to, and my new work!
Instagram: @unspokenpoetic
Blog: https://unspokenpoetic.home.blog/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/unspokenpoetic/

And thank you Fiona, for taking the time to allow me to do this interview. Gave me a lot of mind opening questions!

Here is my interview with Marianne Maguire

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?

Hi, Fiona, thank you for having me here today. I’m Marianne Maguire and a lady never spills the secret of her age.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I live on an acreage outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Fiona: A little about yourself (i.e.: your education, family life, etc.).

My Mister and I have been together for over 25 years. We have two wonderful fur-kids, Rupert and Winston, and dozens of wild critters we like to care for on our country property. I have worn many career hats as a chef, restaurant owner, dog trainer, master groomer, business owner, and of course, author.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

This year I released my 4th book, Blessed, an Amazon best seller, in my Legacy Series.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

My years in the bar industry allowed me to people watch and I saw some real characters, it always made me think that one day I’d write about them and my time in the clubs. I’ve always loved telling stories as well as reading them, my favourite being paranormal. It made sense to combine what I loved with my experiences and that’s where my first book came from. To me, writing was cathartic. It was my coping mechanism and helped me heal from the loss of my loved ones. Through writing I was able to create my new normal and grow as a person, and now, it’s just another part of me.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Finish penning my first book made me a writer. Publishing my first book made me an author.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

It wasn’t a what, but a who that inspired me to write. My parents were my inspiration, my Mister was my courage.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Born is about a girl who discovers she’s someone else, something else. A Queen of all the supernatural. Throughout the series, we get to see her build her confidence as she builds her Kingdom. She is born, not only into this new Otherworld, but also, into who she is, a strong and powerful woman.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I do tend to write first person stories in present tense. That is how I like the books I read to be written. As for challenges, I like to put those on myself. For instance, my 4th book was the first time I wrote in a male POV. My series a good mix of genres, paranormal is the main one but there are also, rockstars, bikers, angels, demons, vampires, werewolves, witches, gods, Celtic and Norse mythologies. I also like to mix the sexual relationships, from reverse harem to ménage and everything in between, with heavy BDMS sprinkled throughout. I like to think I have something for everyone. Yet, I also know some may not like want I write at all, and that’s perfectly alright, too.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Well, I write paranormal so obviously, that’s real. Ha! In all seriousness, of course there is some of my own experience in my books, but this is fiction so I get to embellish a lot.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

To craft a book, I merely must travel down the hall to my office and escape inside my head.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 Cora Graphics

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I hope, either through my book characters or my own personal story, that women feel empowered. That they will love themselves, and never give up on being whoever or whatever they want to be. And, that they continue to build each other up, and support one another.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favourite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

There are so many new to me authors out there, but I always go back to my favourites like J.R. Ward. For me, it’s the world building, and as much details in the story to paint a picture in my head, that’s what keeps me coming back for more.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

Friends, they are probably just as, if not more important than family for support.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

It is what I do.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not at all! The story that came out was what needed to be told, warts, flaws and all.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learn new things with each book I write, from the act itself, to the world I created. The day I stop learning means I lost interest and I should probably stop writing, but today is not that day.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

For the book I’m currently writing, my lead character is inspired by Josh Mario John, a Canadian fitness model.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write! Write every day, whether you feel like it or not. The only way to get good at something is to practise so just keep writing.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

From the bottom of my big mushy heart, thank you!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I am so far behind on my reading that my TBR pile has taken on a life of its own… I am currently reading a couple of books at once to play catch-up. 1) The Beast by J.R. Ward 2) The Goddess by M.A. Abraham

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

It had pictures! I’m too old to remember that far back.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I would rather laugh than cry any day, and I don’t tend to cry easily or often anyway. However, my fur-kids make me laugh every single day and I love that the most!

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

Anyone from history. I am super fascinated with history in England, Ireland, Norway, Scotland so to go back in time and learn how history was shaped from Kings, Queens and warriors of the time would be amazing.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I groom, board and train dogs. I take care of all the gardening on our property, all 27 beds. I also facilitate a bereavement group, once a week, in town.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

I watch world building TV series like Game of Thrones and Walking Dead.

Fiona: Favourite foods, colours, music?

Chocolate, black, and Nickelback

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

That’s easy, I sold my property and bought an RV. Now, I’m exploring North and South America on my retirement adventure.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Such morbid questions, sheesh! I would just live as happy as possible and share this day with my Mister.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

It was a grand adventure, this thing called life.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

www.mamaguire.com

Amazon authors page USA  https://www.amazon.com/Marianne-Maguire/e/B00KDM1HOS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1541414009&sr=1-2-ent

UK  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Marianne-Maguire/e/B00KDM1HOS/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1541414074&sr=1-2-ent

 

Here is my interview with Kimberly White.

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, I’m Kimberly White.  Age is irrelevant to this discussion, but thanks for asking.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I grew up in Southern California (Orange County), but have lived in Northern California since the age of 23.

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I skipped college (no time, no money, no inclination), instead learning how to write by voraciously reading.  College isn’t for everyone.  When I’m not working, I’m hanging out with my boyfriend and my cats, buried in books and art.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I just had a poem called “Words on a String Theory” appear in Lalitamba, and another poem called “a city condo/hiding out from god”just came out in StepAway MagazineTHEMA recently accepted a poem called “What Woodpeckers Don’t Know,” for their summer 2019 issue.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Writing is something I always wanted to do, from the youngest age, but for too long felt I couldn’t do it.  I would feel compelled, then write gushing journal entries for about a month, after which it would fizzle out and I went back to being convinced that I had no ability.  The compulsion grew into something undeniable when I was in my late twenties, and finally got over the hurdles that kept me from trying for so long.  I started again with journal writing, letting go of my pre-conceived notions of what that was supposed to be, instead focusing on recording my dreams and telling stories, both current and past, both having to do with me and having nothing to do with me.  From there, I graduated to fiction, then later started trying to write poetry.  Once I started writing and studying poetry, that changed how I write prose.  I love to blur the lines between poetry and prose.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

A writer does one thing: they write.  I first embraced the definition when the compulsion did not die out after about a month, for the first time, when I gave into it in my late twenties.  I have not put the pen down since.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

With my first book, Bandy’s Restola, I can’t point to any one thing that inspired it, other than the landscape of Central California.  It was more of an amalgam of bits and pieces coming together at the right time to form a viable story.

Hotel Tarantula, my second book, was inspired by my own irrational arachnophobia, and the dreams that came from it.  Much of the books revolves around the main character’s dreams, and most of the dreams described in the book are dreams that I actually had and wrote down over the years.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Wow, that’s hard to say.  Usually, titles just come to me, like a little flash, or something whispered in my ear by something invisible saying, Here, write this.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

I think all writing is challenging, or it should be – if it’s not a challenge, I might not be doing it right.  I’m always reaching to top myself and be better.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

In Bandy’s Restola, the landscape and atmosphere are strong characters, realistically portrayed to show the impact of the land.  I’ve travelled a lot through the area in which it is set, and it is a unique part of California.  A poet I know once wrote that you can’t talk poetry without talking about the land, and I strived for that with this story.

Hotel Tarantula, as mentioned before, was heavily inspired by my own dreams and intense fear of spiders, as well as the Trickster character in world mythology.  Trickster characters abound in most cultural systems.  I love mythology, especially Trickster tales, and I steal a lot from mythology for my own work.

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

I wish I could travel during the process, but I’m limited to what vacation time I can scrape out.  When I do travel, a lot of scraps and notes get written, and the creative energy infusion of travel comes home with me.  Once I’m home, the “voodoo of location” kicks in and I can really get down to it.  It doesn’t necessarily need to be recent travel; for example, I was dragged through the summertime desert on many family vacations when I was growing up, by my desert-loving parents, and the desert got under my skin in a way that will never be expelled.  I have also made several voluntary trips to the desert in my adult years.  In addition to the desert scenes in Hotel Tarantula, I write a lot of poetry about the desert, and my newest novel-in-progress is set in the desert.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I did!  Bandy’s Restola is a collage from my own photos, Hotel Tarantula is an ink blot.

Someone once told me that the Hotel Tarantula cover looks like I took a real tarantula, dipped it in ink and pressed it to the page. She then asked, Did you?  Good God, no!

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I would rather leave that to the reader.  Everyone is different and might see different messages, some might even see messages that I didn’t know were there.  For example, I once read poetry in an open mic where a woman in the audience suddenly left, telling the host on her way out that something I said made her realize she needed to go out and make a major life change, right freakin’ now.  I was flabbergasted, and searched through the three poems I had read to see what the heck I said, but didn’t see anything that looked like it warranted anywhere near such a reaction.  To this day, I don’t know what it was, and I never saw her again.

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?

So hard to pick a favorite, but if I had to, it would be Margaret Atwood.  She is as adept at poetry as she is at fiction, something to which I inspire.  I love reading and hearing writers who make me feel as if I have no talent whatsoever; they show me where the bar should be and help me see how to reach for it.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

The local poet community here in Sacramento, which is extensive, is very warm and welcoming.  I have felt nothing but love and support from this community and I thank them for it.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

It is a career, regardless of how much money I make or don’t make.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

My latest book is finished but not yet published, a novel called Waterfall Girls.  At the time being, I have not yet circled back to it for final polish before seeking a publisher, but I’m sure changes will be made.  I don’t look back at published works, that is useless.  I can spend forever rewriting and trying to improve a work; there comes a time when you have to just stop, pronounce it done, and live with that decision forever. Otherwise, I would never finish anything.

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I like to think that I learned to stretcheven further than the last thing I wrote, be it poetry or fiction.  My front-burner project today is compiling a full-length poetry manuscript and the first thing I learned is that the opening poem SUCKS.  Rewriting.

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

While writing Bandy’s Restola, I envisioned Christina Ricci and Harry Dean Stanton in the leads – but unfortunately, both were too old for the roles by the time it was finally published and Harry Dean is now gone.  I haven’t imaginary-casted new actors, but I would love to see someone like Jodie Foster or Daryl Hannah direct.

For Hotel Tarantula, I’ve never had a vision for the lead actors, but I would love to see it done by Jim Jarmusch, in that absolutely beautiful moody high-contrast black and white that he sometimes does.  Do you know him?  Can you give him my email?  Thanks!

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Just write.  Don’t let anyone else’s voice or expectations get in your way.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

The current issue of Bat City Review.  I devour literary journals.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I remember my mother teaching me how to read using Dr.Suess books, when I was four.  I remember the very moment something went *click* into place and I could read on my own, and reading Hop on Pop.

Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

There are many, of course, but first and foremost David Bowie, one of the greatest creative geniuses of our time.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Collage art, and postcards.  I’m obsessed with postcards, old and new, and use a lot of postcard images for collage.  If you want to be postcard buddies, PM me your mailing address.

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Anything Coen Brothers.  I love true crime TV, and things like Breaking Bad, Law and Order, The Sopranos, Dexter.  I recently discovered The Office, which is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.   Classic Barney Miller, Andy Griffith Show, I Love Lucy, those shows are still funny as hell and always will be.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

My boyfriend is a chef, so I eat sinfully good.  Black and purple are my favoritecolors.  Music: rock ‘n roll, not necessarily limited to classic rock; blues; reggae; sometimes folk and bluegrass; Dakhbrakha. Seriously, check out Dakhabrakha.

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

In my mind and plans, there is no such future.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

Probably freaking out!   And burning old journals, unfinished writings and crappy failure pieces.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

No headstone!  My unprocessed dead body is to be thrown into the river, to feed the fishes.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

My Facebook page is probably the best place: Kimberly White, writer/artist at Purple Couchworks, as well as my Purple Couchworks page.  I do have a website, purplecouchworks.com, and I am very bad about keeping it updated.  I do much better with updates on Facebook.

Thank you, Fiona!