Here is my interview with Savanna Malveaux

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 Savanna Malveaux and I am 46 years-old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Well, I was born in New Jersey, but Atlanta Georgia is the only home I know.

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

  • Master’s degree in Management, BA in Psychology
  • Divorced 12 years ago, 1 son; he’s 22
  • Retired military
  • Currently a project manager (my 9-5)
  • Travel and food are passions
  • Considered myself to be an avid reader until I learned how many books other people read in a year

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I published my first book, Our Time, last month! And I just found out, through 23 and Me, I have half siblings I did not know about. That story will be my next book.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

My kindergarten teacher encouraged me to write. She was a part of my life until she passed about 10 years ago. In elementary school, I wrote my first poem book for a contest she suggested I enter; I won first place.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I would say getting positive feedback from people I would share my work with over the years. When I go back and read some of my earlier work, I am convinced they were just being nice. Some of it was just horrible.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I went on my first solo vacation about 8 years ago. The 3 books I brought with me for entertainment were not enough to last through the entire week. I finished them all and still had 2 full days left, so I started writing. I have not finished that book yet, because the one I just published was easier for me to complete.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It kind of just came to me. It is relevant to the storyline without giving too much away.

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

I’d say my go-to writing styleis descriptive. I write erotica; one of the biggest challenges is getting people to talk about your work, because a lot of people are not comfortable admitting they enjoy erotica. Also frustrating at times, is describing sexual acts without being repetitive.

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

This question could get me and some others in trouble. I will say, none of those fantasies are completely real experiences. However, a lot of my life is woven in to the story; places I’ve travelled, restaurants where I’ve eaten, and I actually did that fasting retreat. I take mundane scenarios and weave them into these fantasy tales.

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

Have to, no. But I do my best writing when I am traveling. Less distractions and more things to be in awe of. Wonder enhances my creative process.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Richard Evans; recommended by my editor.

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

Absolutely. Women should not feel shame for being sexual creatures and should go after what they want or need without feeling guilty.

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?

  • Not new, but new to me, K’wan.
  • Favorite, I have too many. John Grisham, Octavia Butler, Pearl Cleage, Zane, Eric J Dickey, Jonathan Carroll, Mary B Morrison. Of course, I love them all for different reasons. Since Grisham is my first love, I’ll say I really appreciate how he gets me wrapped up in the stories and their characters.

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

I have a couple of friends that I relied on during the process. One of my biggest fans/encouragers was a male co-worker.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. How could one not?!

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

I took quite some time plotting this book out; I don’t think I would change anything in there. Sometimes, I think of other fantasies that would have been perfect, but I guess I’ll save those for part two.

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

The Dom/Sub world was pretty foreign to me, so I had to do lots of research to write that chapter. I also learned during this process I write better when I have related music playing. Since I write erotica, I created a “panty dropper” playlist with sexual songs to get me in the mood to write.

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

Any of these women… Jada Pinkett Smith, Tracy Ross, Rochelle Aytes, Kerry Washington, Paula Patton

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Nothing that hasn’t been said already:

  • Focus on your craft, write daily
  • Get a good grasp on marketing/social media
  • Seek feedback; don’t take criticism personally

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Since I haven’t quite figured out the marketing piece, my readers are family and friends. If you enjoy my work, shout it from the mountain tops so I can get more readers.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

  • More Than Enough
  • Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself
  • Hoodlum

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I wish I could, I do not.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

As a perimenopausal woman, my emotions are all over the place. I’ve never been a big crier; however, lately TV shows/movies with sensitive subjects have me bawling.

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

So many people; but if I had to pick just one, right now, I’d say Michelle Obama. I am in awe of her and her life. I would love to hear the unfiltered version of it all.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Lots! Travelling, reading, writing, golf, tennis, scuba diving, running/walking, animal lover, eating (not just for nourishment).

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

I mostly watch medical and law enforcement/legal TV shows (Chicago Fire/Med/PD, Grey’s Anatomy, 911, All Rise, etc.). Movies, I’m more attracted to action and suspense films.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Foods – seafood, popcorn, chocolate, BACON!

Color – Orange

Music – I enjoy all music, but I listenmostly to neo soul/R&B

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

I’ve had lots of different jobs throughout my life. At my age, a retirement job, I guess. Working at a golf course or tennis center, or maybe even at a dive shop in some tropical location.

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

The right answer is with my loved ones, but I would be doing that for them. Selfishly, I would want to be in an exotic location, have a few amazing meals, and scuba diving with my honey.

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

Nothing. I do not want a traditional burial. I prefer cremation or that cocoon, being buried with a tree. If I had to have a plaque, simply…

My name (Savanna Malveaux is a pseudonym)

Daughter • Mother • Lover • Friend • Traveller • Veteran • Author

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers? My website is https://savannamalveaux.com/ ; I post short stories there monthly, under spilled ink.

Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/Savanna-Malveaux/e/B082S4HZ1D

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Savanna-Malveaux/e/B082S4HZ1D?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1579605560&sr=1-1

Here is my interview with Eberechukwu Samir Cooper

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?

Eberechukwu:  My name is Eberechukwu Samir Cooper, its pronounced (Ah-berry Chu Kwoo) It sound kind of like you are chewing on a berry and there is a bird in the tree that is cooing Ahberry-ChooKwoo. The “Koo” sound is pronounced with a “W” simultaneously “Kwu” I am 39 years old. Manny people have trouble pronouncing an Ebo African name so I also have a nickname or two. Some know me as Jack E.S Cooper. I prefer to be called Eberechukwu or Chukwu

Fiona: Where are you from?

Eberechukwu: Im was born in Kettering, Ohio in the USA, which is about 15mn from Dayton, Ohio. I have lived in Dayton, Ohio almost all of my life.

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

Eberechukwu: I graduated from a highschool named Colonel White which was a school for the arts, or what’s referred to here as an “arts magnet” I took acting, visual arts, ballet and music. After high school I went to trade school and learned automotive technology and also took photography and drawing. I was given an apprenticeship as a mechanic, then a few years later earned a degree in EET Electronics Applied Science, additionally I also had some education in physics.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Eberechukwu: I am starring in a really big play called The Face of Emmet Till which is being directed by Joyce Barnes and was written by Mamie Till-Mobley and David Bar III. I am also starring in an action series soon to come out, named Decoy Winter.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Eberechukwu: I started writing seriously in 2010. I was working on a sci-fi book originally named “Star Bird” but I later changed the name to Ashardrah (Ah-shard-ruh) which was named after a starship that I designed as a teenager, when I was in highschool. I never expected to write, and I wasn’t  too keen on spelling and barely payed attention in English class. My stories came from very vivid daydreams that I would frequently have which were my escape from very harsh circumstances that I was facing on a daily basis, such as; escaping homelessesness, living in a really hostile part of the city in Columbus, Ohio and dealing with crazy people while facing the possibility of the failing health of a loved one. I started writing because a beautiful woman who was both a master chef an author kept encouraging me too. At first I didn’t pay attention to what she was saying, but then after she kept pushing me I began to write.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Eberechukwu: After I published my first book and it caught some attention, after that I began writing again and produced part II of Ashardrah which is actually one of many in its series to come. I also have a comic book in the works as well.

 Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

 Eberechukwu: Many life events that were extremely challenging, some with heavy odds or even situations that seemed insurmountable or hopeless. I didn’t start writing because I was a professional like the one who encouraged me. I was in a way chronicling my escape into another universe. I started writing because I realized I had a very special story to tell, much of it which was based off of my life and life experiences.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

 Eberechukwu: I was really fond of the names of the women of my culture within my immediate community. Some considered them “ghetto” but I’ve always been in love with the uniqueness of the names, like; Sha-NiQua or Ay, La-NiQue or Tyra. So I decided to give my story the same name I gave my ship, I wanted to give it a name that sounded like a sistuh’s (“sis-stuh” or African American women’s) name from the future. An urban female name thats high tech…

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

Eberechukwu: No, because I like to break the rules and write in a way that’s uncanny, yet true to life. I don’t censor things because reality doesn’t either. However I do suppose that is a challenge in itself, because some people that read my books have had an issue with how raw I am, and the fact that I mix genre’s as well.

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

 Eberechukwu: I would say about 85-90% except I changed things around in creative ways. For instance; my character who’s name is Eberechukwu Amadi travels around in a spaceship which he is linked too; I have traveled to other countries before in jumbo jets and met people from other cultures. Thats real life, but in the books or comics those people I met are aliens. The opposition I fought against in life that seems crazy, I wrote it in the story but made some changes to how things happened. Basically I turned my life into sci-fi.

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

 Eberechukwu: As a teenager my Mother took me to various other countries in the world, so that helped a lot. I’m also on the road constantly, so much so that I’v felt like I am actually apart of the car, which is not to far off from my character in the story. Other than that I just keep daydreaming and writing it down.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Eberechukwu: I did. I rented a photography studio and a camera, got a beautiful model and started taking pictures. I also got my mothers permission to use my late stepfather; Kim Winchster’s photo in the picture as one of the good guys and stars of the story, because my stepfather was my hero as a child. I looked at him like he was my real father. I finished the design using an app on my phone.

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

 Eberechukwu: Yes. I want to showcase the challenges and great odds that a bratha (Bruh-the) “black man” faces. The things we deal with in the world encountering racism, sabotage, oppression yet still manage to prevail. I wanted to produce a character whose vastly different from the norm and who has the courage to be unique and stand up for what’s right even though he may have an edge or some imperfections at times.

 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?

Eberechukwu: Steven King. I love how dark he is, one of my favorite things that he did was the movie “The Mist” I love plot twist and irony,  I also have a thing for horror as well..

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

 Eberechukwu: My Mom did. She is really proud of me and was surprised that I did it.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Eberechukwu: Yes, I write scripts now too for the movies I direct. The last script a wrote was for an action film named “Decoy Winter” which we are filming now.

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

 Eberechukwu: Yes and NO. No, because I love my story but yes, because if I rewrote it I would make  it a little bit more bizarre, surreal and paranormal. But after all, that’s what scripts are for….

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

 Eberechukwu: Yes, I learned it’s better to write, let it flow and then edit.

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

 Eberechukwu: I would want to play the lead myself. However if that for some reason wasn’t an option, I’d want Tyler Perry to play my character

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Eberechukwu: Use your imagination, be creative, trust yourself and let it flow and then rewrite when needed.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

 Eberechukwu: To my instagram followers and all fans, thank you so much for having an underground following of Ashardrah. Thank you for being enthusiastic yet patient, there is more to come. Thanks to you, Ashardrah continues…

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 Eberechukwu: Now I’m reading the script for The Face of Emmett till. Im making sure I got every line right because it’s now as I am writing this 27 days until curtains.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

 Eberechukwu: The Berenstain Bears, I read that book when I was little.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 Eberechukwu: Steave Harvey and Nephew Tommy make me laugh in the morning on the radio. Seeing humans suffering especially that of my people makes me cry,

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

 Eberechukwu: Jesus, to have some really important questions answered..

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

 Eberechukwu: Archery, artwork and making Hip Hop beats.

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

 Eberechukwu: I enjoy watching the Twilight Zone and a show on Netflix called “You”

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

 Eberechukwu: My favorite foods? Chinese. My favorite color is Blue and believe it or not, my favorite type of music is Heavy Metal.

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

 Eberechukwu: ART, I would do sculpture, painting and other forms.

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

 Eberechukwu: First with loved ones, then Id go drive my car and take it to 140 on the dashboard, do some donuts in it and other crazy stuff. I’d make a really short-short film with some friends and tell those close to me I love them and when the curtains close Ill see them at the next play in another life as a different character..

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

 Eberechukwu:  Fear not, for I am with you in the invisible, the realm of the unseen…

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

 Eberechukwu: Yes, my readers and fans can follow Ashardrah on instagram @ashardrah to keep up with updates and also they can follow me personally as an actor and in general @blackaction_hero  I will be working on a website on Wix or Square space soon as well so stay tuned!

Buying link USA https://www.amazon.com/Ashardrah-Birth-Eberechukwu-Samir-Cooper/dp/1985074265/ref=sr_1_2?qid=1579430189&refinements=p_27%3AEberechukwu+Samir+Cooper&s=books&sr=1-2&text=Eberechukwu+Samir+Cooper

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ashardrah-Birth-Eberechukwu-Samir-Cooper/dp/1985074265/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=ashardrah%3A+birth+of+an+ex+on+%28volume+1%29&qid=1579430309&sr=8-1-fkmr0

Here is my interview with Lillian Brummet

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, and where you are at personally?

I just love your name, Fiona… it’s beautiful and unusual. Well, I’m Lillian Brummet, married to Dave for 30 years, and at 50 (just turned) I’m feeling wings sprout in my back. What I mean by that is: I am at the age where I feel less weighted by life’s angst and miseries, ready to fly toward my dreams and have lots of days off (I hope) too.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I live in the beautiful Creston Valley, in the heart of the Kootenay Region in BC, Canada. Do you remember the movie Roxanne with Steve Martin? It was filmed in Nelson, a city just a couple hours from here. Creston is a stunning little city with lots of agricultural activity in the way of farms and orchards. We used to vacation out here every chance we got and hoped to retire in the area, but life circumstances showed us that tomorrow may never come, so we decided to move on out here nearly 10 years ago now.

Fiona: Why don’t you share a little about yourself (…your education, family life, hobbies, favourite colours)?

I would describe myself as one who commits to things until they are done; I’m tenacious, ambitious (to a point), self-disciplined and organized. As far as education goes, I was on my own at 13 years of age… and so didn’t go back to school until I was 16… then went back again around 20 for university level Grade 12 (all those extra heavy courses) and then took hospitality management, permaculture – as well as -business management, writing, marketing and food preservation courses. At one time I thought of becoming a botanist, but I play in the dirt (aka garden) as my hobby and exercise. I spend a lot of time managing the fully landscaped, edible property – preserving and sharing harvests, making meals from scratch, etc. Typically I fill 2 freezers and a pantry every year, saving us thousands of dollars; I enjoy using the preserves as gifts – people love to try the different “gourmet” blends of jelly, jam, syrup, relish, etc. I suppose it is not surprising to learn that I’m fond of earth and nature colours like soft blue, muted purple, soft green, tan and pastel orange, I also love strong accent colours like burned auburn and burgundy. These colours can be found on our site, blog, book covers, my clothes and the paint / accents in our home. Except part of the basement where it was dark, with next to no natural lighting… we painted that a sunny yellow with natural pine accents and white doors, etc. It makes the area so much brighter. Normally, I’d not be so risky painting such a strong colour though.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Writing has come to me naturally. I feel more comfortable writing than speaking. I’ve memories that I’ve shared often when people ask me this… one is bringing an elementary teacher to tears as she read it out to the class and how overwhelmed I was by that… sort of scared, too. Then my poetry (the medium I used to pour out emotions and thoughts too powerful for expression in any other way), became acknowledged as something special… I thought – “hmmm. Interesting; I wonder if there is something to this.” But like many, I didn’t see writing as a reliable career, and honestly, I was intimidated by the idea that I might have something to say out of all those incredible works and amazing writers out there. It kept popping up in those aptitude tests – that writing might be my career path. It was after I got in a pretty bad car accident that I began to question this existence, the path I was struggling on and wanting to give reason and meaning to my life. Writing came up once more. My husband too, wanted to take an in-depth writer’s course and I became like a shadow student, studying what he got from the course. That’s how the addiction began J.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I won a few contests, had a short story accepted for publication, had quite a few poems published… started selling articles to magazines… picked up a small job doing interviews with unusual people;so I knew it could be done. It was when an article got picked up as a bi-weekly column that I knew something was really going on here. That column, by the way, ended up being published internationally and ran for several years before Dave and I churned that topic in another direction… book publication.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

The column I just mentioned became the first book: Trash Talk… The first edition was published in 1999 and won several awards from recycling and environmental groups. It is now in its third edition and has become a 2 book series.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I know – those words have a different connotation… but it wasn’t until a few years after publication that I learned ‘trash talk’ means speaking negatively i.e. one sports team fan against another or some such thing like that. The bookseries runs on the topics of reducing waste by way of reuse, repurpose, refuse, rent, rot, conserving energy and water, recycle, compost. How your trash can actually benefit the community and by reducing waste you will also save some money.Included arelots of inspiring stats, quotes and resources. Thus the title… talking about trash – but shorter: Trash Talk.

Fiona: How much your work is based on your experiences or of someone you know?

The non-fiction writing that we have done so far is based on our personal real-life experiences, interviews and discussions and intensive research. For instance, with Purple Snowflake Marketing I learned from other writers whowere incredibly helpful with specific knowledge about every realm of writing I was interested in. I used to get teased about all my questions on forums, but they did it light-heartedly and always gave me the best advice. I would read voraciously and listen to talk radio episodes, research websites, and take courses. I once hosted a radio show that ran 3x a week, and it had a World of Writing segment where I interviewed all kinds of people in the writing industry from copywriters to publishers, publicists, agents and authors.Although my personal experiences played a vital role, without all those experts and generous helpers along the way I’d never have developed the skills to write a book like Purple Snowflake Marketing.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My husband Dave does all of our graphics and images, all the formatting and all the cover designs for our books and CD’s. He’s done work for others as well – some band CD covers, a few book covers, business cards, posters – that kind of thing. You can see samples of all that on our website. He also manages the website, by the way, and provides me with images I need for the blog or promotional purposes. His ad creation is so helpful, and he designs our bookmarks, business cards, flyersandposters … all kinds of creativestuff like that. Lucky me J

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

 The main theme in everything we do is to empower people to feel more positive and make a real and measureable difference. With the first book of poetry, Towards Understanding – I wanted to reach out to councillors to help them understand better, and to comfort victims of abuse and neglect with the words they cannot say. I was so moved by some of the reader comments; it is a powerful book.

With the Trash Talk series, we wanted to help people realize that little efforts matter, that they can ease their budget issues with some proactive tips, how they don’t have to donate cash to help out the community – they can do it with their “trash”. We wanted to play a role in reducing stresses on the planet and felt this was one of the most effective ways of getting the message out there.

With Purple Snowflake Marketing– Remember me talking about those experts that I cherished? Well, I became the expert – people would come to me asking for advice, I was interviewed so much about the world of writing, I wrote articles about the topic and because I had all this information and experience at my fingertips I could share it. People began to call me a ‘guru’ and refer me to their friends. What makes this advice book different from others is it is highly informative, no words are wasted, there’s no white space taking up room and making the book look bigger than it is, the information is organized in such a way that it becomes a step-by-step guide to follow every time a book is published. There’s a ton of resources, quotes and images of promotional items we’ve used. Basically it includes everything we learned from 1999-2012 in this one book. We felt that releasing this would hopefully make the process of book promotion less daunting, authors would make fewer costly mistakes, and more information and creativity could be unleashed on the world.

 Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 Absolutely. We run this as a business. Every 5 years we go over our business plan – discover what worked, find out why we didn’t achieve what we hoped and write a new 5-year business plan. We do the annual taxes, have monthly meetings, and try to accomplish our “list” before the next meeting. JSo, yes we do all the things one does in managing the business. Querying and marketing, record keeping, managing the blog, bookkeeping and cleaning the studio, client bathroom and office take up a surprising amount of time.

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

No, we are thrilled with the latest – Rhythm and Rhyme… it’s a collection of poetry written by Dave and I. Readers will find it interesting to see my experimental style of poetry compared to Dave’s rhythmic almost lyric-like poetry. This book speaks about adult issues from finding purpose in life, choosing to be positive, grief and the joys of creativity. I’m personally very fond of the cover design Dave created based on images taken on Kootenay Lake (BC, Canada).

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

Yes. We are currently in the final writing stages of our cookbook: From One Small Garden, and this book was a real challenge for me. I strove to fill it with nutritional information, interesting historical stories about some of the ingredients; I wanted to focus on what nutritionists call ‘super foods’, and foods that we have produced in our own gardens or can purchase from local farm markets. I had to learn how to condense information, yet be more flowery and creative with the wording.

One thing I noticed during the beta testing period was that I was assuming too much. Just because I know how to make it doesn’t mean the reader does. So I had to slow down and get real detailed, without having too many words involved and at the same time we aren’t teaching how to cook – we assume that you know how to cook. It’s harder than it sounds – believe me.

I also learned patience. Actually, I’m learning patience still. We had to set this project aside several times, delaying its progression for years… because other things took precedence. We’d just get back to it, and then something came up that we had to face instead.

Often in running a business you have to make choices as to what is practical and what takes precedence. You have to prioritize and when you choose something, you have to let something else go. Some things are very time sensitive and so you feel as if there’s no choice.

You also have to have a “shut-off” button, to be willing to give yourself time to recharge those energy batteries and refill that happiness bucket so that when you come back to the lists of do’s, you do so efficiently, with energy and enthusiasm, and with fewer mistakes.

You have to make time for the house duties, the meal making, the yard care, the shopping, and all those other life chores. Working from home can often mean you’re loading and running various machines while you are working on your blog. You have to train people to not just drop by because they know you are home. You might be prepping meals part of the day, doing housework, tackling that honey-do list and also answering the phone. You have bread baking while you are answering questions to an interview (like I’m doing today). You learn to multitask, that’s for sure.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Yes. Be patient with yourself and be patient with the process too. Don’t rush. When it comes to networking, offer more than you are asking. Always promote every single event you are a part of, and always thank the people involved. Remember to not make anyone work; supply everything they need in an easy to use format.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No my memory doesn’t go back that far Jbut the first book I do remember is in my possession… it was given to my mom when she was young, apparently by an aunt, or great-aunt or something like that. It was about a red hen that was captured and carried away in a sack by a hungry, browbeaten fox. She pulled out her sewing scissors from her apron pocket and escaped while the fox snuck in a nap before going home to his nagging wife. Filling it with heavy stones and sewing it up, she made her escape, ran home, locked the door and made a soothing pot of tea. The unsuspecting fox went home and ceremoniously emptied the bag straight into a pot of boiling water for the wife. It splashed up so much that it burned and killed them both and the hen lived safely, ever after. The book is worn, hosts my early colouring attempts, but I have it sealed in a plastic bag safely in a dark cupboard.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 Pretty much everything lol I cry at commercials, or hear some sad news that doesn’t even affect me, or anyone I know… I’ll cry over a sad scene like a dying bird, my heart sinks when I see a worm drying out in the sun. I get totally scared when watching scary movies, sad and melancholy in the rain, cheery in snowfalls, nervous in storms. I apologize to plants. I treat my pets like children and giggle and romp around with them like a child. I laugh at all kinds of things, even stuff most people wouldn’t think was funny. I laugh at myself all the time, even if I’ve hurt myself or I’m sad about something and I’m getting teary eyed… it’s totally funny to me so I do a laugh-cry thing. I can be super stupid-silly too at times, just because it is entertaining to me. So yeah, I do laugh and cry often… more laughing, than crying though.

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

 Garden. I find gardening offers so many ways to make a difference in the world. For your own household, the benefits include nutritious fruits, nuts and vegetables and full freezers/pantries every fall. Did you know – mature landscaping and gardens can increase the property value by 15%?

Composting keeps organics out of the landfill where they can do more damage to the environment than vehicle exhaust. The produce can be sold, traded or given away to those in need or soup kitchens, friends, family, neighbours and clients It offers a way to support birds, frogs, and a myriad of other backyard wildlife. Gardening cleans the air and improves the soil. It reduces water runoff. It entices others about the world of gardening, and encourages conversations with strangers as they walk by and ask questions. Perennials can be divided and shared with others, or sold to help mitigate the costs of seeds and transplants. Gardening produces flowers, helping those precious pollinators out; flowers can be taken to school events, churches, senior centers, old age homes, hospitals, elderly neighbours …and even the doctor’s office where they can cheer everyone who sees them.

Because the food is produced at home, you aren’t buying packaged food that has travelled 300 miles or more to get to you. Unused frozen fruit, berries, grapes or their juices can be taken to a u-brew outlet and made into amazing wine. I could go on and on about gardening…

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

 What a unique question… in 20 years of being interviewed I’ve never been asked this. I know for sure what I would do: wake up super early and enjoy the sunrise, guzzle coffee laden with cream (or Irish Cream) to my hearts content, switching over to rum and ginger ale in the afternoon. During the dayI’d eat my favourite foods like scrumptioushomemade soup andbread, nachos with peach salsa and snack on fruit.

I’d write little notes of appreciation to everyone I know, noting their contributions in my life and acknowledging their efforts and asking for their blessing. I’d spend most of the time on the deck (season pending) and curl up with my beloved dogs. I’d cuddle with Dave for as long as he would let me (lol) into the night watching every star twinkle and hoping I can hear them sing when I pass over to the other side.

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

“She tried” (ha ha) Actually I plan to be cremated, as I’m not a fan of the idea of monopolizing a piece of land forever. I’m not that important… and land is precious. My ashes …under trees by Kootenay Lake, please – where our beloved pet’s ashes already lay and where my husband’s would join me.

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

 Yes – it is called Brummet’s Conscious Blog: http://ConsciousDiscussions.Blogspot.com

You can find inspiring quotes, recommended resources, articles about music, business, green living, nature and gardening, author interviews, eco-events, and stunning photos taken in and around the Kootenay/Boundary/Columbia regions of BC, Canada. There are several pages on the blog as well, they can be found via the tabs under the header image. And the side bars offer a ton of information too.

BrummetMedia.ca

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Here is my interview with Cynthia Ulmer

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 go by Cindy and write under my legal name,  Cynthia Ulmer. I’m 58 years old.

 Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born in Newport News, Va and moved to Leland, NC when I was 8 years old and have lived in the area since then.

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

I am married with three grown children, four grandchildren and one great granddaughter. I have five guinea pigs, 3 birds, three dogs and several fish.  I’m never not busy. Life is always hectic, and I get stressed easily but I know I am blessed.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

The latest is I am creating hardback copies of my books through Lulu Publishing. They will be special editions complete with dust covers. I’m also working on the series sequel, Beyond Cedar Cove, which I hope will be a trilogy.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I actually began writing as a child. My sister and I created a story called “The Grumpfaires,” about the Big Bad Wolf and his family. Most of it was just two little girls’ imaginations. At first we just told each other our side of the story after we went to bed. When we got older, I would write out scenes and she would draw pictures, sort of like a comic. We worked on The Grumpfaires from the time I was around four until after I turned ten and we grew tired of it. After that, I wrote my first novel at age 14. My English teacher read it and told me I needed to work on my plot line but that I had a good mind for dialogue. Later on, during a time of deep depression, I threw it away, something I’ve always regretted.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

After I published Todd, The Cedar Cove Chronicles, Book One. Even though I’ve written since childhood, I didn’t consider myself a real writer until I had an actual book to show for it.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

When I was growing up, I used to listen to my father and aunt talk about their neighbour who would get drunk and hold his children over an old-fashioned water well for punishment. Then his wife would come get my Grandfather to help talk him out of dropping the child in the well. I would listen and think of how scary it must have been for the child. I’d seen old water wells and looked down them, the depth frightening.

I’d never planned on doing a story based on the well memories, but I knew I wanted to write. The only problem was what to write. I’d come up with several beginnings that went nowhere. Then I had a vision one night of a young boy walking down the dirt road of a farm. Off in the distance, looking deceptively innocent was the well. The farm looked like my Grandfather’s farm. I knew right away who the boy was and knew that his family would suffer from living next door to an alcoholic who abused his children by threatening to drop them in a deep dark well.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I could never think of a good title. When I was writing I just used Todd as my title on Word and it stuck. My husband helped me edit and we went from saying, “The book” or “The Story” to saying “Todd.” Afterwards, each book in the series is named after the main characters or character in that particular book.

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

I write when I’m inspired. I do not write daily just to be writing. I’ve tried and it doesn’t work for me. I’ve heard the saying, “writers write,” which is true, but I have to be inspired for it to be good. I do think of stories every day, my characters, plot lines, etc., even if I don’t write that day.

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 loosely based on real life, but most of it comes from my imagination, from me asking myself ‘what if?’

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

I haven’t so far.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I did. I used createspace cover creator at first. I’ve now redone all my covers to better reflect the stories. Even when I used createspace, the covers had meaning. I like the new covers much better though.

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

To trust in the Lord, to be willing to forgive, and that family is a gift from God.

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 read a lot of Stephen King and love most of his work. I like the way he sets the scene and draws you in. But my absolute favorite writer is Betty Smith, who wrote A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I discovered her as a child and fell in love with A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I’ve read it several times. I’ve also read her other books, Tomorrow will be Better, Joy Comes in the Morning and Maggie-Now. She creates realistic characters with families and knits their stories together. I’ve been inspired greatly by her work.

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

I have several wonderful friends who support my writing.  They are sort of like my own personal book club, encouraging me and always anxious for the next book.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes and no. I make a little money from it and I don’t work away from home, so I guess it’s sort of a career. Mostly though, I write because I love it.

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

No, I’m satisfied with Lilly Jean, The Cedar Cove Chronicles, Book Six. It turned out exactly how I wanted it.

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

I did a lot of research on student nurses in the 50’s and learned about diploma nurses, which I had no idea existed until I did my research. After that, I had Lilly Jean began her quest to become a diploma nurse.

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

I would love to see Todd become a film. I would like to see an unknown young boy play Todd. To give someone else the chance to start their dream career.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Be yourself and don’t give up. If you have long moments of drought, don’t let it make you give up entirely. I’ve gone for years without writing and then came back to it. If it’s meant for you to write, you’ll find a way and find inspiration in something

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Thanks for your support. I can’t say that enough.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Addicted to Dimes by Catherine Townsend Lyon

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I don’t remember learning how to read. My parents read to me from the time I was a baby. We had a house full of Little Golden Books.  When we would buy groceries, my parents always bought us a book or a toy. The book I remember most was a paperback called, “Alice Gets a New Look,” about a little girl getting glasses. I remember looking at that book for the longest time at the end of the checkout counter, wanting it so badly. My sister was getting a small wooden airplane and usually we got the same things, but on that day, I talked Mama into letting me have the book and Laura got her airplane. The first chapter book I read was Disney’s version of Jungle Book.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

So many different things. I laugh with my family, at watching my granddaughter play and grow. My youngest granddaughter is 15 months and my great granddaughter is 3 months. My children and grandchildren have provided me with so much inspiration.  I cry because I am emotional and of course throughout 58 years of living, there have been down periods. I get depressed easily. I sometimes feel that I’m not enough, that I’m responsible for more than I really am. Stress makes me cry.

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

My Grandmother Ellen. She passed away when I was two, so I never really knew her. I’ve been told that I look like her. My Daddy and all his brothers and sisters always spoke so highly of her. She didn’t write but she told them stories to keep them entertained. I would love to sit down and have a long conversation with her, hug her and tell her I love her.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Besides writing and reading, I love to crochet and cook.

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

Right now I’m watching Virgin River on Netflix. I love the old shows, Andy Griffith, The Beverly Hillbillies, Family Affair; stuff like that.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I love a variety of food, so I don’t really have a favorite. It’s the same with colors and music. I think all colors are pretty in their own way. As for music, I grew up listening to country, rock and bluegrasss. We had one of those big stereos that held 6 records. We would go from listening to The Bee Gees to Jim Reeves to Bill Monroe to Abba to Sonny James and KC and the Sunshine Band. If music is good, it’s good no matter the genre or the age of the song.

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

Take care of my family, which I do already.

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

With my family.

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

She tried her best in everything she did.

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

I’m bad at updating it, but my website is https://cynrellia.wixsite.com/cedarcovelife

Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00K7T2ICW

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cynthia-Ulmer/e/B00K7T2ICW?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1579355278&sr=1-2

 

Here is my interview with Douglas Skelton

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?

Douglas Skelton and my specialist subject is not revealing my age. Let’s say I’m old enough to remember…something. Not sure what.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from Glasgow but I live in south west Scotland in a place that according to service and utility company is so remote I’ve called it Hole in the Wall.

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

I was a bit of a dunce at school and barely scraped by with a handful of O levels. I have two sisters and a brother but due to our parents divorce I ended up with a step father and was brought up alone. I’m now single, childfree because a dog and a cat are enough to deal with!

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

It’s just been announced that I’m sharing a stage with Denzil Meyrick at this year’s Aye Write Festival in Glasgow (March 20). It will coincide with the publication of my latest book ‘The Blood is Still’ (Polygon). I’m not sure who this Denzil Meyrick is but I’m sure he’s very good.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a child. One of my memories is lying on the floor of our flat in Springburn in Glasgow writing a crime story. As to why, I don’t know – it’s something that is in you and frankly, you can’t fight it.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I was a journalist for years but didn’t consider myself a writer until I had my first book published, Blood on the Thistle, which was a true crime book.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I had written a series of features for the Glasgow Evening Times on some old crimes and Russell Kyle, the then Features Editor, said there was a book in them. He suggested I submit the notion to Mainstream in Edinburgh and they accepted! I soon learned it wasn’t always that easy.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It came to me suddenly. I’ve no idea how or why. But then, that’s how my books happen too!

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

 I try to make things as fast moving as possible. I’d say stylistically I’m more American than British. And I find the whole process challenging.

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

 Absolutely none. My Glasgow crime series featuring Davie McCall, which started with Blood City, was informed by my work on a miscarriage of justice and subsequently investigation work for Glasgow solicitors but no characters are based on anyone living or dead.

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

 I do tend to visit real life locations I plan to feature. For The Blood is Still, the new one, I spent some time in Inverness and surrou8nding areas. For Thunder Bay, however, I used bits and pieces of a number of islands to create my fictional Stoirm.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 The publishers handle all that.

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

 To paraphrase Sam Goldwyn, messages are for texts. I write to entertain.

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 couldn’t pick any one author out. There are a host of terrific writers working today. Too many, in fact, and there may have to be a cull to leave room on shelves for me. However, I have a number of favourites, but I have to give a shout out to Ed McBain, as it was his 87th Precinct novels that made me want to tell my stories.

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

 My dogs were always keen because they thought I’d become rich and get them better food. Didn’t happen though. Apart from them, I’d have to say close friends.

 Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 I do. I now write full-time – well, in between social media and lots of sitting around.

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

 I’m never satisfied with anything I write and always believe I can do it all better.

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

 Don’t take a break of three months between starting and finishing.

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

 As Rebecca Connolly, as written, is in her mid-twenties it would probably have to be a newcomer. Let’s make a star! But otherwise I think Karen Gillan would be ideal.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

 Just write. Get a full draft done, get the skeleton of the plot set and then work on it. Don’t labour over the perfect sentence. Get it down and fix it later.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Buy my books. My dog is still hoping for better food.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

 The Last Dance by Ed McBain. I always re-read one of his before I begin something new, just to put me back in touch with the magic.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

 I seem to remember something called Two Doggie Tales by Enid Blyton.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 The answer to both is the same – Brexit. Seriously, I laugh at all sorts of things – US sitcoms like Friends and The Big Bang Theory. The plays of Neil Simon. Tommy Cooper. Morecambe and Wise. And I cry at anything to do with animals.

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

 You should never meet your heroes, they may disappoint. But there are some politicians now active who I’d like to meet just to see if I could get away with giving them a slap.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

 I take landscape photographs. And snaps of my dog and cat.

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

 All sorts of things. I love movies but have found myself returning to older films more lately, especially the 60s and 70s. I have a fondness for the thrillers of the 70s. There was a grit about them that is lacking now. My New York chase thriller ‘The Janus Run’ was inspired by this love.

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

No particular favourite food or colour. But I love film scores and that, generally, is what I listen to.

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

 I’d become some rich woman’s plaything. Failing that, perhaps edit.

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

 With my pets, listening to music with someone I love. And sending off insulting tweets to those politicians I want to slap.

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

 He was good.

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

 I have a website – www.douglasskelton.com

Links:

Thunder Bay: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Thunder-Bay-exciting-atmospheric-thriller-ebook/dp/B07LGDW7VY?pf_rd_p=d79debb4-4345-4c84-ba3c-629cad270cf9&pd_rd_wg=yhkBz&pf_rd_r=3YNEV1G5G0J8WP0MB51E&ref_=pd_gw_cr_simh&pd_rd_w=Uxaik&pd_rd_r=1b3aa11d-7f7c-46eb-b8d8-9d09fa378dea

The Blood Is Still: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Blood-Still-Rebecca-Connolly-Thriller-ebook/dp/B082XLRF2C/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_3?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=1G0S518REDMP48JBWTSD

Amazon Author link UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Douglas-Skelton/e/B001K7TR10?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

USA https://www.amazon.com/Douglas-Skelton/e/B001K7TR10?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1579354800&sr=1-1

Here is my interview with Chris H. Stevenson

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 Chris H. Stevenson, and I go by the pen name Christy J. Breedlove for my Young adult fiction. I’m 68 years-old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m originally from Southern California, raised on the shorelines of Venice, Huntington Beach. Seal and Sunset. I was born in Los Angeles, California.

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

I had a fairly varied career, first starting off as an auto mechanic and this lasted for about 25 years. I then became a federal protection officer and government guard for about five years, working at and for the United States Geological Survey. I hold about six certifications for law enforcement studies. I became an editor and newspaper reporter for Sunset Publishing, Anaheim, California. Other various jobs included owning my own house-cleaning company, washing dishes for the Navy and building doll houses and miniature replicas. I was only married for four years, and have been single since my divorce. I have one son who is 40 years-old.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My latest news is the release of the first book in my trilogy, Screamcatcher: Web World. It’s been out for about six months and I’m doing some promotion and marketing for it at the present. It just took the first place prize for YA book of the year in the N. N. Light Book Awards contest, which thrilled me to no end. I am currently editing books 2 and 3 in the series. I’ve also had some book-to-movie interest which I am pursuing along with my agent.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

My early writing accomplishment were multiple hits within a few years: In my first year of writing back in 1987, I wrote three SF short stories that were accepted by major slick magazines which qualified me for the Science Fiction Writers of America, and at the same time achieved a Finalist award in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Contest. This recognition garnered me a top gun SF agent at the time, Richard Curtis Associates. My first novel went to John Badham (Director) and the Producers, the Cohen Brothers. Only an option, but an extreme honor. The writer who beat me out of contention for a feature movie, was Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. My book was called Dinothon.

A year after that I published two best-selling non-fiction books and landed on radio, TV, in every library in the U.S. and in hundreds of newspapers.

I have been trying to catch that lightning in a bottle ever since. My YA dystopian novel, The Girl They Sold to the Moon won the grand prize in a publisher’s YA novel writing contest, went to a small auction and got tagged for a film option. I have 12 titles appearing on Amazon. I just hope and pray I’m doing everything right

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I considered myself a real writer with a chance for a career in 1987 after having some short stories published by major magazines. My first non-fiction book in 1988 actually sealed that thought for good. I knew I had arrived.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I actually wrote my first book, Garage Sale Mania, on a dare. I also realized that there had never been a book written on the subject before, only articles.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

I can better explain Screamcatcher. It is a play on words from the words dream catcher. I once wondered what would happen to a very old dream catcher that was overloaded with dreams and nightmares. What if the nightmares were too sick or horrible to contain? What if the web strings could not hold anymore negative images? Would the dream catcher melt, burst, vanish, implode? Something would have to give, if too much evil was allowed to congregate in one spot. I found nothing on the Internet that offered a solution to this problem, and asked myself why hasn’t anybody used this? So I took it upon myself to answer such a nagging question. Like too much death on a battlefield could inundate the immediate area with lost and angry spirits, so could a dream catcher hold no more of its fill of sheer terror without somehow morphing or transforming. What would it be like to be caught up in another world inside the webs of a dream catcher, and how the heck would you ever get out?

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

I know it sounds a little strange, but I do consider myself a stylist. I developed my own voice by mimicking the styles of my favorite writers. I did this because I love humor and irony in writing, along with a large dollop of wit.

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

Screamcatcher is totally made up and has no bearing on real experiences or travels. It’s pure fantasy, a portal fantasy much like Narnia, Stardust and Jumanji. I base the main female character on my sister, Jory.

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

I do most of my traveling on the Internet. I wish I had the finances to explore other countries, but that’s impossible for me because of health issues and flying. I use several sources for any exotic location, just to make sure it is as accurate as possible. I haven’t been challenged yet, but it doesn’t mean that I won’t draw some fire somewhere down the road!

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Caroline Andrus designed the gorgeous cover of Screamcatcher, capturing a saber-toothed cat coming through the webs of a dream catcher. I had something else in mind, but she absolutely nailed it. I’m looking forward to the next cover design.

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

I’m not very heavy-handed when it comes to delivering messages in my books. I want to avoid any preaching at all costs. I do include the basic/standard survival, loyalty, courage and persistence themes in my young characters, as well as emotional growth and cooperation. I did hide, or rather include, a very deep and subtle message in the story that I think most will gloss over or not recognize altogether. And that is my belief that sometimes the nice guy finishes first and gets the gal. I wanted something that swerved away from the controlling, domineering alpha male that is so often seen in other works of YA and romance. I wanted a slow burn sweet romance that was touching. Quite a few reviewers recognized this message and I got kudos for it. That was a RELIEF

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?

Well, not very new, but Hugh Howie with his book Wool, impressed me very much. It was his attention to detail that really impressed me. I also saw that he wrote naturally occurring “hooks” throughout his storyline, tempting, dragging the reader into the scenes with an effortless touch.

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

Regardless, I’ll have to say my father, who was an award-winning non-fiction writer. I had no other influences that encouraged me. Most people did not know that I was a published writer. It was only when they found out that they began to foster a belief in my talent.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I certainly do. Honestly, I’m after fame, friends and eight-by-tens. I can’t regard it as a hobby. I need the discipline and foundation of a career to give it my full attention and effort. I don’t mind competing with other authors. In fact, I encourage it.

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

Yes, I would. I had no idea that many reviewers saw my words as character-driven, whereas I had been plot-driven all my life. They wanted more of the characters that they loved. So, yes, I would give it more character depth. I’ve already taken that change and incorporated it in the second book of the series—just listening to the readers and giving them more of what they want.

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

I learned a lot about North American Indian Lore because I used it as a backdrop to the dream catcher world. I learned some of the cultural history of the tribe that I represented, not too much, mind you. But enough to spread some seeds of interest and enlightenment.

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

Funny you should ask that. I’m working very, very hard on such a deal right now. It’s still in the baby stages, but Hollywood is no easy nut to crack, even if you have experience in the medium. I have no idea what 18 year-old brunette would play the protag in this story. I’m not up on the younger acting set. Perhaps someone could give me some ideas.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Advice for other writers? Watch your spending on ads–they can be grossly ineffective. Use social media and generously interact with fellow writers and readers. Don’t abuse FB and Twitter solely for the purpose of “Buy My Book.” Join writing groups and learn from the pros. Ask politely for reviews–don’t pressure, harass or intimidate. Be creative. Target your genre readers. Offer incentives and freebies. Craft a newsletter and send it out bi-monthly. Don’t take critiques as personal attacks–learn from honest opinions. Don’t despair. Never give up. Revenge query.

If you think that you’ve had it tough, I recommend you watch Magic Beyond Words, the life story of Joanne Kathleen Rowling. Books just don’t happen. They are nurtured and raised from infancy, just like a budding writer is. This business might quit you, but you cannot quit the business. Stay active and attentively writing.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Well, I think as far as Screamcatcher, it will be the first time you’ve ever seen this type of plot or theme before. It’s a true Portal Fantasy, not an Urban Fantasy. There is a difference in the two. It has POC (people of color), exotic outdoor locations and a sweet, slow burn romance. The third book is based on the greatest haunting in the American Northwest. Hint: George Knapp, investigative reporter out of Las Vegas, wrote the book on it and lectured the circuit.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m reading Black Marble by Joseph Wambaugh. It has the most vivid characters I’ve ever seen. Joseph has some type of strange magic when it comes to characterization. So does Stephen King, btw. Characters are everything to me. Much more so now than ever before.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Oh, I’m trying to remember and I think it was something like Toby Tyler Goes to the Circus. Or something like that. In Jr. High, it was The Yearling—a truly sad tale for me at that time.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Great stylistic writing makes me laugh and cry. My gawd, Peter Benchley could really make me burst out laughing. Wambaugh does the same. I cry when I read a sad Shirley Jackson story, or something deep and profound by Phillip K. Dick. Great irony. Great sacrifice.

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

I would love to talk with Stephen King. He didn’t talk about becoming a writer, he just did it, and did it very swiftly. His output in his early years was huge and he never looked back or became discouraged. I had it like that too, but only I took a very long hiatus and lost my momentum. I would love for him to relieve his early years with me, when I know we both began writing for the small press and getting contributor’s copies for payment.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Health has put a stopper on a lot of my outdoor activities. I do love to hunt with a metal detector and shoot pistols and rifles. I hope one day to be able to hike again like I used to.

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

I watch documentaries almost entirely. I’m pretty spaced out. My subjects of interest range in the spec categories, drawing me to Bigfoot, UFOs, cryptozoology, archeology, paleontology, the megaliths, space, aliens, ghosts, hauntings, all criptid creatures great and small. I’ll watch tons of Anne Rice instructional videos, as well as bios of famous authors. My movie choices would be Laurel and Hardy and W.C. Fields.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

Favorite food is Chinese, hands down. I love sweet and sour pork and fried wong-tong. Favorite color is ox-blood. I’ll listen to some older rock ‘n roll and even some pop. I happen to love ballads, and ABBA does some that are near to my heart.

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

I would build a stage or a platform and tell stories. I might even write music and play an instrument. I would dance or sing. It’s all about entertainment for me.

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

I would get in contact with every person I had ever met, whether friend or foe, and tell them how much they really meant to me, even in spite of our differences. I would thank those who bolstered me up and confirm the strong suits in them. I would leave no enemies or hard feelings behind.

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

In life, as in writing, he fought it out to the very end.

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

Blog:  Guerrilla Warfare for Writers:   http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

Christy’s Young Adult Fabuliers:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Screamcatcher–Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Amazon Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Chris-Harold-Stevenson/e/B001K8UUBK

Christy’s Website:  https://christysyoungadultfabuliers.com/

Blog:  http://guerrillawarfareforwriters.blogspot.com/

 

 

Here is my interview with VENDLA BRAMBLE

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 VENDLA BRAMBLE…and I’m a feisty 58-year-old…who’s also baffled as to what happened to 21!  I swear it was there just a few seconds ago!

Fiona: Where are you from?

Well…see…. here’s the thing.  I was born in Kansas City, Kansas (United States of America) but raised in Missouri…and now I’m living in a concrete jungle in the wilds of Ohio.  The country girl in me is still looking around muttering “No nonono this all wrong.”

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

Family life…I am a McMahon by birth and was raised to follow the Old Ways in secret by my mother and father (stepfather would not have approved).  Raised in farm country til just about the time I hit my teens and we got moved into a small (at that time) farming community/town.  We were rather poor…so I still have that knee jerk reaction whenever bills come in.  My mother had a Ph.D. in psychology and did the best she could in raising three vastly different girls.  I was her middle and she always called me her “fey child”, and much to her chagrin all the psychology in the world wouldn’t work on me.  She had to sit and have what amounted to an adult conversation with a mini adult whenever she needed to reason with me about things.  As a kid preferred running naked in the woods with the herds of deer and eating wild foods.  I left the alleged polite societal ways to my eldest sister and half-sister.  I think those two gave up on me years before I left home.  LOL.

Graduated from high school about a year ahead of everyone else, and after some adventures I found the love of my life…or he found me.   We were married for 27 ½ years before he died from the ravages of cancer, at home with me holding his hand and singing to him.

After Gerry, my husband, died, I looked around and decided I best do something to advance myself. So, I went back to college, starting with the University of Phoenix and got my Associate of Arts in Criminal Justice.  Moved to Ohio, got a job as a security officer, which lasted only a year (corporate restructuring sucks!) and got angry enough by that betrayal that I once again returned to college, this time at Antioch University Midwest and got my Bachelor of Arts in Management.   It took me about half a second to take it from there, and I am now a grad student at Southern New Hampshire University working on my Masters in Criminal Justice. It is only natural I am going for the Masters, since I come from a long family line chock full of people in the Criminal Justice field…Pinkerton Agents, bounty hunters, police officers, deputies, etc. etc.  Rumor has it we’ve also been on the other side of the badge.  So I grew up hearing about tactics, psychology of people being hunted (which was my mother’s teaching because of her Ph.D. in Psychology), etc.  At an early age I was asked what I wanted to bewhen I grew up,andlittle blue-eyed me would solemnly tell the questioner “I want to be a Forest Ranger or a bounty hunter, so I can catch the bad guys.”Guess I’m still working on that.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

Latest?   Wellllll……I recently got my first book published.  Was rather pleased with myself…I had been working on that book for YEARS!  In factit took about 4 years, and was only finished 6 months before my husband died.   I promised him it would get published…just didn’t think it would take THIS long!    Now I’m working on preparing the second book in the series to be published, and I’m excited about it.  This one came together last Summer while on summer break from college.  But I kept editing, rearranging etc. you know how it is.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Oh my goodness, I honestly don’t remember a time when I wasn’t scribbling out little stories.  My mother encouraged me to express myself and discovered I did it best with paper and pen, so she’d talk to me about what interested me …what was going on in the world and told me that I could do anything I set my mind to and that I should *never* allow anyone to take my words away.  I felt that if I didn’t write… that part of me would fade away…I HAD to write.  I still recall the story I laboured over one hot summer when I was around 13 years old, about a sentient old car which had adventures all over the world…including climbing the White Cliffs of Dover.  I would research cultures of each country and include them in the story.  I don’t know what happened to that notebook…shame really.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

LOL…the second I published my first book! Blood Hunt: Rolling Thunder.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Ah, now see there’s an interesting back story to this book!   In the early 2000s I was involved in an online RPG named Blood Hunt, which had been started by some friends.   I saw it had huge potential, so I asked the originators of the game if I could run with the idea, from my character’s perspective.  I think they were a bit amused by the idea, and probably didn’t think anything would come of it…but they were sweet enough to agree.   I am so glad they did, and I give them credit for how things have turned out!  They really did incredible work on creating the scientific aspects and the alternate historyconcept.  And thus the world of my heroine was born.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Well as Blood Hunt progressed in the telling there came a point where the heroine got a…mmmm…tad angry and it started thundering.   I had wanted to stay with the title of Blood Hunt, because it had bearing on the story.  But Rolling Thunder really struck me as an excellent sub-title…hence Blood Hunt: Rolling Thunder.  I think I will stick with that format for each successive book in the hopeful series.

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

My general writing style tends to go from one genre to another, depending on what is going on or my mood.  But for Blood Hunt I am trying to stick to first or second person style…sometimes both, so people will get into the characters minds for a full view of their world.  Blood Hunt is Science Fiction/alternate history/wee bit of mysticism thrown in.  It can be very challenging to not allow my imagination to run rampant and try to keep it as realistic to that world as possible.   I use a lot of my experience in paganism to keep things flowing in the direction it would have logically gone considering the circumstances.    Thank goodness I have decided to not have love scenes in the stories…I am, quite honestly, no good with that style.

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

Considering it is set in an alternate history and in the future of my great great granddaughter it isn’t realistic per se.   But some of the mystical experiences are drawn from my own events in the pagan world or things I have heard about or been told about by now long-gone Elders.  (I think they’d be pleased I listened to all the old stories, myths and legends.)

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

I only have to travel in my own mind.   Although I really wouldn’t mind traveling to the land of my ancestors, who were written as also being some of the ancestors of the heroine.  Ireland.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The first book was stock art which Amazon offered.  I am hoping my second book has customized art by a young man who adopted me as his secondary mom.(Turns out we’re blood cousins! Which makes our bond even stronger. ) Ivmahchukwu Samir Cooper He has a couple of books out on Amazon as well, and I think he’s brilliant!

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

NEVER EVER GIVE UP!  Don’t put limits on yourself, life may throw a lot of rocks in your way but there is always a way around obstacles.  You just have tofigure out which path is yours and stay the course, despite what others may say. In the long run you will be a lot happier because of it.

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?

Well I don’t think they are particularly *new* to the writing world, but they are fairly new for me.  Patricia Annette has gotten my attention with the way she can put such a delightful twist to a story…there isn’t any “plot twist” warning just TADA there it is in your face and you’re sitting with mouth hanging open in delighted shock. I have lost track of the times I’ve yelled “I did *not* see that coming!”   Teresa Kuhl is a newish writer, and I’ve watched her progress with great pride.   Omigosh there are so many authors I’ve been introduced to lately I’m not sure who else to also name!   DefinitelyIvmahchukwu Samir Cooperhas to be included! As well as R D Trimble.  I know if I try to name all the authors who have caught my attention that I’ll inadvertently leave someone out.  So maybe I better stop here while I’m ahead!

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

Oh yes.  And I can never ever forget him.  Dr. Richard Caldwell. He is one of four people I dedicated Book 2 to and included him (plus the other three) as characters into the book.  I know he would have adored that idea. Richard was always asking me “How is the book coming?” “Milady you can do this.” “I am so proud of you.”  One day some friends of ours told him I was struggling with my asthma issues….and the man drove across TWO STATES to get to me.  I was so shocked to see him pull into our driveway.  After assessing me, he went inside and had a long talk with my husband, and they put together an action plan.  Gerry was impressed that a friend would go to that length to help and told me “You have a friend to death and beyond in him.”  Hopefully Richard is watching all this and smiling.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Paying career?  It’s not as easy as some people think it may be.  It would be lovely if it would come to be so!   I have an idea for a book outside the genre of Blood Hunt, that is based in my experiences of being a security guard.   Plus another one inspired by the antics of friends fureverkids.  So…. maybe?

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

That would be a huge resounding NO!  As if the heroine of it would allow me to do so!   I’ve grown rather fond of her, and if she wants something a certain way…I will try and make it so.

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

Grammarly is my friend!   AND it is important to establish a network of authors…they don’t hesitate to give you hints/support/read over your work to help you figure out tough spots….and will quite possibly be your biggest cheerleaders.  It is amazing what a brief audio clip of another author giving you a pep talk will do for your self-esteem!

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

It would have to be a Native American actress in order to stay true to the heroine lead.  Which would not be easy, especially when you consider the heroine is half Osage Indian and half Irish. I am rather particular and wouldn’t want too much artistic license in the casting of her.  The male counterpart would be equally particular…he is of mixed heritage, and it would be wrong to cast him too far out of character.  I have looked over the actresses who are of Native American descent or heritage…and the only one who sort of comes close would Tanaya Beatty.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Don’t take NO for an answer!  I got rejected by so many mainstream publishers that I began to think maybe I wasn’t a good writer.  Then I got angry and decided to bide my time til an opportunity came along where I could prove them wrong.  You have a voice, and your work deserves to be heard.  However, do some research…take constructive criticism in the light it is given and re-examine your work.  Take some writing courses to fine tune where you might need some help.  But never EVER give up and never listen to that negative NO.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Grab a fork…the best is yet to come.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

*chuckling*   Besides a textbook?  I just got done with Janet Evanovich’s latest Stephanie Plum book “Twisted Twenty-Six” (my parents were from NJ so you KNOW I know what is going on in Stephanie’s world), everything I received of P. Mattern’s works I have already gone through and want more! Joyce Harmon’s book “Mary Bennet and the Bingley Codex” is currently open on my Kindle with about 14 more pages of books to go through.   I am most definitely an avid reader!  My personal physical library is close to 1000 books.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No I don’t.  But my mother always told people I was reading 2nd grade level material while I was in Kindergarten.  And by the age of 9, I was reading Charles Dickens and fully comprehending what he was saying. I can remember getting into deep discussions with my mother about the messages he was giving in his works.  And several times I was quite annoyed with him, or some of the characters.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Good question…it could be something seemingly small, and insignificant, which will make me suddenly shed a few tears…. or the most outrageous event in the world which tickles my unique sense of humour.

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

Yes, in fact they are on my bucket list! Lhamo Thondu….his holiness the 14th,  Dalai Lama.    He has a great presence of strength, courage and gentleness to him that has seen the dear gentle soul through very trying times.   Just watching him can bring a sense of calm to a person.  The world could learn a lot from him…if they just allowed it to happen.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Genealogy!  My vast family is so complicated we don’t call it a family tree…we refer to it as the ‘family jungle.’  When my mother died back in 2003, I took up the mantle in trying to unravel things.  Some parts are huge mysteries, but it is quite exciting to uncover that proverbial needle in the haystack.

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

I am currently in the TV Series Lucifer (those eyes….oh my).  Life has gotten me rather behind in watching it…but I’ll get there!

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I’m a vegetarian so it is always interesting for me to try new things whenever possible.   Veggie pizza…with pineapple thank you, Chinese with tofu, Italian…and I love fried pickles.

My favoritecolor…PURPLE!  My bedroom is purple, I have purple clothes, the seat covers in my car are purple…

Music….weeelllll…..I’m a bit eclectic!  I am liable to one day be listening to Classic music like Mozart… the next day something from the big band era, and the next rock or alternative.

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

No longer write *clutching chest and eyes growing big*  but…but…well now those degrees would come in handy wouldn’t they?  LOL.   LO! There goes the world’s oldest Forest Ranger/bounty hunter!

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

First hour would be spent cussing out the Fates for deciding that unfortunate time frame…the next 23 could I pretty please play with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson?

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

It wouldbe  “Well that was stupid.”

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

I have an author FB page…. but other than that, I’m still trying to get everything put together, or figuring out just what I need and how to go about doing so.   Then there’s college on top of that.   I have yelled a few times “My kingdom for an intelligent octopus!”  (Honestly, I’m having the time of my life!! And loving every second of it.)

Buying Link https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1702825876/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tpbk_p1_i0

Amazon Authors page USA https://www.amazon.com/VENDLA-BRAMBLE/e/B07ZQSHBBX/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/VENDLA-BRAMBLE/e/B07ZQSHBBX?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1579352115&sr=1-1

 

Here is my interview with M J Mallon

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 my name is Marje, author name M J Mallon. I’m a bit over the hill but just short of the rainbow, with two grown up daughters.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Ah, I was born in Singapore, grew up in Hong Kong, smuggled away to Bonnie Scotland, Edinburgh, and now living in Cambridge, England.

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

I studied in Glasgow, the then polytechnic, gained a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies: Media, Marketing, PR. Didn’t do much with it… then, but it’s coming in quite handy now! I live in Cambridge with my husband who loves to play rock guitar. My two daughters are both creative, my eldest writes/ teaches English and my youngest is a keen photographer/fashion/business student.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’m releasing my first poetry/prose collection very soon. It is entitled: Mr Sagittarius, Poetry and Prose. Release date to be announced soon. I’m planning on donating the first month’s royalties to the Australian Bush fires.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing about five years ago. I’d describe my initial style as:  a writing butterfly flitting about trying different forms of writing –  novels, short stories, picture books, and of course my blog.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’d say I considered myself to be a more serious writer when I released my first YA fantasy novel: The Curse of Time Book 1 Bloodstone. Buying link:  http://mybook.to/TheCurseofTime

Prior to that, I wrote various short stories, flash fiction, and poetry on my blog but hadn’t published anything for the reading public.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Oh, so many inspirations… where to begin?

  • A mysterious black cat strolled into my garden and became a character in my book: Shadow.

Image via Samantha Murdoch: https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com/

  • I visited a magnificent crystal grotto in Juniper Artland that triggered an idea for a mysterious cottage housing magical crystals.
  • Walking past the Corpus Christi chronophage clock , (a popular tourist attraction in Cambridge,) made me wonder whether I could I include this strange clockwork creature in my fantasy story…
  • I read masses of books,including Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray.
  • Helping my daughter with her GCSE Art, sparked a fire of creativity in my belly.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

In The Curse of Time it was a magical mix of time, crystals and a special ingredient: a curse.

In Mr. Sagittarius. I wanted a quirky title; using a zodiac character seemed to be a good idea.

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

Normally I write fantasy/dark fantasy, but I also write poetry, and a touch of horror! I’d say that the most challenging aspect to date has been writing the second book in the Curse of Time series. Remembering all the finer details from the first book is really hard and moving the plot forward into a second book is much harder than I expected. And beginnings are always the hardest part for me, endings are so much easier!

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

In The Curse of Time the story is set in a‘real life’ setting in the city in which I live: Cambridge, but the cottage and several of the characters are fantasy based. So, I’d say it’s magical realism.

In Mr. Sagittarius It’s a mix of poetry and prose with a magical feel to it. The story isn’t based on anyone I know, but the two main characters are based on a couple of gents I saw drinking coffee in a cafe in Cambridge.

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

I’d love to, but this particular novel is set in Cambridge and there are snippets about Edinburgh where I grew up.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The Curse of Time was designed by Wendy Anne Darling: https://wendyannedarling.com/

Mr. Sagittarius was designed by Rachael Ritchey: https://rachaelritchey.com/

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

In The Curse of Time: Beauty is skin deep, and people aren’t always what they seem. Time is a monster that none of us can escape. There’s also a strong family/coming of ageaspect to it too.

In Mr. Sagittarius: Life is short, live it to the fullest, and enjoy the quirky wonders and fun escapades of life. It’s a celebration of the wonder of the natural world.

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

My favourite authors are: Jay Kristoff, and Philip Pullman.

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

My eldest daughter Natasha who also writes and is an avid reader.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I am working towards that goal. At present, I write around a full-time job.

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

The Curse of Time: I wish I had plotted more, but my imagination tends to be difficult to reel in!

Mr. Sagittarius: This is my debut poetry and prose collection, so we’ll see how it is received.

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

Make sure you proof read the title! Mr.Sagittarius is difficult to spell… At first I spelt it with two rr’s instead of two tt’s! Luckily I noticed before the book launch.

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

In the Curse of Time: Male lead: Dylan O’Brien (Teen wolf) Female lead: Juno Temple – The Dark Knight Rises.

In Mr. Sagittarius: Someone who looks like: Joseph Gordon Levitt. – Inception.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Read as much as you can in a wide variety of different genres. Try different writing styles including flash fiction, keep on working at your writing craft,  believe in yourself and don’t let anyone put you off. If you want to write, write!

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Do what you love. Always, never stint on that!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Two at the moment, D WallacePeach’s Catling’s Bane and Philip Pullman’s  His Dark Materials #2 – The Subtle Knife. Both of which are amazing!

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I loved C.S. Lewis The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe. I also loved comic books when I was young. Growing up in Scotland I loved The Broons, and I also was a fan of Asterix The Gaul and Tintin.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Books! I often cry, or laugh on buses whilst reading. Sad and funny movies make me cry too..

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

David Bowie or Prince. So sad these two musical geniuses died before they should have.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I love eating out, coffees, socialising, going to the gym, and trying to relax whenever I can.

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

I hardly watch any TV – no time.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

Favourite food: Asian, colour: green, music – eclectic: David Bowie, Prince, Bon Jovi, Stereophonics, Jo Bonamassa.

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

I’d create in some way. Play the piano, paint, (badly,) or bake.

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

With my family, I’d have the best day outdoing all the things we love.

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

It took me a long time to grow up and find out who I truly am; glad I discovered me at last.

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

Yes, my author blog is: https://mjmallon.com

I also contribute to the sisters of the fey blog: https://sistersofthefey.com/

Amazon Authors Page UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

USA https://www.amazon.com/M-J-Mallon/e/B074CGNK4L?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_3&qid=1579212969&sr=1-3

Here is my interview with Clair Brett

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? 

Clair Brett I am 48

Fiona: Where are you from? 

I am from the north country portion of the state of New Hampshire, USA

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

I am married to my real life hero, we have two daughters (19, and 20), 2 rescue dogs, and two cats (one thinks he is the third dog), I have a degree in culinary arts, and bachelor degrees in Elementary Education, and liberal studies (major in Political Science, and minor in psychology). I taught middle and high school for 15 years and now write full time in my little blue office at my house.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news. 

I had a book come out in Dec., the third book in my Improper Wives for Proper Lords series; Marked for Love, and I have another book coming out at the end of January, which is a Common Elements project book; Winn’s Fall.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing as a new mom of two littles and teaching middle school, because I needed something more “grown up” in my life. Basically I was reading to escape and would find myself “rewriting” the books I was reading so they went the way I wanted, and decided I could write my own story and have it go the way I wanted.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think I have always considered myself a writer, but it took a long time for me to consider myself an author. I guess when I chose my pen name would be when I knew I was an author.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I was in a place where I was feeling trapped in my daily life like we all do some times, and I thought what would it be like to just leave everything and start over?

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

My heroine’s father was a gambler and got the family into debt, so my heroine didn’t like betting, so when she has to strike a deal with the hero and gamble on the unknown of him holding up his side of the bargain, it seemed ironic to me.

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

I write historical fiction, so to some extent the prose are longer and more descriptive. I have been told that I strike a good balance between a modern voice and pacing and the descriptive sweeping prose the readers want. I also tend to have characters who are a bit sardonic, as I relate to that.

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

I think in fiction there are always aspects of the story that have similarities to real life, but in all of my books I would say the only realism, that is based on my experiences, is that all of my heroines are very strong and independent. I am as well, so I know what they will face when trying to maneuver through a society that thinks they should behave otherwise.

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

I would love to some day travel to England and Scotland for research, but for right now, I sit in my office and do my research on the internet.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I have worked with a couple of designers. Susan Ann Wall, and Victoria Miller

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

In my Improper Wives for Proper Lords series I have two messages that come through. The first is ‘Love Saves’ and the other is ‘Embrace your Independence’.

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 authors are Eloisa James and Karen Hawkins. I love how Eloisa James creates strong characters with very human imperfections. And I love the humor in Karen Hawkins books.

For “new to me” authors Mia Vin, Emma East, and Tammy Andresen

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

I would have to say the biggest supporter of my writing has been RWA, and my plotting group, The Plot Bunnies, who I found through my local RWA chapter. I would not be a published author today if not for the teachings and support from these groups.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

I do. My husband has given me the great opportunity to be a full time writer. He is hoping at some point I will even make money doing it. giggle.

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

I love my latest book Marked for Love, but if I could do it over again, I would have had a bit tighter of a plot figured out before I started. I had to stop at the halfway point and re plot quite a lot of it, which delayed me getting to the finish line. Other than that, I think of each of my books as a window into my life at the time it was written, and like children they are perfectly imperfect the way they are. My next one will be better, because I have one more book under my belt.

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

The book that came out in Dec. was my “therapy” book. I learned a lot about myself and my own resilience in the pages of that book. It helped me work through a very difficult life event. As for other books, I am always learning interesting facts and tidbits from research. My husband calls me a wealth of useless information.

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

Good Question! I would want Gerard Butler to play my hero from Marked for Love. He is just brooding enough, and for a heroine I think I would like to see Emma Watson.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

keep writing and don’t let your own fear of not being good enough stop you from it. Remember at some point you could use a fork, but on most days now you can probably use one with expertise (I said most days). If you enjoy it, don’t let the pressure of doing it for a living over shadow that.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers? 

I love my readers and love hearing from them. One of the best parts of my day is interacting with readers on social media. Also, if you read a book and like it, review it. Many of us on hard days, will go and read those positive reviews to remind us why we do this.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Taming A Duke’s Wild Rose by Tammy Andresen. I love her style.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I remember my favorite book as a child, which was a “golden” book entitled the Tawny Scrawny Lion.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Everything! Cute animal videos and babies laughing are my favorites to make me laugh, and as far as crying goes, I consider myself a stoic New Englander, but as I get older stories of kindness, and even sappy tv commercials will make me cry. I tried for a very long time to hide, but I’ve gotten picked on by my loving family, so now I let it go like a watering pot.

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

Abigail Adams. She was a strong, independent woman during a time she shouldn’t have been. I think she would have great wisdom for women today.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies? 

I love crafty things, and home remodeling. Lately, I am “taking up” embroidery. I say that loosely, because I am not as accomplished as my heroines at the task, but I better appreciate someone spending hours working on a piece. I also spend a huge amount of time spoiling my fur babies.

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

I love Supernatural, Criminal Minds, Numbers, and currently we just finished the first season of the Witcher. However, I have been known to be watching tv and reading a book at the same time.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music? 

My favorite foods are really all of it. I am very adventurous, but my comfort food when I have had a bad day is pasta with red sauce, every time.

My favorite colors are: green, orange, and purple. I can’t pick one over the other.

My favorite music: I love many kinds of music. When I write I listen to instrumental or soft classical, but for fun I would have to say I am a rock and roll girl from the 60’s through the 80’s.

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

In a future where I don’t write, I must have already made my millions and spend my days playing with all the dogs I rescue with my millions and lay on the beach in Sanibel Florida for the rest of the time.

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

On a beach in the sun with the people and animals I love most around me, and with all the food I “shouldn’t” eat to indulge in.

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

She left the world a better place than she found it and she had no regrets.

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

You can find me at my website: https://www.clairbrett.com.

You can check out my blog, find my social media links, read free chapters, and join my newsletter there. Please stop in and look around.

Buy links:

Dealing with the Viscount:   https://books2read.com/u/mqzE7Z

An Heiress by Midnight:  https://books2read.com/u/mvYeM2

Marked for Love:  https://books2read.com/u/mdGxdd

Visions of Pleasure:  https://books2read.com/u/4NGVE6

Winn’s Fall: Does not have a buy link yet. they can check my website for updates: https://www.clairbrett.com

Amazon Author page USA :https://amzn.to/2Ns3E5p

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Clair-Brett/e/B01M3Y9RHQ?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2&qid=1579207680&sr=1-2

Here is my interview with Barbara Ebel

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?

A big hi to everyone, and thank you Fiona for the invite. My name is Barbara Ebel, aka the “Credible Medical Fiction Writer.” I’m between middle and old age, whatever those ages are!

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from all over the place in the eastern U.S., but now my home is in TN.

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

I am a retired M.D., not because I want to be, but because both my shoulders are disabled. I was a physiciananesthesiologist, and you really need your shoulders and arms to practice safelyin that surgical specialty.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I beat cancer in the last few months, but I’m still undergoing treatments. The thing that keeps me going and my spirits up (besides my writing)….is my 1 ½ year old Border Collie. I make myself do agility work with him. He’s much better than me at what we do.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

You gleamed the reason why. I’ve been writing for over 10 years and I write what I know!

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

My career as an author became more imbedded once there was an income stream, which kind-of validated what I was doing. Now I’m a USA Today Bestseller, so I guess my career is solidified!

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

LOL! Don’t ask. Let’s just say I think I have an app in my brain which is so full of fodder, it would leak out if I didn’t get the words out.

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

Like most authors, I think my style is part of who I am. The genre is easy since I’m writing many situations that I tended to see over my career.

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

I mostly use places I have lived in as the main geographical settings for my novels. But, yes, occasionally I use some of the exotic places I’ve travelled to, and use them when I later write.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I pick out all the pictures I want to use for a cover, often sketch out what I want, and use the same fellow all these years to put it together for me. That way, there’s a second person involved to counter-balance my conception of them.

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

Readers often learn a lot about the area of medicine I am writing about. I don’t make it up, and I’m not called the “Credible Medical Fiction Writer” for nothing.  J

For instance, the Dr. Annabel Tilson series features six books of a medical student’s rotations: surgery, psychiatry, medicine, ob/gyn, and pediatrics. Readers will learn quite a bit about those specialties as they read those suspense novels.

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?

Honestly, I skip around a lot with my reading, and don’t have a favorite author. Probably my favorite book in the last year or two was “Beneath a Scarlet Sky” by Mark Sullivan.

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

Better yet, there was something to learn after the writing of my last book. Real life health care workers were insulted because their profession was chosen to depict the fictionalvillians in my novel. I learned that there are people out there who now take things personally in books. However, every one of my books has a villain or villainess. One of my books even depicted a pediatrician as a pedophile. I mean, it doesn’t get any worse than that, yet no pediatricians in the country slammed me with a campaign of personal and hateful one-star reviews.

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

Depends on which novel. I have written12!

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

If you love what you are doing, keep at it. But don’t quit your day job unless it looks like you’re going to be successful—depending on what that means to you.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Friends and faithful readers of my novels know I give out a lot of hugs … both real and ‘virtual.’ So, lots of hugs and Happy New Year too!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Toward the Midnight Sun by Eoin Dempsey

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I think it was a book of poems by Robert Louis Stevenson.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

The loss of three long-term family pets this last summer was a tear-jerker. But now, my Border Collie makes me smile and laugh every day.

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

Pope Francis, probably the holiest, compassionate, and exemplary man that has been in that ‘office’ for a long time.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

There have been many, but the thing is, they are diminishing only because of the toll that advancing age plays on joints!

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Darn, I like too many types of food and many genres of music. I go on binges, like listen to all country music for awhile, and then I’ll switch to a particular artist like Ed Sheeran, etc. And colors? I like, and wear, fall colors the most!

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

I would figure it out in a hurry because I can’t be non-productive!

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

Walking my dog in the secluded wildlife area in which I live and saying good-bye to loved ones.

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

Ha, ha. Being an anesthesiologist, I did happen to ‘save’ some lives. However, in my ‘retirement,’ I’ve been known to be called “The Dog Lady.” That would fit on a headstone!

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

Thanksagain for hosting me!  Here are important links:

Author page on Amazon US:

https://www.amazon.com/Barbara-Ebel/e/B002BLJH2S/

Author page on Amazon UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Barbara-Ebel/e/B002BLJH2S/

Website:

http://barbaraebel.weebly.com

Please join Barbara Ebel’s “Medical Suspense Café,” a Facebook group:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1339185862908931/

Twitter handle:    @barbaraebel