Here is my interview with Gregg Macklin

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?

Gregg Macklin, I am 64 and retired.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I grew up in Simi Valley, California, in the 1960s. Simi Valley was where a lot of the employees of North American/Rocketdyne lived, my dad, ​being one.

North American/Rocketdyne, built the engines used on the Saturn V Moon Rockets. The engine test facility was in the hills on the south side of Simi Valley. We could see the glow of the tests at night and always feel and hear them. It made me wonder about our future and how far we could reach.

After 11 years in the Air Force, and remarrying, I moved back to Simi Valley for ten years. We moved to Indiana in 1994 were I took a job with the Department of Defense and a Federal retirement after 30 years.

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

My wife and I, as I said, live in Indiana, where my wife is from originally. We find the country life on ten acres relaxing and enjoy the four seasons.

I have some collage credits earned while in the Air Force, along with some formal classes. None of the credits are of help to a writer.

I had one tour overseas, in Thailand. I learned to speak two dialects of the language and am using an ungrammatical Thai term for a race of aliens in Beneath the New Moon.

My last assignment was on nuclear missile sites in Montana, and I put that knowledge to work in White Hot Skies.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I am editing a short story, I hope to sell to one of the Science Fiction magazines. Side Effect Not Listed.

The Voyage of the Jules Verne, has been stalled for a while, as is Beneath the New Moon and The Land Under the Rim. The first two started out as short stories, but, the editors I sent them to felt they were better as full-length books.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I thought I started writing in my late 50s and early 60s. But, a friend from my senior year in high school, has informed me I have always been a writer, and still has some of the letters I wrote to her while I was the Air Force to prove it. She should know, she was an English teacher for a long time.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I published Time’s Crossroads

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Time’s Crossroads, was born out of another time travel story by another writer. An online friend who interviewed the author put me in contact with him. The other author was helpful more than he knows.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

From a lot of sleepless nights. My wife, Sandi is my sounding board for titles. I must have bounced two dozen or more titles off her, before that one struck a chord.

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

My writing style? Just sit in front of my computer and let the story reveal itself to me.

Science Fiction is one of those genres that seems easy, as it boils down to taking something of science and saying what if…? But, the details of the what if…has driven me nuts. Science Fiction is one of those genres which must be based on what we know already is. In a book I am working on, I describe a scene used to lay out the workings of a generational ship and entering decks that spin at different speeds in order to maintain 1g on each deck. I was called out about it by several people I showed it to, because of the differential speeds stepping on the moving decks was dangerous.

I spent a week researching the speeds needed for each deck to maintain 1g and the change in Delta V between decks. It works, but I had to add more detail so the reader knows it works.

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

With Science Fiction, the science has to be real to a great degree. One has to be careful though, in how far real is stretched.

In The Land Under the Rim, I created a planet that is sheared off so it appears to be flat, and surrounded by a high rim. In the real universe, the planet’s spin and molten core would make it round again.

Some of my characters are based on bits and pieces of people I know. Caden, in Time’s Crossroads, is my grandson, though he was a new born when I started it. fFour months later, a rough first draft of the book on CD was buried with him. In a way, Caden is now a real time traveler.

Larry in White Hot Skies, is a composite of several of the people, including me, with whom I served with in the Air Force.

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

No, but I should. The cave in Time’s Crossroads was a plot idea that came from a tour of Blue Springs Cave here in Indiana, and sinkholes that indicate a cave running under our land.

At least two other stories came about because of backpacking trips out west.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I do. My wife and I are retired, which means limited funds.

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

That is a loaded question. I have had one person decline to review White Hot Skies because of the political tone of the story in places.

My characters are, I hope, independent thinkers, doing for themselves and others. I hope readers see parts of themselves in them and learn things about themselves they didn’t know before. I know I learned a lot about myself those same characters.

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 two favorite writers are Robert Heinlein and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Heinlein was great at his craft. His science was spot on for the time period he was writing, and the concepts of his stories hold up, even those where he got the science, (Blowups Happen,) wrong. His characters were so well written, that part of the science being wrong was not a problem.

Tolkien, is one of a kind. The details of Middle Earth and peoples that live there are unbelievably real. Each detail builds the next. I think J. K. Rowling attempted to emulate his style with her Harry Potter series.

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

My friends who insisted I write my first two books and The Bartholomew County Writers Group.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Not at this time.

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

No. Another writer, Ron Collins, told meto spend my time on the next story. He was not alone in that advise. But, it doesn’t rule out a sequel.

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

Yes. I learned to listen to the characters. I re-wrote the end of one chapter at least three times. Though the method of the killing changed, the character kept killing the person he needed to have answers from. I finally gave in and let the death happen, though I was sure it was not in him to kill like that. Then in the next chapter, I finally understood why it happened, and that it made the book better.

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

For White Hot Skies, either Scott Bakula or Mark Harmon.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Understand that you are a writer, even if it is only writing in a note book. Find a local writers group and attend all the meetings, and never give up.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Review the books you read, not just mine but all books. Writers live by reviews as much as by word of mouth recommendations.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I just started an anthology editedby Asimov, The Seven Deadly Sins and Cardinal Virtues of Science Fiction

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The How and Wonder Book of Planets and Interplanetary Travel. For some reason I didn’t want to read anything, even in school. Then my parents figured out I loved science and space flight, so, they gave me this book. I asked them to read it to me. “No, if you want to know what is in it, learn to read it.” I was hooked and have not stopped reading since.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Family. They can cause so much pain you think you’ll die, and make you laugh so hard you forget the pain.

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

Tough question really. Jesus is the obvious answer, but someday that will happen. So, Robert Heinlein. Why? To pick his brains of course. He is the father of modern science fiction, and though I would find the meeting intimidating, I know I would learn a lot. about writing from him.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Learning to use a smoker. I don’t think there is a food that can’t be improved by first smoking it for a few hours.

I used to fly, but unless I write a best seller…

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

Good science fiction. Getting harder to find these days.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Home grown tomatoes, beans, ‘cukes and melons. I am learning to cook meats and some vegetables on a smoker/grill and having a ball doing it. I like the colorblue, but it might have to do with the11 years I spent in the Air Force. I love red hair and blue eyes.

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

More reading and more fishing.

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

 With my wife.

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

This is Gregg, he was crazy, but it was okay, he was a writer.

The first time a group of us attempted to hike up Mt Whitey, we were at the Visitor’s Center, picking up our permits. A man that used to work for me, Ken, met us there, and I was talking to Ken, when I heard Fred, our group leadersay to the Ranger, “That’s Gregg over there. He’s crazy, but it’s okay, he’s a writer.”

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

https://starflightpublishing.weebly.com

https://www.facebook.com/Starflight-Publishing-846985878696808/

https://www.facebook.com/gregg.macklin

https://www.amazon.com/White-Hot-Skies-Survival-Redemption-ebook/dp/B00U1GEI6A/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1526932926&sr=8-1&keywords=gregg+macklin

https://www.amazon.com/Times-Crossroads-Gregg-Macklin-ebook/dp/B00NS43TFS/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1526933009&sr=1-5&keywords=Time%27s+Crossroads

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Here is my interview with Sarah Leavesley

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

I write as Sarah Leavesley, S.A. Leavesley and Sarah James. Although I’ve now celebrated my 21st21 times, I don’t feel much different to when I first celebrated it, though my body sometimes disagrees with me!

Fiona: Where are you from?

I live in Worcestershire, U.K. at the moment. But I was born in southern England.I’ve lived in Oxford, Cardiff and France and seriously considered moving to Canada when I was younger. My mum is from London originally and my dad from the Wales/Gloucestershire border near Monmouth, while my only sister now lives in the U.S. In terms of home being where the heart is, there are parts of me all over the world! Belonging/not belonging is a theme that threads through a lot of my work, particularly my poems.

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

I was a state school pupil at Oxford (Trinity College) in the nineties and then did a post-graduate diploma in newspaper journalism at University of Wales, Cardiff. I worked as a regional newspaper reporter before going freelance, working for a charity and doing a Cert HE in creative writing at the University of Birmingham. I have two, now teenage, sons and returned to university to do mymasters in creative writing (poetry) at The Manchester Writing School at MMU in 2010-2014.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My second novella, Always Another Twist, (£3.99) was published by Mantle Lane Press on 30 April 2018 and launched at Birmingham Literature Festival Spring Edition. https://www.mantlelanepress.co.uk/Always_Another_Twist/p1998877_18580230.aspx (An audio snippet from this novella can be found below.)

Against The Grain Press published my poetry pamphlet, How to Grow Matches, with a fabulous launch event at The Poetry Café in London on 31 March.

https://againstthegrainpoetrypress.wordpress.com/shop/

I’ve also just had two poems published in the The 2018 Hippocrates Prize Anthologylaunched in Chicago on May 11: http://hippocrates-poetry.org/the-hippocrates-press/hippocrates-prize-anthologi/2018-hippocrates-prize.html

I also run a small press, V. Press, publishing poetry and flash fiction, and that’s a constant flow of new news! https://vpresspoetry.blogspot.co.uk/

‘While Dan’s at the sink, Julie pulls out her diary from the kitchen drawer, the one with the letter and number for Claire’s place. Beside it, a short note in Claire’s scribbled handwriting…’ (From Always Another Twist)

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I feel like I’ve always been writing in one form or another. At school when I said I wanted to write the advice was to become a journalist. In terms of career prospects and stability, this feels somewhat ironic now with how the internet and modern technology have changed the nature of newspapers.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’m wary even now of doing that. Firstly, because although writing is something I do, it’s one of many things; no one label, be it publisher, journalist, mother, daughter, friend, cleaner sums up all aspects of life. Secondly, ‘writer’ tends to make me think of celebrity/bestselling authors. Thirdly, because where people make a living from writing, a lot of thatwork may often not be actual writing, but research, social media, readings,teaching, editing, mentoring….

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I’d got to the stage where I was starting to think I’d enough published or prize-winning poems to maybe have a collection. My publisher,Kay Green, knew my work and nudged me to put together a submission, which becameInto the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press, 2010).

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

A lot of potentials went back and forth on email. Into the Yell comes from a poem about an abusive lover. As an overarching (or overaching as a Freudian slip typo tried to rephrase this) title for the collection, I like to dive as deeply as I can into the people, experiences and topics I write about, even the painful ones.

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

I think my style is quite varied – I have eclectic tastes too as a reader. I work in mainstream forms and more experimentally. My subject matter varies a lot also, including environmental themes, nature, women’s experiences, political poems, current affairs, science…that isn’t to say that people who know my work don’t think of some pieces as very Sarah, and others less immediately or obviously identifiable as mine.Infiction in particular, I find writing in men’s voices more challenging than writing as a female character.

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

This collection is like my work generally in mixing real experiences, observations, heard/read reports, research and then imagination once I become a certain character orinvolved in a certain scenario in my head. I couldn’t write characters or situations I have no link to through empathy, past experiences or observing others. At the same time, this isn’t journalism and, even in my creative non-fiction, I allow a lot of space for interpretation and creativity.

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

I don’t have to physically move as such. But I’m rarely completely still unless I’m meditating. I always travel in my head and often literally pace out thoughts and ideas. Swimming, walking and cycling (but also simply doing mundane chores) all tend to open my subconscious to both initial inspiration and solutions to sections that are bothering me when I’m editing. Regularly paced exercise can also helpa lot with rhythm.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 For The Magnetic Diaries (Knives Forks And Spoons Press), my publisher used a photo that I took for this purpose. All my other books have had covers by artists. The process of that has been different every time, with varying amounts of involvement from me. CindelOranday created the striking artwork for Kaleidoscope and Always AnotherTwist specifically for those titles for Mantle Lane Press. Against The Grain Press design in-house to their pamphlet style. For plenty-fish, I chose its stunning cover photo by Eleanor Bennett from a large selection of possible images sent by Nine Arches Press…The cover images on Into the Yell (Circaidy Gregory Press) and Be[yond] (Knives Forks And Spoons Press) are paintings by Sam Hutchcocks and Julie Haller of Moonlit Murals, Droitwich.

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

There are lots of ideas/opinions on various things contained in bothAlways Another Twist and Kaleidoscope. I think how we see the world shapes our experience of it and our interactions with others. Perhaps because of this, I don’t much believe in definitive messages.I’d like readers to be gripped by the narrative, to care about the characters and enjoy exploring any themes and possibilities for themselves, whatever their own final conclusions on them may be.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’ve just finished “losing interest in the sound of petrichor”(poetry pamphlet) by Kate Garrett, Yuki Means Happiness (novel) by Alison Jean Lester and The Music Maker(novella) by Liz Kershaw. I’ve been dipping out of poetry and flash online and in magazines while I decide what book to read next…

Fiona: Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

I have eclectic tastes as a reader, so this list could be very long if I included contemporary writers or more recently discovered authors. I also tend to be struck by particular poems as much as I am by particular poets…which makes that potential inventory even longer!

Historically though, I often return to the works that first resonated with me as a child/teenager, at a time when I wasn’t always even registering what or why. On the poetry front, this includes William Blake for philosophical or spiritual resonance and French poet Jacques Prévert for his cinematic style, emotional power and pared but striking imagery, as well as the fact that it was the music/sounds of the French language in his poems that first really got me hooked on poetry. For fiction, I’d probably choose Jane Austen for her free indirect style (rather than her plots which feel very similar) or Gustave Flaubert for the characters, insights and beautiful language (in the original French) in Madame Bovary.

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

The journal editors that took my first work, including poet Catherine Smith in particular. Allmy publishers. Writing West Midlands. The T.L.C. But I’m also very grateful to so many friends, writers, readers and tutors that I’ve had support, inspiration and guidance from along the way.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes and no. I’m not sure anyone has a career of just writing, not even best-selling authors. There are so many other roles involved with being a writer. For myself, with poetry in particular, I think writing has a particular and peculiar mix of non-professional love of the art but also a need for some more career-like thinking when it comes to publication and marketing.

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

Not yet. But a bad review could change that… To be honest though, I don’t believe in regret when it comes to life generally. With a book in particular, I’ll have edited and angsted, experimented and asked for advice/feedback so many times before it’s published. Once it’s published, it’s the best this particular version of this particular manuscript can get. It might not be to everyone’s taste but that’s how life and literature are. If there were anything that I later think about differently or start to wonder ‘what if?’, that’s a different book or something to explore in future work. If creative work didn’t develop and change generally, there’d never be more than one book.

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

I learnt that I can write happy scenes as well as sad ones. I’ve also learned a lot about climbing! And I always learn things about myself and my writing with each new piece. Many of the things learned are hard to pin down though; there’s a continuous continual development with writing that’s often only obvious later when looking back from a distance. It’s like a long walk when I climb the final hill that gives a viewpoint across the whole route and  thenI can see the difference between starting point a and finish point b, as well as the most remarkable parts of the general vista, rather than having noted every detail along the way.

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

Someone who could truly empathise with and understand the main character, be that for Julie inAlways Another Twist or for Claire inKaleidoscope.

When I turned my narrative in poems The Magnetic Diaries (Knives Forks And Spoons Press, 2015) into a poetry-play, Vey Staker played the main character Emma in the Reaction Theatre Makers production. (This toured the U.K. and was a ‘highly recommended show’ during its 2-week run at Edinburgh Fringe 2016.) Vey was amazing! Her interpretation of Emma isn’t necessarily how I would have envisaged it beforehand. But Vey and director Tiffany Hosking really understood Emma, which made for a stunning, mesmerising and moving portrayal on stage. I think feeling the character and lines, living within Emma’s skin and speaking in her voice was so important. I’d want that first and foremost for Julie and Claire if they were put on screen.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Never lose sight of why you love writing and what gives you writing energy. Editing isn’t always easy and publication comes with lots of other aspects that are hard to avoid. This is great if you enjoy them too. Chances are there will be at least some things that you don’t enjoy as much as others. If you don’t, then balance what you do when, and how often, so your writing routines, processes and life generally give you enough drive and enjoyment to counteract the energy-demanding parts.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

 Light-heartedness makes me laugh, whether that comes from being with those I love, or punning and wit, be that in books, on screen or the people I’m with.

Crying is trickier. I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was six, and have had an overprotective emotional shut-down switch ever since then. I cry with empathy at sad films and books. But when I have to deal with real loss or pain, I find it hard to cry. I tend to beagitated or/then numb and my mind will distance me from it as much as possible, so it takes me a long time to process personal grief and pain.

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

 There’s no one person. I’d love to have known my parents when they were younger, but I also know that would be a very bad thing in reality. Likewise with past generations of family. I’d love to have been able to chat with Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters or poet Emily Dickinson about their work and life experience. There are so many historical figures that would be awe-inspiring to have known. But there again, people who are alive now (and therefore might actually meet if I’m lucky) may feature on someone else’s ‘wish I’d met’ list in a few hundred years’ time, so…

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Besides reading and writing, my other interests include photography, outdoor exercise and sports (swimming, walking, cycling, climbing, zumba, dance, squash, boxercise, body pump), travel, films, philosophy, psychoanalysis and generally learning new things! I also try to meditate regularly to re-charge my energy and focus.

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

I like films with an arty element, particularly beautiful or striking cinematography. I’m also a binge watcher of serials on Netflix and Amazon prime. These include drama, sci fi and crime in particular, but also engaging one-off documentaries.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I’m a shape-shifter. Favourite foods, colours and music all change with my mood, whom I’m with, whether I want to dance or chill… I do love dancing though and feeling the rhythm generally, so it has been noted that I may have a weakness for strong beats!

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

Die? Or alternatively, live in peace? It would free up a lot of time. Maybe I’d pursue another interest more. Or try something new. Or simply spend more time with friends and family.I really do believe that when a space opens up in our lives, of whatever kind, something will fill it, in one way or another.

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

I’d like to think laughing. I suspect fear would be impossible to avoid completely. Sex, sky-diving, eating highly calorific foods, drinking myself into real oblivion…I guess a lot would depend on why I only had 24 hours to live. If it were the last stage of something like cancer, I’d probably be saying my last goodbyes then asking for morphine to spare me the pain and indignity. If it were a tsunami coming, I’d be finding my boys and running like hell. If it were a meteor hitting the earth, I’d be asking my son if he could build us a rocket that fast. If it were the bus when I’m crossing the road, I’d stay in the house or take a completely different route to wherever I’m going…if, always ifs.

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

I’ll be dead so I guess I won’t care, or know. My ego likes to think that there will be people who love and miss me. But the part of me that loves people would want them to live their lives, to think of me occasionally maybe but not be held back or down by those thoughts.

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

http://www.sarah-james.co.uk

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sarah-James/e/B005VH34YG/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1

Here is my interview with Sanjeev Sethi

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?

Thank you Fiona, for inviting me. I’m Sanjeev Sethi. I’m 56 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I’m from India. In India I live in Mumbai.

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

I am an economics graduate. Soon after college I began my professional life as a journalist and poet.

My first poem, as a professional was published in the Sunday supplement of The Hindustan Times,  a leading New Delhi-based newspaper. This was in 1982. Ever since there has been no looking back. I am on my own, the role of a householder never came way.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

About five years ago I began an intense poetic phase. To this day it continues. Internet has opened the market.

I am published every other day in this or that journal around the world. This is mainly poetry. Except an occasional journalistic piece I don’t write prose. All my attention is on poetry and her power.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

For the purpose of this interview I will restrict myself to poetic writing. I don’t remember the exact time or age, but love of poetry came early. I was a lonely child and extremely sensitive. I recall the joy of reading poetry … whenever in my little mind I could make sense of poetic lines it would delight me no end.

I had this daybook where I used to indite. I have memories of my school magazine publishing my poems. As with a lot of poets I fell in love, or what I thought was love when I was thirteen or so. The bliss and baggage that comes with early love crept into my poems and still does.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer/ poet?

I guess when my first book of poems Suddenly For Someone was published in 1988. I was 26 years old.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

I see poetry as an extension of myself. I seek it in most settings. Poems are my response to stimuli. They help me make sense of my situation. I wrestle for nuance by wrenching words and woes. Some poems dip into my emotional deposits, others document the demotic. The attempt is to arrest a moment of truth in a tasteful manner. In short, poetry is my engagement with existence.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

As with my poems it just came to me, a process I have no control over. I only have to create the right

atmosphere for it to flow. Sometimes poetry seeks an outlet even without the environment being in sync.

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

Poetry comes most naturally to me. In writing a poem there is no stress. I can be locked up with a poem for six hours, sometimes more without feeling the burden of time.

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

My poetry capsules my world, if someone is a part of it or someone consumes my interest then he or she may be in a poem.

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

I have no favourites. I just read and read. A line here, an idea there, a beginning somewhere, a turn

of phrase, a full poem sometimes, many poems by another. I keep flitting and flirting. I am not a loyalist. I am a slave of the poetic form, not of individuals who create it.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, it is.

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

No, much thought has gone into every aspect. I don’t see the need to change anything. Nor do the critics. It has been widely reviewed to favourable reviews, this endorses my thought process.

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

Writing a book is always a learning process. A book demands emotional investment. I think one learns from anything one is invested in.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

No, who am I to advise others?

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

In this phase of extensive writing I am not a serious reader. The internet has opened possibilities, on an average day my inbox receives fifty to hundred poems from various sources. As the mood and mind decides I peruse some of them. But no serious reading.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Life and its layers.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

About five years ago I began an intense creative phase which continues unabated. In this phase I have no life outside of writing. All of me is engaged in writing and its auxiliary activity. I’m at my desk for almost 15 hours.

If this seems drudge-like it is not. I am in it out of choice. I luxuriate in it.

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

I hope that never happens, but if it were to happen then I’m sure I would to do something that entices me, something that gives me joy.

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

Indite till the end…

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

He studied his situation and carved a life out of it.

Buying Link

https://www.amazon.in/This-Summer-that-Sanjeev-Sethi/dp/9385436708/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453726223&sr=1-1&keywords=this+summer+and+that+summer

 

Bio

Sanjeev Sethi has published three books of poetry. This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015) is his latest. His work include well-received volumes, Nine Summers Later and Suddenly For Someone. His poems are widely published in venues around the world:  The Broadkill Review,  After the Pause,  Chicago Record Magazine, Horror Sleaze and Trash, Former People, Unlikely Stories Mark V, Ann Arbor Review, London Grip, M58, Postcolonial Text, Communion Arts Journal, Otoliths,  and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

 

Here is my interview with Brenda Vigil

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 everyone. My name is Brenda Vigil (pronounced Ve-HILL) and I am 50 years young.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I hail from Santa Fe, New Mexico but currently reside in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada.

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

I am a Gemini writer with a Masters in English Creative Writing/Fiction. My day job is teaching composition for the local community college. For fun, I facilitate a writers workshop and offer fellow fiction writers help and critiques of their chapters as they craft them . Basically, my life revolves around writing. I’m single, I have two grown children and I am very close to my parents.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

This Wednesday- Sunday (May 23-27) I’m doing a promotion on Amazon and readers can get Death’s Deliverer on Kindle for only 99 cents.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing when I was 12 years old. My dad gave me a diary for my birthday and I was so excited to fill its pages. I began documenting my day, my feelings, my dreams. I wrote everyday and that was how I got hooked on writing. Before long I branched out and started writing poetry and then short stories. At 18 I bought a fill-in-the-blanks book called All About Me and filled the entire thing out. I consider this the beginning of the autobiography I’ll write one day. I’ve recently purchased another of these books to fill out now that I’m 50 so I can see how far I’ve come in my life.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

It wasn’t until I was an adult in my 30sthat Iactually saw myself as a writer. By then I had written a short story called “A Place for You” about a woman who gave her child up for adoption and is dying and reconnects with that child while on her deathbed without knowing it’s her.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My first book was a school project believe it or not. I was working on my Master’s degree and we had to write a fiction story for our thesis. I began writing Death’s Deliverer only then I just called it “Margarita”. I wrote the first 6 chapters and my professor and classmates loved it. Everyone told me to keep going with it after I finished school, so I did. It changed a lot since the school assignment, but I finished it. The actual inspiration comes from a thought. Have you ever thought about someone you know who is bad just up and dying so that the turmoil they cause would go away and the person they bring such misery to could live happily and in peace? That’s the thought I had one day, and the Furiosas were born.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The title is kind of a play on words from the Lord’s Prayer “deliver us from evil”. I address this in the book when Margarita is at a funeral trying to figure out what her role is as a Deliverer. She tries to make a comparison to Moses but then decides “it’s not the same thing.”

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

I like to use symbolism in my writing and I have a bit of a poetic flair. I know it’s a rule somebody wrote that a writer shouldn’t use alliteration, but I do. (I blame it on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; I love that story.) I also don’t believe in “murdering your darlings.” There are some phrases that writers write that just “sing” and I think they should be included in a work as long as they don’t take away from the story. As far as challenges go, details are the toughest part of writing fiction, in my opinion. Some details are needed and others not so much. It can get tricky to know what to expand on and what to keep simple.

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

This was actually the fun part for me. Many references are made in the book to people, places and things I grew up with. Candelaria’s, the restaurant, is actually a street where a very dear aunt of mine used to live. Yuna, the city where Margarita lives, is named after a friend who passed away at a young age.

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

For Death’s Deliverer I drew from my past when I lived in the southwest. For another book I’m writing, a medieval story, I’ve turned to the internet and museums to see artifacts, so I can make descriptions authentic. I would definitely travel if writing a story about a particular place.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I had my cover custom made by a friend of mine who draws. He drew Margarita on a sketchpad and then transferred it to the computer. From there I had a graphics designer add in the background flames and lettering.

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

Death’s Delivererprimarily speaks to women and examines the issue of self-confidence within its pages. Margarita battles inner turmoil, Mrs. Hernandez deals with being obedient, and Karen Masters has to get a grip on being a pleaser. All of these are confidence issues that are dealt with in the book and have differing outcomes.

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 recently read Second Born by Amy Bartol and was blown away by the storyline. Dystopian type novels aren’t really my thing, but I really enjoyed this one. The whole world she created, and the hierarchy of social classes was excellent.

As far as established authors, I am a big fan of Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Sythe series. I like the way he set up the book using diary entries to show character traits to give readers added information about what made the characters tick. He’s also great at naming things. A self-driving taxi is called a “publicar,” how cool is that?

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

I would have to say my writers group and co-workers were my biggest outside supporters. They cheered me on to finish my book and get it out there. They listened to me drone on about characters and talk about scenes I was frustrated with.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Most definitely!

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

I would get the word count to 50K so it would be classified as a novel rather than a novella.

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

Oh my gosh, YES! I learned that I cannot write fast and that it’s my nature to edit as I go and that’s not going to change. I really think about sentence structure and wording when I write and sometimes all I can produce is a paragraph after several hours. That frustrates me at times, but that’s my process and I had to learn to embrace it. I also learned to get the book cover done long before I need it because it takes time to get it right. The editing process was a breeze for me because I had already put so much time into my work that there wasn’t much that needed fixing. I am so grateful for Grammarly!

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

I have no idea. I think I’d like Margarita to be played by someone Spanish just making her debut as an actress.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Keep a close circle of others who write around you for inspiration, help, encouragement and feedback. It’s important to keep in contact with those who share a passion for writing and will listen to you and care about what you’re going through as a writer. Avoid anyone who tells you to put your writing aside to focus on other things. There’s ALWAYS time for writing if it’s your passion and dream to do it; you’ll make the time, even if that means getting up early, staying up late or writing during your lunch hour.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Without you all the writing in the world means nothing. Thank you for reading, thank you for commenting, and thank you for sharing your reading experience with others.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Right now, I’m reading Be Mine Tonight by Kathryn Smith. It’s a vampire story (my guilty pleasure reads).

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I don’t remember the first book I ever read as a child, but I do remember the first book a teacher read out loud in class that I was fascinated with. I was in 3rd grade and the book wasFrom the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. It’s a story about 2 kids who run away and live in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I will always remember my first romance novel. The Tears of Venus by Rebecca Stratton. I fell in love with Guido d’Alessio and have been a hopeless romantic ever since.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Slapstick comedy makes me laugh. I used to love watching Carol Burnett and seeing Tim Conway crack up the whole cast. Niles Crane from the old sitcom Frasier does a great bit trying to iron his pants. He ends up setting the couch on fire and it is hilarious.

A good love story makes me cry. OMG, I cried buckets at the theatre when I went to see Me Before You.

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

That’s easy, Queen Elizabeth I. She is my idol. I love the fact that this woman was so strong in an age of men, stood her ground not to marry, and became so powerful that she was able to make England rich during her reign. I have no idea what I’d say to her, though. I’d be too star-struck.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I love to bake, and I have 4 certificates in cake decorating. I used to make cakes to earn extra money. I also love to go to yard sales and I like embroidering.

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

I love, love, love old 40s and 50s movies whether in black and white or in color. One of my favorites is a silly musical movie with Jane Powell and Ricardo Montalban called Two Weeks with Love. It’s all about a 17-year-old girl dying to wear a corset, but her mom won’t let her until she’s 18. She also isn’t allowed to date Ricardo, but of course, he finds her fascinating.

Right now, I’m enjoying the series Lucifer on TV. I am always intrigued by devil stories as long as they aren’t scary—I can’t do horror stuff.

My all timefavorite TV show is Frasier. I love the pompous language and witty banter in this show and watch it on Netflix all the time.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

My favorite foods are white cake, cornbread and barbequed chicken. My favoritecolor is red. I don’t really have a favorite type of music. I like lots of different music including country, polka, some pop, reggaetón, cumbia, and marching band music.

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

I would be a baker and have my own cake shop.

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

Dancing. I’d want to dance with all my family members and friends.

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

She knew love, luck and success…but the greatest of these was love.

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

I do not have a website yet, but I do have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/bvigil18. Just a reminder that Wed May 23-27th Death’s Deliverer will be on sale for only 99 cents.

Thank you so much Fiona for the opportunity to do this interview. It was fun, and I hope your readers enjoyed learning a little about me.

Here is my interview with Casi McLean

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?

Casi McLean and my age is timeless.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Atlanta, GA

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

I live with my husband and two dogs on the shores of Atlanta’s famous man-made lake, Sidney Lanier. A ghost town time forgot––the eerie lore attached to a rural area sleeping beneath Lake Lanier fascinated me. Homes, churches, businesses and untold stories still linger hidden within it’s 38,000 acres of water fed by the Chestatee and Chattahoochee Rivers.  The strange phenomenon, vanishings, eerie lore, and ghost sightings sparked my muse and inspired my time travel romantic suspense Lake Lanier Mysteries series.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

We just released the Audible version of the second book in my time travel romantic suspense Lake Lanier Mysteries series, Beyond The Mist. Book three, Between The Shadows, should be released late this summer. If you love time slips and romance, be sure to check out book one, Beneath The Lake.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Ever since my childhood imagination discovered Madeleine L’Engles, A Wrinkle In Time, the idea of time travel intrigued me. H. G. Wells’ Time Machine added to my fascination. Then adult books drew me in, like Diana Gabaldon’sOutlander. Whenever a time travel movie released, I was mesmerized. From Back to the Future, Somewhere in Time, The Lake House, and Time Traveler’s Wife to made-for-TV stories like Two Worlds of Jenny Logan and The Philadelphia Experiment. [If you love time slips, the last two are DVD’s available on Amazon.]

The intrigue for me was the domino effect and the infinite possibilities of the “what if” concept. Some people can’t wrap their head around the paradox…they get lost between worlds and shut down. Those are the people who say time travel bores them. In truth, it takes a creative mind to entertain the paradox. And writing time jumps isn’t easy. If one tiny element…like stepping on a butterfly in the past…doesn’t happen because someone travels to the past, the consequences could have devastating repercussions.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

My mother told me I used to tell stories as young as three years old. She wrote them down then read them to me mingled between fairy-tales. So I guess I’ve always been a writer.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Answered above

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The lake lore and town buried beneath the lake.

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

I’m definitely am a panster…meaning I have no outline, plot, or plan beyond characters and setting. When I begin a story, it flows like water as if the characters tell me their story.

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

I think all writers incorporate their frame of reference in their work, and I’m no different. But I’m inspired by intriguing settings with historical situations attached to them.

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

Travel helps, but the Internet has made it far easier to travel and research. I’m a stickler for being as accurate as possible. Even writing time travel, I try to make the scenario as realistic and detailed as I can.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I’ve designed most of my covers, but my publisher has control in my Lake Lanier Mysteries.

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

I usually hide some thought-provoking inspiration between the pages, generally attached to my “you can live your dreams” brand.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I love Kathryn Knight’s stories.

 Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

My favorite author is generally the one I’m currently reading, but I love Sandra Brown’s writing and have read most of her books.

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

My brother was my biggest fan and a constant support. He passed away in 2016 and I miss him every day. Outside of family, I don’t think I spoke about writing until after the fact.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

No. Authors don’t make enough money to make a living anymore, unless they get lucky or famous. You have to love writing to be an author these days.

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

Nope…not a word.

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

Always. I research all my storylines and always learn something new.

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

That depends on the book.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

If writing is your passion, don’t give up on your dream. If you want to make money, fiction is probably not the best choice.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I love hearing from my readers and often get ideas from them, so connect with me.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Seeing Red, by Sandra Brown.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

No. I feel like I’ve always read. My mother was an avid reader…perhaps my inspiration came from within the womb.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Subtle humor and sentimental blather.

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

My biological father …to ask a lot of questions

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

writing, reading, hiking, and learning how to cook clean and organic food that tastes great

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

Outlander.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?

Lobster, green, old Mowtown

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

Listen to Audiobooks and see the world.

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

Panicking…and family

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

Empowered others to live their dreams

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

Always… find me at:

CasiMclean.com

MoonlightAndMystery.com

AuthorsCornerShop.com

MySerenitySecrets.shopify.com

Or on social media

Twitter Facebook Goodreads Amazon Author Page Blog Pinterest Instagram

Book links:

United States Amazon: https://amzn.to/2IEbzMm

Universal Amazon: http://author.to/CasiMcLeanBooks

Profile:

Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense.

AND, Beyond The Mist, Casi’s newest release and book #2 in her Lake Lanier Mysteries! See trailer links below.

Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.

Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.

 Casi McLean

Romantic Suspense, Time Slips, And Mystery with a Sprinkle of Magic ….

Award Winning Author

2016 Best Romantic Suspense

Winner Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence 

Winner 2016 Best Heroine Still Moments Magazine

2016 Aspen Gold Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense

2015 Top Pick by Night Owl Reviews

2015 Chicago Fire and Ice Finalist

2014 Winner 2014 AWC Short Story Award

Fiction:

  Lake Lanier Mysteries

     Beneath The Lake

     Beyond The Mist

     Between The Shadows ~WIP

   Destiny Series:

     Destiny

     The Gift

     After Midnight

     Convergent

     The Pegasus Chronicle

Nonfiction:

Wingless Butterfly

So You Want To Be An Author 

Beyond The Mist Trailer

Beneath The Lake Trailer 

Destiny Trailer

Wingless Butterfly Trailer

 

Here is my interview with Brigid P. Gallagher

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 Brigid P. Gallagher.

I am “in my prime!”

Fiona: Where are you from?

I live in Donegal on the north west coast of Ireland.

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

I was a natural medicines therapist for 20 years, and facilitated classes in community projects, a womens prison, Stirling University Open Studies and Summer Schools from 1993 to 1999…

After succumbing to fibromyalgia, I took two years out before retraining in organic horticulture.

I became a tutor for the Heritage in Schools project here in Ireland, and inspired children and teachers to create organic school gardens and care for our planet.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My memoir “Watching the Daisies- Life Lessons on the Importance of Slow,” is doing well.

I will be answering questions about my journey at “We Love Memoirs” Facebook group on Sunday 3 June.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I have always enjoyed writing, especially non fiction. When I became ill I joined a creative writing group and we met every week for 6 years.

A memoir writing competition was featured in “Woman and Home” magazine. I entered it and kept on writing!

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Our creative writing group published two books of our work, and we raised a good amount for local charities.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

The “Woman and Home” magazine competition and my writing friends.

 Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

It came from my love of gardening and the need to slow down after my illness.

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

I like writing non fiction best. I aim to inspire others and inject a little bit of lightheartedness.

My Fibromyalgia can flare up and I find it a challenge to stay balanced.

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

All of it!

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

I love travelling and have included stories of my travels to Egypt, Bali, India, Morocco…in my memoir.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

Rob Williams

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

I wanted to inspire others on their self healing journey and to emphasise the importance of the little things in life that many people take for granted like a beautiful flower, a sunset, family, friends, good health…

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 favourite writer is Julia Cameron and her book “The Artists Way,” which really helped me to get in touch with my creativity.

I read and review a lot of great books by Indie authors – too many to choose a favourite.

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

My friends in Rosses Writers.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. Although it is later in life for me!

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

No, I am really pleased with it.

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

I found writing very therapeutic and it helped me to heal a lot of grief and find a more peaceful place in my life.

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

Judi Dench or Meryl Streep!

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write from your heart.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I love to read your reviews. They mean such a lot to writers.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I have just finished reading “Angels Landing” by Christina Sadler.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The Teddy Bears Picnic.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

I enjoy a good movie with both these ingredients.

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

Nelson Mandela. I listened to him many years ago in Glasgow. He inspired many to find a way forward after apartheid.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I sing in our church choir, I love to cook, do decoupage, garden, swim, yoga…

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

I no longer have a television but I love a good movie. Doctor Zhivago, Mamma Mia, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel are all among my favourites.

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Seafood, Turquoise and Rock Music.

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

Spend more time in my garden.

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

Eating a good meal with my family and friends in my garden.

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

She inspired many…

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

https://watchingthedaisies.com

Links to my book:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N3M9VJ0

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/watching-the-daisies-brigid-p-gallagher/1126231153

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/watching-the-daisies

Book Trailer

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/watchingthedai1

Facebook: https://facebook.com/watchingthedaisies/

Goodreads: https://goodreads.com/author/show/16119226.Brigid_P_Gallagher

E-book is currently on offer at 0.99 cents!

Here is my interview with Jacqueline Crooks

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?   

Jacqueline Crooks, 55

 Fiona: Where are you from?

Born in Lluidas Vale, Jamaica.  Living in London since I was one.

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

I grew up in Southall, a town near Heathrow airport.  Because of its proximity to the airport it was and is a migrant town.  At the time the demographic was predominantly Indian, Pakistani, Caribbean, Irish.   My family worked in the factories in the area – Mothers Pride, Walls, Callard & Bowsers.  Ours was a working-classing family.  We grew upon a social housing estate, the ubiquitous issues: lack of services for families and young people. My family worked hard, often two jobs at one time so there was no time for socialising or integrating.  Sunday school was the only time we socialised. I went to the local comprehensive and left with two O’Levels – English Language and English Literature.   I went to university as a mature student 20 years later and studied Social Policy at Roehampton University and then several years later I studied for an MA in Creative & Life Writing.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I’m going to be performing/reading my stories at an event at the V&A Museum in June. Passport to the Motherland – Migration Dreams is the event.  There’ll be DJs, performance artists, workshops and lots of other events.  I’m looking forward to meeting the other artists. 8 June.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since I was at middle school.  We had poetry and creative writing lessons and I wrote at home, mainly because we were not allowed to go out to play with other children and we were isolated.  It was the fear that migrants have of ‘the other’.

I was lucky enough to have a fantastic library nearby, Osterley Library.  The librarian lived next door and she directed my reading.  I loved the stories I read and tried to write stories that were inspired by those books.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Once I had the MA, even though I wasn’t published, I felt I was a writer and that it was important to consider myself a writer.  I’d invested a lot of time in learning about writing and by that time I’d been writing for many years – on and off.   I think anyone who writes regularly is a writer, whether they are published or not.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

The Ice Migration is my first book.   I wanted to understand some of my childhood experiences and the experiences of family members who were close to me.  I wanted to understand the older generations – my grandmother and grandfather who were so busy working and caring for others that they never spoke about themselves.   They died before I was ever able to sit down with them and ask them about their lives.  Writing the stories was a way of documenting what I had seen, the stories I knew and then fictionalising it to fill in the gaps.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The stories are all about migration spanning hundreds of years.  The first migration is the migration of people from Siberia in the last Ice Age.  They are thought to have travelled from Siberia to the Americas across an ice passage.   Ice and migration were recurring themes across the stories, hence the title.

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

I like to use patois, this was my first language.  I grew up in a Jamaican-speaking household and patois was our first language.  We were constantly told, as children, not to ‘speak bad’ (patois).  Very confusing when that is how the adults all spoke.  Now I understand it is because they knew that speaking patois would make it difficult to access employment, to make it in the host country.  I hear patois, think in patois, cuss in patois.  Crack jokes in patois.  But I can no longer speak it authentically day to day.

It is challenging writing in patois and standard English, getting the balance right so that it is accessible.  My stories are for everyone.

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

All the stories are based on true events.  I’ve fictionalised them to fill in gaps, to protect people’s identity, and to protect myself.

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

I don’t have to travel.  My imagination does all the travelling I need.  I did spend a year in Spain developing the stories but I had started them several years before in London.  I don’t believe travel is necessary.  When I was in Spain I would lock myself in a tiny room with no views if I wanted to write.  Vistas distract me.  I need a blank space, some music.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

The Spanish poet and artist, Enrique Gavilanes, is the husband of a playwright I know, Michelle Inniss.  I saw his paintings on her web site and was moved by them.  The cover is a painting from a series painted by Enrique called Ondas, Waves.  As most of the migration journeys involve sea crossings I thought it was appropriate.  But more than anything, I was moved by the painting, it seemed to evoke my preoccupation with ancestors, the primordial.

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

I’m concerned with the voicelessness of vulnerable people, whether they are vulnerable because they are migrants, because they are old, young.  I wished we listened more to children and the elderly.

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

I love Marlon James.  He’s writing in my language – patois – and I love that I can read in my first language.  But more than that I love the characters. I’m interested in people so I love character driven stories.  My favourite writer is Zora Neale Hurston.  I love the breadth of her interests and how these are represented in her writing.

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

Jacob Ross, a Caribbean writer.  He was the first person to look at my writing and encourage me.   I attended one of his workshops – the first workshop I ever went to – and he said I had potential.  He advised me to go on the Goldsmiths MA in Creative and Life writing.  I was encouraged by the tutors there and learnt the essentials needed to develop as a writer.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

No.  I am a community-facing writer.  I work in the charity sector, engaging with older people, children and families.  That’s my career.  My writing is something I do as a way of exploring and trying to understand the world and highlight issues that concern me.

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

Definitely.  Whenever I’m practising for a reading event I will always find something that I want to change.  Every time I read the stories I hear something that I think should be changed.

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

Forgiveness.  I gained understanding of some of the people who had harmed me and I learnt, in the process of writing, to forgive them.  The lives of Caribbean migrants in the 1960’s was hard.  Working 2 jobs, the night shift, racism, low pay, isolation.  More racism. That affected how people behaved.

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

Zawe Ashton

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write regularly.  Form a small writing group.   Go to writing workshops.  Go to literary salons and read your work to an audience.  Believe in your voice.   Everyone has something important to say and their own unique way of saying it.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Read more books from Peepal Tree Press.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading and loving The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fishfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie.  Short, linked stories about Native Americans on the Spokane Indian Reservation.  The stories are exquisite. It addresses serious issues faced by modern Native Americans: racism, lack of opportunities – issues that are similar to the issues I raise in my stories. What is striking about his stories are the way he somehow manages to something beautiful in the ugliest of situations.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

Devil Water by Anya Seaton (1962).  Published a year before I was born, I read it when I was around 10.  It has all the elements of the things I still enjoy in a book – history, epic journeys, characters that learn and grow.

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My family make me laugh, my sister, Michelle, was as good as any stand up comedian.  She died in 2014.  Two of the stories in the collection are about her, she is the character Riley, in the stories Gwaan and Skinning-Up.  Both based on true stories.

Cruelty to children makes me cry.  I believe strongly in children’s rights.  My work in the charity sector has been driven by the urge to uphold children’s rights to protection, provision and participation.

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

I love literature but I think music is my first love.  My writing is informed by rhythm and music so the person I would love to meet would be a singer.  I love Mica Paris.  Her voice has a unique tone and that gospel vibe that reminds me of my grandmother.    I’d love to meet her and find out about her life as a Black British female artist and how she’s sustained her career.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Working and volunteering in the charity sector and writing takes up most of my time.  I love working out in the gym, walking, dancing – I love physical activity.  I have to burn off a lot of energy first thing in the morning before I can sit still long enough to write or work.

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

I enjoy foreign films, particularly Spanish language films from Spain or Latin America. Pan’s Labyrinth, El Espiritu de la Colemna

 Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Curried goat and rice.   Green.   Rare Groove.

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

Sing.  I am really a frustrated singer/musician who cannot sing.  If I couldn’t write any more then I would just sing and not give a damn.  

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

Gwaaan.  It’s a great Caribbean word. My grandparents used it all the time and it’s funny to hear it on the streets now as part of youth urban language.  It means different things in different contexts. Keep going, you’re doing really well.  Get the hell out of here.  And more.

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

I don’t have a blog but I keep my web site updated with events, workshops.

www.jacquelinecrooks.com

Buying link UK  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ice-Migration-Jacqueline-Crooks/dp/1845233581/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527075359&sr=1-1&keywords=Jacqueline+Crooks

USA  https://www.amazon.com/Ice-Migration-Jacqueline-Crooks/dp/1845233581/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1527075405&sr=1-1&keywords=Jacqueline+Crooks

Here is my interview with Andria Large

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 Andria Large and I’m 34 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, but I now live in New Jersey.

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

I’m married with two kids. I work as a cashier at Target during the day while writing romance novels on my free time.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I have a new book coming out in September called To Love Again. I also have a hockey romance in editing that I hope to have out soon.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing since high school. I started off writing Backstreet Boy fanfiction, but then I started writing my own characters. Writing seemed to be an outlet for my overactive imagination. The stories were there in my head, all I had to do was write them down.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Probably after I self published my first book.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Fifty Shades of Grey actually inspired the first book I self published. I had written other stories but that one in was inspire by Fifty.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The name of my first book is Henry. I honestly couldn’t think of anything else so I just went with the name of the main male character.

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

I’m not a plotter. I may write down a couple things I want to happen in the story, but other then that I pretty much wing it. The characters tell me what to write and which way they want to story to go. I follow them for the most part.

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

A fair amount. I try to keep my books as true to life as possible. Yes, they are fiction and some things might be elaborated, but I still want everything that happens in my books to be at least plausible.

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

I wish. I do most of my research online.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

I designed most of them myself. I had help with a couple from Jena Brignola, who is a friend of mine and graphic designer, and one was done by my publisher for that book, Dreamspinner Press.

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

In my book From War To Forever, I have a strong message about depression and PTSD. Anxiety also appears in a few of my stories because it’s something I deal with myself.

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

My favorite writer is Abigail Roux. She wrote a series called Cut & Run. I absolutely love her writing. She has a way of bringing characters to life that I’ve not seen in anyone else’s writing. You would think her characters are real people living somewhere out there. It’s great.

.Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. It was my full time job for about four years but as the market changed, sales went down and I had to find other means of bringing in money. But I still consider it a career. I’m still going to continue to do it whether it’s a full time job or not.

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

No. I wouldn’t change anything with any of my books.

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

Yes. I have a hard time keeping my MC’s alpha when emotions start getting involved. They all turn mushy. Something I have to work on, lol.

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

Oh Lord, that’s a tough one. I don’t usually use actors as my muse, I usually use models. So it’s hard to say.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Do it for you. Write for yourself, not for anyone else. You’ll lose the fun of it all when you start writing for other people. That’s what happened with me and I’m still finding my way back.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Even though I may not be as active on Facebook as I used to be, or putting out a ton of books, I’m still here and I’m still writing.

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I actually just finished rereading one of my own books, lol. Still love the story and characters and sometimes I need to reread because I miss them.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

I remember the first book that got me started back into reading and it was called Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

A LOT of things make me laugh. I’m very quick to laugh. A lot of stuff that makes me laugh probably wouldn’t make other people laugh, but I find humor in almost anything. I don’t cry often, but those damn soldiers being reunited with their families gets me every time.

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

The Backstreet Boys. They were a huge part of my teenage life and I still love them today. I’d love to meet them.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Other then reading and writing? Nope, lol.

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

I like reality shows. Friends & Seinfeld are two of my favs. As for movies, I like comedy’s or action/adventure. Anything from the Marvel universe is a must.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I LOVE food. I’m big into sweets. My favoritecolor is blue. And I like a mix of music, everything from Frank Sinatra to Eminem. Right now I’m hooked on Country music though.

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

Continue to work at Target and raise my kids.

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

Doing something fun with my family.

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

She hated to clean. Hahaha!

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

www.AuthorAndriaLarge.com

 Amazon page: USA  https://amzn.to/2rUaNRf

UK  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Andria-Large/e/B00CD9UZM4/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1526805379&sr=1-2-ent

 

Here is my interview with Skadi Winter

Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Hello Fiona, Thank you very much for the opportunity to write a little about myself and my passion, writing.

My pen name is Skadi Winter and I am 65 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Originally, I am from Germany but living part time in the U.K. since about 16 years. Have been brought up by my grandmother as my mum had been divorced when I was 5 years old. In those times, being a single mum had been very harsh and brought many financial difficulties. My mum had to work hard to provide a decent living for me and my brother; my grandmother was and has always been the rock of our little family. She had seen two World Wars, lost her husband when she was only 53 to cancer and worked in a shoe factory for over 32 years. Working then meant 6 days a week for 10 hours until things changed for the better during the Sixties.

I had a solid German High School Education for which I had to travel by bus every day for 2 hours back and forth.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My latest news? Well, from September on I will get my state pension. Not a very happy prospect as it is so low that I can barely live from it. I brought up 4 children, who all have University degrees and a good life but, for which reason, I never managed to work full time, hence the small pension. My ex-husband had been the main bread earner and followed a career, whereas I merely contributed to the household without any energy or real chance to build up a career because my main task had always been to care for my sons and manage the household.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing as a young child. I have always been an introvert child, never having many friends in our village. Some children were not allowed to play with me because my mum had been divorced. Those were the days. Books and the stories told by my grandmother had always been my closest friends and comfort of my childhood.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

At the age of 50 I wrote my first book, HEXE, which I self-published and is on amazon.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Inspiration was, as I have mentioned before, the life of my grandmother.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

HEE is the German word for ‘witch’, generally used to brand women of villages who had been different in their ways.

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

My writing style is simple story telling, partly fiction, partly historically researched. I think, every fiction is somehow based on real events; the writer paints a picture of how he sees the world or events.

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

My book HEXE, as well as my second book ‘Malin and the Wolf Children’, both are based on events which I had heard of during my early childhood. I was born in 1953, only eight years after the Second World War and still, the damages of war around me, in people and the environment, were all too visible.A book, which I had read as a young girl from my mum’s bookshelf, was ‘Draussenvor der Tuer’ bei Wolfgang Borchert, a German writer who had written about his home-coming from the war, had deeply impressed me. Later in life, after I had grown up, I always had been interested in post-war literature. Being German comes with a responsibility for history as such and ours in particular. All wars happen for a reason and if we don’t learn from them, we will make the same mistakes over again everywhere in the world. The impact wars have on the soul of young children, who are the next generation to build a better world, is underestimated.

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

No, fortunately not. All the blessings of the internet…..

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

My covers have been designed by a young web designer.

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

Every writer has a message, one way or the other, intentionally or not. The message I send out through my books are very simple: Think! Feel! Respect! Love your fellow human, no matter what!

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 favourite writer since some years are Philip Kerr, the Bernie Gunther novels, and Helen Fields. I love the antihero Bernie Gunther and am fascinated as to how well Kerr researched the historical places and background of his novels. And, of course, his psychological insight. Helen Fields, I simply like her writing style and the flashes of mystic and myth in her books.

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

I have met several new writers and authors over social media and find discussions with them very helpful and inspirational. Belonging to the ‘older generation’, it is not always easy to use the internet to its fullest but I’m getting there with the help of my grandchildren. Much advice I’m getting from fellow-authors has proven to be of great value to me; with two authors I have met over the internet, I keep even more than that: friendship since years.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Not for me, no. I am rubbish when it comes to marketing or even the self-publishing process. The main thing for me is to write, always to write. To read in front of small audiences, to be in contact with people who have read my books, the feeling of having been able to connect through my words, is something which means a lot to me. But, just in case, if a publisher would approach me based on my books and I would have the opportunity to just write and not care about the whole publishing process, I would be delighted. Somehow, I think, the freedom of being an amateur is a blessing. I would never bend my writing, my style, my words, myself, to gain publicity or to please the hype of the moment. And, not for money either.

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

No.

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

You always learn when writing. About yourself first of all, and about the power of words when released from a thought and brought to paper, staring back at you.

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

Funny enough, a film maker from London had been interested in HEXE to make a short film of it. Unfortunately, neither they nor I had the funds to produce a film. Nice idea, though. The lead role, Frigg, as well as the role of HEXE, the old grandmother, I would have given to amateurs – because I think, they would have played the roles as real people. And, they would have had to be German. I think, being German makes you feel the heart of my books, not just the story.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Oh, who am I to give advice to other writers? Do believe in yourself. Never underestimate the power of words. Learn, not only about the techniques of writing – because it is an art – but, learn about your fellow humans, because only then you can put life into your characters, become authentic.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Read! Never stop reading!

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I am reading about Orthodox Christianity at the moment. Books written by Orthodox Monks.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first book I ever read was Wilhelm Busch.

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

My dogs make me laugh – at times. The way the world is developing right now, makes me cry – at times.

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

Jesus. Just to find out……

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

Reading. Gardening. My dogs.

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

The only films I ever watch are historical ones. Or, for instance, Charles Dickens’ Bleak House’. I don’t enjoy watching shows. I am not a great TV watcher. I find, I can spend my time more fruitful without being brainwashed or indoctrinated.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

My favourite food are salads of all kinds and berries. And fish. And cheese. My favourite colour is blue in all shades. Music? All sorts, depending on my mood.

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

Terrible thought.

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

Looking back, enjoying every moment of joy I have ever had. I would beg every person I have ever hurt, or offended, for forgiveness.

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

‘Unconditional love is the answer to all questions’

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

I am on social media like Facebook and twitter and I have a website:

Website:          https://skadiwinter.wixsite.com/author-site

Facebook:       Skadi Winter Author https://www.facebook.com/skadiwinterwriter

Twitter:                @skadiwinter1   https://twitter.com/skadiwinter1

YOUTUBE:              Hexe, Malin and the Wolf Children

 

 

BOOKS:

HEXE https://t.co/CwOSBwES77

Malin and the Wolf Children  https://t.co/c5pjTgPCBq

 

Here is my interview with M.A Gonzales

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 M.A Gonzales and I am 37 years old.

Fiona: Where are you from?

Northern California

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

I’m married, I have a wonderful son, and three amazing step kids who I love with my whole heart and soul. I first attended school for a Communications BA but then I changed my major to psychology and right now I am studying Marketing in my electives to get my BA. I take care of my father, mother, brother and sister. So I have a pretty busy life when everything is taken into consideration but with technology I can do whatever I need to wherever I’m at.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

I first published in 2007 when e-books were the new frontier. I loved it. It was very exciting to be part of something that was new and innovative. There wasn’t any KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) back then. We still had to go through a publisher. After three years, I got burned out writing what I thought would see instead of what I loved and trying to fine tune my voice to what others thought it should be. Between that and my personal life I took a hiatus and finally, after eight years I’m back. My first release in eight years is just a short story, Cabin Fever. I think it’s fun, innovative, sexy, and completely delicious. I have no doubt others will love it and appreciate it for what it is, a fun, sexy, read.

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been telling stories since I could speak and began writing as soon as I could pick up a pencil but I began seriously writing when I was 13.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I’ve considered myself a writer since I started trying to get published at 16.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

My love for telling stories and these characters that just stuck in my head and I just had to share them with the world. Their pain, loss, love, and family support was nothing short of beautiful. Despite their flaws, everyone came together and love found a second chance.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

The main characters in the story, one I will most likely still publish in the future, fell in love as teens just out of high school. At that age you are so uncertain of everything and sometimes people can plant things in your head and you do things you wind up regretting because of it. Because of this very thing, the couple splits, and they don’t see each other again until ten years later. I wanted to capture the pain as well as the joy of coming back together. So it was how I came up with Tainted Love. Of course that was many years ago and when I pick it up again I’m sure I’ll come up with a better title.

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

I think my specific style is staying true to the characters and worlds I create. I don’t use a lot of flowery, complicated words or descriptions. I don’t keep it simply but I don’t go over the top. I write for several genres because I have tons of stories in my head, and they don’t all stick to one genre. I write sci-fi, paranormal and contemporary. What I find most challenging is sci-fi and making sure that I describe the world I’ve created so others can understand and get the picture and not just knowing in my head but showing it to my readers.

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

All my stories are realistic in the way that real, true emotion transcends any genre. I think all of my stories are pretty realistic, I don’t create anything outlandish even when I am doing sci-fi and paranormal. I like to do things in a way that you could really believe a world like this exists. None of my stories are based on anyone I know or have been inspired by true events in any way.

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

Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to travel but I do a lot of research, look at a lot of photographs and practice describing everything I see as to give an authentic feel to whatever setting I have in my story.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

For Cabin Fever, R.L Kenderson and she did an amazing job! And my second cover for my novella, Tuscan Heat, is being created by Sunny Side up Graphics.

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

The only message I ever want readers to grasp is love is worth risking everything for and my characters.

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

Yes. A lot of authors. Two of my favourite writers that I really enjoy reading is T.S Joyce and Ruby Dixon. T.S Joyce is an Indie Author who writes about shifters in an offbeat, country, trailer park kind of way that is refreshing and new. Ruby Dixon writes amazing sci fi in a fresh, innovative world where males love one woman, and have one mate. In all these stories these writers write, love conquers all and cheating, pain to the point of having your heart broken by the one you love doesn’t happen. Sure it does in real life, but this is romance, not real life and that is what I love about these stories. They transport me to where love, true love is real and never dies.

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

My friends have always supported me.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes, I do.

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

Nope. I love it just the way it is.

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

I learned how supportive, helpful, and giving the Indie community is.

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

I’m not sure.

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write, make connections with other authors, call yourself an author, write, and believe in yourself.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I love you all and I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at magonzales1980@gmail.com

Fiona: What book are you reading now?

Right now I am reading a new author I just met, Bianca McCay, Kingdom of Ruin, and Anna Hackett’s Hell Squad-Manu.

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The Velveteen Rabbit and Anne of Green Gables

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Too many things to name and at different times of the month lol.

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

Marilyn Monroe. I simply love her.

Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I enjoy cooking, the outdoors, sitting outside on a cool summer night, swimming, reading, and general stuff that has me spending time with my family.

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

I love comedies and romantic comedies, sci fi, dramas, pretty much anything that strikes my interest.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Mexican food is my favorite, colors are pink, red, purple, and black. I love all kinds of music. Just depends what I’m in the mood for. Some of my favorite are Pink, Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Three Day Grace, Greenday, Metallica, ect.

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

I’d be a Marriage Family Therapist.

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

With my family eating everything I love.

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

Beloved wife, mother, and friend.

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

Website and Blog – www.magonzales.net

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/melinda.gona.75

Twitter- https://twitter.com/magonzales1980

Amazon Author Page – https://www.amazon.com/M.A-Gonzales/e/B07D349MC4