Thursday, September 12, 2013

Singing Praises...

How refreshing. Sometimes I feel that all I do is talk about myself... mainly my books. Sure, I want you to like them enough to buy them, but first they have to catch your eye, and that's where my cover designer, Suzie O'Connell comes in.

Suzie has done quite a few of my covers. You can probably tell which ones; they stand out from the others. I met her through a writer's group, where she did a quick cover concept for someone else, and I fell in love with what I think of as her "brush-stroke" style. She uses this effect cleverly, sometimes blurring the otherwise hard edges of an image, or to create a plain background for title/author name, and other times the 'brush strokes' blend two images together.

Today I'm debuting the new cover Suzie has created for Book Two in my series The Women of Independence. I was torn between two breathtaking images, one with a sunburst, and one with the image of the woman on the horse. Suzie combined the two images and I'm sure you'll agree the finished product is amazing.

I'm still writing the story, but the work has become much easier now that I have this lovely image sitting beside my computer. If you haven't read the first book in the series, it's called Loving From Afar. Guess who did the cover art?
Loving From Afar links:
Suzie's website:  http://www.suzieoconnell.com/indieproud/servicesandprices.html

Friday, September 6, 2013

I actually enjoyed this interview!

This interview is with Fiona McVie. See link at bottom of page.

Mona:  Hi, Fiona. Glad to be with you.
Where are you from?
 I live in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada. Think a long, sparkling lake with plenty of beaches. Add in orchards, vineyards, ski hills in the winter, golf courses galore, and you get the picture.
Tell us a little about yourself.
  I spent my younger years in northern British Columbia, then went to UBC for a couple of years, before going to the Sorbonne in Paris for French immersion. When I came back, I went to work in Vancouver for a travel agency, and stayed in travel-related jobs for most of my working life. I’m lucky to have travelled extensively; it opens the imagination.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news
I’ve recently released my eighteenth book on Amazon. It’s the first in a series called The Women of Independence, and it’s entitled Loving From Afar. It’s a romance with a difference. I like to describe it as a book that will break your heart, then put it back together.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve read all my life. My mother took us to the library from a young age. Sometimes I can still recall the smell of the books as we sat on the floor for story hour.  As I read more as an adult, there were many times I thought “I can do this”, so I did. I was na├»ve enough to think that I’d write a best-seller right out of the gate, but of course that didn’t happen.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t think about it very much. I rarely tell people what I do. I’ve made that mistake a few times and they give me odd looks. I think they’re wondering if I’m going to put them in a book.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
 I like to think of my style as casual. I don’t care for over-blown romance novels. I also enjoy putting in a twist here or there. The reader usually knows it’s coming, but we both pretend we don’t, and discover the surprise together.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
 Loving From Afar is a story about a young woman who’s had everything stripped away from her, and yet she continues to love a young man from her past. It’s as though she’s watching life from a distance.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I don’t write books to impart a message. I leave that to people who are much wiser than I, but I would hope that the book gives them something to think about.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I try hard to make it all realistic.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life
Not really, but I can easily imagine a young woman going through these trials.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
I really enjoy Maeve Binchy.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Four Fires by Bryce Courtenay.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I read constantly, but I confess I don’t pay much attention to the names. I’m more likely to remember author names when the books are poorly written.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m writing book two of the series The Women of Independence. This one is titled The Last Goodbye.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members
I dreamed of writing for many years before I started. My friends put up with me during those long years. They were so patient!
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Not originally, but now I can’t stop.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
This new book focuses on Danielle, the closest friend of the main character in the first book. A Hollywood film company comes to shoot on her uncle’s ranch, and Danielle is attracted to the producer.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Keeping my butt in the chair when it’s sunny outside.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I’d have to say Bryce Courtenay. He has an uncanny ability to tell a story from the POV of a young child, and I find that charming.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
  I’ve done so much already, it’s usually not necessary.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Suzie O’Connell. She does amazing work.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Be prepared to work hard and develop a thick skin.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I’ve always been interested in advertising, in writing ad copy.

To buy Loving From Afar click on the link below