Fiona Mcvie is my Woman In Horror today! Fiona is a young Scottish lady living outside of Glasgow. She enjoys writing poetry, reading, baking, and cooking. But, she is on a mission to introduce as many authors to readers as she possibly can. You will not believe the huge number of interviews she has conducted at her website http://authorsinterviews.wordpress.com/.
Writers love to be reviewed. Fiona does an interview with an author, and that author spreads the word around. That author's friends and readers tell other authors and readers and it becomes a huge never-ending love-fest between authors and readers. Don't even try to read all of the posts from the Google search engines. They will boggle your mind. Go to Fiona's website and read some at random and you will see what I am talking about. Check out your favorite authors and see if they're there by hitting the search key Fiona has. If by some chance that author is not there, tell them to contact Fiona. There is a place for that on her blog.
There are many of my Women In Horror who have done interviews with Fiona and the search engines list these interviews in multiple places. This got me to thinking that my friend Fiona Mcvie is doing a great thing for all authors, women as well as men. I did an interview with Fiona a couple years back which certainly helps to explain a little bit about what my twisted persona is. If anyone reading this post is an author and is looking for a great opportunity to do an interview and get in touch with some prospective readers, Fiona is your go to woman.
Fiona was born in Germany. Her Dad was in the service for twenty one years, so she was lucky to travel a lot. Her family moved to Scotland when she was twelve, and she stayed there ever since. She left school and became a chef until she became a mum. She is single with four children and four grandchildren.
I am stealing an interview from Fiona's website that she did with Chantal Noordeloos. Just to stress the importance of interviews, Chantal is on the 2014 Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot this year for Superior Achievement in a First Novel: Angel Manor (Horrific Tales Publishing). If an author of this caliber does an interview with Fiona, what are you waiting for? By the way, Chantal is not the only author having achieved this honor to have done an interview with Fiona. A book I wrote a couple of articles in is on the 2014 Bram Stoker Awards Preliminary Ballot this year for Superior Achievement in Non-Fiction:
Joe Mynhardt and Emma Audsley – Horror 101: The Way Forward (Crystal Lake Publishing). I will be doing another interview with Fiona this year.
Chanti: My name is Chantal Noordeloos (try to pronounce, that one, hahaha. –Nor-duh-lows- ) *throws hands in the air* say it with me now… lol, sorry, just kidding.
Chanti: Never ask a lady her age… good thing I’m not too ladylike. I’m 37. I was born in 76.
Where are you from:
Chanti: I was born in The Hague, which is one of the bigger cities in the Netherlands. I live in a suburb there now, but I’ve moved around. I even lived in the UK (Norwich) for three years during my time as a student.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Chanti: I don’t know why it’s always so difficult to tell things about myself. I struggle to find the words (that really doesn’t do me credit as a writer, now does it… in my defence I write fiction) So let’s see. First and foremost, I’m a mom. My daughter, Elora (6) is amazing, and I try to keep her on the path of good, because I think she has the makings of a diabolical genius. My husband and I have been very happily married for 9 years. We met each other at this LARP (live action role play) event I used to organise. I think I need to warn you that I’m a bit of a nerd (or geek, or whatever). I always loved comic books, role play and games. And of course, books are my passion. Besides writing I do a little bit of drawing. I even draw for some of my projects too.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Chanti: Hmmm latest news, I have so much. I think my most exciting news is that the first novel in my COYOTE series, called “COYOTE: THE OUTLANDER” is now out on most platforms. I loved working on this project because it has a second screen. Basically that means it has its own website with extra content, and even music, to make reading the book a more engaging experience.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Chanti: I’ve been writing since I knew how, but always for a bit of fun. As a small kid I made up a lot of stories, and when I became a teen, I decided writing sucked, until I met my English teacher Mr. Harrison at age 15. He gave me a picture to write about and I knew then that I loved it above all other things. It took me a while to grab the courage to really start writing for an audience. I wrote just for me. In June 2012, I had a novel finished (it was terrible, really terrible) and I met another writer (Mike Jansen) who said I had potential. He urged me to get out there, get myself published, and I did. It went really fast after that. I’ve been very spoiled with getting most of my work accepted.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Chanti: I don’t remember, it sort of happened gradually. It took some time though, even when I was holding a copy of the first anthology I was published in, it didn’t sink in. But I know I feel like a writer now.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Chanti: Let’s ignore the crap books I wrote, and only acknowledge the first one I published. Coyote was an actual role play character of mine, about 15 years ago. It’s a character I’ve always loved and wanted to write a story about. There was an anthology I wanted to write for and it asked for a science fiction story. I thought: This would be a great opportunity to write a Coyote story. And so I did… only, what I wanted to say didn’t fit in a short story. So I wrote something else (in the same setting) for that anthology, and kept Coyote to myself.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Chanti: I think I do, but I’m not sure. I’m too close to my own writing to tell. However, I know I tend to write stories with a bit of a twist. So, I guess that’s my style ;)
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Chanti: Confession time: I am terrible with titles. I mean: DREADFUL. The choice to call the whole series “COYOTE” was easy; it’s the name of the main character. The Outlander… well, there is a good reason for it, and it’s in the book. I should explain: Outlanders are creatures from other worlds in my novels.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Chanti: I’m not sure I have a clear message, but I do work with ‘tolerance’ in my novel. Coyote is a female bounty hunter, which isn’t a common thing. Her partner, Caesar, is a freed slave. I liked working with characters that are meant to be ‘the underdog’ yet rise above that. Coyote demands a lot of respect and I liked writing about a strong woman.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
I did research to make it as realistic as I could. There is some guess work in there too, because I could only work with what Google provided me with. I have made up a lot as well, because that’s part of the charm. Don’t worry, there will be no Rips in Indiana, and no Outlanders will come tumbling out! ;)
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Chanti: I might use reactions of people in my novels. I didn’t use real life experiences, but I would use examples of friends (or myself) in my head when characters would respond to certain situations.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most?
Chanti: I am a very big fan of Neil Gaiman, and almost all his books have influenced me greatly. His book Neverwhere is still my favorite book.
Fiona: If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Chanti: If I got to choose any writer? Because you’ll see this one coming: I’d get Neil Gaiman, lol. But if you mean who do I consider a mentor? That would be Apple Ardent Scott. She’s my editor (and a very dear friend), but she’s taught me so much about writing. Working with her has been amazing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Chanti: I’m reading several. I’m reading “Dodger”, by Terry Pratchett, but I’m also reading books by author friends.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Chanti: Yes!! Yes!! Apple Ardent Scott, her writing is amazing! It’s so rich and dark, and I tend to feel dreadful and dirty after reading it, but in a good way. That’s why I smoozed up to her to be my editor… I thought: I need to get this woman to look at my work.
And then there is Paula D Ashe… Oh my! Her work is not for everyone, because it will try to rip your spine out as you read, and crush all your hopes and dreams. *sigh* She’s really good.
It’s not just because they write horror, because I enjoy all sorts of genres, but these two women really know how to write. They can draw you in close… and then they slap you in the face… with a mallet.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Chanti: Right now I’m limiting myself to two things (and I’m staying away from anthologies… those are like drugs to me) I’m working on my own horror story collection, which I hope to release in October. The other project is the second COYOTE book.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Chanti: Friends and fellow writers. (Yes that’s two… but I can’t count, lol)
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Chanti: Yes I do, and despite being a silly person, I take it extremely serious.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Chanti: No, anything I want to add, I’m putting in book 2, or I put on the second screen (it has stories too)
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Chanti: Oh! I answered that question already, cheeky me! Yes, my 9th grade English teacher.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Chanti: What I’m working on? COYOTE: THE CLOCKWORK DRAGONFLY. Or do you mean the work that’s out? Because that’s COYOTE: THE OUTLANDER
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Chanti: Editing… GAAAAAH, I find it very frustrating. I have this very long editing process, because I can’t edit as I write. I need to have the story out there first. I edit and rewrite a lot, and it’s a challenge.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Chanti: A bit lame, but I’m going with Gaiman again. I like that he uses a lot of mythology. I like the way he thinks! Pratchett has an interesting way of thinking too; he’s one of my favorites as well.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Chanti: Not yet. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for me here. I’m a Dutch person who writes in English. So I hope one day I will be forced to travel a lot, and travel abroad.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Chanti: The cover artist for COYOTE: THE OUTLANDER was Jonathan de Vries.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Chanti: Trying to get it right, and getting the voice out there. And sticking with it at the times where I felt very insecure.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Chanti: That writing a book is VERY different from writing short stories. There is a lot more going on that you need to remember. *puts on a sinister voice* Beware of plot holes!!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Chanti: Yes, I do. Take your work serious, don’t cut corners. Get beta readers and an editor. Your work represents who you are; only put the work out there that you know is as good as you could make it. Don’t just publish everything that comes to mind, and don’t just get advice from friends. Find a person who can be critical. It will sting at first, but at least they will get you to reach your full potential.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Chanti: I love you, with all my heart! Whoever you are! I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t need you. Thank you for reading my work, and I hope that I got to give you a fun tour of my imagination.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies
Chanti: Oh yes, yes I do. I draw and paint, and that sort of creative stuff. Do a lot with my daughter too. I like to read (duh) and am crazy about music. Every Friday night we (try to) role play, but if we don’t, we play board games. I like Lego too…. Don’t judge me *grin*
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Chanti: Firefly is my favorite show EVER!! I like anything Joss Whedon. Otherwise I like original storylines. My favorite movies are “the Shawshank Redemption” and “Rock n Rolla”. Love things with a twist.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Chanti: I like food that comes in little bites and different flavors. I love Japanese, but also the French, Italian, Mexican and Thai Kitchen. Heck I like anything with a bit of imagination.
Colors… hmmmm. Black, Yellow and Purple I guess. I tend to wear a lot of black, though I try to be more colorful at times. I’m wearing a yellow Kermit shirt now, so I guess I’m making an effort.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Chanti: I was a schoolteacher for a long time; I probably would have stuck to that.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have two. One is linked to my book: www.coyotethebooks.com
The other is more personal: www.chantalnoordeloos.info
But I’m most active on my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ChantalNoordeloosStoryteller
So come over and say hi! J
Fiona cares about authors.
Fiona Mcvie is a Woman In Horror!