I am so excited to have author, Fiona Quinn, on my blog. I’m a huge fan of her and her writing.
When I set out to write a mystery, her wisdom and experience were invaluable to me. In this interview, you’ll find out how she shares her knowledge with authors.
Now, let’s learn more about this fascinating woman and her book, Virginia is for Mysteries.
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Welcome Fiona, thrilled to have you here. Let’s start with some personal questions. Tell me some of your favorite curse words.
Ha! This is the easiest question you asked. I drop the F bomb with regularity, though in a lady-like way. Actually, when I curse, it’s usually in French. Not many people speak French (at least the curse words) in my area, so I can let a stream of them fly without any repercussions. People have actually said to me, “What a beautiful language. What did you just say?” which makes my kids roll their eyes.
Even curses sound romantic in French! What is one thing you want to do before you die?
I would like to eat chocolate covered strawberries from a silver platter, whilst sitting in a hot tub in Iceland, under a spectacular Aurora Borealis with my husband.
Wow, I love that response! Do you have any extravagances?
Long scalding-hot baths when I can just lay there and let my mind play.
How about a profession other than your own you’d like to try?
I think I would like to be a spa critic. I would fly all over the world to the very best spas, indulge in their classes, events, and pampering specialties, and then tell people what I thought about them. Yes, yes indeed, I think that would be the perfect job for me.
Hmm … I’m sensing a water theme. ;) Let’s learn more about you as a writer. What projects do you have on the go at the moment?
Right now, I am focused on growing my blog ThrillWriting. It is doing very well, and I just love the process of learning, helping other writers, and getting to know people all over the world.
I am developing a short story for a Guppy anthology contest. I am also working on a novel project with my writing partner John Dolan. The plot line runs from America to England and is so much fun – I have never laughed so hard.
You know I’m a huge fan of your ThrillWriting blog. For writers of crime, mystery, and thrillers, it’s an amazing resource, and I’ve learned so much from it. Hit the banner below and see some of Fiona’s fabulous articles.
As for your anthology with John Dolan, I can’t wait for it. I’m sure it will be wonderful.
Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?
With novels, I know the beginning middle and end in my head, and I move towards them. In short stories, I just let the plot surprise me. As I hear a character tell me something, I put it on tape or in notes and make sure it shows up in the story. Usually my characters know what happened, and they just tell me. It’s my job to explain it to the readers.
What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?
I LOVE writing, editing, talking about writing, being critiqued, learning… I HATE querying and being rejected. But it goes with the territory, right?
It sure does. How do you market yourself?
I have tried various things, but I get most of my interaction through my blog. I use Facebook and Twitter – I’ve tried Pinterest but that feels like quicksand to me. If I started indulging, I don’t think I could rear my head to get anything else done.
I hear you, marketing can be exhausting. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I always knew that I wanted to be a writer. I thought that I wanted to write tourist books and travel guides, and so I travelled all over the world to develop connections and learn languages (enough that I could get from point A to point B). But then there was marriage and children and divorce and new marriage and more children… life happened. I ended up un-schooling my kids. As the first set flew from the nest, I thought, Great! Now I have time to write. I sat down to write about un-schooling. Long story short, I started killing people on paper and it turned into a romantic suspense.
Funny how characters dictate a story sometimes. Tell readers about your current book.
I write romantic suspense with a psychic twist. Since my novels are hanging out in slush piles, I will tell you about the anthology that has two of my short stories, Virginia Is for Mysteries. My style changes based on the tone of voice of my protagonist – I let my characters decide what kind of book they want to be in. “Caged Bird,” is quiet and more poetic and cozy in nature. “Key to a Crime” is faster paced, frenetic, and much more suspenseful.
The book blurb
Yes, Virginia may be for lovers, but according to fifteen authors from the Old Dominion, Virginia is for Mysteries, too. This collection of sixteen modern-day stories takes readers on a wicked twist through the Old Dominion.
I just bought the book! What has the reception been to it so far?
Virginia Is for Mysteries is an anthology written by Sisters in Crime members from Virginia. Right from the beginning, our project was embraced. Virginia Tourism gave us permission to tap into the Virginia Is for Lovers logo and has been an ally. Virginia Library Systems has also been great advocates. They held our book launch at The Library of Virginia where we had a sellout crowd. They also ordered our book for Virginia libraries. Depending on the day, we hit Amazon top hundreds lists and have been on their top 10 list. Our publisher, Khoeler Books, is pleased enough with the sales that we are in negotiations for the sequel.
Fantastic. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from writing it?
Patience. Putting a book out is a lot of hurry up and wait. Things take so much longer than one would think.
I know the feeling well. What has surprised you the most about writing the book?
How many fun experiences and wonderful people I would enjoy.
Wonderful to hear. Let’s finish with a fun lightning round!
Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire? My computer.
Amazing how many writers say this.
Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to? Turkey
Name a food you can eat every day. Chocolate
Salty or sweet? Yes.
Cat or dog? DOG!
Best gift? A GPS
Favorite season? Fall
Something you cannot go a day without. The love and support of my family.
Thanks Eden, that was loads of fun!
Thank you, Fiona for taking the time to share about your books and yourself, and for all you do for writers. I can’t wait to dive into Virginia Is for Mysteries.
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Connect To Fiona
Canadian born, Fiona is now rooted in the Old Dominion outside of D.C. with her husband and four children. She homeschools, pops chocolates, devours books, and taps continuously on her laptop.
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