Thanks for joining me today on Night Owl Romance.
Tammie King of NOR: To get us started can you please start by telling us a little about what you are working on or have coming out? Fiona McGier: The series of books I'm still working on are about the various members of a large Hispanic family, and the people they fall in love with. The 4th book, "Analysis of Love", was just published last month, and the 5th one will be out June 1. I have already submitted the 6th book, but haven't heard yet if it will be published. The Reyes family is a big family, so I'm not sure if they are all done telling their stories or not.
Tammie King of NOR: Could you please tell us a little about yourself? Fiona McGier: I have always been a reader and a writer. My Mom taught me to read before I was even in school. And I used to "act-out" the stories in my head with my Barbie dolls when I was a child. Mom says she used to listen to me creating scenes and marvel at how involved they were. I thought that everyone had stories in their heads, to entertain themselves with during quiet moments of their lives. But it wasn't until my 4 kids grew old enough to not need constant attention, that I was finally able to get some of my ideas into my laptop. I'm not Hispanic, but my Mom was 8th of 10 kids in a large Polish family. I think that large families of any nationality are supportive of all of their members.
Tammie King of NOR: If you could be one of the characters from this book - Who would you be? And why? Fiona McGier: I would be Catalina, because she is an English major and a writer, and so am I. And she is an independent woman who chooses her own course, and follows it. She loves her family, but she lives alone. And some of the "lines" she uses are mine, like she is looking for her Prince Charming, but enjoying kissing a lot of frogs while she is trying to find him. I was kind of a "wild woman" like her, when I was younger. But I've been married for 25 years to the man of my dreams, and we still adore each other. If you read the dedication in the front of the book "Analysis of Love", you will understand.
Tammie King of NOR: Who or what influenced you when you wrote this book? Did you have a CD, Songs, environment, etc? Fiona McGier: Catalina was a minor character in the 3rd book, "Love By Design", which is the romance between her oldest sister, Rosa, and a man she had broken up with years before, when she felt he crossed the line and hurt someone in her family. Catalina tries to flirt with him even though he is obviously still head-over-heels in love with her sister. Then she "settles" for seducing his friend instead. She is the kind of woman who doesn't sit home and wait for a man to ask her out...she goes out to find someone she wants to be with, then manages to get him to think it is his idea to ask her out. Maybe I was living vicariously through her?
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek into the book? Fiona McGier: Synopsis: Catalina Reyes has always been in charge around men. She is the embodiment of a "hot Latina", and she has enticed many a man to "take a walk on the salsa side of life". The only problem for her is that she gets bored so easily. When men are ridiculously easy to get, they are replaceable also. Or so she has always thought. When her boss' boss assigns her to pose as a client with the blind analyst who he feels ruined his son's life, he wants her to first seduce him, then destroy the doctor's reputation. She has no choice, since firing her is only the first thing he will do to her, if she does not do as he orders. She is at first, thrilled that the doctor is such an attractive man, making the first part of her assignment something she would willingly do anyway. But something about the doctor makes him different from other men she has been with.has Catalina finally met her match? Excerpt: He stopped speaking then, and waited for her to respond. Catalina tried to formulate an answer, but when he leaned forward, she could see down his open collar to the dark blond chest hair that called out for her touch. She forced herself to concentrate on what to say, and chose her words carefully. "Well, Dr. Evan, it's all very well and good for you to say that I have to spill my guts to you, and make myself vulnerable and all.but one of the first things I need to share with you is that unless I am related to them, I don't trust any man that I haven't had sex with." He swallowed hard, and leaned back in his chair, the color rising in his face. She watched fascinated, as a flush started in his hair and worked its way down to color his entire face. She wondered briefly if that happened when he was having sex also, and decided that she was going to have to pay close attention, to see if it did. He cleared his throat again, and reached for the glass of water, to take a sip and buy himself time
Tammie King of NOR: Please tell us what you have planned next? Fiona McGier: I have a couple of other books about Reyes family members started, but I may take a break from this series and work on some of my other books. I have one about a female spy who falls in love with a famous actor...it's almost done. I also have another series in mind, but this one will involve space travel. I've always been a huge sci-fi fan, devouring books about extra-terrestrial stuff like they were candy. The free short story on my website is a sci-fi story; a couple of people have suggested to me that I expand on that and make it a chapter in a longer story. I'm thinking it over.
Tammie King of NOR: What kind of research did you do for this book? Did you enjoy the research process? Fiona McGier: I did some research into the school of psychoanalysis that the analyst in the book practices. I had read about the theories of Dr. Abraham Maslow years ago, when I was in college. I needed to find what the 8 steps were, so that I could have Dr. Evan explain them to Catalina during their sessions. And that led to a crucial plot point, when she is questioned by her family members who are concerned about her increasing detachment from them, as she agonizes over how to not have to hurt a man she is falling in love with. Self-actualization is something I have always found interesting: how do you figure out what you should be doing with your life? So yes, I enjoyed re-learning the steps.
Tammie King of NOR: What would you like to tell your readers? Fiona McGier: I write stories about strong, independent women, who are not looking to fall in love. So when they meet strong, independent men, they may be attracted to them, but they don't expect to have their world change around them. The men usually are the first ones to realize that they have met the woman they are meant to be with. I think that is the way things usually occur in real life: even though men pretend they are not monogamous, they are usually the ones who want to keep a woman for themselves, once they fall in love. And my stories always will have happy-ever-afters, because my husband has made me a real believer in that. There is a lot of satisfaction in knowing that you are committed to each other for a lifetime.
Tammie King of NOR: Do you belong to a critique group? If so, how does this help or hinder you? Fiona McGier: No. My husband reads what I write, once each story is done. He tells me if the male characters are believable or not.
Tammie King of NOR: Can you please give us a sneak peek at any of your upcoming books? Fiona McGier: "Love Therapy" synopsis: Miguel Reyes is the 4th child in his family, after the oldest, his sister Rosa (her story is in "Love By Design"), and his two older brothers, Enrique and Pablo. The next in birth order after him is his sister Catalina (her story is told in "Analysis of Love"). He watched helplessly as his favorite sister, the family's "wild child", learned that love can be painful, but it can also be wonderful. And he wondered if he would ever get a chance to experience his own happily-ever-after. The family lore is that once a Reyes man meets the one meant to be his wife, he will know it. Years ago, Miguel thought he had found her, much earlier than he expected to. But she left town, taking a piece of his heart with her. Now she has come back to town...now what? Excerpt: After he got another drink, a double this time, Miguel looked around the room for Alicia. At first he didn't see her anywhere; then a crowd of men laughed, and a few of them moved around, and he caught a glimpse of her, standing in the middle of the group, laughing. She had taken off her jacket, so that now she was wearing only an olive green spaghetti-strapped dress, made of some sort of silky fabric that shimmered when she moved. It was obvious from the simple lines of the dress that she also took very good care of herself, since she was only slightly curvier than she had been twenty years ago. And the simple gold necklace that she wore around her neck drew attention to her neck and shoulders, which had always been some of her most attractive features. Of course, her cleavage was also eye-catching, especially since the style of the dress did not allow for her to be wearing a bra, and her nipples poked ever so slightly into the fabric. Miguel felt his mouth go dry. he licked his lips and took another gulp from his drink. "No!" He sternly told himself, "I will not make this easy for her, not this time.not ever again!"
Tammie King of NOR: Is there anything else you would like to share with readers? Fiona McGier: My books are available through many outlets, but for the best prices, go to my publisher's website: www.wings-press.com You can download the books for your computer or for an e-reader, or you can purchase them as paperbacks.
Tammie King of NOR: What would be the best way for readers contact you? Do you have a website? Email address? MySpace site? Blog? Message Board? Group? Fiona McGier: My website is: www.fionamcgier.com The page you will start on is my blog. Please leave comments if anything I say makes you think, or if you want to argue with me...I love arguing! Then there is a page for each book that is published that includes excerpts and reviews, and one for the next one due out. There is also a free sci-fi short story (adults only, please), and a contact page so you can e-mail me from there. My e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org I also have an author's page on Goodreads.com, I have a Facebook page, but due to time constraints, I don't make it there very often; and I have a Ning site, but don't visit that much either.
Tammie King of NOR: When did you first decide to submit your work? Please, tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step? Fiona McGier: I have always had stories in my head, and characters "talking" to each other. When my Dad passed away 3 years ago, I had to take over complete care for my Mom. She hadn't been to a doctor in over 30 years, but what we all thought was just old age combined with her natural tendency to be crabby, was the beginning stage of Alzheimers. Then I found myself home during the day, because I haven't been able to find a job as a high school English teacher, so I'm on a couple of districts' substitute teacher lists. When they don't call, I don't work. While I was at home, with everyone else out of the house either working or at school, I decided that it was time for me to begin writing some of my plots out, and my first starter novels were born. Later I read in a hospice newsletter that many people deal with their grief by seeking a creative outlet. I hadn't connected it before, but I think my life became so stressful that I wanted to create another reality...one that could have happy endings. Then the search for an interested publisher began.
Tammie King of NOR: What was your first published work and when was it published? Fiona McGier: My first published novel was "Never Too Old For The Game Of Love", and it was published in April of 2009. I love Santana music, and the song "The Game of Love" in particular, along with any songs I can do a cha-cha dance to. I didn't set out to create a whole family when I thought up the romantic hero Alejandro Reyes, but somehow his brother's family of 8 kids grabbed my attention. I originally envisioned this as a 2-book series, because the best friend from the first book, had her story told in the second book, "Recipe For Love" (August, 2009).
Tammie King of NOR: What is the best and worst advice you have ever received? Fiona McGier: The best advice I ever got was from my Dad, when he told me to get a "useful" college degree, which in his mind was math or science. He was not pleased when I became an English major. He told me I'd always have trouble finding a job, and he was right. But I was young and followed my "bliss". The worst advice I ever got was from my Mom, who told me never to get married, and never to have children. She wanted me to be a career woman and to make her proud. I was in sales when I met my husband. But I quit to stay home and raise our 4 children, which she felt was a disappointing choice. I am very proud of the adults my kids have become.
Tammie King of NOR: Do you outline your books or just start writing? Fiona McGier: First I think up the characters and some love/sex scenes between them. Then I build the story around that, leading up to those scenes, and following them. I don't write outlines, but I do jot lots of notes on tiny scraps of paper that are all around my laptop. Most of the notes involve characters' names, ages, occupations, etc. Or I might need to develop a time-frame, like if a character is pregnant, how will all of the scenes play out, month-by-month until the baby is born? Then any subsequent books need to stay true to all of those details.
Tammie King of NOR: Who is your perfect hero? And why? Fiona McGier: Alejandro Reyes, the hero in my first book, "Never Too Old For The Game Of Love". He was the whole reason I invented a family for him to be a part of...he is 42 years old, and a man who has "been around" for a long time. He is rich, successful, and driven, and thinks that is all that life is about. But when he meets the right woman, gradually he realizes that he is missing something in his life, and that maybe, just maybe, he might want to marry and have a child. He fights against it, but has to succumb, finally, then he has to convince the object of his desires that she needs to marry him. He uses his extreme good looks, his charm, and all of his persuasive techniques that have made him such a successful salesman, along with lots of hot sex. And he gets what he wants! I fall in love with all of the heroes of my books, but Alejandro was my "first", so he is special.
Tammie King of NOR: Is there a genre of book you would like to write but haven't yet? Fiona McGier: I have read so much sci-fi, that I think I want to try that next. Human nature has been pretty much unchanged for centuries, so as much as I love Gene Roddenberry's vision as expressed in Star Trek, I think he was too optimistic about the ability of humans to evolve. I think that when we do head out into space, it will be more like the stories of Babylon 5, with a "below" deck, where the homeless and the criminals will hang out. In other words, we will bring our imperfections with us when we move off of our home planet. Of course, being me, I will still have romances involved, and naughty sex scenes. Fiona McGier
Thank you for this opportunity!