Friday Nights With Authors is a chance to get to know different authors who write a variety of genres. Tonight, I’m happy to have Fiona Skye here.
She is a fantasy author currently living in the deserts of Southern Arizona. She shares a home with her husband, two kids, three cats, and a Border Collie.
Fiona’s passion for story telling began early in life. She loved playing make-believe and inventing elaborate fantasy worlds to play in. At age twelve, she wrote her first short story, which was based on a song by a 1980s hair band. After giving it to her English teacher for editing and rewrites, she learned to love the entire writing process. She has dedicated her life since then to story craft, only to be occasionally distracted by the dogged pursuit of the perfect plate of cheese enchiladas.
She counts Diana Gabaldon and Jim Butcher as her favorite authors and biggest influences. Joining these two on the list of people she would wait in queue for a week to have a coffee with are Neil Peart, Kevin Hearne, and Brandon Sanderson.
Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?
My newest book is called The Magpie’s Daughter. It’s a young-adult portal fantasy about a sixteen-year-old girl who receives a mysterious present for her birthday. She’s soon sucked into another world, filled with magic and faeries, where she discovers the truth of her father’s hidden identity. I think it’s a must-read because it’s fun, sometimes scary, and the characters are pretty cool. Plus it ties in nicely with The Revelations Trilogy, my adult Urban Fantasy novels. They share some minor characters, and although it’s not technically part of it, Magpie definitely gives some insight into the third and final book of the trilogy.
What is your writing style (plotter, pantser, or something in between)?
When I first started writing, I was definitely a pantser. The first two books in The Revelations Trilogy were pantsed, and that caused me major problems. I got bogged down in what Jim Butcher calls “The Great Swampy Middle”. It took me almost two years to finish Silver Shackles, the second book, because I couldn’t figure out where to take the story. After that, I vowed to try out different outlining techniques. The Magpie’s Daughter was written from an outline that’s an adaptation of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey. I actually wrote seven different outlines before settling on the final one, from which I wrote the book. Now I created a hybrid approach: I do a very rough initial outline, write the novel based on that, then go back and flesh out the outline when I do my read-through before revising. So far, it’s served me pretty well.
Are your characters based off real people or did they all come entirely from your imagination?
Previously, all my characters were completely made up. I felt weird using real people in my stories, so I avoided it. But then I got into a silly online fight with someone and ended up using him as a minor character who was the butt of some mean jokes the main character in that particular book made. It was cathartic and helped me get over the situation. So now I’ve used a couple of other real people as story fodder, but in a much more flattering way. Well, almost. I’m using my ex-husband as inspiration for a murderer.
Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Definitely! Although this will now cease to be a secret, the Mandarin curses my character, David Lo, speaks in The Revelations Trilogy are taken from the TV show Firefly. Also, two minor characters in Silver Shackles are named after my husband and I.
What is something memorable you have heard from your readers/fans?
I am honored to have a superfan who reads everything—regardless of genre—that I write. She’s been amazingly supportive of my writing, always recommending my books to her friends and family, giving valuable feedback as a beta reader, and encouraging me to keep going when I feel like I just want to quit writing altogether.
Million dollar question, are you working on another book?
Yes! I’m actually working on two new books. One is a cozy mystery—one of my favorite genres to read—and the other is an urban fantasy serial novel. I’ve set it up like a TV show. It has two seasons and there’s five episodes in each season. Once they’re finished, I’ll be releasing the episodes weekly to my newsletter subscribers as an exclusive thank you gift. Then I’ll publish the ebooks and probably the print books for everyone else to read through Amazon.
Thank you so much for being here!
Readers, don’t forget to keep up with Fiona on social media.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: