Hey there everyone, I’m so happy to see you all here again.
I have another fantastic writer who wants to share their writing experiences with us and I can’t wait for you to get to know her better, especially as she is currently doing a Blog Tour for the first book in her new epic Sci-Fi/Fantasy series.
Just a quick note/Public Service Announcement before we get under way properly (for real this time). I link to a lot of other articles in my posts, so WordPress users please check your Spam folders in your Setting Menus and approve any links/pingbacks that you find from me to improve the visibility of your own blog posts, as well as mine, it’s a win win for us both 😉
Now, please give a very warm welcome to author Tessa McFionn, as we chat about all of her books and how she goes about crafting them.
Thanks for reading, enjoy the show and as always have a fun weekend whatever you are up to 🙂
Hi there Tessa, a sincere pleasure to have you over here with us here today to talk about your books, along with your passions, inspirations and writing experiences.
Let’s start first with your latest novel release that you are currently participating in a Blog Tour for “To Discover a Divine” (Rise of the Stria Book 1), which is due out on 20th March 2018. Please tell us all about the plot of this book, its Sci-Fi elements/romantic leanings and what is ultimately at stake for your lead protagonists over the course of their adventures.
Sounds like a wonderful place to start. This story has truly been a labour of love for me. When I first pitched “To Discover a Divine” two years ago, I called it “The Wizard of Oz” meets “Star Wars.” It’s an epic space opera about a human, Evainne, who gets snapped up into another galaxy and must now figure out why she’s there. Very early on, she meets our hero, Kahlym, captain in the Chandaran Stria, our rebel forces, and her personal saviour. She’s swept into interstellar battle and must trust Kahlym and his crew. There’s aliens, a space station, and of course, an evil empire called the Rimmarian Thrall. Romance blooms as they are on the run from enemy soldiers trying to capture her for nefarious purposes. Let’s just say the fate of the universe rests in their hands, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
You also have published a trilogy of Fantasy/Paranormal books under “The Guardians” Series. Please tell us more about their plots and themes, their unique protagonists/antagonists, what fantasy elements they experience and how these books link with each other in the series.
Aah, my boys. Well, the Guardians came out of my love for heroes. It seemed to me, a large portion of paranormal male protagonists were the dark, brooding, “bad boys” who only needed the love of a good woman to bring out their softer side. So, I decided to create protagonists who started out as “good guys” and the first Guardian, Malakai Vadim, was born. At its base, Guardian Warriors are immortal soldiers recruited by other Guardians to fight for humanity against agents of chaos and destruction known as Rogue Warriors. Plucked from ancient battlefields across the world, they protect free will, wielding weapons and magicks over mind, body, and emotions uncovered by these men after they found their other half, their spiritmate. In each of the novels, we meet a new Guardian, or get reacquainted with one we met in the first book, “Spirit Fall,” and follow their paths as they find their spiritmate. There’s Old World courtship, deadly dangers, mountains of mayhem, and plenty of steamy romance as they discover love and the world of unknown magic existing right under our feet.
If any of your novels were to be made into films (or even a TV series), who would you cast in the lead roles?
LOL! Wow. That’s always a tough one. It’s hard to find a bunch of 6’9” actors in Hollywood who look like fitness models and speak in a variety of European accents. If I could shoot the moon, I’d love to see Henry Cavill (Superman, Man of Steel and Justice League) as my first Guardian, Malakai, with Summer Glau (River Tam from Firefly/Serenity) as his spiritmate, Siobhan. But, for my favourite snarky Irishman, give Michael Fassbender some red highlights and I’m sold. I think it would be easier to cast the Guardians since trying to find a three-armed alien might be a little tough.
What would you choose as your own personal mascot or spirit animal when it comes to you and your style of writing?
Dragon. That’s easy. Most of my living room is adorned with hundreds of them. I have posters, figurines, candle holders, needlework. You name it; I have it. I even had the nickname of Dragon Lady for years. For me, there is strength and beauty in them. In myth, they were seen as both creator and destroyer, hero and villain. And the ability to fly and breathe fire are huge pluses.
What do you think most characterizes or defines your writing? Do you have any writing quirks or themes that constantly crop up in your stories?
Aside from order through chaos? When most authors speak of their muse in the standard sense of the beautiful Greek maidens, I tell people my muse is a drunken frat boy, working only when he wants and usually at the most inopportune moments. As for themes, I think for me, it would be within the dialogue itself. I like quirky and snarky dialogue. I find witty characters much more fun to write. As for other themes, all of my Guardians have ridiculously amazing cars. I have a deep love of muscle cars. And seeing they’ve all been bouncing around the planet for years, chances are they’ve accumulated a good deal of wealth. Why not have a classic GTO or two?
What do you find the most difficult thing about writing? And what do you find the easiest?
For me, the toughest thing would be time management. I have a day job as a teacher, so that truly keeps me on my toes for most of the year. I have to squeeze in words on the weekends or during days off. Of course, that means my muse has to decide to wake up on those days. (See above response.) The easiest part is generating the initial seed idea. One of the classes I teach is Creative Writing to middle school students, so I have a great time coming up with quick ideas for stories to use as samples. Some of them, I keep for myself for another time, but YA concepts aren’t quite the same as what I write.
Who are some of the authors, musicians, poets and/or historical figures that inspire you?
Oh, wow. I have so many inspirations out there. My author inspirations are seemingly random, but they have each given me something that keeps me writing. Topping my list are Sherrilyn Kenyon, whose amazing friendship is a treasure and a joy, followed by Terry Brooks and Neil Gaiman, who create such phenomenal characters and intricate storylines. Music is such a strong force in my life, and it’s always running in the background as I write. Yet, most of the music ranges with the scenes I’m writing and is more about setting the tone rather than specific artists. But, without a doubt, my biggest inspiration has been my mother. She always encouraged me to write and to tell my stories, no matter how far-fetched they might be.
What sort of research do you do to write your books?
I think that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to work on science fiction; I get lost in research. I fall down that rabbit hole and hours pass while I’m still searching for the perfect street corner in Chicago for a seedy nightclub. Since I’ve opted to set my Guardians series all over the county, I will spend days researching cities, complete with street maps and tourist sites bookmarked for further study. And don’t get me started on the cars. I have to make sure each Guardian has the perfect car. I go over engine specs, colours of production models in specific years. Did it have bench seats with the gearshift on the steering column or bucket seats and a standard shifter between the seats? I figure I have a little leeway with the interior. I mean, after all, if you’ve owned and taken care of a car since 1967, chances are you’ve made some upgrades to it. I want my readers to feel immersed in the story and that means ensuring all the details are believable.
Why do you write? What inspired you to become a writer?
I write because I believe in the magic and power of love. I adore telling stories with the message that we all have someone out there for us, someone who will love us for who we are and will protect us against any and all foes. I think I penned my first story while I was still in elementary school, and I’m pretty certain, it was just horrible. Yet, that didn’t stop me from continuing. Like I said earlier, my mom was my biggest inspiration and my best cheerleader. I owe her so much, for never letting me give up on dreams and I dedicate every word to her.
What keeps you motivated during creative slumps? How do you deal with Writer’s Block?
Yeah, that wonderfully crippling affliction of all authors. Since I work full-time and have such a limited amount of writing time, those lapses in words can be horrific, especially if I’m under a deadline. I do the standards; walk away, take deep breaths, scream in frustration. Ok, so maybe not that last one. But I actually have so many projects in the works, I try to switch gears and see if that helps. If all else fails, I read. I pick up a book that’s been sitting on my TBR pile, or an old favourite that I practically know by heart. Last resort: I go to Disneyland.
You have access to a time machine. What advice would you give to your younger self?
I’ve always wondered about this, actually. Yeah, in my plethora of spare time. I believe that every event in our lives guide us to where we are. Since I am quite happy with my current lot in life, I think the only advice I would give me is stop doubting yourself. I danced from the time I was three until I was in high school, because I didn’t think I was good enough to do anything serious with it. I sat on my first novel for two years because I didn’t think it was good enough. So, I would tell me to trust your art and never quit.
How do you spend your free time when you are not writing?
Disneyland. Hands down. My hubby and I live about two hours away from the Magic Kingdom and have annual passes. This means, we try to hit the park at least once a month. I grew up as a Disney kid and the magic never left. I think because Walt held on to his dreams and build the Happiest Place on Earth, it always inspires me to reach for the stars.
Tell us more about your upcoming projects. Are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I actually do. My wonderful publisher approached me for a couple of short stories about small coastal towns. So, as my standard motif, I am writing ghost stories. Super excited! The first one is already in their hands, tentatively titled “A Curse to Build a Dream On,” and a second novella is open on my desktop as we speak. The second in the Rise of the Stria is done and I’m working on part three as well. Like I said, I like to try and keep busy.
Finally, are there any nuggets of wisdom that you can impart to other aspiring writers?
Write! Don’t sit on the sidelines and doubt your words. If the stories are inside you, get them on paper. I can guarantee if you are moved by the characters in your head, someone else out there will be moved by them. And this path is not for the faint of heart; success is a journey, not a destination. Just tell good stories.
And that’s a wrap! Thank you for joining us on your epic journey for your Book Blog Tour, we can’t wait to dive into your books and fantasy worlds to discover more! 🙂
Thank you so much for having me!
Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher. Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards.
When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth. She also finds her artistic soul fed through her passions for theatre, dance and music.
A proud parent of far too many high school seniors and two still living house plants, she also enjoys hockey, reading and playing Words With Friends to keep her vocabulary sharp. She is currently the treasurer of the San Diego chapter of Romance Writers of America and loves spending time working with such amazingly intelligent and creative writers.
You can connect with her via the following Social Media channels:-
Facebook:- Tessa McFionn – Author (FB)
Goodreads:- Tessa McFionn (Goodreads Author)
LinkedIn:- Tessa McFionn – Author (LinkedIn)
Twitter:- @TessaMcFionn (Twitter)
You can buy her books here:-
If you too would like to be interviewed on my blog at TooFullToWrite and you have a book or a series of books that you would like us to chat about then fill out the Contact Me form here with your details and we can arrange a future interview slot.