Friday, April 13, 2012

Interview with Blair McDowell

Welcome back, and hey, it's Friday! Woot. 

Today's post features an interview with author Blair McDowell. I hope you'll hang out, read the interview and comment that you were here. :) 

How long have you been writing? How many published books do you have, and what genres?
I turned to writing fiction only a few years ago. Before that I wrote professional books, six of them, all still in print, and numerous journal articles. I was also editor for an international journal in my field. Nothing I ever wrote was as much fun as the fiction I’m now writing.

Do you write in multiple genres or just one? If just one, do you ever consider straying outside your genre?
Mutiple genres, definitely. I do believe variety is the spice of life.

Are you a plotter or do you write from the seat of your pants?
I plot and plan very completely before writing the first sentence. I like knowing what’s going to happen next in books and in life.

What is a typical writing day like for you?
There’s no such thing as typical. Life keeps intervening. However that being said, I run a B&B. Mornings I’m up to my elbows in eggs and bacon. So I write afternoons. I aim for four hours a day, but things interfere regularly. I get my best writing done during the winters when the B&B is closed and we take off for out small house on a hillside in the Caribbean.

Who do you love to read? Favorite authors, favorite books?
I love mysteries with a touch of romance, set in exotic places. Donna Leon, Andrea Camilleri, Iain Pears. Michael Dibdin (Have you SEEN the Zen series on Masterpiece Theater? Fabulous!)

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
Finish the next two books. I’ve set myself the somewhat unrealistic target of two a year. We’ll see.

If you could have one paranormal ability, what would it be?
I’d like to be able to slip back and forth in time. I’d like to be there for the premier performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Shakespeare’s Tempest, the Beethoven 9th. I’d like to meet poet, John Donne, when he was a young rake, before he turned old and pious.

If you could keep a mythical/ paranormal creature as a pet, what would you have?
Pegasus, the winged horse of Greek Mythology.

Tell us a little about your latest release.
The Memory of Roses is a tale of the lives and loves of two generations of the McQuaid family, daughter Brit and her father Ian, set on the Greek island of Corfu. I spent considerable time in Greece doing the research for this book. I think my love of this land and its people comes through on every page.

What is something that you absolutely can't live without? (Other than family members)
Music. I don’t think I could live without being surrounded by good music.

Could you ever co author a book with someone? If so, who would you choose, and what would you write?
I have successfully co-authored books three times. However I don’t think I could co-author fiction. It’s too personal. Too much a child of my own mind.

If you could spend a day with anyone from history, dead or alive, who would it be, and what would you do? What would you ask them?
Don Juan. Why not? As to what we’d do? Just what you’ve heard Don Juan does.
As to what I’d ask –not much. I’d hope to be otherwise occupied.

What are some of your other hobbies outside of writing?
Opera. I love opera. Not sure what that makes of me, but there you have it. My dark secret.

If you were on the staff to have a book adapted to movie, what would you pick?
Of the three I’ve written, I’d choose The Memory of Roses. I can see every scene in my mind.
Of other peoples, the ones I love HAVE been made into movies like Under the Tuscan Sun

What is a talent you wish you had, but don't?
I’d like to be a singer. Not just ANY singer, but one with a world class voice. A female Pavarotti.

Favorite color?

Weather: Hot or cold?
Neither. I like the tropics best but only in places where the trade winds blow.

Favorite place to read?
In bed, for want of anything better to do there.

Favorite meal
Gnochi ai quarto formaggio. Potato dumplings with four cheese sauce as served in a small restaurant on the Piazza Navona in Rome. I’d happily return to Rome just for that.

Favorite non-alcoholic drink.
Iced tea

If you could travel anywhere and do anything, no limits or money holding you back, where would you go?
Back to Greece—always to Greece. Justly called the cradle of Western civilization.

Blair McDowell wrote her first short story when she was eleven and hasn’t stopped writing
since. After many years producing non-fiction professional books in her field, Blair decided to
exercise her rich imagination and write novels of mystery and romance set in places she knows and loves, peopled with characters drawn from her experiences in those locales.

One of her favorite places in the world is Greece, the setting for ‘The Memory of Roses’, Blair McDowell’s latest novel. While in Greece Blair was inspired by the ancient culture, friendly people and the picturesque settings, and the plot for the ‘Memory of Roses’ was born.

Blair has a home on a remote island in the Caribbean where the local lore of the ‘Jumbie’ (‘the dead who walk’) formed the basis for her novel of that name.

The setting for Blair McDowell’s book, ‘Sonata’, is the spectacular city of Vancouver with its
vibrant multicultural population and its rich musical life. In ‘Sonata’, Blair McDowell’s love of
music comes into play, and is intricately woven into this story of mystery and romance.

Blair is a member of the Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers of America (Greater
Vancouver Chapter), and the Romance Writers of America (Women's Fiction).

Thanks for stopping by today, and Blair, thanks for letting me interview you. I wish you success and many sales in your writing ventures! 

Until next time,
Storm Goddess

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