Les Rêveur Q&A with Author, Fiona Riley
Fiona published her first book ‘Miss Match’ in May 2016 and it’s been a rollercoaster ride since. She’s now releasing the second book in the ‘Perfect Match’ series, ‘Unlikely Match’ that will be out on next month.
When I first read ‘Miss Match’ last year I was caught up with the characters for days after. Fiona Riley really drew readers into the story and I began to feel like I was a friend along for the journey.
Quoting my own review about ‘Miss Match’:
I was shocked to find out this was Fiona Riley’s debut novel. It was written extremely well and I loved the storyline.
And I was just as hooked with ‘Unlikely Match’:
Its a beautifully told story of two abandoned souls finding each other and discovering what it feels like to find your soul mate.
Fiona has had an exciting year in the world of Lesbian Romance. I asked Fiona to take part in this Q&A due to the abundance of fantastic reviews her books have gotten so far and the amount of readers desperately waiting for the series to continue. I know I am not the only one wanting to hear more…
Hi Fiona, thanks for doing our April Author Q&A with Les Reveur!
We all want to find out more about you and your wonderful writing! So here we go…
- What inspired you to write Lesbian Romance Novels?
That’s kind of a long story. I’ll save you the unnecessary details and say this: I was going through some difficult health issues and had an abundance of time off. As someone that was always busy and on the move, it was a real shock to my system when I was forced to stay put for a long period of time. I’d been escaping into the Happily Ever After (HEA) world of romance novels during this period and I found myself feeling a creative itch that I had overlooked for a long time.
Miss Match was the direct result of some difficult life lessons and health woes- I wasn’t sure I’d get my happily ever after in real life, so I dedicated myself to ensuring that my characters would get theirs, no matter what.
You can imagine my surprise and elation about being able to continue the Perfect Match series with two more novels. Unlikely Match, the sequel to Miss Match, is out now and I could not be more excited about it.
- Was becoming an author always an aspiration and if so, what originally drew you in?
I wrote lots of poetry and short stories as a pre-teen and teenager. I’d always had a love of words and writing, but my writing muse, so to speak, was silenced for a long time in my quest to complete my education and begin a career in medicine. It wasn’t until life forced me to slow down that I became reacquainted with the little girl from my past that loved to write. I am so very grateful to have met up with her again. 🙂
- What’s your writing ‘kryptonite’ and how long can it take you away from your writing?
The hardest part for me is finding the time to get the ideas on the page. I have endless ideas; it’s time that seems to evade me. I have to work hard at setting aside time to write. I protect that time as best I can and try to limit the little distractions of life and work as much as possible- it’s not easy. I’m still learning.
- Is there something you’ve been wanting to write but keep putting it off?
I have an idea for a series that I mapped out long before I wrote the sequels to Miss Match. The bones of it are completely formed, but it’s a departure from the type of fiction I’m currently writing. So, I’ll keep nourishing it and checking in on it often, but until the time is right, I’ll wait.
- When writing, what is your guilty pleasure?
I have an endless sweet tooth. It’s a serious problem. If I’m working through a tough scene, chances are I’m drinking copious amounts of water and snacking on skittles or the like. Wild woman, I know. I can’t be tamed. 😉
- Do you use people from your life to make up characters or do they come directly from your imagination?
Most of them come directly from my imagination. Although, some characteristics of my friends do make it into the characters from time to time. The exception is Andrew from the Perfect Match Series- he’s a real person. His actions, reactions, vernacular, etc., are all based on a close friend of mine. Andrew is probably the truest example of a character resembling a person in my life. The rest is, well, fiction.
- What’s the hardest scene you’ve written and why?
In order to limit any spoilers from the new book, I’ll reference a scene from Miss Match here: For me, it was incredibly difficult to put myself in Lucinda’s frame of mind during that scene in the aquarium at the end of the book. Partly, because I was going through my own loss and set-backs during the writing process, but also because that emotion, that feeling of being lost and unwanted or alone- that’s a feeling we’ve all had at one time or another. Lucinda’s sense of loss in that scene settled in my chest like a stone. At the time, it was exactly the kind of catharsis I needed to help me find my way out of the darkness in my own life. Lucinda’s struggle really helped me overcome my own. I ought to buy her dinner sometime. 😉
- What is a favorite line you have written?
There are a few lines of dialogue in Unlikely Match between Shelly and Claire or Shelly and Samantha that make me smile even after all these months and all the edits. She was such a fun character to write- the dialogue was my favorite part. I don’t have a favorite line, but I will say that dialogue is some of my favorite stuff to write. I feel like it gives the reader a real insight into the personality of the character. Shelly is a little dorky; she’s at times insecure and anxious, but at the core she is funny and sarcastic; she’s playful. I think those times –when she’s most comfortable with the person she is speaking to—those are some of my best dialogue lines because it felt so effortless to let that side of Shelly shine through.
- Have you got anything in the works after you complete the ‘Perfect Match’ series?
I have two stand-a-lone novels planned for 2018.
One is a takes place almost entirely in hotel rooms in different cities across the U.S. and involves two women that meet through a work project and spark a little affair. That book is called Room Service and the title could not be more perfect 😉
The other is about a reluctant journalist type and an A-List celesbian that get thrust together after a backstage cat fight nearly derails both of their careers. I’m still working on a title for that one- any suggestions?
- Which of your characters from your two books would you say is most relatable to you or your life and why?
I am probably most like Lucinda in real life- minus the dancing skills of course. There are a few of my quirks in Shelly and Claire from Unlikely Match, but I’m probably most like Lucinda on a whole. I suppose that’s a question better aimed at my peers…
I’d like to consider myself pretty steady; I feel like that’s a trait Lucinda has in spades. But I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t get obsessively wrapped into projects like Shelly. Let’s be real though- I’m probably most like Myrtle. 😉
- Publishing 3 novels in two years is a big goal that you smashed. What’s your next big goal?
I’d like to try three novels in a year at least once, just so I can check it off my bucket list. We shall see. Right now, I’m just enjoying the ride and trying to take everything day by day. So far, it’s been an unbelievable adventure. I hope it stays that way.
- ‘Strike a Match’is due out in November what can you tell us about your next characters?
Strike a Match is about hottie McHotPants firefighter Sasha and reluctant millionairess Abby from books one and two of the Perfect Match Series. I felt like both of these ladies deserved the spotlight- I hope I did them justice. The book will be out in November of this year and I can promise you this: it blazes white hot in plenty of scenes.
The link to the blurb is here, check it out:
Ok some questions for fun…
- Who inspires you in your non-author life? And why?
My wife- she’s pretty amazing. It takes a lot of patience and a good sense of humor to put up with me and the million things I juggle on any given day. I would not be where I am today without her, I’m eternally grateful and in awe of her.
- What writers/novels inspire you?
I like novels that blend a lot of real life emotions- I like fast paced, smart dialogue; slow building tension between characters; realistic conflicts and hard conversations; I love a good sex scene and the first exchanged “I love you’s.” There are so many amazing authors that do this so well, I’d be doing disservice by naming just a few.
The novel I reach for when I’m not writing is one that has a great plot and an exciting, engaging romance that sucks me in from the start. I love complex but realistic characters with a mix of flaws and perfections that only fiction can give you. I want a HEA and maybe a juicy epilogue to tie it all up in a nice little bow. That’s not asking too much, right?
- Do you have a favourite book/novel? Why?
Hmm, I don’t have one book that is a favorite, no. But I love all of the Harry Potter books and I like to escape in Contemporary Lesbian Romance when I can.
- What is your favourite motivational phrase, positive saying or quote?
Work smarter not harder.
I’m a planner. I map out my proposals probably to a nausea inducing level for some people, but it helps me stay focused and on task. I need that kind of structure to be able to manage my day job and my dream job- writing is a balance of life, love, work, and creativity. I’ve got a long way to go before I perfect at any of those things.
- What advice would you give to aspiring writers in the LGBT Community?
Write often. Read even more often. Write stories you would want to read. Work hard to hone your craft- take criticism in stride and learn to apply the things you’ve learned to making yourself better. We are all a work in progress, always.
- What has been the best part of being a published author so far?
Meeting the readers! I love catching up with people or hearing how my characters have found a home in their hearts as well. It’s such a gift to be able to talk about your art with people- readers are the best.
- Where can you see yourself and your writing in 5 years time?
I’d like to have a stack of books with my name on them on the bookshelf in my office. Hopefully that number hovers above or around ten novels, a girl can dream. 🙂 Maybe I’ll finally get that series I mentioned above…who knows? The possibilities are endless.
- Are there any events this year where readers can come along to meet you and get their books signed?
I will be at Boston Pride and Providence Pride in June and I’m on a panel and doing a few readings at the Golden Crown Literary Society event in July (GCLS). I can always be found wandering around Provincetown in October for Women’s Week as well. Please wave me over and say “Hello!”
Thank you Fiona for being our Author of the month.
Check out Fiona’s bio below and if you would like to buy one of Fiona Riley novels please follow the link below…
Fiona Riley Bio
Fiona Riley was born and raised in New England where she is a medical professional and part-time professor when she isn’t bonding with her laptop over words. She went to college in Boston and never left, starting a small business that takes up all of her free time, much to the dismay of her ever patient and lovely wife. When she pulls herself away from her work, she likes to catch up on the contents of her ever-growing DVR or take a walk with her dog.
Fiona’s love for writing started at a young age and blossomed after she was published in a poetry competition at the ripe old age of twelve. She wrote lots of short stories and poetry for many years until it was time for college and a “real job.” Fiona found herself with a bachelor’s, a doctorate, and a day job, but felt like she had stopped nurturing the one relationship that had always made her feel the most complete: artist, dreamer, writer.
A series of bizarre events afforded her with some unexpected extra time and she found herself reaching for her favorite blue notebook to write, never looking back.
Fiona can be contacted on her website below.
Author of Miss Match (May 2016)
Author of Unlikely Match (Available Spring 2017)
Author of “Extra Credit” (anthology contribution to Girls on Campus, 2016)