Morning lovelies.  Today we’ve got our second instalment of Meet the Author this week.  Today I’m chatting with Fi Phillips about magical possibilities, advice to her younger self, favourites genres, her favourite word, her most recent book, Haven Wakes and more….

Genre(s):

Fantasy

Tell us a bit about yourself:

Living in North Wales with my family and a pooch called Bailey, I work as a fantasy author and real-life copywriter.

I’ve been writing since I was a child, but it wasn’t until my early 50s that my first novel was published. My passion is writing about magical possibilities.

How many books have you written and published?

One published – two more under contract and with my publisher, Burning Chair. My debut futuristic fantasy novel Haven Wakes was released in October 2019. The follow-up novel in the series is out very soon. I also have a non-fiction book undergoing edits. Can’t say any more about that one for now.

Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?

It would have to be Hartley Keg. He can do magic, has very useful and deep pockets, is funny and entertaining, and on top of all that he can conjure up doors to wherever you want to go (unless he’s hasn’t been there before of course, but he’s so well-travelled that he’s been to most places).

Think Brian Blessed meets Hagrid meets Patrick Troughton as Doctor Who, and you won’t be too far off.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

Many of my friends switched what they saw as their ideal job on a regular basis – from airline pilot to veterinary nurse to film star. All I ever wanted to do was to write books. I never dreamt of any other career.

I got my wish eventually, writing books as an author and penning articles and blog posts as a copywriter.

What jobs have you done other than being an author?

There’s been a fair few: souvenir shop assistant, shoe shop assistant, music counter assistant, fish counter assistant, typist, word processor operator, barmaid, secretary/PA, careers adviser, property developer, office manager, virtual assistant, playwright

But I’m happiest where I am today as an author and copywriter.

If you could give your younger writing self any advice, what would it be?

Get on with it and find other writers to hang out with.

Remember that opinion is often disguised as fact.

Don’t take criticism personally and do your best to learn from it.

Name one book you think everyone should read and tell us why?

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley is a wonderful read. The structure – a book within a book within a series of letters – is a genius way to portray Frankenstein and the Monster from different points of view. It’s an intriguing story from a brilliant mind in a challenging time when science and religion were butting up against each other to claim reality. It isn’t a very long book, but the writing is rich and the characterisation heart-stoppingly brutal.

If you could travel anywhere (world/universe etc!) where would you go and why?

My first thought was to return to Venice, which I adore, but I think I’ll choose Hawaii. I’m not interested in visiting much of the US, but Hawaii looks so exotic and full of legend that I’d love to go there.

Oh, I’ve changed my mind. Can I go to Japan instead? The culture is so different to the UK, the landscapes so vastly varied, and the mythology is incredibly rich. I’d love to experience first- hand the Japanese take on technology too, like their waiter robots.

What is something you can’t live without?

My glasses. I have one pair for general use and another prescription for working on my computer. The world is very blurred without them. Or that could be the gin…

What is your favourite genre to read and why?

Fantasy, but not Tolkien-esque high fantasy. I prefer fantasy set in the now or the future. I especially like the interplay between magic and technology. That’s probably why my debut novel has a future setting, magic, and plenty of robots. I think my love of magic and mystical creatures stems from the fairytales I lost myself in as an only child.

What is your favourite word and why?

It’s a Welsh word that I learned from my children – bendigedig. It means fabulous, fantastic, excellent, splendid – you get the gist. It’s just a wonderful word to say and it makes me smile.

Your current fantasy series, the Haven Chronicles, is for a YA audience. Will you keep to that age-range only?

Not at all. After the Haven Chronicles is put to bed, I’ll begin work on a fantasy trilogy for an adult audience. Then it’ll be back to a YA readership for another trilogy. Then it’s a stand-alone fantasy novel for adults again. Then…

And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?

Haven Wakes is a futuristic fantasy set in a world where robots are prevalent and magic is hidden.

12 year old Steve Haven finds himself the guardian of a strange artefact known only as the Reactor after his Uncle Rex’s murder. Attacked and pursued by unknown assailants, Steve discovers a hidden magical underbelly of his own technologically advanced world. With new-found friends, he must discover the truth about his uncle’s death and stop the villain who would take the Reactor for himself.

Find it on Amazon or through Burning Chair

Where to find Fi online: Website ~ Twitter | @FisWritingHaven ~ Facebook ~ Instagram | @fiphillipswriter

thanks to fi for coming over and chatting with me!

As always if you have any questions or comments for Fi get in touch, or comment below.

I’ll be back in a bit, but don’t forget to come back tomorrow too for the next Meet the Author instalment.

Chelle x

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