This month’s Meet the Chapter Mates features our current RWASD treasurer, Tessa McFionn. Tessa not only writes paranormal romance but has a ton of other talents including a wicked sense of humor.
You can find out more at her website: TessaMcFionn.com
Tell us a little about yourself! Who are you? What do you write?
Hellooooooo! So, I’m Tessa McFionn. I’m a Gemini and I like long walks on the beach. Okay, so that last part might be a stretch. I write paranormal and sci-fi romance.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Well, like most published authors, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. Be it little kid poetry or high school journalism, I ran the gambit. But it wasn’t until about seven years ago, in a rather dark period in my life, when I seriously picked up the pen again. I finished the first draft of Spirit Fall and it sat on a virtual shelf for years until a good friend talked me into sending it out. That was back in Fall 2013 and Spirit Fall hit the public December 2014.
What does RWASD mean to you?
Oh wow. That’s a great question. The amazing camaraderie, the support, the chance to get honest feedback and spend an afternoon with inspirations writers. It has been such a godsend to me. It’s wonderful to be able to openly talk about the writing world and to get insight and advice. I just love it all.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey to becoming a writer?
Time. Hands down. I have a full-time day job which has a tendency to leak into my free time as well. So, I have to carve out writing time whenever I can and it can be frustrating when the only time I can find is so late in the day that my brain refuses to function. But I do cherish my weekends and spend most of that time glued to my laptop.
What attracted you to the genre you write? Why does it speak to you?
Super easy. I love make believe. If it was fantastical, I loved it. I still do. I remember my mother reading The Hobbit to both my brother and me when we were kids and Fantasia was my favorite movie at age five. Read Dracula at a very early age and my mother also bought me Dune and An Interview with a Vampire when I was in junior high. So, when I started my own writing, it seemed natural for my stories to be infused with elements of other worldliness.
Where is the weirdest place or what is the weirdest thing that inspired an idea?
LOL! Weird, huh? I love hunting for locations in various neighborhoods. Found a really creepy looking gated house in San Francisco. Hanging on to that one for someone. As for weird things, I have a horror short inspired by a leaky faucet. I guess since I consider myself as weird, all these things seem normal to me. 😉
Who’s a writer you would do backflips to meet and why?
Oooh. There are so many and I feel lucky to say that I’ve been blessed and have had opportunities to met and talk with several of my inspirations. So, of the ones I haven’t met, it would be Anne Rice. I met her at a book signing back in 1994 but that was before jumping off the deep end into the writing pool. Now, I would love to talk to her about the craft.
If you could go back 20 years ago, What advice would you give yourself?
Follow your gut; you’re on the right path! During this time, I was transitioning out of a toxic relationship and returning to the person I love. So I would tell myself to keep going.
Tell us about your latest novel!
YAY! I’d love to! So, I’m working on the third installment on my currently published series. This goes way beyond a trilogy since the fourth Guardian is already waiting less than patiently for me to get to his story. But in this tale, we move out of California to the Windy City. Here we meet immortal Guardian Sebastiani Cristofano Lamberhetti, or Bastian, an Italian Renaissance assassin who isn’t the cuddliest of guys out there. It’s got intrigue, slimy mobsters, a beautiful singer, gambling and a crazy stalker. And of course, lots of vicious fight scenes and hot, steamy sex.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
With pleasure 😉
“Not blonde.” Bastian whispered half to himself and Miranda raised her gaze. Her deep sapphire orbs, hazy with passion, shifted to include a trace of expected rejection. The combination of her flushed ivory cheeks, piercing blue eyes and mahogany tresses was sheer perfection.
“I’m sorry. I know that gentlemen prefer blondes.” Her seductive voice carried a tinge of sadness. Cupping her face, he placed a tender kiss on her lush lips, a light brush to tide him over.
“You are beautiful, tesorina. Never be sorry for who you truly are.” He slid his mouth along her jaw, licking his way to her tempting lobe. “And for the record, I don’t prefer blondes.” Twirling his tongue around the slender shell of her ear, he breathed hotly against her skin. “Nor am I a gentleman.”
Before you go, any advice to give to the new writers out there?
Don’t give up!!! If you truly believe in your words, you will find an audience who believe in you enough to love your stories. One of my amazing chapter mates, Lisa Kessler, gave me some awesome advice that I truly believe needs to be shared. “Being an author is a marathon, not a sprint.” Be ready for the long haul but never give up.