[Editor’s note: This post is part of a continuing series on how writers craft words to express their ideas and to connect with readers. The interview with Ms. Quinn was conducted by Miriam Ruff on May 15, 2019, and is divided into two parts. You can read Part 1 here. It has been lightly edited for length and clarity.]
MR: Last time we talked about your approach to writing. Now let’s talk about what you’re doing as a writer. Tell us a little about all the series you’re working on now. How are they similar, and how are they different? About how many books are in each? Which is your favorite, and why?
FQ: Because of the way that I like to read, I developed my books to be read in various ways. All of the books written in my Iniquus World can be read as a standalone, part of the series, or as part of a world. The Iniquus World is a place of tactical suspense often with a psychic twist and always with a thread of romance.
My only series where it’s best to read books 1-4 (Book 5 out in June, 2019) is the Lynx Series. This is a series that has to do with the growth arc of my character Lexi Sobado and her psychic abilities. These abilities are both helpful and devastating as they put a bullseye on her back.
Strike Force – is the name of the team that Lexi works on. In this series, each book focuses on one of the ex-special forces’ operators and their love interest. These books are tactical military romantic suspense, heavy on the suspense. The women are strong, resourceful, and intelligent. Their capabilities are part of the solutions.
Uncommon Enemies are the books I wrote to focus on science. These books are tactical military suspense with a romantic thread. The women are PhDs in their fields. Their brilliant minds get them into trouble. Luckily, in each book they meet the man who is their complement, intelligent, valorous, and capable, arriving on the scene with his own sets of expertise.
Kate Hamilton Mysteries are straight-up mystery novellas. Kate is a CSI high school teacher and very good at what she does. She is married to Reaper Hamilton and is having issues at home along with the mysteries she is solving. Mine is available on Amazon. Yours is available in a charity boxed set called Summer Snoops. Money earned through this set goes to support no-kill shelters. Ours will be available in the summer. But as this is part of the Iniquus World, characters from Iniquus are involved and soon her husband, an ex-SEAL, will be working with Iniquus, too. (That’s for a series that starts this fall)
The FBI Joint Task Force – In this series, we see the other side of the Iniquus contract. What is going on behind the scenes at the FBI and why they are hiring Iniquus special operatives to intervene. These are also tactical military romantic suspense novels.
Aside from my World of Iniquus, I write If You See Kay (Badge Bunny Booze Mystery Collection) along with my dear friend Tina Glasneck. It started out as a joke, but we have learned a lot by writing these short books. They are serious mysteries hidden behind some bad puns and jokes. It’s an interesting puzzle to write something that will make someone snort their drink laughing and at the same time have a good mystery running. Tina and I have our seventh book all mapped out and ready for writing as soon as I’m done with Gulf Lynx. It’s great to break away from my individual writing to collaborate and get different sounds and voices in my head. I think this exercise helps me to keep all of my writing fresh and interesting.
The Elemental Witch Series – This series was a writing challenge I took on to help grow my skills. A friend invited me to write a dystopian urban fantasy as part of a project she was developing. My characters focus on the strengths of women and have a similar vibe to my Iniquus World but set in a future dystopia and using witchcraft for survival.
My favorite book is always the one that I just finished writing.
MR: What’s the biggest takeaway you want readers to have from your books?
FQ: I want them to have a vacation from their every-day life, to be surprised that time has flown, to meet characters who become their friends. I hope my readers laugh and cry and are engaged with the stories, and maybe they walk away having learned something new.
MR: You mentioned writing with Tina Glasneck. How do you handle writing with a partner? Do you each take different chapters, or do you write each one together? Is it important to have similar styles, or do you find you compromise on plot points and character description?
FQ: I have done this with different authors in different ways. I always learn from the exercise. Right now, I’m writing the Badge Bunny Mystery Collection with Tina. The main goal is to laugh. I do three of these short novels with her a year. They act as sorbet, helping me put another flavor in my mouth, so I’m fresh for my own novels.
Since these books are written in first person, I do the writing. Tina and I get on a video chat every morning. We talk through how the day’s writing will go. We try out jokes. If Tina laughs, we put it in. Tina has an amazing laugh. But also, my sense of humor is very dry, and this series is not dry. The humor is puns and bad jokes and ridiculous scenes that our readers say make them snort in public. We had to pick what kind of humor/sound we were after, and Tina’s is the one we decided on.
So I write, then I give her that work, and we decide how things are going the next day. This works for us. We’re getting ready in a couple of weeks to work on book number seven.
MR: To what do you attribute your current success?
FQ: Sweat equity, pure and simple. I get up every day and try.
MR: Where do you see yourself going with your writing in the short-term and the long-term?
FQ: Short term: I am finishing up book 5 of the Lynx series, Gulf Lynx. This year I plan to finish the Kate Hamilton trilogy and her husband is joining Iniquus, so I will get to know a new Iniquus team with the first book of a new series. I have another FBI book that wants to be written. Tina and I have some Badge Bunny books we want to get done. It’s a busy writing year! I give each book the time and space it needs, so we’ll see how far I get with my list.
Long term, I want to keep finding interesting things to write about, keep adding titles to my library of work. Once my husband retires, which is still a long way away, I’d like to go to a new country for an entire year, each year for at least a decade, writing novels about my experiences. I think I could come up with some marvelous titles sitting in a café in Portugal.
MR: And, finally, what advice would you give would-be writers?
FQ: Be yourself in your writing. But always reach for the highest and best version of yourself.
You can find all Fiona Quinn’s published works on Amazon. Please feel free to leave any comments for her in the section below.