When she isn’t being a pane in the glass, Fiona writes darkly humorous contemporary and paranormal fiction, often involving gay characters and almost always with a twist in the tail. Her work has been published in anthologies and magazines (both print and electronic), most recently with Fox Spirit, The Library of Rejected Beauty, Riptide Publishing, and Byker Books. Her paranormal romp ‘Got Ghosts?’ is due out from Fox Spirit in October 2017.
Fiona lives in a slate cottage within stone-throwing distance (never a good idea in Glass houses…) of England’s largest lake with her husband, several pot plants and a vast collection of books. She enjoys fell-walking, gardening and photography, and rarely has her nose far from the pages of a book.
Name one book that you keep going back to and why?
Only one? That’s cruel and unusual punishment! I have several that I return to regularly including Dorothy Dunnett’s marvellous Lymond saga; ‘The House on the Strand’ by Daphne du Maurier; and some of Mary Stewart’s creepier titles. However, the book I’ve re-read more than any other is ‘The Lord of the Rings’. I just love the High Romance, the detailed world building, and the way the characters suck you into their adventures and make you want to stay there with them. I think I’ve read the whole thing about a dozen times now. Which reminds me, it’s on the shelves here somewhere…
What has been your favourite place to live?
Where I am now, which is Windermere. I’ve had a passion for the Lake District since I was about eight years old and always dreamed of moving here but never thought I’d be able to. I love the scenery, the people, the way of life, the sheep, the walking – and even the weather! Living here really is a dream come true.
Can you tell us a short anecdote that you think says something about you?
Many years ago I was waiting for a bus in Birmingham city centre when I saw a younger man kick an old chap in the back, simply because he’d brushed against him. Without even thinking I rushed over to the young chap, bristling, and yelled “You leave him alone!” as loudly as I could. I’m not sure he even noticed me (I am only five foot two!) but it alerted a few other passers-by who were able to comfort the older man and offer help. The young chap skulked off… but when I got back to the bus stop, I found I’d been pushed to the back of the queue….
If you could be any fictional character who would you be and why?
This is a hard one because so many of my favourite characters (Merlin in the Mary Stewart ‘Crystal Caves’ books; Dunnett’s Lymond; even Frodo Baggins) have such a miserable, uncomfortable time of it. I do like my home comforts and would soon tire of tramping around the countryside, or having to lead armies in Russia, or being walled up for all time in a cave. Perhaps Miss Marple is the answer. She gets plenty of excitement whilst rarely moving far from her village – and always has time for a nice cup of tea.
If you could go to the pub for an evening with any writer alive or dead who would you choose?
Probably Dorothy Dunnett. She didn’t so much research the history for her books as live in it, and as I’m passionate about the past it would be fascinating to hear her talk about a world we’ve lost, but which she still seemed to know in such staggering detail. Every song, poem, book, sport, battle, person well known or otherwise – even the sights, sounds and smells of late Medieval life were second nature to her. And of course, I’d be able to bend her ear about all the things I didn’t understand in the books, like whether Jerott Blythe was a closet homosexual and whether Lymond really killed his own son.