Thursday, October 28, 2021


I want to first thank Stevie MacFarlane for taking the time for this interview!


Hi, I'm Stevie MacFarlane. It's only been nine years since my first book was published, and I didn't realize I could have an author's page on both Amazon, US and UK, so I'm a little late getting here.

I live in New York, the state, not the city, in a very rural community. It's a small town, and I use that term loosely. There's a Town Hall, a Town Barn and a bar. That's it. No stores, no post office, nothing and it's a six-mile drive to get there. If I head in the other direction, there's a small village. The village actually has two stoplights, a post office and some regular things like a few doctors, and some stores. Needless to say, there's not much excitement. We have a free weekly newspaper and the Police Blotter goes something like this:

Report of Missing Dog

Domestic Dispute, husband locked out of house.

Report of car alarm going off, child playing with keys

Report of stolen wagon, resident forgot he loaned it to a neighbor.

Well, you get the picture. So, now that I'm retired, I have to make my own excitement and I do that on my laptop. Currently, I have 32 books out written under Stevie MacFarlane and 6 books out written under Markie Morelli. Six are about an Irish-American family, The O'Malleys, and four are about a matching-making company called, Sugar Babies, Inc. 

All of my books are romances. I like a lot of conversation, a bit of humor, some fairly hot sex and spanking. If you're into whips and chains, these probably aren't for you. However, if you've ever watched a movie where the leading lady is being a perfect bitch and you feel like yelling at the leading man, "Oh my God, spank her you fool!" these might be right up your alley.

I'm also big on families, big families. Characters come out of the woodwork when I sit down to write. I have a big family myself, so the dynamics come easily to me. My husband is one of seven children, I'm one of five and we have five of our own.

I hope, if you've read this far, you may be interested in my books. If not, thanks for taking the time to check out my Bio. Feel free to drop me a line or two and let me know what you think. Even constructive criticism has it's place, just keep in mind, all my books are fiction. I don't care if "a man would never do that" in my books he will, because I made him, lol.

Oh, one more thing and yes, I know I'm long-winded. My pen name is a family name of sorts. My great-grandfather MacFarlane was born in Scotland. My first name, Stevie, is a childhood nickname based on my maiden name.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I’ve always been a writer.  I didn’t think seriously about publishing my work until around 1991. 

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

Always an avid reader it’s hard to single out any particular novel, however reading Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, made a huge impression on me. I could not put it down and I began to read many books that had been made into movies.  I almost always like the details in the book better than the films. The Thorn Birds is another example of this.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?

Not entirely, but it would be hard not to use some characteristics I find interesting or amusing in people I know.

Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

Anywhere and everywhere. The simplest things can trigger an idea for a novel.

Do you use have a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

Normally, I’m what’s called a ‘pantster’ meaning I just write by the seat of my pants.  Occasionally, there are times when I may do a simple outline, or even draw a map of the town I’m writing about, especially if it’s a series of novels.

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?

Not usually. I simply have a picture in my mind of what they look like and their personality.

Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation.   What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

I never read when I’m writing. It’s just something I shy away from and truthfully, if I’m reading, I’m not producing anything.  For escape I binge watch shows I’ve missed.  I don’t like reality TV.  I  much prefer historical series and am a huge fan of BBC and PBS.

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

Oh my, I have so many favorite authors. Nora Roberts, of course, Jana DeLeon. I love rereading by favorite authors like Jude Deveraux, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Linda Lael Miller.  I grab any book by Jade Cary too.

What are your favorite books by others?

I love romance, especially with some humor, but I’ll read just about anything.  I like mysteries, true stories, biographies, and historical memoirs. My problem is that once I pick up a book, I can’t put it down and if it’s a series I may be tied up for more time than I can spare right now.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

They do to me, but I almost never narrow a location down.  Most of my contemporary stories don’t even name the city or town it takes place in, although I may mention nearby attractions.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

I often write in an omniscient style. If not that, it’s multiple points of view. I have yet to try first person stories, but I may at some point.

What do you find to be your best research tool?

Clearly, the internet is most helpful.  I Google everything I’m unsure of, such as was it possible to get ice to Kansas in 1870, or what was the particular route by train from Massachusetts to San Francisco in the 1800’s for a Mail Order Bride.

Do you write under a pen name?  Also, do you write under more than one name?

Yes, Stevie MacFarlane is my pen name.  I also write Daddy Dom novels under the pen name of Markie Morelli.

What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

I am a romance author writing love stories about strong men and the independent women they fall in love with. In my world, I’m considered a Unicorn because I write contemporary, historical and daddy dom. I write single novels and series.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing.   Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky traits....what led to you being you?

Oh my goodness, the jobs I’ve had and the work I’ve done is staggering. I’ve been a waitress, a cook, a fine die cutter, worked in a chicken plant, a plastics plant and cleaned other people’s houses to make a living. I spent twelve years as a social worker advocating for the elderly and disabled and traveling hundreds of miles a week. It was the most exhausting and rewarding job I’ve ever held.  When my mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer I took family medical leave to care for her in my home.  After she passed away I found I no longer felt emotionally strong enough to continue working in that field, so I moved on to a new job, closer to home.

I always seemed to do everything backwards.  I didn’t go to college until I was twenty-eight years old and had five children. My husband and I raised a large, boisterous, fun-loving family. Most weekends our home was filled with kids and grandkids, which I think is why it’s easiest for me to write stories with multiple characters interacting.

I had a wonderful childhood, raised in a stable and loving home by my mother and grandparents. I am the youngest of five children and have three sisters and one brother.  I’ve always been sort of gregarious. I’ll strike up a conversation with anyone, people waiting in line at the grocery store, other patients in a doctor’s office etc.  Once I talked to a woman for an hour while searching a nursery for just the right plants for the cemetery.  When I got back in the truck my husband asked me who she was. I replied that I had no idea. He was not surprised, lol.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

The best advice I can give is to persevere. I wrote my first full length novel in 1991. Harlequin was doing a big promotion called, ‘So You Think You Can Write.’  And yes, I sort of did think I could.  They sent out these tapes, remember it was old school then, and I listened as they explained what they were looking for.  At the time my husband was very ill and we were waiting for him to have his aortic valve replaced, a huge and risky surgery back in the day.  Writing helped me escape. I was still working full time as a social worker and taking care of everything else at night.  Still, I wrote, often staying up until the wee hours of the morning working on a Brother Word Processor my friend lent me.  

As soon as I finished the first book, I started the second book in the series and sent off my manuscript, hard copy, mailed in a sturdy box. I received a nice letter from the editor telling me the reader liked the book, but the editor felt the story was ‘too episodic’. I still don’t know what she meant. After all, most books are somewhat episodic. I don’t want to read about every move the character makes. I want to move on to the good stuff, lol. 

Sad and a bit deflated that they did not want my ‘baby’, I packed the books away in the attic, convinced I had no talent. A few months later I received another letter from the editor asking me if I had anything else I was working on. By then I had moved on. My husband was on the road to recovery, I was back to being a full-time social worker, mother and nurse/rehab wife. I had no idea that a personal critique and letter from the editor on your first submission meant anything.  To me it was just a rejection and I was, oh well. I’ve often wondered how different my life might have been had I persevered and wrote her back asking what she meant and how to make my book more suitable for them.  Instead, I let my novels sit for twenty years and never resumed writing until I retired. My first novel was published in 2012, and I’ve never stopped writing, other than from brain fog caused by my husband’s death and health issues of my own.

So, my advice to anyone who wants to be an author is to never give up!  Keep writing. Keep learning. Keep honing your craft.  I’m much better at it than I was when I started out. I don’t make the same mistakes and I’m better at catching plot holes and errors.  Although, I will say that many of us are plagued by imposter syndrome, where we still feel, even after dozens of books, that somehow it’s all been a mistake and one day we will wake up and be revealed as talentless hacks.  Sad but true and you must learn to have faith in yourself and ignore the self-doubts. Good Luck!

And one more thing, and yes this is what I meant about talking to everyone. Don’t be afraid to ask other authors to share your work, on their blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc.  Most authors are wonderful people who have no problem giving a newbie a hand up. Unless you’re lucky enough to land a large contract with a major publishing company, you need friends and authors are typically the most generous folks in the world.

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