Fiona Quinn and I met several years ago at a Writers’ Police Academy weekend held in North Carolina. We learned a ton, laughed a lot, and with a shared sense of the strength and power of independent women, hit it off. I knew that weekend, when she was demonstrating her high kick past an ATF agent’s ear, that she would bring an unusual range of experience to the written page. Her savvy heroines can do those high kicks and more to quell their opponents, while maintaining a softer side for the guys when called for.
Quinn is a three-time USA Today bestselling author, a Kindle Scout winner, and has been listed as an Amazon Top 100 author in: Romantic Suspense; Mystery, thriller, and suspense; Mysteries, Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.
She writes suspense in her Iniquus World of books including: Lynx, Strike Force, Uncommon Enemies, Kate Hamilton Mysteries, and the FBI Joint Task Force Series.
The Lynx books were her first series, featuring under-the-radar, 20 something psychic Lexi Sobado, assisting Iniquus agents.
Read my review of the “Weakest Lynx” here.
and my review of the fourth book in the series, “Cuff Lynx” here.
Quinn’s series, Uncommon Enemies, still has Iniquus crews providing the adventure, but features other members of the Strike Force that Sobado assisted in the Lynx series.
Read my review of “Relic” here.
She writes urban fantasy as Fiona Angelica Quinn for her Elemental Witches Series and just for fun, she writes the Badge Bunny Booze Mystery Collection with her dear friend, Tina Glasneck.
Quinn is rooted in the Old Dominion where she lives with her husband and children. There, she pops chocolates (a LOT of chocolate), devours books, and taps continuously on her laptop with Little Bear (the beloved family dog) sleeping near her feet.
I asked Fiona what part of her day is her chosen time for writing. Her response:
“That’s an interesting question. Writing for me is much more than sitting down and tapping at the keyboard. In my mind, I am constantly writing. Everything I see and do; every person I meet; every conversation I overhear; it’s all fodder that I’m collecting. It’s all possibilities that I churn. My busy brain is constantly telling me stories. I’m involved in the writing process always. As to the tapping? I sit down in the morning, and I’m finished after I’ve composed two-thousand good words. Some days that’s very easy. Some days, I’m sitting there well into the evening working things out. I try to write every day once my research and outlining are done. I don’t like to take a break mid-project.”
Fiona’s favorite place to work is a small office at the back of the house. It’s quiet and private. When she’s editing, she prefers to be on her back porch amongst the trees. That’s when she’s biting her nails, hoping that she’s creating a wonderful reading experience. Nature keeps her company.
How does Quinn come up with her characters? “I usually know someone that reminds me of the basic character and that’s where I start. As I write and learn more about the character, the real person takes a step back. Through the story, I get to know my characters, what motivates them, how they respond to different situations, what makes them tick. I love this part of the writing process. It’s like meeting someone and then getting to know them as we interact.”
I asked Fiona why she decided upon paranormal as a genre in which to work.
“The characters in my suspense thrillers have backgrounds that put them in life-threatening situations. In my time as a counselor working with clients with PTSD, and in my experience with others, I’ve found that people who live lives on the razor’s edge, develop their sixth sense. In many of my novels I like to use this to enhance the storyline, giving me a new place to explore the human experience.”
Fiona Quinn has a number of activities she enjoys when not tapping away on the latest story. Her blog http://thrillwriting.blogspot.com/ has been super popular because of its interviews with experts in various fields of research, and her own personal forays that tie in to the action in many of her books. She chats about her experiences working with:
- Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) part of FEMA
- Medical Reserve Corps for Counseling (part of Virginia Department of Emergency Management)
- Search and Rescue also part of VDEM
This involvement out in the field lends authenticity to the drama in all her series. If she lives it, the activity will most likely wind up on the printed page.
I’m delighted to say that Quinn has also guest-posted twice on www.kerriansnotebook.com as Visiting Detective Lexi Sobado.
Quinn’s book, Thorn, takes place in Toulouse and Paris, France, both places she lived during her college days. One of the recipes she found wonderful was TART TANTIN – think of it as a kind of apple pie, but so much more. Here is her quick and easy version.
Fiona Quinn’s TART TARTIN
1 cup sugar
9 gala apples peeled and sliced, sprinkled with lemon juice
1 prepared pie crust.
½ stick of salted butter.
STEP ONE – make the caramel
Pour a half cup of sugar into a non-stick pan over a medium heat. You can sprinkle some lemon juice over it if you like. Just let it sit and melt. As the sugar liquifies, watch it carefully as it can scorch quickly. Once it’s golden brown, quickly pour it into a pie pan. Rotate the pie pan to cover it with your caramel. This is a very quick move as the caramel will cool/harden if you delay.
STEP TWO – the apples
Peel and slice about 9 Gala apples and arrange them in the pan on top of the caramel in concentric circles. Cover lightly with aluminum foil and put this in the oven 425 degrees F. for about 25 minutes. The apples should be soft. Remove from oven. Slice the chilled butter and spread it over the apples. Cover with a round of prepared pie crust, return to oven and bake until golden, about 10-15 minutes.
STEP THREE – finish
Remove from oven. Pan will be very hot. Carefully turn upside down onto a serving dish so the crust is at the bottom, then the apples and the caramel is running over the top (similar to a flan)
Serve with ice cream (praline ice cream is yummy, so is rum raisin, or go with vanilla if you prefer) and enjoy!
I just downloaded “Thorn” and bestselling “Cold Red” and can’t wait to read them!
Please visit Fiona Quinn at www.fionaquinnbooks.com for more information about her series and links to the latest books.