BLOG BITE with…Fiona McKenzie w/a Fiona Kekic

Continuing our Little Gems Garnet Edition author feature, we introduce Fiona McKenzie who shares this little bit of advice about writing short stories. 

My Little Gems entry was my first attempt at a short story. So my advice  doesn’t count for much. I just figured the idea needed to be small without too many moving pieces. A little twist in the tail doesn’t hurt either.

Three words to describe me… Hubbie says I’m bossy and grating (in a good way apparently). I’ll go with stubborn, focused and fit.

At home I cook… as little as possible. My husband agrees this is for the best.

My worst habit is… I asked my husband to help me with this one and he’s still coming up with helpful suggestions a week later. Suffice to say, the answer is – numerous.

It’s a bit daggy but I love… my “Murder She Wrote” box set. A very young George Clooney even makes an appearance in one episode.

My first job was… as a sports reporter at a country radio station.

My day job is… as a freelance television writer – current affairs, documentaries, factuals etc.

Saving for… retirement in the little Caribbean nation of Belize (seriously!)

I procrastinate by … putting everything off until next Monday- even if it’s already Monday.

My secret skill that is no longer a secret… I write romance

Favourite author… I know this is a bit out there for a romance writer but I love Armistead Maupin. I’ve also just rediscovered the extraordinary Ken Follett.

Currently reading… I’ve just finished reading “The Art of Racing in the Rain”. It is just beautiful – I still tear up thinking about it. Read it now!

Plotter or pantser… I’m a plotter which is odd because I’m a pantser in every other aspect of my life.

If I was stranded on a desert island, the three things I would take are… my husband, my son and my Kindle. I wouldn’t mind packing a few bottle of good wines if there’s any room in my suitcase.

I write… anything but a finished ms! I started out writing chick lit but recently my interest has shifted to mainstream historicals. So I’m about to start all over – yet again. My desktop is littered with “Chapter Ones”. Did I describe myself as focused? – I’m clearly having myself on.

Great Blog Bite Fiona. Thank you for sharing and congratualstions on your Little Gems success.

Order for the 2011 Little Gems Garnet Antholy will close soon. It’s time to order. See RWA website for details.

Leave a comment


  1. First go at a short story and making the Anthology in a record year for entries. Well done Fiona!
    Lis–LG Manager

    • Fiona

       /  June 3, 2011

      Thanks Lis. I’m very excited that I’m going to be published – although maybe not as excited as my mother who has ordered enough anthologies to fill every stocking in Sydney this Christmas!

  2. Oooh I used to LOVE Murder She Wrote. One day I’ll get myself that boxed set 🙂
    Can’t wait to read your little gem – your interview was FAB!

    • Fiona

       /  June 3, 2011

      Hubby likes to call me Jessica when I’m on a writing binge. His sense of humour is an acquired taste.

  3. Looking forward to reading your story Fiona. What was your reply when your husband described you?! Is he still standing? 🙂

    • Fiona

       /  June 3, 2011

      Somehow he managed to make “bossy and grating” sound like a compliment. Perhaps I should get him selling real estate.

  4. Suzanne

     /  June 3, 2011

    Hi Fiona. Great post. Will be looking out for your story in Little Gems.

  5. Sue BT

     /  June 3, 2011

    Lovely post, Fiona. Can’t wait to read your short story. Love Ken Follet.

    • Fiona

       /  June 3, 2011

      Thanks Sue – what a fantastic mentor you turned out to be!

  6. I can relate, it’s best my husband cooks too. Congrats on your publication.

    • Fiona

       /  June 3, 2011

      Ah Lillian- But have you made your husband throw up? I once concocted an unfortunate pasta. The poor bloke took one bite and had to run to the bathroom, hand over his mouth!

  7. Yasmina Sault

     /  June 4, 2011

    Congratulations and happy writing Jessica!!
    Love sister in law X

  8. Melyssa

     /  July 24, 2011

    Congratulation Joan! It’s a surprise for me that you are also a writer. Seems, I am the latest person who know that. I’ll try to find the it in Indonesia. You’re incredible. Congratulation!

  9. Melyssa

     /  July 24, 2011

    Congratulation Joan! It’s a surprise for me that you are also a writer. Seems, I am the latest person who know that. I’ll try to find it in Indonesia. You’re incredible. Congratulation!


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