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20 Questions with: Tessa McFionn

1. What do you love most about writing?

The hours. Okay, just kidding. I love creating new worlds that would terrify me and populate them with people I wish I knew. I love finding courage through my characters and without a doubt, I love ensuring that there’s a happily ever after.

2. What was your first job?

As most girls, I baby sat for neighbors and my older sister before I could drive. But my first real job was working for my dad’s company as a receptionist during the summer between my junior and senior year of high school. I manned the company switchboard and had plenty of time to practice my typing skills; yes, on a real typewriter.

3. What movie or TV show title best describes your week?

A Series of Unfortunate Events. LOL! Maybe not. I think something more like Wonder Woman. Especially now, with only days left of the school year.

4. What does success mean to you?

Wow. I have a rather simple version of success. My goal as an author is to have a complete stranger approach me and tell me they’ve read my book. To know that my words have impacted another person would mean the world to me.

5. What is something you love to do during the summer?

Sleep in! Lol. I know, it sounds simple, but I am a teacher by day. I really enjoy waking up whenever I chose and spend quality time with my muse. Oddly enough, even though I live in Southern California, I’m not a huge beach goer. Too crowded. I prefer to visit the beach at night for a bonfire with friends.

6. What is one book you’ve read, that changed your life?

Gosh, just one? There have been so many books and authors who have inspired me. I think the one book that changed my life would be Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein. It was the very first science fiction book I read by myself. I was in the fourth grade and was very ambitious. From that moment on, I delved into fantasy and anything other worldly.

7. If you didn’t have to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

Write. Dance. Clean my house! Get my car washed. Do all those things that I never seem to have time to do. But I do enjoy the time unplugged.

8. Do you believe Aliens exist?

Dear gods, I hope so. I’d honestly hate to think that we are the only sentient beings in this vast space.

9. What fictional place would you most like to go?

Ooh, tough call. Toss-up between Middle Earth and Hogwarts.

10. What takes up too much of your time?

Self-doubt and Facebook. I look online to get inspired then start questioning my words. So, I limit my time on social media and keep my mind focused on my own stories.

11. What are some small things that make your day better?

Laughing with my students and my colleagues. Hell, laughing with just about anyone. I love spending time with happy people.

12. What is something you love to do during the summer?

Same thing I said earlier ;)

13. Who’s your go to band or artist when you can’t decide on something to listen to?

Right now, my absolute go to is Lindsey Stirling. Normally, I have my iPod on random to keep things interesting, but I’ll keep skipping songs until I get to her.

14. What TV show or movie do you refuse to watch?

I’m usually pretty easy going, but I draw the line at reality TV in any way, shape, or form. I get so frustrated by the rampant ignorance and all it does is glorify bad behavior.

15. What’s your favorite genre of book or movie?

I’m just gonna say speculative fiction. Figure that covers all the bases. As long as it’s not set in the real real world, I’m all over it.

16. What was the best book or series that you’ve ever read?

I think the book series that really guided me to my own stories would be the Dark-Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. It was really the first time I realized that love and romance had a place in speculative fiction.

17. What do you do, to stay focused while writing?

Headphones. I plug in my music and vanish into my worlds. Since I don’t really have a private office, sometimes I do move my laptop outside onto the back patio and hide in plain sight.

18. What is your biggest pet peeve?

Mean people. I know that sounds pretty broad, but I really don’t see why people feel that being cruel to others is a good thing.

19. What is the most heartwarming thing you’ve ever seen?

Seeing people, namely my students, do the right thing when they don’t think anyone is watching them. It’s usually a simple gesture; giving someone back an expensive dropped item or standing up for someone smaller, or younger. When I see humans act humane, it does my little black heart good.

20. What is something that a ton of people are obsessed with but you just don’t get the point of?

Those filters on selfies that change your face or your voice. I hate taking selfies as it is, why would I want to make me look like a deer to boot?



Tessa McFionn is a very native Californian and has called Southern California home for most of her life, growing up in San Diego and attending college in Northern California and Orange County, only to return to San Diego to work as a teacher.

Insatiably curious and imaginative, she loves to learn and discover, making her wicked knowledge of trivial facts an unwelcomed guest at many Trivial Pursuit boards.

When not writing, she can be found at the movies or at Disneyland with her husband, as well as family, friends or anyone who wants to play at the Happiest Place on Earth.





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