Today's special guest is romantic suspense author Mimi Barbour. She's started a new series and is here to tell us about the first book, Special Agent Francesca. It sounds like a lot of fun.
Mimi Barbour - author of five series - The Vicarage Bench, Angels with Attitudes, Vegas, Elvis, and the sizzling new Undercover FBI Series (hot romance with fast-paced suspense) lives on the beautiful east coast of Vancouver Island and writes romance with tongue-in-cheek and a mad glint in her eye. She’s been known to say that it's the characters she creates that make writing so much fun.
Welcome, Mimi. Please tell us about your current release.
I decided to write my newest release, Special Agent Francesca, when I was working on the previous, romantic suspense Vegas series. Those books were my first attempt in the genre. I found I had a knack for humorous female detectives and characters that moved from conflict to conflict. Getting them into desperate situations and giving them harrowing love relationships seemed to give meaning to my days. Once my sassy heroine’s stories were over in that set, I needed another like a dieter needs a snack. So… meet Francesca!! She’s a super replacement!!
What inspired you to write this book?
In the Vegas Series, there’s a character called Detective John Hampton (nicknamed Ham) who won my heart. John’s an Irish fellow with a personality that makes you wish he was your next door neighbour. You know, that secondary character who makes everyone else look good. For some reason I just had to give him his own storyline and so I decided he should be blessed with the appearance of a grown daughter he never knew existed. Enter – Francesca!
Excerpt – first meet!
Sean Collins shared the seat kitty-corner in the four-booth set-up. He’d worked late trying to get a patient through a crisis and had gotten as far as the steak house, before hunger grabbed hold and dragged his sorry ass inside. Exhaustion had left his eyes gritty and his brain twisted like a pretzel, but two male voices still got through. Listening to a man unloading on his buddy about a mistaken one-night stand had his attention pretty darn quick.
When the friend’s advice matched with his own ideals of truthfulness between a husband and his wife, he found himself nodding. He didn’t agree with the jerk’s reasoning about being a player but he his basic counsel of honesty was sound.
Not that he was married; hadn’t found a woman he could trust further than he could throw her. What was it with the females in the state of Nevada? Did they all have to get caught up in the hype of the fun city?
Suddenly, a female voice entered his awareness. The husky note in the slightly slurred words was pleasing and he concentrated on what she was saying.
“Don’t listen to your friend. Not only is he an asshole, he’s full of shit. If you love your wife, then don’t tell her—ever.”
What the hell?
The screwball continued in the same vein, proceeding to give unwanted advice to a man who was in a fragile state and probably willing to listen to anything that would get him off the hot seat.
Sean came close to standing up and cutting her off. If he weren’t so tired, he’d have given her a piece of advice. Mind your own business! As a psychologist and profiler who often worked with the cops and saw every kind of misfit out there, he knew she’d most likely wrecked this man’s life. In her final statement, she let the poor guy have it with both barrels.
“In my way of thinking, being the best husband and father you can be will go some ways to making up for being the miserable, lyin’, cheating prick that you are.” Sean heard the noise of a chair being knocked over, a grunted swearword and light footsteps heading toward the door.
Something beyond his power to control brought him to his feet. The redheaded advice-giver stopped and their eyes caught for as long as it took her to stumble. Hers were pure liquid heat, the bluest blue he’d ever seen. Her glance slid past him as she straightened the chair and carefully manoeuvered her way to the door. The light over the entrance caught the coppery-gold highlights in the mane of loose hair flowing every which way over her shoulders and down her slight back. She bumped into the doorframe on her way out, stopped, re-aligned herself and then the nut-job was gone.
Stunned, he slid back down into his booth and the truth hit him. Hell, in Las Vegas there was every kind of mental disorder, maladjusted behavior, psychosis, neurosis and insanity a person could imagine, but some just blew the others right out of the murky pool. That stunning deranged wacko, whose fabulous long legs might get a man to do almost anything in order to get his hands on them, had just ended his otherwise shitty day perfectly. What a fucking shame!
What exciting story are you working on next?
I’ve been asked to join with a group of authors in a box set called Ten Brides for Ten Heroes. We’ll be releasing the collection in late June. Since I needed to write Book #2 for the Elvis Series (turning his songs into romance stories), and a contest I held for the next title determined that Love Me Tender would be the name. This is the book that’s keeping me awake nights, plotting.
It’s about Anne, a young French girl from Paris who’s an exchange student in Texas. She gets into a load of trouble while she’s there. Falls in love with Clint, the teasing, dreamy son on the ranch where she stays, gets pregnant and returns home to her father with a broken heart and a baby boy. The story starts when she’s invited back to Texas by Clint’s mother Rose, the woman who’d been like a mother to her, a sick woman whose days were numbered. She begs Anne to return to the ranch and stay with her during those last weeks, to help her pass on in peace. We know her desperate plea stems from her fears for her needy little granddaughter who’ll be destroyed by her death. But Anne’s worry is that she never admitted the name of her little boy’s father and now the secret must be revealed. How will the bitter, hardened, now-divorced rancher deal with this bombshell?
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The day someone asked me what I did and without thinking, I answered, “I write books.” They said,” You’re an author?” And I replied, “Ahh, yeah, I guess I am!”
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write?
Today, to be a successful Indie author, one needs to have a lot of inventory. The readers always want more. I work full time and many days, I work overtime. Some friends have asked me why I call it work. I laugh—if they only knew? I’ve never worked so hard in my life. The writing is what I get as a reward for doing everything else: the formatting, blogging, social media, e-mails and lots of promoting. It’s endless.
And how do you find time to write?
That’s easy. First thing I do in the morning is write my 2,500 words. Like I said above, that’s the icing on the cake.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I get to play a game of spider solitaire every morning before I start. I tell myself it sharpens my brain. What can I say? I’m easy!
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Seriously – I thought being grown up would mean all kinds of good things.
For example – I could stay up as late as I wanted. That I do!
I could buy whatever took my fancy. Sheesh! Who has time to shop?
I could have sundaes when we went to Dairy Queen like my parents used to rather than the baby cones we were given. Goes to show you how crazy the world is. Today, I always have baby cones – seems I got a taste for them I guess. LOL
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
The favorite book I’ve written is Together for Christmas. I fell in love with the hero Marcus. He’s just such a cranky sweetheart.
My favorite blog post is called “A True Story” was the very first one I wrote and was why I called my blog Believe. http://bit.ly/1kHnrc8
My favorite marketing site is BookBub. It’s because on Dec 8, 2013 I put my Christmas book, Loveable Christmas Angel as a free promotion and it hit #1 on Amazon Free and #1 in the categories of Angels and Paranormal Romance. First time I’ve ever been #1 in anything and I don’t believe I’ll ever hit the ceiling quite so hard again or fly for so long.
Thanks for stopping by, Mimi! Your passion for your characters and stories jumps off the screen. This interview was so much fun!