Mimi Barbour lives on the beautiful west coast on Vancouver Island and writes her paranormal romances with tongue in cheek, and a mad glint in her eye. Asked why she prefers paranormal, she answers - chuckling.
“Because it’s fun! Imagination can be a lot more interesting than what happens in real life to so-called normal people. I love my characters, and my goal is to make the readers love them also. To care about what happens to them while the story unfolds. If I can steal my booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care till the ending, then I’ve done my job.”
Thanks for being here, Mimi
It’s my pleasure, Kelly. I have sister-in-law called Kelly. She’s a sweetheart!
Since I’ve become an author, names have taken on more importance to me. As a reader, I never realized how invested I’d feel with a heroine whose name rang a bell. If it were a favourite name, maybe from a favourite person, I’d seem to care more about following her story and cheering her on. If it was a name I didn’t like, or that held bad memories for me, it would sometimes remind me of that person, and I’d find myself caring a whole lot less. Goofy, eh?
#1- Tell us a little about yourself outside of your writing career…
Before I actually became serious about being an author, I worked mostly in offices. Did my stint as a stay-at-home mom. Travelled to different countries with my husband, whose career took us to places like the Yukon, Chile, and Guinea in West Africa. And all that time I wrote—mostly children’s stories. Finally, I took a couple of years of creative writing courses and even children’s literature correspondence classes. Had my first work published, a short story called ‘Run for Joy’ (available on my website) and the bug bit, infusing me with its juicy, sticky, beautiful venom. It was infectious – the feeling you get when you see your name in print. I wanted more. But I decided, maybe, I needed to try a genre that I spent many hours of my life reading. I’m a born again romantic from the top of my head to the bottom of my soul. I love happy endings…. they just make me so dog-gone—happy!
#2- Can you tell us a bit about your book, The Vicarage Bench?
My book is actually an anthology of three novellas called ‘She’s Me,’ ‘He’s Her’ and ‘We’re One’. (All those blasted pronouns! How hard was it to choose those titles?) Since I write time travel with a twist, those titles really do represent the stories within. Spirit travelling has always fascinated me, and one of my favourite TV shows, years ago, was Quantum Leap, whose star was constantly taking over other people’s bodies and, of course, dealing with their sticky situations.
A few years back, when I came across a contest called “Through the Garden Gate” put on by Wild Rose Press, I made up my mind. I could write a paranormal story where the protagonist goes back in time. Easy, right? Except I broke all their rules (not good at following those things) and put my heroine back in time, not in her own body, but to join with another in theirs. The antics leading from these plots are great fun to write. I guess Wild Rose decided they were fun to read also, because they offered to publish me separate from the contest. Once again, I saw my name in print. This time on the cover of an actual book. That big old bug came back and bit me in the backside once again. I’m hooked!
#3- How do you handle the negative reviews and critiques you receive?
You’ll be scoffing and saying “Yeah! Right!” But…so far, (fingers, hands, legs and eyes are crossed) I haven’t had a negative review.
Critique’s are another thing altogether. They happen before the book gets published, and I consider them messages from the gods – warnings to shape up or at least to double-check whatever has been pointed out. Nine times out of ten, the critiquer is correct and I hadn’t seen the bees for the bushes. I change, fix, re-do and thank those angels for giving me the heads-up so that my work can go out as clean as possible. (My big hate is grammar. Like everyone whose memories from high school deal with crushes, friends. parties and music, I remember squat about passive verbs, rules for commas and all those blasted perfect or progressive tenses. Thank God for workshops!)
#4- Okay, so due to your bio we know why you love to write paranormals, but any plans to write in another subgenre of romance?
I’ve wanted to write a Harlequin for years. When I first started in the romance genre, I decided that I needed to see my name on one of their covers. I’ve read them forever, started when I was about eleven years old, and what could be sweeter than to write one. So, while working on the Vicarage Bench series, I’m also plotting away at an idea for their Super Romance line. Will send along the first three chapters, wrapped in prayers, within the next few weeks.
Like many authors, I have that first manuscript printed out and stuck in the bowels of my closet, nestled behind hidden shoes. Also, the second novel was festering in a dead file on my computer up until a few months ago. It started calling for resurrection and so I’ve begun to re-work the story and re-named it ‘Endless Possibilities’. I’m thinking to send it out soon to one of the e-publishers such as The Wild Rose Press or maybe Carina Press. I loved writing that story and those characters deserve their chance.
#5- What has your experience been like working with different editors?
I’ve worked with only one so far, Nan Swanson, and she is the best. Wild Rose Press won the best publisher title on the Editors and Preditors site for the last couple of years, and I can tell you why. Their people are wonderful. The editors want to see you succeed and are always available – no waiting to hear back – no getting the run-around. On their loop, it’s pretty well unanimous. The authors are happy, and since it’s the editors who they deal directly with, I’m thinking I know why.
#6- Are there any upcoming releases we would like to know about, and could you give us your web site so readers can check it out?
I’m happy to share my great news I received a few days ago. My fourth in the series called ‘Together Again’ has now been contracted and will be published—hopefully within the year. As soon as I know, I’ll put the release date in my newsletter. So, please do visit me at my website http://www.mimibarbour.com/news.html
The back blurb for the new release reads:
Two people existing inside one body can be humorous, frustrating, and lifts the term Soul Mates to a whole new level!
Traveling forward in time, Dani Howard’s spirit becomes magically united with reporter, Troy Brennan. He’s everything a girl could want in a man, and during their time together, she becomes smitten. Though she must return to her own body, she gains his promise to come to her birthday party in seven days time where they will meet in person and continue their romance.
Troy can’t believe he’s fallen for a sixteen-year-old spirit invader. But he’s so infatuated that when renowned author, beautiful Ellie Ward, comes on to him, as attractive as he finds her, he’s honor bound to stay true to his young love—or is he?
#7- This about concludes it. Thank you again for joining us. Is there anything else you would like to share?
Thank you for inviting me to natter on about myself, and I’d like to take the opportunity to invite all the readers to come and visit my website at http://www.mimibarbour.com/ While you’re there, please sign up for my newsletter, which means you’ll also be automatically entered into our contests with a chance to win a free copy of one of my books and a $15 gift certificate for Wild Rose Press. You’ll also find a few of my short stories for you to enjoy, and note, my e-mail address is on the contact page. I’m always delighted to hear from readers, so please drop me a line - anytime. Take care…