Interview with Mimi Foster
Recently I had the honor of being involved with the wonderful group at SexyBooksBlog on a week-long blog tour for Thunder Struck and Thunder Storm. I had a lot of fun doing it. Here’s a copy of the interview I did with them.
What triggered the story behind your latest release?
Jeni and Miles were secondary characters in Book 2 of the Thunder on the Mountain Series, Thunder Struck. I was so enamored with both of them ~ loved her aggressiveness, loved his heart (and beauty) and wanted them to be together
Real place ~ almost everything in the book is based on a real place except the Amber Rose and Madeline Manor. I have a close association with a B&B in Colorado Springs and I moved it to Nederland, put it on the side of a hill overlooking Barker Reservoir, and made it real
What prompted you to start writing?
In my other life, I’m a Realtor. I was blogging regularly and everyone said – you should write a book. My elderly mother lived with us and hated for me to leave the house, so instead of writing about real estate, I started writing happily ever after steamy romance novels, because it’s what I like to read to escape. Nederland is a place I love, I made the character in the first book a Realtor, and here we are . . .
Where do your ideas come from?
In Book 1, Thunder Snow, I started with the ending. There’s a cute ending I wanted so I worked the book backwards. I have a daughter who works in a high-powered profession in NYC. When I’d visit her, I’d think of how she might respond to being transplanted to a tiny town of 1500 people in the middle of nowhere. The love of a good man can change a lot of ideas, and Books 2 and 3 came about because they were NY friends and they both visited Colorado and got ‘hooked’
Do you ever get writer’s block?
Not really. Sometimes I don’t write when life is swirling and real estate is busy, or being the mom of five adult daughters and five grandbabies makes life a little more strained. Until a few months ago, I had my 93 year old mother living with us, and that could also be distracting. But if I find that I don’t know what to write about, I skip ahead and write a scene I want to do and am excited to do and know exactly what I’m going to write about, and then the scene that I was stuck on seems to write itself when I go back because now I know exactly where I’m going with it.
Who designed your covers? Is it an important part in the buying process?
Kim Killion of The Killion Group, Inc. is the designer, and I think it’s a huge part of the buying process. I see covers sometimes and I wonder who designed them, and I often won’t even read the back cover story because I dislike the cover so much. I imagine other people are the same way.
What advice would you give your younger self?
JOURNAL! I’ve had an amazing life – so many fun and interesting people and places. There’s SO much of it I don’t remember, or don’t remember the details, and so much of it would make fodder for a book. And I would have started writing earlier in life, but everything in its own time, I guess.
How did you come up with your title?
Thundersnow was a bizarre phenomenon I first experienced in Nederland. I made it part of the story and obviously ended up making it the title. When Book 2 was done and I was brainstorming with a friend on what the title should be, my husband walked by and said, “Thunder Struck.” The Thunder on the Mountain series was born
If you had it to do again, would you change anything in your book?
The only thing I can think of is I would have made the few changes that I did before I heavily advertised Book 1 (Thunder Snow). I took out some of the angst, I made the heroine just a little stronger and the hero not quite so abrupt, and I changed the language that Sam spoke. As reviews started coming in for that, those were the (legitimate) complaints and were good observations. Unfortunately, there were over 90,000 downloads before those changes happened, and I’ve been shocked at how nasty some people can be when they review a book. So, I’m happy with how all the books are now, and I wouldn’t go back and change them, I will just keep trying to make the next ones better by the things I learn from these. I learned after making some changes to Book 1 that it’s much better to just keep going and not worry about the ones that are already published.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
DON’T EDIT the first draft. Get your ideas down – whether it be in outline or just the storyline, and don’t go back to find the right words on the first draft. Just write and write and write. You’ll find the errors of the storyline when you do that, and you’re going to go back and perfect the sentence structure and the descriptions when you start editing. It will go SO MUCH FASTER if you just let the words flow from your fingers in the first place. No matter what, you will change it a lot as you go through your story, so get the basics down, and then make it beautiful.
What do you want your tombstone to say?
One of my daughters wrote me a beautiful poem. One of the lines in it was, “She isn’t perfect, but she is.” So I’ve thought that would make a great heading for a tombstone ~ She wasn’t perfect, but she was
What does your family think of your writing?
My husband thinks it’s wonderful, my mom thought it was a ‘sweet pastime,’ and my five daughters love that I’m writing, but won’t read ‘those parts’ – they skip over them because – ewwww
Did you intend to write a series when you started?
Not really. I loved the setting. I loved the hero. And he had some guys that worked with him that were pretty cool. I loved a B&B that I work with a lot in my town, and I thought it would be fun to have the guys remodel a derelict B&B and make it look like mine. So that’s how the series came about – and all the characters became friends.
Are there occupational hazards to being a novelist?
Weight is the first thing that comes to mind. I sit all day (which I’ve never done before) and writing almost four books in a little over a year has taken its toll on my weight. I try hard to get up every 25 minutes and take a break, and now I’m on the ultimate search for a comfortable chair to sit in for long stretches of time because I tend to lean when I’m writing. And I love getting lost in another world and having to come back to reality.
Do you read reviews?
I have a dear friend who writes Young Adult novels. When I first started, I was shocked at how nasty people could be, and she said to me all the time – DO NOT READ YOUR REVIEWS! I tried for a long time not to read them, but the nastiest ones come on Goodreads – vicious, and I have to admit, I still read them.
What are your thoughts on good reviews?
It makes me happy when people love the characters I’ve created. I get the most precious letters from people who say that they are thinking of Jeni and Miles days/weeks later, and one woman told me that she kept missing Jeni and wanted to talk to her and remembered she wasn’t real, so went back and read the book. That’s pretty exciting for me. I can’t begin to say how much I appreciate people sharing when they’ve liked the books.
How do you react to bad ones?
On Books 2 and 3, there haven’t been many, but I try very hard to see the truth in what’s been said, and think that maybe they skimmed some parts and missed some vital thing that would explain what they didn’t like. On Book 1, I was shocked at how many people commented that obviously hadn’t even taken the time to read the book. Not only was there a consistency in how they misspelled Callie’s name, but they would say things like, “Jack was a jerk from the very beginning of the book until the last scene.” There is no way someone could have read it and said that, so it was surprising to me where their anger and vehemence came from when you’re talking about a sweet escapism romance novel. And I love the reviews from people who don’t see the big warning label before they buy the book that says ‘SEXUALLY EXPLICIT,’ and then they write about how their sensibilities are shocked at the graphic sex. My skin is not very thick to take such cruelty objectively, but I’m working on it.
I have two ~ completely different. One is NYC, love the hustle and bustle and the fact that you can walk everywhere and all of the sights and sounds and people and stories. The other is the peace and quiet of a Florida beach. I love the water (Nederland) and I love the peacefulness of waves hitting against the shore. Oh, yeah, and then there’s Santa Fe