Title: A Tuch of Passion Boxed Set (Romance Bundle): Love Me Tender
Genre: Romance Anthologies
Synopsis: How could Anne return to Texas knowing that her son would be meeting a father who didn’t know he existed? And how could she go back to face the only man she’d ever truly loved?
Mimi Barbour, Author
CH: Today’s Guest Author is Mimi Barbour. Mimi is a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author. Welcome to my blog, Mimi
CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?
MB: Well, according to most of my reviews, I tell a good story. I know I work very hard to make sure that readers are attracted to my characters and care about their conflicts and what happens to them.
CH: First and foremost, you are extremely successful as a romance author. NY Times and USA Today Bestselling author who has sold over 500,000 copies of your books. What do you attribute your success to as an author?
MB: I can tell you indisputably that it takes a huge amount of hard work, long hours and total commitment. And…having a good imagination helps, too.
CH: Can you tell me a little about how Love Me Tender became a book?
MB: The book I submitted to the box collection is called Love Me Tender. I started writing my Elvis series when I heard a song and it wouldn’t stop playing in my head—She’s Not You. I adored Elvis and the words to this song began forming into a story. (And it’s breaking my heart, cause she’s not you.) I had to write it.
Then I decided to run a contest for the readers to choose the next song for me to turn into a book. They overwhelmingly chose Love Me Tender.
CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?
MB: Oh, man, that’s a hard one. When I know I need to start a new book and it has to be—say for my romantic suspense series called Undercover FBI—I start thinking of a core plot. Maybe hijacking young women for the sex trade (Special Agent Maximilian) or killers who’ve convinced the police that each murder they investigate is suicide (Special Agent Finnegan). Next, I try and decide what kind of people I want to spend the next 6 – 8 weeks with. Soon, I can almost see them in my head, interacting, falling in love and having to overcome constant conflicts—sometimes against each other and many times together.
CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?
MB: Many times I’ve taken real-life situations and interwoven them in my stories. It gives me a kick to see these funny and oft times ridiculous experiences end up re-happening to my characters. I use nicknames that belong to my family—for instance in Special Agent Finnegan: Fin refers to his impudent Irish father as the Joker. That was what my husband called his father for as long as he was alive. I fell so in love with Fin’s Joker that I must have entrenched a lot of that emotion in the man because he ended up being mentioned in most of the reviews—seems the readers fell for him, too.
CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?
MB: My favorite character “Marcus Chapman” is in my favorite book called Together for Christmas book #6 of the Vicarage Bench Series. This is a paranormal/spirit-travel novel where magic forces Abagail Taylor’s spirit into Marcus’s body so they have to deal with this craziness together and try to discover a way to separate. I was totally invested and having fun and I think the readers feel the same.
The hardest character to write…Truthfully, I never find it hard to write a character. I tried to think of one but honestly—I don’t seem to struggle over that part of the writing process. Now if you asked me about social media, you wouldn’t have enough time to read everything that’s gone wrong for me in that area. LOL!
CH: You write in a lot of box sets and you have written 5+ series. Is there a secret to writing so many books?
MB: In some of my series (the first one called the Vicarage Bench), I just couldn’t let go of Mrs. Doyle and Dr. Andrews. They were so interesting and hilarious that stories kept coming to me where they would be perfect. They show up in each of the 7 stand-alone stories.
Then I had a chance to be involved in a multi-author set with a woman I admired but she only wanted suspense. So…the Vegas Series began and I found my niche. Turns out, I love writing romances that are fast-paced and filled with conflicts that keep the readers turning the pages. I get that in a lot of my reviews and it tickles me when someone writes that she/he sat up half the night because they couldn’t put the book down.
I guess my secret is that I love what I do. I have to actually turn off my imagination because plots flood into my head and I’d never have enough time to write them all. For a writer, that’s a problem we all love to have.
CH: What is unique about writing with other authors in a box set?
MB: It’s a journey we all go on together and that makes it much more interesting— sharing jobs, each of us taking turns to promote a set we’re all very proud of and celebrating together when we hit pinnacles like the winning the Romance Reviews Readers’ Choice award. You can get pretty close to the others and it’s nice.
CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your romance writing style?
MB: I insist on making my characters human and not ridiculously way-out. I try and stay away from the clichés, like for instance when the heroine sees the hero’s pecs and muscles and they go on and on about how they are ravenous for his body. That just doesn’t ring true to me and so, I don’t go there. My heroines are a bit kick-ass but they always have kind hearts and that shines through. The heroes aren’t the he-man type but they are handsome in their own way, strong enough to be very protective and always with a sense of humor. I want people to fall for my heroes because they are sincerely nice guys under all their bluster. And in most cases, I like to stick humor in there whenever I can—if I can make the reader break out into an unexpected laugh, then I’m happy. The reviews say I do that also.
CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?
MB: Yes, that people aren’t always what you think. That villains have backstories and that two people alone cannot make a good story. They need secondary people so that they are true to life and not total fantasy.
CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?
MB: I love my fans. They are delightful and fill me with so much joy that when I’m writing, I’m often thinking of how they will like the plot or the conflict that’s just been written. I actually grin and even chuckle because I can see a reader getting a surprise and it delights me when I can make that happen. I tend to get wonderful reviews and almost all of my books have rating of 4.3 – 4.7 on Amazon.
CH: Do you have any advice for writers who would like to reach your volume of success?
MB: Yes. Don’t ever think it’s easy. Don’t ever think it’s cheap. Don’t ever try and copy another—be true to yourself. And Don’t stop…
CH: How did you begin writing romance? How long have you been writing romance books?
MB: In 2007, I started writing romance after I began reading a book I had just bought and it was so bad—whiny heroine and a boring hero—that I threw it across the room in frustration and thought—what a waste! Hell, I can write better than that.
Whoa – lightbulb moment!
Years before I had bought a book called How to Write Romances on a whim and I ran to the bookcase and in my mind I thought—if the book is there, it’s meant to be. It was there…
I spent the rest of the night with a yellow highlighter to color everything I knew I needed to research and absorb in order to write a love story.
In the next few weeks, I read through books like a crazed person and again highlighting words that I wouldn’t normally use in my day-to-day vocabulary. I wanted my work to come across as if an educated writer had created it. I ended up with a three-ring-binder about 3 inches thick of pages of those words I’d listed on a spreadsheet for the just-in-case moments when I needed to upgrade the words I had originally written. For me, it was a good experiment and while I was doing this, it taught me a lot of how words are used to spotlight emotion and sadness; and to drive the dialogue.
I finally wrote the first book and some years later when I reviewed it for revision; I was stunned that I hadn’t missed one of the newbie errors. I’d hit them all. Ha! That book was finally published last year. (I’m No Angel)
CH: Love and Valentine’s Day seem to go together. What inspires you to write happily ever after stories?
MB: That’s what romance is all about, happy ever after endings. I love knowing that my characters might go through hell to be together, but they’re worth the effort and being together at the end is what life is really all about.
CH: What’s your next writing project?
MB: I started another series (yeah, I know – #6) 🙂 called the Mob Tracker with the first book being released some time during this month—called Sweet Retaliation. I’m crazy about the heroine. In the beginning, this naïve librarian witnesses her twin brother being killed by the gang he belonged to. The police have no leads and so she decides she needs to go after each of the four people that were there that night and make sure they pay. I’ve had a blast changing her personality from the sweet role her father and brother forced her to live by to a woman that can hold her own in any fight. She toughens up, but that sweet core is still there and it makes her a delight to write about. Her hero is a cop, a man I wished I knew. He’s scrumptious.
CH: What was the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?
MB: When we hit the NY Times list with Summer Heat. I sure enjoyed the Baileys I drank that night.
CH: Can you tell my audience about your website?
MB: Love to. If you come to visit my website, please sign on to my newsletter. I usually only send them when I have great news—mostly a new release—and I truly appreciate every person who follows me.
CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?
MB: A Touch of Passion is sold on Amazon, Smashwords, Goodreads, Kindle, Nook, iTunes, Kobo and iReads.
CH: How to Find Mimi Barbour:
CH: Any closing remarks?
MB: Thank you for reading this far. I can’t believe I rambled on so much but it’s fun answering questions about things that make me remember the past. I want to thank Cheryl for letting me be a guest on her blog. It’s always wonderful to have the opportunity to meet new people. Sending Hugs, Mimi.
CH: Thank you so much, Mimi Barbour, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers. It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience. And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book. I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience.
Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet,Mimi Barbour and Cheryl Holloway..
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