Please enjoy this video interview with author Mimi Barbour – our two dogs, Lucy and Charli do the ‘talking’. Light-hearted and informative, the interview provides a cheerful insight into an author’s life.
If you want to find out more about Mimi Barbour’s work, or subscribe to her newsletter, and most definitely purchase her superb novels, then please use the following links:
Do pour a cup of tea, I have the cakes. We can have a nice chat together.
Due to illness over the past eighteen months, I have not been able to post my usual articles and images. Happily, I am now recovering and the energy is flowing back again.
The illnesses which thankfully are not the lethal kind, but nevertheless impeded any interesting activity on the blog.
I will, however, have some interesting news on these three ailments which I think will be able to help others suffering from the same debilitating experiences.
Actually, two ailments are really interesting which led me to explore a whole new diet and a loss of two stone in weight which I managed to accumulate over the years. I was not obese but at 5ft. 2inches or let’s say 63 kilos, I had to take the next size up from what was once my normal size, to be able to zip up a dress or pull on a pair of leggings and another size up to hide those nasty little tyres!! Like any other lady, I like a sleek fit but that was proving impossible. I dislike cardigans or jackets to cover dresses or jeans. But, however much one can find some delightful cover-ups, they are still that, coverups. So what’s the point of buying a gorgeous outfit only to hide it with a cardigan!!
I wouldn’t recommend the illnesses but definitely, the diet is really healthy and a delightful way of losing the odd pounds. Mind you, you can say goodbye to fudge covered in chocolate and mouthwatering double cream raspberry ripple ice cream, lemon meringue pies, etc., My mouth is watering writing this so although the new diet is exciting I would like to indulge now and then, but it just isn’t possible, not unless I want another endoscopy, you know – the operation where they push tubes down your throat that wind down into y our stomach and stretch your esophagus – and no anesthetic!!! Well they do offer a sedative so no pain is involved just my own cowardly terror. I cannot imagine why some people refuse to have sedation. I wanted – begged for a general anesthetic but they refused and I must say, the sedative did work. But I would suggest you have the throat spray as well which freezes the throat so you don’t feel anything going down your throat prior to your gut. I have to say this just in case someone just has the sedation and feels something, then you might come back and tell me off. So yes you’ve guessed it, GERD is involved but for some of us with that condition, other ailments jump on the wagon.
Let me explain. I was thoroughly enjoying life, the children had grown and flown the nest so I was free to indulge in my passions, writing, painting, blogging and even selling books, quite a lot actually. But then one sunny day I opened a tin of salmon. One of my favorite foods to have alongside a fresh green salad with beetroot. I couldn’t resist having a forkful. Within seconds, I felt this lump in my throat. Well, it was lodged in the chest area. I didn’t think anything of it, after all, I was having trouble swallowing tablets as well. But to my annoyance, this bolus like lump wouldn’t shift. I ran around the garden literally but still couldn’t budge it. So I had to forcibly get it up and I won’t go into that. Anyhow this happened on another three occasions when I was eating,
Hubby said I should go to the doctors but I wouldn’t hear of it. It was just a glitch, nothing to worry about. A week later I had to attend my local surgery for results of a blood test. As the nurse was finishing typing up my notes I said, ‘Umm, I hope you can help me, it’s nothing really, but I have this lump in my chest whenever I eat.
The nurse swiveled round to me, a vacuous smile on her face and said. ‘I’ll just ring doctor.’
I sat back. ‘Oh – but it’s nothing really.l’
She smiled kindly and phoned through. To cut a long story short within days I was in the hospital. I would have been in before that but it was a weekend. So Monday morning I was on the operating table having an endoscopy.
Oh my God. I had a dreadful two days waiting for this blessed procedure, by which time my blood pressure rocketed even though I tried meditation, breathing exercises the lot, but it went even higher.
Before the operation, the surgeon kindly asked me why was I so afraid? To which I replied, ‘well I can’t stand the thought of having things down my throat, in fact, it’s one of my worst nightmares.’
He replied ‘But you won’t feel it.’
I replied, ‘I asked for an anesthetic and was told I could only have sedation.’
He smiled and said. ‘You won’t feel a thing. Really.’ he took my hand gently. ‘Really, I promise.’
I looked down. ‘It’s not that so much it’s something else as well.’
He smiled ‘Tell me.’
I said, ‘I might punch you.’
He sat back, ‘Why?’
‘Well because I’ll see those tubes coming towards me and I’ll just start punching. I really don’t want to but it’s a kind of natural instinct you know? My grandfather was the boxing champion – knocked out the reigning champion during the war.’
Seriously, I said that I’m not kidding.
The surgeon laughed, ‘I promise I shall be putting you out. It’s one of those drugs where you forget the instant I do something.’
I frowned. ‘I have an excellent memory. What if I remember and I start swinging.?”
He creased up laughing, ‘I promise you, you won’t.’
I still didn’t believe him, but I see I’ve written enough for today. I don’t know how much I can write in one on these blogs. So I shall tell you the rest next time.
Have a lovely day folks.
I will be putting on my new book images and details, as well tomorrow or the next day.
Exciting news, Dani is now in the final stages of presenting her new book on Amazon and elsewhere.
Aye, I am a Fairy.
So good to meet you. What a fantastic debut. Now for an exciting chat. I really enjoyed your newest books, the full length novel, ‘Naked in the Winter Wind
and the novella, Ha’penny Jenny.
Could you tell us a know more about you and your work – what makes your work tick for you. I started writing to, ahem, silence or at least organize, the voices in my head. The overwhelming idea I had to tame was what would happen to me if I ‘fell’ into a popular novel, in this case, one like the popular time travel series, ‘Outlander.’ I wouldn’t want to be in this old lady body, so a hearty dose of Fountain of Youth water was in order. There are a few other twists in the storyline, including a case of amnesia. I also wanted to write books that I’d like to read, lots of love and action, but also silly at times. I think I’ve accomplished that. I’ve been told in reviews that the books are unique in style and perspective and I find that flattering.
At what age did you realize you were a writer? I started writing my first novel when I was ten. My grandmother gave me great advice: write what you know, your experiences, your emotions. I’ve never time travelled, but there are many other ‘personal’ experiences in my stories. The Haviland method of time travel relies on a strong magnetic field. I actually experienced the upset tummy my characters felt when I visited The House of Mystery at the Oregon Vortex, a high intensity magnetic field zone, in the Pacific Northwest.
Do you research for your stories? I love doing research! When I started writing ‘The Fairies Saga,’ I placed the first episode four years into the future. At that time, I couldn’t find solar-powered cell phones. I had, and still have, faith in the rapid rise of technology and figured that by 2012, they’d be available. They were. Before I published this story, ‘Naked in the Winter Wind,’ I went to Greensboro, North Carolina, the site where the story takes place. I was actually in the same places, at the same times, as my fictional characters. If I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t have experienced the unusual weather—Superstorm Sandy, the crazy road system that bisected graveyards, and the ghosts that tickled my skin as I walked over the grounds at the Gilford Courthouse Museum. This past January, I also used my story writing as an excuse to travel to Sydney, Australia. ‘Fairies Down Under’ is about a time traveller on The First Fleet. I wanted to be at ‘Botany Bay’ at the same time of year as the first convicts, to sail on a tall ship (The James Craig), and see, smell, and touch the native flora and fauna.
Where did you do your research? Besides travelling to the location of my stories, I research on the internet and also have an extensive personal library. I probably own more books on The First Fleet than any other Alaskan, maybe even any other American!
Do you have a private space to write? My favourite spot to write is in the living room, seated in my recliner, my laptop wedged in between my two small dogs. We don’t have a problem until the cat decides he wants lap space, too. Hubba tends to lie on the edge of the keyboard, restricting my access. I don’t type very fast with only one hand—my other is needed to nudge him out of the way—but he usually tires of sharing space and soon finds another spot to nap.
How long do you write each day? I try to write at least two or three hours a day, more on the weekends. I’m hoping to retire from my ‘day job’ in a few months, so should have more time to spend writing, promoting, and eventually, creating audio books.
Do you write to music? I prefer silence. If I’m alone, that’s not a problem. If my husband decides he wants to watch a movie, I either watch it with him or put on headphones. I like soundtrack music, movie scores. My two favourites are ‘Inception’ and ‘The Legend of Hell’s Gate.’ I find cello music soothing. Edgar Meyer and Joshua Bell have created some great works, too, and they’re high on my short list of composers.
Do you get emotional writing – feel for your characters? Even live them? Absolutely! I become the person I am writing about, and am able to transfer his/her facial expressions and physical movements, or anything else, because I am so aligned with him/her.
What do you have with you when you write? Coffee, sweets, etc.? I usually only drink water and don’t like to eat at the keyboard. I do take breaks for eating and walking the dogs, though. Sometimes, while working, the words surge out, other times, they’re stifled. A few calories and fresh air usually help the flow return.
Can you share what you are presently writing or hope to write? ‘Aye, I am a Fairy’ is waiting for the proof copy to arrive. After a few ‘proofers’ and I go through it again, it will be up on Kindle, ready for purchase. It’s the follow up story of how the main character’s daughter, stuck in the 21st century, reconnects with her rejuvenated mother, who is back in 1781 North Carolina, and the good-looking man who helps her get there.
How many books have you published? ‘The Fairies Saga,’ series has really grown—there are four books in the series now, the fifth is due in a month or so, and I’m well into writing the sixth. I wrote them in order, but didn’t publish them that way. The first two and a half books were too rough to publish ‘way back then.’ By the time I got to ‘Dances Naked’ and ‘The Great Big Fairy,’ books three and four, I had hit my stride. I went through the earlier books, cleaned up the grammar, and in many places, replaced the term ‘cell phone’ with ‘smartphone.’ In 2009, smartphone wasn’t even a word, much less the multifunctional device it has become. The books can be read in any order, but many people insist on reading them in chronological order. The gap will be filled when ‘Aye, I am a Fairy’ is published next month.
Do you have aspirations to write in other genres as well? Right now, my fictional friends and family—the time travelling ‘fairies’—are my passion. There are so many of characters, and all have a story, or six, in them. That’s where the novellas come in. A few have already been written and are ready to be released when I feel the time is right. ‘Ha’penny Jenny’ was the first of those novellas. I call it book one and a half in the series. Jenny isn’t a time traveller, but others in her family are. Her personal story didn’t ‘fit’ in the action flow of the other books, but I thought it was good enough to share. And, because it is a novella, and the other stories are rather long, I thought it would also be a good way to introduce my style of writing to a new audience.
How does your family feel about the life of the writer as it can get kind of solitary at times? My youngest daughter just graduated from high school, got her own apartment, and is starting her training as a massage therapist/healer. That leaves just my husband, the critters, and myself at home. My husband loves that I have such a great devotion to writing. He can always tell if I haven’t had, or taken, the opportunity to write. He says I get grumpy. “Go write something,” he’ll tell me. And he’s right; I do feel better when I create. Of course, I think my five daughters have mixed feelings about it. Mom writing lusty novels…hmm. They’re proud of my success, but feel ‘awkward’ about reading some of the more intimate passages. My granddaughters are still too young to read the books, but are proud and brag, “My nana wrote those books.”
This has been so exciting. I am sure your books will be in great demand.
Coming Soon from Dani:
Aye, I am a Fairy
Estimated release, September 4, 2014.
Lord James Melbourne’s life is in upheaval. His pending divorce has already ruined his name, and it looks as if it will also leave him penniless. Taking nothing but the bundle of ancient letters and an old cigarette pack full of precious jewels entrusted to him by his absent grandfather, he heads to Heathrow Airport. Final destination: Greensboro, North Carolina. He’ll make a fresh start in America, buy the mill offered by the mysterious Bibb Stephens, and do his best to forget the past and the thieving Clotilde.
He’s greeted at the Greensboro Airport by two very different women, a poisoning, and a dilemma. Who are these women, and why are they in his life?
Bad guys, a fire bombing, a 230-year-old video on a solar-powered smartphone, and a few other surprises await the sharp, yet wary man with a great big secret. What will lovely Leah do when she finds out the truth about him?