Today in the library, I have a very special guest; fellow Victorianist and historical fiction author, Mimi Matthews. I have been following Mimi’s super blog posts for ages and always been impressed by her knowledge of the Victorian era. Having read two of her novels (which I can highly recommend), I am looking forward to the release of her newest book on Victorian beauty and fashion in July. Her novel, The Lost Letter is on special promotion at the moment (a cracking read); see details and link below.
You are very welcome, Mimi, please introduce yourself:
I’m an author of both historical non-fiction and historical romance. My books include The Pug Who Bit Napoleon, The Lost Letter, and The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter.
Did you read much as a child? Are you an avid reader now? Do you prefer books in your own genre or are you happy to explore others?
I was a total bookworm as a child. I read everything available—literally everything—and still do. My tastes are pretty broad. I love historical romance and historical non-fiction, of course, but I also really enjoy epic fantasy, horror, and classic literature. Suffice to say, if it’s well written, I’ll read it.
Are you self-published or traditionally published?
I’m a hybrid author, which means that some of my books are traditionally published and some are published as an indie author.
Which genre do you write in and why?
I write both historical non-fiction and historical romance. Why? I simply love the 19th century. I’ve been researching and writing about it for quite a few years. There’s nothing I enjoy more than discovering some quirky bit of Victorian history.
Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
So many authors! Jane Austen, the Brontë’s, Elizabeth Gaskell, Georgette Heyer, Amanda Quick. I’ve also been lucky to have lots of positive influences on my writing in regular life—from my first literary agent to college and law professors. The most consistent influence has, of course, been my mom. She’s always been encouraging, even when I was very young and wouldn’t let her read my novels.
Has your country of origin/culture influenced your writing?
I’m an American—or, more specifically, a Californian—but I don’t think it’s had much influence on my writing. My non-fiction books deal primarily with 19th century history and my novels are set in Victorian England. It’s all very different from where I live in real life!
What part of the writing process do you find most difficult? How do you overcome it?
It’s often really hard for me to make time to write, especially during times of stress. I don’t usually prioritize my writing unless I have a deadline. Having a firm deadline really helps me to stay on track.
Do you have a favourite time of day to write?
Mid-morning to mid-afternoon is my most productive time. But if I’m inspired, I’ll write whenever I can.
What is the best thing about being an author? And the flipside – what is the worst?
For me, the solitude is both the best thing and the worst thing. I really like being alone and quiet so I can focus on my work, but too much solitude can be a little depressing.
Is social media an essential chore or something you enjoy? Which forum do you prefer?
I was never on social media until my literary agent said I had to join in order to establish an “author platform.” Initially, I really resented it. Now, however, there are definitely parts I enjoy. Twitter is my favorite, but Facebook is better for sharing images from my research or posting news about my books.
If you weren’t an author, what would you be up to?
I’m a lawyer in real life, so I’d probably just continue doing that.
It’s the last day and the earth is facing oblivion – what book would you read?
Oh gosh. Probably The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The final lines are pure poetry. Then again, if the earth was facing oblivion, I’m not sure I’d be in much of a reading mood…
Please tell us what you are working on at the moment:
My next non-fiction book A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty is coming out in July Click here to pre-order.
My next Victorian romance The Matrimonial Advertisement is coming out in September. Click here to pre-order.
In addition, Tantor Media will be releasing the audiobook version of my Victorian romance The Lost Letter later this month. To celebrate, The Lost Letter ebook is on sale for 99p/99¢ from June 4-10. Click here.
If you would like to know more about Mimi and her work, please check out her links below: