Q&A With Mimi Matthews

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Q&A With Mimi Matthews

Today I have the pleasure of doing a Q&A with USA Today  Bestselling author Mimi Matthews.  Mimi is the author of the Parish Orphans of Devon series, The Belles of London series. Mimi is also the author of standalone Victorian romances “The Lost Letter,” “The Viscount and the Vicars Daughter,” “A Holiday By Gaslight ” as well as also writing two non-fiction novels. 


Q: So Mimi at what point in your life did you realize writing was your calling?


A: I don’t think I ever had a conscious thought about it. I started writing when I was very young, more for my own pleasure than with any view to publication. It was only after I wrote my first novel at the age of thirteen that I started having formal aspirations. An author friend of my mother’s encouraged me to revise the manuscript and submit it to a few literary agents. One of those agents eventually signed me to a contract. I was only eighteen years old at the time. It was all very exciting!


Q: What is your advice to anyone wanting to write historical romance books?


A: I’m incredibly reluctant to offer advice to aspiring authors. I find that, more often than not, well-meaning advice can work to discourage a new writer or silence their unique voice. There are too many gatekeepers in this business. The only thing I will say, without hesitation, is that all authors should read widely, both in the genre in which they write and outside of it. The best authors are also readers, people who love books and stories in all their forms.


Q: What were your favorite books you read this year so far?


A: I recently had the privilege of reading Kit McBride Gets a Wife by Amy Barry, Aphrodite and the Duke by J.J. McAvoy, The Bride of Blackfriar’s Lane by Michelle Griep, and an advance copy of What Child is This? by Bonnie MacBird (coming this October). So many amazing books! They’re all set in the nineteenth century, which is my favorite era of all time. I’m also just starting Marvelous by Molly Greeley. It’s a beautifully written novel that explores the true story behind the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. I’m enjoying it immensely.


Q: What advice do you give someone who struggles with writers block?


A: This is a tough one. When I’m stuck, I find that it helps to go back and reread everything I’ve written in that story so far. Sometimes that’s enough to get me back on track. Other times, I have to step away from the computer entirely. A large part of writing is daydreaming. And when you’re stressed and feeling the pressure, your creativity can jam up. Figure out how to get yourself dreaming again. For me, fresh air and exercise help. So does being around my horse, swimming, watching costume dramas, baking, or listening to music. 


Q: Do you prefer writing standalone novels more or a series?


A: I’m partial to standalone novels, purely because, in a standalone, I don’t have to resurrect the voices of characters from previous novels. Trying to remember past characters’ hair and eye colors, personal histories, and various idiosyncrasies adds a layer of stress to my writing. I can do it, of course, but it’s not my favorite thing in the world.

Q: Are you writing a new novel now? If so can you spoil a little bit about it?


A: Right now, I’m finishing Return to Satterthwaite Court (out in April 2023). It’s the sequel to my popular novels The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim. It features the children of the characters from those stories who meet and fall in love during the course of solving a decades-old mystery. Readers can expect to see all of their favorites from the previous novels. This story also starts during the holiday season, so there’s lots of Victorian Christmas ambience!


Q: Do you prefer to write historical romance or non-fiction more?


A: Definitely historical romance. It gives more room for my creativity. I especially enjoy being able to weave non-fiction history throughout my stories. It’s the best of both worlds!


Q: Does Hollywood have the rights to any of your novels?


A: No, not yet. Hopefully one day!