Say hello to Mimi Flood!
Welcome to my interview with the marvellous Mimi Flood! Let’s see what she has to say about writing, books, family, and more!
Hi Mimi Flood! Please introduce yourself and share 5 fun facts about you!
I live in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with my husband and am a stay-at-home mom to two girls, 4 and 6. I graduated from Concordia University with a BFA and majored in Film Studies and minored in Creative Writing. I’m a writer of contemporary romance, from sweet to sinful. So far, I published two full-length, standalone novels, but I have several other projects lined up for the near future.
5 “fun” facts about me:
- I’m a die-hard Supernatural (Team Dean!) and Friends fan.
- A type 1 diabetic with a serious sweet tooth (I love apple pie!).
- Terrified of clowns and have been since the age of 6 (thanks IT).
- I’m fully bilingual and attended both French and English schools growing up.
- I spent most of my high school days skipping class and “stalking” celebrities. Still, I graduated with excellent grades and a large batch of autographs and stories for life!
What can you tell us about the projects you’re working on right now?
My next project, Without Reservations, is an enemies-to-lovers, steamy contemporary romance. The first book is set to be published mid-to-late 2020 and revolves around a trip to a luxurious private island retreat in Belize. I’ve always wanted to go to Belize, so I’m living vicariously through my characters. The story is my first attempt at dual POV and so far, it’s as much fun to write as it is difficult.
I’m also working on a contemporary romance novelette to be published by this summer, entitled Needed to Know. It will be available on Kindle Unlimited and as with most of my work, is set in Montreal.
What do you love the most about the books you’ve published?
I love the emotional impact my books have had on my readers. When I hear how they made them laugh or cry, or just reminisce about a specific time in their lives, there’s nothing better. But, I have to say, I also love the fact that the books were published at all. When I hold one in my hands, it’s surreal. It makes me proud, that I managed to push through and complete it.
What is your favourite part about writing romance?
I fell into romance without even knowing it. As a reader, I like many genres, but somehow, throughout my writing career, all my stories revolved around romance—or rather, the emotional rollercoaster that love creates. I’m a lover of all things romantic, be it in film and literature, and I’m a complete cheese ball, but overall, I find that I love writing romance because it’s such a complex category.
The genre includes so many unique tropes, which is my favourite thing about it. You don’t have to fit a specific set of rules (other than maybe HEA/HFN…), there’s flexibility in it, and you can write contemporary just as much as you can write Paranormal. Being free to dip into the wide range of what romance can represent and mean to different people is truly unique to our genre.
To me, my favourite part of writing romance is the ability to delve into the psyches of my characters and see the way love, and all its messiness, can affect them—it can be bad, it can be great, it can be a complete disaster—but it still affects them. And that’s one thing I think people forget; romance isn’t just about mushy love stories, it’s about how we are affected by one of the most powerful and yet complicated emotions in life.
How do you balance your writing life with your Mom life?
Very carefully! I don’t think there is such a thing as balance in my day-to-day, but rather an attempt to make things work. I do what I can when I can, and at the end of the day, if my kids are healthy and happy, if my husband and I can spend some time together, and if I’m satisfied with the amount of work I’ve done, then I consider it a good day.
There are many days that are complete failures. Days when nothing gets done, when the house is a mess and I just want to cry. Those days happen much more often than I’d like to admit, but they happen, and I’ve grown alright with that. I write because I love it, not because it pays the bills, and I remind myself of that as much as I can.
Mom-life is a constant battle—you won’t do everything right each time (or at all), and the same applies to writing. They’re both these beasts that control you and take you to battle, leaving you bloody and wounded. But oh, on those rare occasions when you come out the victor, life is so good!
What are the greatest challenges you’ve faced as a writer?
I’ve always been somewhat of an insecure person, in everything I do, and my writing is no exception. Even at school, I dreaded sharing my stories, for fear they’d be attacked and dissected, beaten to a pulp. Publishing is just a heightened form of this. Putting your work out there, for one massive creative writing class to hack at, can be extremely stressful. Self-doubt and self-criticism are my greatest personal challenges and every time I write, that pit in my gut tells me it’s going to be a failure. Overcoming that doubt is the biggest challenge I face each and every single time.
What are the biggest victories you’ve had Mimi Flood?
Hands down, my biggest victory was when my first novel The Long Weekend was nominated for the 2019 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize for romance. I’d submitted my story with a small hope it might make it, but like most authors I’m sure, I doubted it would. The day I was told it was among the top six Canadian romances submitted was one of the best days of my life.
As I’m sure most writers can agree, you always hope your story is simply good enough, that a few people might like it, and if they do, then that’s a good day. To be told that your little baby made it through the heap, that it was good enough to stand out and be chosen, that rush is nearly impossible to explain. It’s a combination of pride, shock, and utter bliss. And even though I didn’t win, it’s still a daily reminder of what I’m capable of and comes in handy during those moments of self-doubt. I can think back on it all and say, “Hey, YOU did that!”
What do you love about writing books in a Canadian setting?
I’m a big lover of anything set in Canada, and I always have been. I’m a true Canuck—I get emotional when I see us uniting as a country, I sing Oh, Canada! every time my husband watches the Canadiens (though I’m not really a hockey fan!), and I have traced my heritage back to Les Filles du Roi! So, it goes without saying that I love using Canadian settings.
There’s something truly unique about our country, our culture, our heritage. They all blend into this exquisite thing, and I want readers to be able to experience it, too. There are plenty of books set in Canadian settings, and Francophone literature is no exception, but I’m only recently seeing a rise in authors setting their romances within these settings (Katia Rose, Cassidy London and Gabrielle G. are just some examples). Setting beautiful and romantic stories in an equally gorgeous and awe-inspiring setting only makes sense.
What do you hope Mimi Flood readers will gain from the experience of reading your books?
Personally, as a reader, I find there’s nothing better than finishing a book and letting out a sigh, feeling pleased with what I’ve read. That’s not to say some parts of the story weren’t frustrating, or that I thought the entire thing was perfection. Those are rare occurrences. Rather, I want to be satisfied with the book as a whole, and believe the author did their best to reach inside me and make me feel.
That’s all I can hope for my readers, too. I want them to enjoy the story, yes, but I also want them to find something they can relate to or that brings them gratification. I would love it if they could connect with one or many of the characters, and whatever they happen to enjoy about my stories, I would above all hope they liked them enough to share with others. That’s my biggest hope as an author.
Who is your favourite character you’ve created and why?
I always enjoy a character that pushes the norm or stirs things up. In The Long Weekend, I particularly enjoyed creating Devon Barrett’s character, as well as Dolores Williams. They are both strong-willed, steadfast and sometimes pains in the ass! I can somewhat relate to them (I may have incorporated a little of me in them, too), and I like a character who won’t just let things lie, the ones who push things to happen.
However, in my upcoming series, the hero, Jesse Weber, is very dear to me. He’s a smart-ass, he’s arrogant, but he’s also incredibly kind, generous, and has a huge heart. Being able to write in the male perspective is so much fun and sometimes it’s absolutely necessary for my stories. Jesse’s voice is fun, honest and I can’t wait for others to meet him.
What inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always written here and there, but it was never with the intention of doing it professionally, other than possibly becoming a screenwriter, which I still haven’t taken off the table. When I was twelve, I wrote a short murder-mystery and the reaction I got from my readers was amazing. I loved the rush of it.
But I also love the feeling of taking a small spark of an idea and turning it into something bigger. I love seeing it in black and white, having it printed in my hands and hearing what others think. However, it wasn’t until a few years ago, when I wrote the first version of The Long Weekend and got those same reactions, that I thought I could make writing a career.
What are the biggest challenges about writing romance?
To me, romance isn’t necessarily one clear-cut thing. There are so many variations to it, so many aspects that can be written about, it’s hard to find that perfect recipe. The biggest challenges for me are sticking to the “rules” and walking that fine line between what might be considered acceptable and not. When I write, that fine line finds itself usually somewhere between making myself (and my muse) happy as well as the reader. It’s a nearly impossible tight-walk, but therein lays the challenge which makes writing so interesting.
What do you wish to gain in your future as a writer?
One of the biggest surprises I’ve gotten in this indie-writer journey has been how much I’ve learnt. And what’s even greater is the fact that the learning never stops! I’ve met so many terrific writers, all of whom have their own unique flair, and they’ve all taught me something I’ve applied in my own writing.
I’ve learned that it’s OK to make mistakes and that those mistakes allow for further learning. I can only hope my writing will continue to grow and get better, but that I will also grow personally and professionally throughout my career. I hope to keep an open mind and stay surrounded by a great circle of supportive and amazing writers. Never want to stop learning and honing my craft.
Any last thoughts to share about yourself or your books that Mimi Flood readers should know?
I don’t plan on ever stopping writing. It means too much to me, and besides, I doubt my muse would let me! I write because I love it, and because my stories are meant to be heard. Be it by one or thousands of people, it doesn’t matter, so long as they provide an impact. I’m continuously growing and learning and I hope my readers understand that.
Most importantly, I go where my inspiration takes me. Though right now my focus is on a certain kind of contemporary romance, that could change one day. I follow my muse where she takes me. As long as I can make one reader happy, then I’ll consider myself a success. I appreciate every single person that takes the time to read my stories and I’m always grateful for a review—even the bad ones! They help me learn, and help me make the next story that much better.
Thank you so much Mimi Flood (Go Team Dean and Team Canada!). I hope you continue to write great Canadian love stories! Stay in touch with Mimi on her social media below:
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