Interview & Contest: Meg Mims

Jen: Today we welcome Meg Mims to Romancing the Book.  Meg, will you please share a short bio with us?

Meg: I’m an author, artist and photographer. I love to read and write historical mysteries and romantic suspense, but I’m also a staff writer for RE/MAX Platinum and Lake Effect Living. I have an article about the one-legged Civil War veteran and lighthouse keeper of South Haven, James S. Donahue, appearing in the summer issue of The Chronicle, the magazine of the Historical Society of Michigan.

Jen: Tell us about Double Crossing and where it can be purchased.

Meg: DOUBLE CROSSING will be available from Astraea Press and Amazon in August as an e-book, and will be out in print a month or two after that. I’m excited!

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Meg: I was an avid reader throughout childhood, college and as an adult. I first started writing a novel in the early 1990’s while raising my daughter, joined RWA and wrote several romances. However, I was first published in 1997 in the children’s magazine market. I sent out 12 small puzzles, stories and the like, and sold one. I then had almost a dozen puzzles, a rebus, poems, a story and black/white illustrations published for children up to 2004, plus articles about writing. I took a break when my daughter graduated from high school and began college, and then thought, “Now what do I do?” So I resumed writing, with the goal of finishing a book again—which became Double Crossing. I spent 2008-2010 in earning an M.A. at Seton Hill University in their Writing Popular Fiction program. After revising my thesis novel—a mystery—along with Double Crossing, I decided to enter them both into RWA contests for feedback. Both placed in the finals in several various contests. When Astraea Press offered me a contract for Double Crossing less than a week after submission, I was thrilled! I’m still hoping to publish my award-winning historical mystery and launch the Lighthouse Mystery series.

Jen: How does your family feel about your career?

Meg: I’m blessed that my husband has supported me since I first started typing on the dining room table! He convinced me to use a computer, long ago. My daughter has learned to give me great critiques, and my dad, sisters, brothers, nieces and nephews are also very happy that my dream has come true. I can’t thank my “family” of friends enough – Crab West, the Wonsies and SHU peeps!

Jen: Do you have any “must haves” with you while you’re writing?

Meg: My dog beside me, my spot on the couch and the picture window to watch the birds, bunnies and squirrels, the trees and flowers, the rain, snow, whatever passes by!

Jen: What are your biggest motivations to write? What keeps you going?

Meg: Being an artist and a writer, it’s been difficult to choose between them. My mom painted every day until she died of cancer. Long ago I decided while I love watercolor and illustration, I prefer writing—so I keep that discipline to write every day in her memory. A published author once told me, “Those who quit never publish,” and that’s the main mantra I keep in mind. After publishing the first book, you don’t want to become a “fluke,” so I’m working on a sequel or series for Double Crossing!

Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from? Why?

Meg: I love, love, love historical mystery, western or otherwise. Love doing the research and bringing the past to life. I avoid erotica. I guess I’m too much of a prude. ;-D I pretty much read everything, although if it’s too gruesome I can’t read on. I want to be entertained and enlightened, which I hope to fulfill in my own fiction writing.

Jen: What’s the most challenging aspect of writing? Easiest? Most rewarding?

Meg: Writing a book’s beginning is the most exciting part for me. It’s not easy, but very rewarding to take an idea and develop it into a premise and then a few chapters. The most challenging is taking that plot beyond and twisting it until I write the ending. Also rewarding is doing a full rewrite, knowing it’s far better!

Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?

Meg: I definitely identify with Lily, although I wish I could be as rich! She loves to sketch, she dislikes all the society “duties” of the time, but enjoys shopping. She takes people at face value, trusts too much and relies on “intuition” at times. And while she enjoys adventure, she gets in over her head – which has often happened to me! But my historical mystery heroine, Sydney Sinclair, is more “me” – being an artist, with an insatiable curiosity and a bit bohemian in taste.

Jen: If you could travel back in time for one year, what time and place would you choose? If you could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?

Meg: Hmm. Tough question! I think I’d want a “Back to the Future” trip to meet my mom and become one of the “Twerps” – her group of friends – and learn more about my family history. I would take my brushes, paints and paper and learn all the basics of art like she did – I regret not doing that when I was younger! I was too stubborn and wouldn’t listen to her advice about sketching and painting. I’m a better writer than artist, because I developed a “seat of the pants” style without a real foundation. LOL

Jen: Do you do anything to celebrate a sale, new contract or release?

Meg: My daughter and I love visiting our favorite Tea Room – so we did that after I sold Double Crossing. I also bought a Kindle! I love it, and I thought I’d be “the last hold-out” – LOL. It’s very convenient and far easier to read than I expected.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Meg: Writing the next book, Double or Nothing, plus selling my Lighthouse Mystery series, and working on a collaboration with another published author.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Meg: Lots of places! Facebook, Twitter, the www.astraeapress.com website, and my own websites – www.megmims.com and www.double-crossing.com.

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Meg: What keeps you turning the pages until the book’s end? I’d love to hear from readers about that.

Contest details:

  • The prize is either a pair of book earrings or a Kindle cover zipper pull (which could probably be used on other zippers as well).
  • The contest is open to everyone, international readers included.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, September 25.

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