Friday 2 May 2014

Special Agent Francesca - author interview

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Today we welcome a twitter/triberr friend of mine, Mimi Barbour, to answer some author-y questions!

1. Please tell us a bit about your book and what you hope readers take away from reading it.
Well, my book is purely for entertaining, one that I hope will give the readers a chance to let their everyday world fade away while they enjoy the antics of Francesca. She’s quite a gal!

2. Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?
The main characters are my heroine, Special Agent, Francesca Donovan and my hero, Sean Collins. The sparks fly from the first moment he sees her in a restaurant where he dubs her a screwball and decides what a waste of a great pair of legs. Later in the story, when they’re forced into a bogus engagement, his first impression takes a decided turn for the better.

My favorite secondary character is Detective John Hampton (Ham for short). He’s the father she’s never met until forced to seek him out when she arrives in Vegas. This Irishman is hilarious and so sweet; you just want to hug the man. The main Vegas Series bunch also show up in this book and they add a lot of color.

3. Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
Oh, come on, any author who doesn’t use – or admit to using – aspects from the people they know are either living a very boring existence or they’re losing out on a huge field of personality quirks to draw from. I use a facial movement from one, hand manipulation from another, lines they’ve said, laughs, voices, eye twitches, ways of walking – the list goes on and on. I also take from personalities: grumpiness of one friend over certain issues or the glee from another when faced with happy news. Codes of honor, sense of humor, ways of thinking over problems and coming to certain conclusions, they’re all melded into the behavior of my characters. It’s a mishmash of everything I’ve ever experienced in my life – guess it’s what they call my author’s voice. In my way of thinking, I gather all this awareness from everyone I ever knew, mix it all together and regurgitate it as I write my stories.

4. Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book? Here’s one small excerpt that I admit made me crack right up as I wrote it!!
Suddenly the tower gave her take-off clearance and she eased the plane onto the runway and into the air. Once she’d completed her post take-off check list, she decided to help him relax.
Speaking through the headset, she started. “It’s a lovely day for flying.”
“I said it’s a lovely day for us to be up here.”
“Do you have any questions?”
“When will we get there?”
Her giggle turned into a full-throated laugh, which only stopped when his green face glared his dislike.
His complexion made her remember the barf bag she’d stored away in case of an emergency. “You look a little weird. Are you alright?”
“Of course I’m alright.”
“Then how come your face keeps changing color?”
“It’s the native coming out in me.”
“Cool! First time I’ve ever met a Martian.”

5. Describe yourself in three words.
Happy, Loving, Driven

6. How would you describe the way you work as a writer?
As I mentioned above, I consider myself driven. That’s how I would describe the way I work as a writer and how I handle my career. I’ve only become a serious author since 2006 – around the time the e-book world opened up all those new opportunities. I’m in my mid-sixties, (dammit! Where did the time go…?) And I have so many stories thrashing in my head clamoring to exist that my biggest worry is running out of time.

7. Did you always want to be a writer?
Maybe in some subliminal way… I always knew I could tell stories that would keep people amused. My kid loved his bedtime mommy tales and I could keep him amused for hours in the car on a long trip.

8. I loved the story of your 100-year-old fan and how you surprised him by dedicating your book to him. Are there any more stories about how you connect with your fans?Actually, yes - Last August, for my birthday, I got an e-mail from a fan in Russia, a man who belonged to a book group who’d read and loved my Vicarage Bench stories. They had one small problem, they were only able to get the books on the internet and couldn’t have paperback copies sent to them from Amazon. So, I decided to accept that this person was for real and I mailed him the requested copy of the anthology, plus my photo and bookmarks. He was thrilled and sent me pictures of the group. 
Shoot forward to January 2014 when my 85 year-old mom said she had a new bucket-list item that I could get for her. (I probably shouldn’t have let her see that movie because she gets everything she wants now by using that term LOL)Mom has a collection of postcards from all around the world and she wanted one from Russia with the Olympic insignia on the front. Could I ask my friend from Russia to send one to her? (I’d told her about my previous communication with Eduard.) So… I figured what the heck. He’d been very gracious when he’d sent me the thank you for his parcel. I wrote to him explaining my mom’s request and the darling man not only sent her the postcard, but also Olympic stamps, a small notebook and a selection of postcards. She was thrilled. So was I. We have continued our friendship and I’m sad to say how worried I am since he lives very close to the Eastern border of Russia and the Ukraine.

9. What do you like to do to unwind?
Every evening, I have a cocktail with my husband and we discuss all kinds of items while we make our dinner. And we spend a fair amount of time at the table visiting and sharing. By the time we start the clean-up, I’m full, happy and sassy – ready to watch a couple of hours of my favorite shows. Unless I have work to do. Sorry to say, this has been happening more frequently. Gotta stop that nonsense!! Yeah! Right!

10. Tell us one random thing about yourself that you'd like your fans to know!
I love reading your reviews. I used to try and answer every single one but I ran out of time. There are so many now that it’s all I can do to grab a few hours a week and read them all. So – if I haven’t left you a comment, it isn’t because I don’t care. Please know that.

Thanks Mimi!
Here's a bit more about her new release, Special Agent Francesca
An introvert, Special Agent Francesca moves to Las Vegas to escape her powerful, domineering mother. On arrival, multiple obstacles challenge her. She needs to approach a father she’s never met, a man who doesn’t even know she exists. Then she must play the role of a loving fiancĂ©e with a stranger. One who makes her question every unexpected emotion he provokes. Craving the chance for real undercover work, she grabs the opportunity to be involved in cleaning up gang corruption in a nasty neighborhood. When she poses as the new owner of a hotel, the deadly-dangerous situation ramps up and she’s forced to fight her way from one conflict to the next.
Sean Collins, Psychiatrist and LVPD Profiler, has never known anyone like Francesca Donovan. From first sight, he believes her to be a screwball but her beauty and maddening personality attracts him. Despite her prickly disposition, which gets them into a load of trouble, her rotten driving skills and her constant battles, he’s hooked. Once he’s roped into a mock engagement with her, his desire to make it real takes precedence over everything else in his world.
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Special Agent Cover
Sean drove like a maniac to get to the hotel. He knew he shouldn’t call anyone since both he and Frankie had been warned to stay in character, that these dudes had ears everywhere and the ability to tap phones. He did have his burner phone that Eddie had arranged, but he wanted to keep that number unused until they needed it for an emergency. The fact that Frankie had slipped warned him she must have been rattled. From what he’d seen of his lady, nothing got to her. Hold it! Nothing except her mother.
He pulled into the parking lot and the sight he came upon had his teeth grinding and gravel flying as he slammed on the brakes. Just as the car stopped completely, a younger man’s body hit his windshield and slid down in front of his wheels.
Frankie had another fellow on the ground and was beating the shit out of him. Sean couldn’t believe his eyes. What the hell? Quickly, he got out of the car and went to assist. Not that there was any need to help her, he just figured he’d stop her from murdering the poor bastard.
As he approached, the wiggling idiot didn’t seem to know when to stop. “Bitch, get off of me.” She held him in a way no one could escape.
Sean couldn’t resist. He crouched down and waited until she noticed him. “Having fun?”
At first, Frankie looked embarrassed to be caught straddling a young man in the parking lot. But that wore off when she had to apply more pressure to stop the perp determined to flip her off. Giving the dude her full attention, she asked, “Who sent you here? Tell me and I might let you up.”
With his cheek being ground into the gravel, and his arm twisted up behind his back in a hold that looked positively painful, the loser still refused. “No one sent me. I was just messin’ around. Hey, man, can you get this crazy bitch off me?”
Sean grinned evilly, held up both hands and shook his head.
Author of The Vicarage Bench Series, Angels with Attitude Series, Vegas Series, Elvis Series and the brand new sizzling romantic suspense series called Undercover FBI. Mimi lives on the East coast of Vancouver Island and writes her romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy love story, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”
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  1. Great Interview... Francesca sounds a great character.

  2. This is regarding "Encouragement does not equal support". Well, my view is that, one needs both encouragement as well as support. Yes, just "encouragement" alone is not sufficient, one should have the "will and mind" to go out and support another author/writer. Yes, getting your hands dirty is absolutely necessary than just "encouragement".

    1. Hi Phillip

      Yes - both are equally important. Generally I love to encourage other writers and authors, though sometimes, to support them via reviews would really depend on whether I read their genre!

  3. Also - thanks to Anna for the author review on "Special Agent Francesca". As Pete has commented, this is indeed a great interview.