Happy Monday, Reader Friends!
I’m so excited to kick this week off with an interview with the awesome Mimi Matthews. If you haven’t read her books, run to your nearest retailer and add them to your TBR shelf! Oh and make sure to push them to the top! Today we’re talking about her latest novel, A Convenient Fiction, which releases tomorrow!
Let’s get started!
Toni: Thank you so much for joining me today! I’m so excited to talk about A Convenient Fiction. But first, let’s get to know you a little better. What is your writing process like?
Mimi: Thanks so much for having me!
My stories generally start with an idea for a single scene. The rest of the novel evolves from that scene. I don’t outline or intricately plot the stories. It’s all sort of organic. If there are any problems with conflict, characterization, or pacing, I sort them out during revisions.
Toni: That is awesome! Do you snack while writing? If so, what do you eat? If not, what fuels you during your writing time?
Mimi: I drink a lot of diet cherry Pepsi while I write. Too much, actually. And eating while writing is never a good idea for me. I’m not mindful enough. One minute I’ll have a full serving of something next to me, and the next it will just be gone, with no memory of having eaten it.
Toni: I can understand that. And cherry is always great to add to soda. Do you prefer ocean or mountain view?
Mimi: Definitely ocean! I’m a California girl, born and bred. I have to be near the water.
Toni: Ocean would totally be my choice as well. Coffee or tea?
Mimi: Tea, without question. If hot, I prefer Darjeeling. If iced, I prefer unsweetened and decaffeinated.
Toni: For a minute I thought we could be kindred spirits but you said undsweet and decaff iced tea. You lost me. 😉 The past or present?
Mimi: For writing and researching, I definitely prefer the past. However, for actual living, I choose the present. We have greater equality now, better medicine, and more impressive technology.
Toni: So true! Dresses or leggings?
Mimi: Are pajama pants an option? When writing, I generally stick to those. In life outside the house, however, I prefer dresses and skirts. I love a 1940s pin-up vibe.
Toni: Pajama pants should always be an option! And 1940s dresses are pretty! Now, let’s talk about the characters! This is the third book in the Parish Orphans of Devon. How did the four orphans come together in your mind?
Mimi: When I first started this series, I didn’t have any idea that it would even be a series. The Matrimonial Advertisement was meant to be a standalone. But as I wrote, the orphanage and the four orphan boys began to really take shape for me in a meaningful way. By the end of the novel, I knew that each orphan needed his own happy ending.
Toni: I’m so glad! I’ve loved each book so far. Do you have a favorite story in the series so far? If so, which one and why?
Mimi: I love all of my stories, but A Modest Independence is closest to my heart. I feel that Jenny Holloway’s journey and her reluctance to accept a traditional Victorian life best mirrors my own experience, and that of other single women friends I know. Women who are struggling to achieve personal fulfillment—either through work, education, or travel—in a world that still holds up marriage and children as the ultimate female achievement.
Toni: It is definitely a tough decision to make. Out of all the characters you’ve ever written, which heroine is most like you? Which is the least like you and why?
Mimi: I think I’m a combination of several of my heroines. Each has a few qualities similar to mine, but none so much that they’re an exact match. I’m probably least like Valentine March in The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter. She’s a bit less independent-minded than my other heroines.
Toni: True. But she had a champion! What’s the coolest thing you discovered while researching A Convenient Fiction?
Mimi: During my research, I read a lot of old reports and papers on artificial ventilation. It was fascinating to learn about early efforts at mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
Toni: That always fascinates me to know it wasn’t the norm. Last but not least, what can we expect from you next in your journey?
Mimi: Right now, I’m finishing up The Winter Companion (Parish Orphans of Devon, Book 4). After that, I have a secret project that I’m going to be working on. I have no idea how long it’s going to take, but I hope to be able to announce it in the spring.
Toni: I guess I’ll be stalking your social media until spring! 😉 Readers, do you have any questions for Mimi?
About the Book
The mysterious Alex Archer returns to England in Book 3 of Mimi Matthews’ USA Today bestselling Parish Orphans of Devon series.
She Needed A Husband…
It’s been three years since Laura Hayes’s father died, leaving her and her invalid brother to subsist on the income from the family’s failing perfume business. But time is swiftly running out. What she needs is a husband, and fast. A noble gentleman who can rescue them all from penury. When a mysterious stranger arrives in the village, he seems a perfect candidate. But Alex Archer is no hero. In fact, he just might be the opposite.
He Wanted a Fortune…
Alex has no tolerance for sentiment. He’s returned to England for one reason only: to find a wealthy wife. A country-bred heiress in Surrey seems the perfect target. But somewhere between the village railway station and the manor house his mercenary plan begins to unravel. And it’s all the fault of Laura Hayes–a lady as unsuitable as she is enchanting.
From the beaches of Margate to the lavender fields of Provence, a grudging friendship slowly blossoms into something more. But when scandal threatens, can a man who has spent his entire life playing the villain, finally become a hero? Or will the lure of easy riches once again outweigh the demands of his heart?
Y’all Mimi Matthews is an author I discovered late in her career but I’m not sad about that. Nothing like a good ol
binge through the backlist to keep you happy while waiting for the next book. When I found out that A Convenient Fiction was up on NetGalley I rushed over. No lie. Then proceeded to put it to the top of my TBR list (I may have knocked a book aside) to read it.
And I was not disappointed.
Ms. Matthews has a way of bringing history to life. Of placing the reader right smack dab in the middle of the action, quickly establishing the heroine and hero and letting you pick which one to route for. Now I must admit, I’ve been wanting Alex’s story since I read book one (which is totally swoon worthy).
And he didn’t disappoint. There were a few times in his scenes that I wanted to tear up or just plain ol give him a hug. I’m so glad he was able to meet a deserving heroine.
And Laura Hayes, wow has she been through a lot. I was immediately intrigued and wanted to know if she would get a happily ever after for herself and for her loved ones.
Mimi Matthews created it in spades! I was so tickled to read this book and sad when it was over. Now to wait around for book 4 since I finally caught up on her backlist.
*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. My review was not required nor influenced.
About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews (A Victorian Lady’s Guide to Fashion and Beauty, The Matrimonial Advertisement) writes both historical nonfiction and proper historical romances set in Victorian England. Her articles on nineteenth century history have been published on various academic and history sites, including the Victorian Web and the Journal of Victorian Culture, and are also syndicated at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes an Andalusian dressage horse, two Shelties, and two Siamese cats.