Thursday, August 25, 2011

Very First Author Interview....of....


and her Debut Novel

Double Crossing!

Meg Mims was the featured debut author last Monday, August 13, 2011 . She is the author of Double Crossing, a historical novel that I couldn't put down and lost hours of sleep over and told her so. She has agreed to come and answer some burning questions for her adoring fans and I am totally grateful!

Question #1
Tell us something about Double Crossing that didn't make the cut. ....

Well, I actually had the opposite problem. I had the beginning down pat, the early middle and the Dale Creek bridge scene, plus the end pretty well set. Things dulled down after Dale Creek. I would fall asleep trying to revise. That's a real problem, LOL! I knew something major had to happen, and then consulted with my long-time CP (a genius, by the way, about logic and plotting.) We generally don't line edit -- just brainstorm at various points - for
each other. She gave me a nudge in a new direction (no spoilers, SORRY!) that really seemed to be *the key* to make the entire puzzle fall together. The manuscript was much stronger once I added that 2/3 of the way through the book! It really worked. But I have had other manuscripts where I've had to cut -- usually research, the best details that may have NO point to add to the story! That's tough to slice off, but it's gotta be done. Ouch.

Question #2
Where do you usually do your writing?

Don't laugh - on my living room couch. If you watch The Big Bang Theory, I have "Sheldon's spot" too, LOL. I cannot, cannot, for the life of me, write much anywhere else! And I've tried. No idea why. I first started writing as a hobby at my dining room table, long ago... graduated to an "office" bedroom, which needs major reorganization... and then switched to the couch. I can see out of the picture window - birds, squirrels, etc. I like it.

Question #3
Since I know you love to do you decide on what to research? I mean there are a couple million things to focus on.

For Double Crossing, I started with Evanston since I knew I wanted to begin there - and I'd visited years ago. Then I just progressed westward, right along with Lily (although I already knew Chicago's history) through Illinois and Iowa, to Omaha's history, the Union Pacific and Central Pacific RR history (which was the bulk of my research, truly!) and California. For Double or Nothing, I'm researching more in California - I haven't decided if there
will be as much travel except between Sacramento and San Francisco, plus the mining camps. But there's plenty yet to do! I really love to add realistic details about settings, cities and towns, food, clothing, etc. I really hope readers enjoy that too.

I have been to some of the locations that you mentioned in IL and IN and I think you did pretty good with the descriptions.

Question #4
I know we share favorite childhood books....Trixie Belden and Little House on the Prairie, but who are some of your current favorites? (I still like LHOP books..glad my girls are old enough to enjoy them now)

I read primarily historical or contemporary mysteries. Charles Todd, Will Thomas, Cleo Coyle, S.J. Rozan to name a few... but I also love big juicy historicals with romantic elements and mystery blended in... Judith Merkle Riley and Sharon Kay Penman, Margaret Lawrence stand out. I juggle several books at once -- I just finished Jonathan Maberry's 3rd Joe Ledger book in his thriller series, I'm reading Trophies by J. Gunnar Grey and also Lee Allen Howard's The Sixth Seed, plus Jason Jack Miller's The Devil and Preston Black. And I've got Steig Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book after that. Call me an eclectic reader? Definitely!

Well...if you check out this blog...I think I'd be called an eclectic reader too! So nothing wrong with that!

Question #5
What part of writing and getting published were you the most surprised about?

I think it's how much time promotion takes. I enjoy it, especially talking about Double Crossing - but it's hard to get myself in a regular schedule to make real progress on the next book, my freelance writing job, other articles I have to write, etc. I think the whole "I'm published now!" basking period is hanging on by its claws, and it's time to "get over" myself and get back to serious work. ;-D

Please get back to work, I eagerly await the sequel! But on the plus side, I love all the promotion work you are doing because I may have not happened upon your book without that win!

Question #6
Do you reach for the sweet or the salty for snacking?

Hmm. I try to stick to crunchy peanut butter on apple slices (both) or crackers and cheese, but at times I do like a bit of salty taco chips! But cookies are my absolute downfall. I try NOT to buy them. Except for one box of Girl Scout Thin Mints, of course. LOL

Mmmmm Girl Scout Cookies!!!!

Question #6
I know you blog and facebook and tweet (because I stalk, oops I mean follow, you on all three), which is your favorite form of social media?

LOLOL!! I really enjoy writing my blog posts. I consider that my "jumpstart" freelance fun stuff -- it's totally free to readers, too. ;-D I think FB is getting to be more of a chore to keep up with everything, but I love seeing people's pictures and funny posts. Twitter can be work, but there's something about 140 characters -- sort of "flash" fiction, and also fun. It's sweet of you to stalk -- er, follow me. Not sure I deserve that, but
I'll dub you my #1 FAN! ;-D

Oh me Oh my!!! I'm #1!!! I'm doin' the happy dance and my kids think I'm totally psycho now!
Question #7
I've seen a snippet of a new book to come out....can you talk about it yet or is it still a WIP (work in progress)

My snippet of FIRE POINT? Ah, yes. It's complete - I wrote it for my Master's Thesis program at Seton Hill University. Artist Sydney Sinclair finds the half-burned, strangled female keeper at the lighthouse. Sydney draws a sketch from a plaster death mask to help verify the woman's identity, but her efforts prove the victim is not the keeper after all. Sydney faces betrayal from friends and uncovers village secrets that lead to a second murder -- and sets her directly in the killer's path. FIRE POINT is on an editor's desk now. I have started Double or Nothing - the research, the backgrounds (for new characters), the plot points, the character arcs, etc. etc. I spend at least two weeks on pre-writing.

Great another book to buy and devour and get no sleep over! Actually it sounds great...can't wait to read it!

And finally...Question #8...
Anything else you want to tell us about Double Crossing?

I'm curious if people think it's anything close to "True Grit" on a train (or the Iron Horse) -- I started promoting it using that "tease" but I am not sure if that helped or not. I know readers may have wanted more romance, but Lily is very cautious, and in reality her father's murder took precedence over starting any relationship with anyone. I think book two, Double or Nothing, may give her a little more leeway. Hope that helps to satisfy some of the readers who finish Double Crossing!

If you have finished the book and think it is close to "True Grit", why don't you let her know, either comment below or you can find Meg Mims on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads or her own website. Please let me know what kind of questions you would like to see from future author interviews.

I would like to thank Meg Mims for her time in doing this for my small blog!! I really did enjoy the book and you can read the review for it here. I really appreciate her taking the time out to do this and she is fun to talk to! So Thank You again from your #1 Fan! (insert big scream here)


  1. Thanks for the feedback on Illinois and Indiana. One reader was thrilled I used Turkey Run - I'd never been there, but just loved the name. And of course, I do love Chicago and Evanston. :-D

  2. Great interview! I love researching for my historicals, too. And my favorite spot is in my recliner, in front of the picture window. Looking forward to reading both Double books!

  3. Great interview Meg and jacque ... Meg, I know what you mean with the fav spot to sit. I've discovered my daughters tv seat lately as my "inspirational" spot in the house :-) Look forward to reading your book.

  4. What a great interview Meg! I totally understand what you mean about promoting. that is clearly the most difficult part of being an author.

    Thanks for sharing so much about yourself and thanks to Jacque for the questions and "responses". :) I was entertained and I can't wait to read your book-- Double Crossing!

  5. Thanks, all! I love this pretty background - reminds me of my own watercolors. :-) Thanks again, Jacque, for having me!