Mimi Barbour – Fast-paced, character-driven, humorous suspense with hot romance woven together in each book.

Revealing Mimi Barbour’s Journey “Shocked, I discovered I could write.”

Photo: Mimi & Charlie

07/12/2023

In the realm of literary prowess, few authors capture the essence of storytelling quite like Mimi Barbour. Nestled on the serene east coast of Vancouver Island, this NYT & USA Today best-selling luminary resides with her trusty canine companion and a heart steeped in tales waiting to be spun.

With a repertoire boasting over 70 titles spanning across nine series and diverse standalone works, Barbour is a maestro of the romantic narrative. Her pen waltzes across genres, from the tantalizing allure of romantic suspense to contemporary romance and the imaginative realms of the paranormal.

Her interview with The Reader’s House Magazine unveils the inner workings of her craft and the passions that fuel her creativity. Barbour’s commitment to captivating her audience is evident in her words: “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them into an imaginary story, and make them care about the ending… then I’ve done my job.”

What sets her apart is not only her literary finesse but her dedication to crafting characters that mirror the vibrancy of life itself. Barbour seamlessly weaves her personal experiences and relationships into her stories, breathing authenticity and depth into her protagonists.

In a revealing moment, she shares her penchant for drawing inspiration from the world’s events—school shootings, domestic turmoil, and societal challenges—that compel her imagination to take flight. Her dedication to steering clear of a languid middle in her narratives underlines her commitment to keeping readers engrossed from start to finish.

Barbour’s approach to her craft echoes the no-nonsense attitude of literary stalwart Nora Roberts. To her, writing is a discipline, an endeavor that demands commitment and dedication akin to any other profession. Her daily routine mirrors this ethos as she diligently crafts stories that resonate deeply with her readers.

As she nears completion of her latest trilogy, a contemporary romance with a captivating blend of action and suspense, Barbour teases the emergence of Demi Fedora—a character escaping a tumultuous life to embrace the tranquility of a forest cabin left by her grandfather. Amidst this narrative tapestry, a rich gold prospector, and a wolf pup, Barbour promises a tale teeming with intrigue and heartfelt moments.

Her creative process, a fusion of personal musings and a keen eye on societal issues, propels her narratives into realms that captivate and resonate with readers on a profound level. With each story, she seeks not only to entertain but to evoke emotions and stir souls.

Mimi Barbour’s dedication to her craft and her readers stands as a testament to her storytelling prowess. As she embarks on new ventures, her commitment to crafting characters that transcend the pages of her books continues to mesmerize audiences worldwide. In the world of literature, Barbour is not just an author; she’s an architect of emotions, a master weaver of tales that linger long after the final page is turned.

Her upcoming venture into the world of Special Agent Lucifer hints at a narrative that delves into the scars of childhood trauma and the journey towards healing—a testament to Barbour’s knack for infusing depth and resilience into her characters.

In essence, Mimi Barbour is a storyteller par excellence, an author whose narratives resonate with the raw essence of human experience, and an architect of worlds that beckon readers to immerse themselves in her tapestries of emotion and intrigue.

NYT & USA Today, best-selling, award-winning author, Mimi Barbour, lives on the beautiful east coast of Vancouver Island with her little dog for company, and her family nearby. Having written over 70 titles, she has nine series, a number of singles, and is happily involved in many box collections with other authors.

She writes her various romances with tongue in cheek and a mad glint in her eye. She’s been known to say: “If I can steal a booklover’s attention away from their everyday grind, absorb them into an imaginary story, and make them care about the ending… then I’ve done my job.”

PHOTO: Author Mimi Barbour, an Architect of Emotions and Master Weaver of Tales,
Capturing Life’s Essence Through Words.

Which writers – working today do you admire most?

My goodness, there are so many wonderful authors to choose from. I’ve binged on Kristan Hannah’s work lately.

I read all of Nora Robert’s suspense books, and the same with Harlan Cobin and Susan Brown.

I’ve also been spending more time on biographies and immensely enjoyed ones by Trevor Noah and Rachelle Maddow.

What do you plan to read next?

I’m planning on getting Liz Cheney’s new book. I find her a fascinating individual… a woman who’s willing to give up everything for her principles. There aren’t that many people in the limelight today that would have stood up to the wall of dislike she’s had to face. I love writing about ethical characters like her, and I often wish I could meet one in real life.

What genres do you especially enjoy reading?

Hmm… I guess I’m into romantic suspense more than any other. Maybe it’s because I love writing that genre the most. Not that I don’t write contemporary romances and have often stretched my imagination to paranormal.

Which writer would you want to write your life story?

Me.

My kids have been after me to put my life down in book form, and I’ve begun to wonder whether I should. Yeah… no. Probably won’t.

Truth is, I’ve written most of my favorite people as characters in my books, telling true antics of my dad, my best friends, and even my wonderful niece.

Take for instance, Special Agent Murphy. He’s a good-looker with a huge chip on his shoulder and some very strange principles… exactly like my departed husband – bless his heart. He had huge morales, a wonderful sense of humor, and expected a lot from the folks around him. Damned if they didn’t usually come through. A bad-boy, he spoiled the hell out of me, and I loved it… loved him. Turns out, Murphy’s prickly personality is a dead ringer.

What moves you most in the world of literature?

Always – a good story. Make me care about the protagonist, bring him or her to life so I wish I could meet them personally. Put them through tough times where I can see their growth as human beings. Please give me an unexpected laugh or two… because most people do have a sense of humor or even a sense of the ridiculous.

And then end it well. Don’t leave me hanging unless there’s a good reason… like another book.

What are you working on now?

I’m thrilled to admit I’m near to finishing the trilogy I’ve had in mind for some time. I guess one would call it a contemporary romance with scads of action and even some areas of suspense.

I visualized a woman who’d had it with her crazy world. To save her sanity, she decided to leave everything and move on. I called her Demi Fedora and introduced her in my latest Undercover FBI book (Special Agent Isabella). I could imagine so many situations for this poor girl to deal with in her new life.

  • A derelict cabin in the forest left to her by her grandfather. To make it livable, she worked day and night, learning as much as she could about life in the wild country.
  • There’s a wolf pup she fought with at the beginning of their relationship but eventually allowed into her world.
  • And… of course, we had to introduce a rich gold prospector who she wanted nothing to do with until she inevitably needed his help.

Truthfully, the action is continuous, and it’s been a lot of fun creating.

Where do you get your ideas for the plots in your books?

I’ll admit to being a bit of a news hound and spend some of my TV time glued to what’s going on in the world. When I see stories about school shootings, drug trafficking, domestic terrorism, and many other problems facing our law officers today, ideas begin to form, and I’m off.

How do you keep the readers involved and fascinated with your stories?

For me, this is a huge responsibility. I personally dislike a sluggish middle in any book. I’ve often read ones where the author starts off with an incredible action scene which hooks me. So, I settle in for a good read and find the rest of the book sags dreadfully to where I often lay it down and seldom pick it up again.

What was your favorite book to write?

I’ll admit that the first book I wrote was the one I put the most work into… and the most prayers. Since I had no idea if I had it in me to write a full manuscript, I loved finding out that I actually did. As I sat in my little office day after day lost in my make-believe world, the scenes began to form as if by magic. Believing I was brilliant, I gave my imagination a free ride.

It’s kinda sweet when a person is that naive and the self-confidence is total.

Of course, it was a terrible manuscript.

Then one day, I needed a piece of work quickly. When I reread it, I’ll admit to a lot of blushing, a few chuckles, and a whole lot of groans. But I still dusted it off, retitled it, edited it, rewriting many of the scenes, and it became my mother’s favorite. Eventually, I settled on the new title – I’m No Angel.

What’s your work day like?

As soon as I’m up and dressed, I start each day by taking my little dog for a walk.

Once back home, I get my tea and go into my bedroom, slouch on my bed with my laptop and write at least 2- 5k words.

I suppose I’m dedicated because of something that Nora Roberts said.

Years ago, at one of the Romance Writer’s conventions, I went to a Chat with Nora, where she just answered questions. One young girl had a query, and I’ve never forgotten Nora’s answer. She asked what Nora did if her muse didn’t feel like writing that day?

Nora expression filled with disdain, and she spoke very succinctly. “What do you think a boss at McDonald’s would say if you called to tell him you wouldn’t be at work that day, because your muse didn’t feel up to it?”

The whole room became strangely silent.

Without even so much as a smile, she answered, “There’s no such thing as a muse. Writing is like any other job. You sit your butt in the chair, and you create. That’s what an author does.”

What’s next on your agenda?

Another Special Agent story. They are my best sellers, and I’m happiest when I’m working on one.

Recently, I’d watched a show where a small boy was being bullied, and I intuitively knew it would be how I could get my next hero to act in a way that matches his name… Lucifer.

I mean, if you were beaten up terribly as a kid, with no one who gave a damn, growing up might leave you with some complexes, right?

And, I’ve decided this hero will have a whole bunch of scars to heal before the end of his story. I can’t wait to create him.

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