20 Questions with… Mimi Matthews

Historical fiction and romance author Mimi Matthews is at it again with an exciting gothic retelling of the Charlotte Brontë classic, Jane Eyre. Filled with a keen eye for detail, evocative imagery, and unexpected storytelling, this remix on a classic is as eerie as it is memorable.

And Matthews celebrates the new release with our 20 Questions giving insight into her process, her past, and her inspirations.

1. Your best virtue as an author.

My own experience with a life-altering injury has allowed me to write characters who are facing similar life-altering circumstances with empathy and understanding.


2. Your most quirky author habit.

I mutter to myself a lot when I’m writing, sometimes reading my words aloud as I go (or reading them to my pets).


3. Your favorite quality in a protagonist.

An inherent sense of honor, even if it takes a while to present itself.


4. Your favorite quality in an antagonist.

Complexity. I like villains who have legitimate reasons for their villainy.


5. If you could ask any other author, past or present, a question who would it be and what would you ask?

If recent news reports are true and this book does indeed exist, I think I’d have to ask John Steinbeck to let me read his secret werewolf novel.


6. When you aren’t writing, you are____

Reading, watching British murder mysteries, or cuddling with my cats and dogs.


7. Your easiest book to write?

None of them are easy, but my latest novel, John Eyre, was the fastest and the most fun. I wrote each chapter lightning quick, emailing it to my mom when I was finished so that she could read it like a serialized Victorian sensation novel. We had an absolute blast.

 8. Your hardest book to write.

A Modest Independence, Book 2 in my Parish Orphans of Devon series. It’s set mainly in 1860s India, which meant a lot of research—and a huge responsibility to get things right. It’s the most research I’ve done for any of my novels.


9. Your ideal writing place.

Propped up in bed with my tablet PC on my lap, an icepack on my neck, and my cats curled up beside me.


10. Your favorite childhood book.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. It had a profound impact on me. I already loved animals, but reading a book set in that time, told from a horse’s point of view, inspired new depths of compassion.


11. The book you’ve reread the most.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I’ve grown up with it, re-reading it at every stage of my life, both for pleasure and academic study. It’s one of the reasons I felt so comfortable writing a retelling.


12. Your favorite hero from literature.

Too many to choose from, but working-class mill owner John Thornton from Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South is one of the best.


13. Your favorite villain from literature.

Dracula is generally at the top of my list (or very near it).


 14. The name of your autobiography.

A Circular Journey, because I wrote books when I was young, gave it up to live another life, and am now right back where I began.


15. Your favorite comfort food.

Carbs in practically any form—bread, sweets, you name it.


16. First thing you do when you finish writing a novel.

I try to start tackling all the tasks I put on hold so I could write. This usually consists of emails, filing, phone calls, and medical appointments.


17. A secret talent you have.

From the age of 18-25, I trained as a belly dancer. I was much more flexible then.


18. Where have you always wanted to travel?

Anywhere I haven’t already been. Egypt would be a great start.


19. One tip for aspiring authors.

Write what you love, you’ll never stick with it otherwise.


20. Puppies or kittens?

Both, and in multiples of two or more.


About Mimi Matthews:

USA Today bestselling author Mimi Matthews writes both historical nonfiction and award-winning proper historical romances, including Fair as a Star, a Library Journal Best Romance of 2020; Gentleman Jim, a Kirkus Best Indie Romance of 2020; and The Work of Art, winner of the 2020 HOLT Medallion. Mimi’s novels have received starred reviews in Library JournalPublishers Weekly, and Kirkus, and her articles have been featured on the Victorian Web, the Journal of Victorian Culture, and in syndication at BUST Magazine. In her other life, Mimi is an attorney. She resides in California with her family, which includes a retired Andalusian dressage horse, a Sheltie, and two Siamese cats.


Connect with Mimi Matthews:

Website: www.mimimatthews.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/MimiMatthewsAuthor

Twitter: twitter.com/MimiMatthewsEsq

Instagram: www.instagram.com/mmimatthewsesq/


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