May 1, 2016

Interview with Mira

When did you realize that you wanted to become a writer? 
The realization didn't strike until I was thirty-three and had just moved to Los Angeles from Brooklyn. Up until that point, I had been writing only in my free time, while working full time as a bookkeeper, which is to say that I didn't write very often or very much. I had a moment of clarity having just moved cross-country that I can truly start fresh and do whatever I want with my life so I began applying for fiction ghostwriting jobs and ultimately connected with a prominent e-book publisher. Technically, nowadays I still work full time and write my own books in my spare time, but it's all writing across the board and so it works for me. 

Is being an Author all you dreamed of, or did it just happen? 
Actually, yes, I've always wanted to be an author. However, during grade school I had a nasty teacher who criticized my grammar and being sensitive, I ruled out writing fiction and instead focused on writing plays. I was a playwriting major in college and spent the next ten years living in NYC, writing for various theater companies, and then branched off into screenwriting. As it turns out, grammar ain't that hard, LOL, so when I did circle back to fiction, it didn't take long to get my bearings. If I could go back in time, though, I'd tell my teacher, "I want to be a writer, not an editor, BOOM." 

What was the very first thing you ever wrote?
I was fortunate to go to a very small private school in rural New Hampshire where there was a tremendous focus on art and creative writing. Starting in first grade, and every year after until graduating high school, students were required to write works of fiction and also print and bind their books. I believe the first book I wrote as a young person was roughly ten pages, fully illustrated by me, and about a little girl who runs into her friends on her way to school… not exactly thrilling, but fun none-the-less.

What was the inspiration for your book?
Brooklyn Flame, the first romantic-suspense in my Bridge & Tunnel series, was inspired by the years I lived in Brooklyn where I struggled both financially and romantically. There's a prominent yet underground art scene in Williamsburg (a neighborhood in Brooklyn) that I gravitated towards while living there. There's nothing cooler than wandering through the various galleries, drinking complimentary wine and checking out the local artists, and also checking out the guys, LOL. I love the hipster style and fashion, and haven't read much of it in romance these days so I decided to funnel it into a series of books.  

How much of your characters are based on your traits or someone you know personally?
I generally feel like I am the heroine. Though I write in the third person, I'm still seeing the fictional world through her eyes and therefore I identify highly with her desires and struggles because they're essentially my own. When it comes to my hero… well, there's a certain ex-boyfriend that's always on my mind and he never fails to inspire, LOL. I'm also not too clever with naming my characters… Brandon, ha, you know who you are. My books should probably have a disclaimer that says, names have not been changed.

Describe your main character in six words. 
Greer Langley is precocious, headstrong, confidently flirtatious, and detached. 

Describe the world you’ve created in six words.
The world of Brooklyn Flame is gritty, artistic, sensual, dangerous, unsuspecting, and most importantly fun. 

What scene was your favorite to write?
I had a lot of fun writing the first love scene. The premise was hot—a guy who flirted with Greer shows up to nude model for her—so their natural chemistry pitted against their effort to restrain themselves and not cross a line made for a sexually charged, tension filled chapter.

What scene was the hardest for you to write?
Probably the ending, i.e. tying up loose ends while amping up the climatic moment and yet allowing for both resolution and a reason for the reader to feel hooked enough to buy the next book, Manhattan Flame. 

What are you working on now?
Friends of mine, who make up the sister-writing duo Melanie Shawn, invited me to write a romance for their Hope Falls Kindle World, which will come out this June so I'm working on California Flame. It will feature all of my Bridge & Tunnel Romance girls—Greer Langley, Tasha Buckley, and Jennifer Okimoto—but will be set in Hope Falls, California and use a lot of Melanie Shawn's characters. 

Goals? Accomplishments? Improvements?
My long-term goal is to no longer have a need to ghostwrite and be able to focus solely on my own books. Right now, working on my own books after a full day of ghostwriting leaves virtually no time to have a life, LOL. That being said, I do consider each book I've published to be an accomplishment. I also write in the mystery genre and have three novels out, which I'm very proud of. 

Are there any authors or books you recommend?
If you like sweet, contemporary romance with HEA endings, you'll love Melanie Shawn. I'm also a sucker for Nora Roberts, Lori Foster, and Christina Dodd, because I like a touch of mystery and danger to drive the romantic stories I read. As for indies, I loved Lexie Ray's To Love A Killer series. 

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not writing?
When I'm not writing? When am I not writing? LOL I love hiking around the various parks in Los Angeles and go to Griffith Park often. Also, I remain an avid reader and for me there's nothing better than curling up on the couch with a great book and a glass of wine.