12 February 2014

Author Interview - Mimi Tulane

Please welcome Mimi Tulane for this week's author interview!

1. Have you always had a passion for writing?

Well I think it was more like wanting to produce/write plays and melodramas. That incidentally was from about the age of nine years old! My friends and I would reenact television shows with our own unique twist, collaborate on the dialogue etc. I believe my first instance in truly desiring to write came at about age fourteen where I’d write short stories or write in my journals.

2. Does what you read influence what you write and what are some of your favourite authors/books?

Well that’s an interesting take. I am an African American woman who loved paranormal, erotic romances, mystery stories and science fiction type books. Yet I always longed for a writer to write a story with the hero and heroine being of color. Then I was turned onto the late L.A. Banks’s Vampire Huntress Series and it opened a new world for me. I found there were people who looked like me, writing about people who looked like me, doing bad ass stuff! (Can I say that? I do have a potty mouth!) Well it went from her to Stephen Barnes, who I wouldn’t know what to call his genre per se maybe Sci-Fi, but he wrote a series of books with an alternate reality of what would the world be like if Africans had not been enslaved but Anglo Europeans? That was deep. His wife Tananarive Due writes horror as well as Brandon Massey. However three of my most favorites are: Joey W. Hill’s Vampire Queen series, Keri Arthur’s Riley Jensen Guardian Series and you know where I am going next: The Warden herself J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood Series. Whew! So long story short I am into writing about people of color that aren’t just hip hop gangstah’s but strong alpha males and equally strong females that can hold their own. That don’t live stereotypical lifestyles that anyone of any race can identify with. Now with all that said I enjoy books about romance, paranormal romance, mystery and of course Erotica. Oh and cook books and DIY books too…go figure. 

3. What are your biggest inspirations?

My biggest inspirations are simply life and pictures. I put what I’ve felt, what I know, what I’ve been taught, relationships, family anecdotes— you name it, if it made an impression upon me, it will be written into a story at some point. Now the thing with pictures, is, I can look at a picture an in a heartbeat write a story about what I felt when I saw the picture, kinda’ like what was going on with that scene and imagine a scenario all based off the impression I got from looking at it. I’m sorta a Walter Mitty type person but shuuuuush I’ll lose my cool points if that got out! 

4. Do you have a technique in how you choose characters and/or locational settings?

I can’t say that I do. I get an idea stuck in my cranium then out pops the story. Again I think if there was anything about my way of preparing it would have to basically be that I want to read a book with a sexy black vampire or wolf in it going after a sexy black female and can’t find it. So I write one! LOL 

5. Do you listen to music while you are creating your masterpieces?

Not while I write I need to be in my zone when I’m at the keyboard BUT I could have heard a song and thought, damn that would be a sexy love scene or action scene, you know like a movie soundtrack. Now I do warm up at times by listening to a particular song to put me in “the mood” to write a scene but I don’t listen to the music as I write. I ust make me a “movie soundtrack” aka a play list of songs and listen to them then maybe when I’m writing I recall one in particular and let that be my muse.

6. What do you do to stay motivated and avoid writer’s block?

I can’t say that there is anything I can do. I am an emotional writer. So I don’t write every day. I write when I’m in “the mood” or plan what scene or book idea I might want to try when I don’t have the motivation to work on something. Yet there are times when my husband has to literally take the laptop from me because I’ve sat for hours at a time, writing in a fever that’s what I call getting into my zone.  I don’t eat, I don’t sleep, I don’t even play Candy Crush Saga which if you knew me I’m on that like it’s a drug or something! LOL

7. How has becoming a published author (independent or traditional) changed your perspective on life and is it everything you expected it to be? (If you are not published yet – what changes do you foresee?)

My very first published book made me cry. I was so relieved because for years I’d tried and felt like a failure with every rejection. So in a way I felt validated that somebody else besides my family (who are biased…) and friends thought what I put down on a page was good enough to share with others. Then I learned about self publishing (so I’ve done both) and I had a collection of short stories that were much to low on word count to be submitted to a publisher and published one of them not that long ago, and it’s doing great! So now I can dust off all those shorts I have piled up, update ‘em, make sure they are written correctly and self pub those! Gotta love technological advances! But the happiest moment is although my first book was published it was in electronic format. I was recently told the sequel will be published electronically and in print!! You want to know what that feels like to me. Being utterly blessed. No lie. Just having that vote of confidence makes me want to write even better and give to my readers what they want and I thank them for supporting me, taking a chance on my stories because without the readers I’m writing for me. 

8. What are your biggest challenges as an author?

 My biggest challenges are staying on task and finding a quiet space to write. I have kids and a husband…nuff said. *grins*

9. Do you have any pets?

Yes I do and you can add that to the challenges because both are my babies and want their attention and could care less if mama is working on a story or not. My babies are both are Chihuahua mixes; one is a blonde Cairn terrier and the other is jet black and mixed with Pomeranian. I named them Queen Nefertiti and King Ramses. Yes they are spoiled…

10. What hobbies do you have outside of reading and writing?

When I’m not reading or writing, I role play with friends, take naps, listen to music, cook and watch television

11. Where is the most exciting/memorable place you have been in the world?

I’d say Prague in the Czech Republic. I was in the army and stationed in Germany and on my vacation I took a tour of the capital city. It was beautiful hard to describe but it gave you that fairy tale feeling and the magnificent churches and clocks! I loved watching when the little figurines would come out and go round and round. I got my Von Trapp on! LOL

12. Tell us about your latest work in progress or most recent published work…

My most recent work I progress is the second book in my Mackenzie Dominants series. It’s still in edits but due to be released (fingers crossed) in January. That is also the book that will be published as a print work as well! I’m also writing a second self pub story that I had hoped to have out by Christmas but my health has stalled that one so I’ll get out maybe by January. It’s a twist on Jack Frost that’s all I’m going to say!
Thank you, Ms. Johanna for inviting me to participate in your interview series. Your kindness is much appreciated!  

For those that would like to check out my published work you can find it on Amazon.com, Barnes and Nobel, Bookstrand.com. My self published works are on Kindle Direct and Nook Books.
http://mimitulane.com/ (website/blog)

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