Mimi, describe yourself for our visitors.
I live in the Houston area with my husband. People are always surprised to find out that Im married since I wrote, The Single Sister Experiment. I was single when I first started the book, but after I self-published, and before I was offered a contract, God sent me the man of my dreams.
During my spare time I like cooking, eating out, and entertaining. I dont have cable because if I had access to the Food Network I would watch it for hours each day. I also like independent comedies, the kind that portray everyday life honestly but still manage to make it funny. My favorite recording artists are Casting Crowns, Kirk Franklin, and Rachael Lampa. I love music that inspires me to praise God through dance. I also like old hymns like, It is Well, Amazing Grace, and Great is Thy Faithfulness. You cant go wrong with these classics.
I look at my writing as a ministry. I was raised by a single mother and grew up longing for a father. As a young woman I searched for validation and acceptance in men and accomplishments. I never belonged to a church during my entire childhood. I had no concept of what it meant to be a godly woman. In pain and discouraged I was looking for guidance. I found it when I received Christ at the age of twenty-five. Because of my journey, I have a passion for reaching young women with the Word of God.
How do you find time to connect with God?
Years ago I cultivated a habit of connecting with God first thing in the morning. It was hard at first, but now this is a routine part of my schedule. I have learned that my days go better when I connect with God right from the start.
Tell us about your journey to publication.
The Single Sister Experiment was self-published in August of 2005. That same year I attended an author event at a bookstore in Houston. At that event one of the authors on the panel purchased my novel. The author later read it and e-mailed me about a new imprint called Urban Christian/ Kensington publishing.
I really didnt believe The Single Sister Experiment had a chance at being contracted by a traditional publisher. I felt it was too Christian for mainstream publishers and too mainstream for Christian publishers. However, I submitted a copy of my novel and was offered a contract. I was thrilled. I worked with an editor for months getting, The Single Sister Experiment, ready for the May 2007 release date. The novel did undergo some changes, but nothing that compromised the original message.
Tell us about your current book?
The Single Sister Experiment is about three single women who embark on a journey to give up sex and draw nearer to God. But giving up their boyfriends and club hopping for empty beds and Bible Study is more challenging than they could have imagined.
My main character, Joan, is complicated. She can be confident one moment and insecure the next. She loves her only child James Jr. but sometimes her actions don’t show it. She would trade the world to have the complete enduring love of one man but you will never get her to admit it. It’s easy for her to forgive other people but she has a hard time forgiving herself. She loves her mother but does not understand her.
I wanted my characters to be believable. That meant they had to make mistakes, confront challenges, lie if they thought it was necessary, make wise decisions and sometimes make really stupid decisions. I have been known to journal through my characters eyes in order to hone in to what really motivates them and to get closer to that secret part of themselves that they would never open up to public scrutiny.
I want readers to cheer for them, to be angry with them, to laugh with them, and to cry right along with them. Sitting at the computer creating stories with highly flawed characters, real life drama, and a forgiving God is where I feel most comfortable.
How did you come up with ideas for your current release?
About five years ago I had a conversation with a friend over lunch. Throughout the lunch my friend’s cell phone kept ringing; different women were calling him. After answering the phone one time he looked at me and said something like, I haven’t spoken to her in weeks, but I bet I could convince her to have sex with me again. She will probably resist at first, asking me where I’ve been and why I haven’t I called. But eventually she’ll give in. Later on he answered the phone again and after hanging up with yet a different woman he said something to the effect of, “You know, you women don’t know your power. You are selling yourselves too short.
I was alarmed. I heard how he was talking to the women on the phone. They had no idea he really believed they had power they had failed to tap into. I wondered if I had failed to tap into my power. Did all women have it? I know it makes absolutely no sense, but that night I started writing what is now the first chapter to The Single Sister Experiment. I believed that if someone gathered all the single women in the world and told them just how powerful they were, lives would change. I wanted women to meet, talk, and eventually unleash their undiscovered power. I knew there was no way that all single women could get together in one place, so I created a fictional meeting place.
What’s next for you?
I’m most excited about The Single Sister Experiment Workshop. A counselor contacted me about teaching a five week class based on the real life principles mentioned in the book. In this arena I am able to fulfill two of my passions, ministry and writing. As I was writing the book it never occurred to me that I could teach a class based on it. But as I prepare to teach this class for the second time I see it as something I can duplicate again and again. It was frustrating to meet women who responded to the message in the experiment without having an avenue to minister to them further. It’s hard to have an in-depth conversation after a speaking engagement or during a book club meeting. This workshop is specifically designed to empower, encourage, and comfort single women who not only want to read the experiment but want to be apart of it.
Also, I’m working on my second novel which is based on the question, What happens when single men stop having sex? Currently, it is titled, In the Name of Confusion
Where can visitors find you online?