Fifi Flowers Interview Published on: 17, Jul 2017

Shed a little light for us into your life growing up and what things were like for you. Do you have any particular memory that you hold close to your heart?

I was born and raised in the Los Angeles area by a single-mother who made sure that I had a lot of great life experiences. Some of my best memories include Sunday night dinners in Hollywood. Dressing up to go to some fancy places and not so fancy, hole in the wall ones, and often seeing movies--some interesting ones as well as box-office hits. One night in particular we went to this place that had amazing sour dill pickles in wood crates, I have never had a better pickle. But the fun part was how windy it was and how difficult it was to walk on the Sunset Strip, I love that night (smiling as I see it vividly in my head), it might be recreated in a future book.

Did you have any other friends in school that were good writers? Did any of your friends read anything you wrote?

I don't remember any of my other friend writing and that is probably why I was asked to write school papers for a few of them--don't worry, I'm not giving out names. Funny that you should ask if any of my friends read what I wrote. A friend not long ago told me that I made up great stories and that she kept them. I remember passing notes in class, but I don't remember that they contained fictional stories. Hmmm... I may need to see those along with my old diaries stored at my mom's house.

Does writing make you feel more relaxed or does it do the opposite and give you a lot of energy?

Relaxed... hmmm... Energy... hmmm... I wouldn't use either of those words about how writing makes me feel. I would say that writing puts me in a good mood since I tend to write humorous books or situations or characters with a bit of steam thrown in. I make myself laugh... so I guess that could be called energy... but never relaxed.

Who was the most influential teacher you've ever had? And if they were here today, what would you say to them?

I don't think I have just one teacher that influenced me. I wasn't that great at paying attention in class. I was a good student, got all of my work done, and got good grades. But, I was easily bored in class and, subsequently, got in trouble for talking to my fellow students. I did love one of my Creative Writing classes because the teacher basically gave us a topic and then let us run wild with our thoughts and imaginations--no lectures, just turn in what you wrote. So, I guess I would tell him, "thank you for not telling me how or what to write, but to use my own imagination and just write."

What is it about Paris that enchants so many people? What's your favourite thing to do in Paris?

There aren't enough words to tell why Paris is so enchanting and that is why I keep writing about it in my books and I will continue as I have a few more set in Paris. I have been in love with it since my days in art school, learning and reading how artists desired to exhibit in the Great Salon in Paris. Then I saw it for myself and was overcome with its exhilarating elements; architecture, cafés, people, food, wine, music, so much history... my list could keep going on and on. My favourite thing to do in Paris is roam the cobblestone streets, feeling the vibrations of the past, and discovering treasures on every street.

How did the idea for your Hookup Café Series spawn? If you could go on a date with one of the characters from any book in the series, who would you pick and why?

LOVE. That is what gave me the idea to create my fictional Cafélicious establishment set in downtown San Diego with all of its FUN and somewhat quirky characters. I love cafés, first of all, and I love San Diego and its many out lying areas. I have spent a great deal of time down there over the years and while growing up, spending time with family members who lived there. If I were to date one of my characters from the series... that is a VERY difficult question since they all have different and fabulous qualities about them. But, I think I would pick nerdy, hot Mason because I love his brilliance and I think I would never be bored with him--he's got a bit of excitement to him. And my other reason would be that if I got him then I could be Vivienne and have a GREAT apartment that looks out over the downtown San Diego area. (Laugh to myself, smiling)

What do you think of "trailers" for books? Do you have a trailer for your books?

I adore book trailers. They often look like movie trailers and they bring the books to life--making them seem more real. I do not have any trailers for my books, but I would love to someday.

What is one book you could read a hundred times and never get tired of?

I have to be honest and say that I have never read a book that I could read more than once. Not that I haven't read some incredible books, but I lack attention span. I always say that I am like a sixteen year old school boy; ready to jump to the next subject after about twenty minutes. If I tried to read one again, I imagine this; blah, blah, blah... skip to the good part. (Laughs wildly) So I need fresh material or a movie version of a book, I can watch some movies a hundred times.

What does you writing schedule look like on a normal weekday?

Upon waking, I usually grab my iPad and type out all of the dreams and conversations that have swirled through my brain during the night. Or at least, I tried to get as much down--it would be great if there was a machine that could type things spewing in my head while I sleep. (Hmmm... is it possible?) After that, I dress and drag myself downstairs for much needed coffee while I check out my social media sites. Then I move on to writing or editing, depending on where I am in my writing cycle. I must confess to writing several books at a time, but editing is something that I do day after day until it is complete. I find it difficult to be editing a book and trying to write new material since editing is so important and deservers my full attention. Writing is something that I do all day, off and on, into the late night and often seven days a week--it is a big part of my daily life.

Are there any experiences that Sofie James (Awakening series) has trying to break into a male-dominated world that you or many other women can relate to? Is the pond when Sofie and Drake meet a real place and have you been there?

There are definite experiences I have found trying to break into a male-dominated world as like Sofie, I attended film school. My classes were filled with males and very few females. I was interested in working behind the camera, production design like Sofie, and that realm is still male dominated. I liked writing about her reaching her goal and succeeding, something I never did in real life. Yes, the Frog Pond is very much real. Located in The Commons, a large park in the middle of Boston--beautiful place. I lived in the theater district for a month back in 2003 and visited the pond on many occasions, sometimes daily. It seemed like a perfect place for a romance to start and I knew all about thunder and lightening storms that involved running for cover.

What's the longest you've gone without writing (after you became a dedicated writer) and why?

I became a dedicated writer in 2012 and published my first book, A Window to Love, a year later. I, quickly, followed up that book with a novella version of Reclining Nude in Chicago (revised/expanded version in 2016) in December 2013. By that time, I had started having medical issues that made it difficult to focus on writing, but I pushed myself and put out three novella books: Awakening to You in Boston, Awaking to You in LA, and Awakening to You. After completing that trilogy I gave up writing for about a year, only jotting down notes and possible outlines if I decided to write a book again. A fellow author friend challenged me to write a book in a month in November 2015 and I did it, writing Just A Number. 2016 was my comeback to writing year and I published six full-length books. This year my goal is to be the Novella Queen (laughs) and to publish one novella a month (so far, seven novellas have been published and two more are ready to be released in July and August).

What sort of research did you have to do for your book "Taming the Curator"? Do you have any friends involved in art or museums that gave you kind of an insight of how things work in their world?

Besides attending film school for a time (film school dropout), I did major in Art with emphasis in graphic design and minored in Art History. After graduation, I have had a successful run with selling my paintings and illustrations which have even been used for print graphics (still selling around the world). So, writing Taming the Curator was easy as I have been involved in the Arts for years and have traveled to many museums in the US and Europe to see special exhibits and permanent art collections. Many of my books center around the Art World.

Of all your books, which one took the longest to write?

Falling in Paris definitely took the longest because I started it and stopped it off and on until I finally published it in 2016, three years later. It involved quite a bit of research since it includes a romance story within the book that is set in the late 1880s. I loved writing the book because I love Paris and the artists from the era that I researched.

Is there any advice you could offer to new writers that you wish someone had told you when you started off?

Keep writing. Write every day, a little something or a lot. Once you stop writing daily, it is hard to get back on track. And most importantly, write because you love writing, I think it shows in books--the passion to write has to be there.

Lastly, do you think increase of social media promotions leads to an increase in book sales? Has AllAuthor been a pleasant experience and would you recommend it to your author friends?

I think in the Indie Book World it is very important to use social media for exposure. Exposure to a large audience increases book sales. New to the AllAuthor site, I have been pleasantly happy with my experience and have recommended it to my author friends.

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