Although she has lived in the UK since the Miner's Strike, Mimi was born in Kansas City, USA. She moved to Lawrence, Kansas in her teens and still calls the university town her American ‘hometown’. While at university, Mimi was very active in the ‘New Wave’ music scene and many of her friends were professional musicians and DJs. Here is a picture of Mimi with some of her friends at university.
Near the end of her degree, Mimi met her English husband Andy, who had come to Lawrence to work for novelist William S Burroughs. Andy and Mimi married in 1985 and this photo was taken just a few days after their wedding. Mimi taught Humanities at a Muslim Girls School in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, but the young couple went back to America to look for better paying jobs...
For several years, Mimi worked as a waitress in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, and Andy worked there, too. In this photo, she's clowning around with workmates at Lake Yellowstone Hotel. Some of the people she met there have been life-long friends.
Mimi and Andy traveled the world in the ‘off season,’ and after one memorable winter in Mexico, arrived back in Yellowstone with only 37¢ in their pockets (about 20p). Friends bought them pizza to eat and paid for a motel room for the night and they managed to make it to their cabin for the summer...and to start earning money again!
Although the couple were having a great deal of fun during these years, Mimi was also working on her writing skills. She wrote two novel manuscripts while working those 70 hour weeks...
After their ‘gap decade’, Andy and Mimi returned to the UK to live in London in 1992. Mimi worked in journalism, marketing and office management while she wrote her third novel manuscript.
Mimi continued working on her third novel while she did the Bath Spa Creative Writing MA in 1999 and her MA dissertation, The Saint Who Loved Me, was agented by David Riding at MBA and published by Alison and Busby.
Three books for children (Wipe Out, Hit the Road, Jack and Get Real) soon followed, as did a book for early readers (Drawing Together). All were agented by Sophie Gorell Barnes at MBA and all achieved great success – Wipe Out was made into a BAFTA award-winning film by the BBC and translated into French, and Drawing Together was translated into Spanish, Serbian, Turkish, Italian and Korean.
During this time, Mimi began teaching for Bath Spa University, and eventually Andy and Mimi moved to the West Country, where they lived on a beautiful narrowboat. Here, in 2002, their daughter Olivia was born and they moved back onto land in order to raise their little family.
Mimi wrote Welcome to Eudora and The Corner Booth Chronicles, as she realised that she would not return to live in her beloved Kansas. She also achieved her PhD in Creative Writing in 2007. In this photo, Olivia had decided that since Mimi was dressing up, she would, too...
Mimi continues to write and teach in the beautiful West Country of England. She is now Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Bristol.
She visits the USA and misses her mother and her large extended family...as well as her friends from university days...although sometimes they come to visit...
She also travels for research. Here she is in Kazakhstan, the setting for her latest manuscript.
She and Andy and Olivia live with a large Labrador retriever, a 'moggy' cat and two fish, in a small house in an ancient market town. Mimi writes in a little shed in the back garden, early in the morning.
She goes out to her shed while everyone else is still asleep. Even when it rains. Even when her slippers slide on the icy path. And she tries to write the truest thing she knows.