Mermen by Mimi Jean Pampfiloff

 Mimi Jean Pampfiloff
Mermen (The Mermen Trilogy Book 1)

They’ve got something he wants.
INFAMOUS BACHELOR and SELF-MADE BILLIONAIRE ROEN DORAN IS A BASTARD. Yes, he knows it. And no, he doesn’t care. He’s got money and power, and he depends on no one. But when his estranged father dies, willing him a secret island, Roen will come face to face with an even bigger secret: its occupants. And these savage, sea-obsessed warriors are quick to make their position clear: Leave now or die.
There’s only one problem. Nobody tells Roen what to do. Ever. Oh, and one other thing. He’s just met the island’s other new “guest” and something about her brings out his possessive side.
SOLE SHIPWRECK SURVIVOR LIV STRATTON had been adrift at sea for ten grueling days when salvation miraculously appeared: an uncharted island. Only, the deceivingly beautiful men who live there aren’t interested in saving her. No, not at all. Because they somehow believe she is their property, a gift from the ocean to do with as they please. This is not good.
Her only hope? Billionaire Roen Doran, of all people. A man who’s said to care for nothing and no one. But if he’s so heartless, then why is he about to risk everything to help her?

Before taking up a permanent residence in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mimi spent time living near NYC (became a shopaholic), in Mexico City (developed a taste for very spicy food), and Arizona (now hates jumping chollas, but pines for sherbet sunsets). Her love of pre-Hispanic culture, big cities, and romance inspires her to write when she’s not busy with kids, hubby, work, and life…or getting sucked into a juicy novel.
She hopes that someday, leather pants for men will make a big comeback and that her writing might make you laugh when you need it most.

-Why did you want to become an author?

I sort of stumbled on it about four years ago when I rediscovered my love of reading. I just couldn’t get enough of those romance novels! I’m not sure if I just needed a creative outlet to supplement my not-so-creative day job or I just needed an escape from stress, but I literally woke up one day and said, “Hey, I’m going to write a book!” That book ended up being ACCIDENTALLY IN LOVE WITH A GOD, which I self-published in 2012 and have sold over 100K copies.

-What would you say to those who are thinking about becoming writers?

The journey needs to be a selfish one, all about you. Yes, that’s right. Me. Me. Me. Say it loud and say it proud. Shamelessly write what you love because it makes you happy and because it enriches your life. If you write for everyone else or to chase fame and fortune, you’ll end up miserable. You can’t please everyone, and the fame and fortune part may never come. But write for the love of it, and you’ll win no matter what.

-How did you come up with the idea of Mermen?

I love stories where the unlovable or revolting are turned into something we all can’t help but fall in love with. Example: Who didn’t love Warm Bodies? The dude is a zombie and eats brains, but most of us were probably loving him from the first moment.
And when I wrote the ACCIDENTAL SERIES, I was kind of going after the same thing. Mayan gods are NOT sexy. They just aren’t. But creating a world where that just wasn’t true was so much fun. And my gods aren’t just sexy, they make you laugh.
Anyway, when I decided to tackle another similar “taboo,” I wanted something that would really, really push me. So I chose a species I find hard to get turned on by.
Half-fish men can be pretty, but they’re not sexy! (For me, anyway.) But that was part of the fun! Reinventing the entire folklore surrounding mermen and mermaids and turning it into something that would turn the mermen-haters into mermen-lovers.

-What or who inspired you to write?

Twilight. Yes, yes. Say anything you like, but when I was younger, I read Anne Rice’s books. School, especially college, destroyed any love of reading I had given the amount of time I spent with my head buried in a book. Grad school only deepened my hatred of all things paper. But one day, my son MADE me go see Twilight. That reminded me of the stories I used to love. I then started reading Charlaine Harris and everything else Paranormal I could get my hands on. Then that fateful day in came when I woke up and said…”Dang, I want to write a book! But my vampires will be dorky, and my heroines will be real women who are quirky and weird and know it. My gods will be sexy and dysfunctional and need humans to help them grow. How fun!”

-What was the hardest part of writing Mermen?

First I had to figure out what turns most Paranormal fans off about the mermen species. “I think they smell like fish.” “Where are their penises?” “How do they have sex?” “Living in the ocean sucks. Who wants a fantasy about that?” “They seem kind of wimpy compared to a vampire.”
Then I had to build a new species around that, while figuring out how to make them mermen, but…NOT mermen. See? Not easy! LOL.

-Favorite place to write

My backyard when it’s sunny.

-What genre do you feel you couldn't possibly write and why?

Military Suspense. I can’t seem to get warm and fuzzy when I’ve got to use military lingo.

-When will the third one come out?

I’m aiming for November. Not sure yet if it will be late or early.

-What did Cimil think about all these Merman?

She’d want to make them all her personal pets and spank them.

-Will there be any crossover between the Accidentally Yours characters in the Mermen series? Will there be any invisible unicorns?

LOL. I hadn’t thought about that, but now that you mention it, I could see some of the Mermen jumping over to Immortal Matchmakers (my ACCIDENTALLY YOURS spinoff), looking to Cimil and her unicorn for a little help in the love department.

-Why do you write such different themes?

Like I said; writing should be a selfish journey. And I can’t imagine anything more boring than writing 19 books about the same characters, species, and world. Even if they paid me a million bucks per book, I’d say no. Because my readers would end up with a stale, boring piece of crap that I didn’t enjoy writing. Choosing different themes allows me to reach out into the world, learn new things, and push my imagination into new spaces. Variety is definitely the spice of my life.

-Why the cliffhangers? Do you think that will ever change?

I’ve written 3 non-cliff hangers (Happy Pants, Fate Book, and Fate Book Two), but yes, I mostly do cliff-hangers.

Why? Two reasons:

1. Personally, I LOVE them. I love them in movies, I love them in TV shows (“What?! Come on, Damon! You can’t leave Elena again!”), and I love them in books. The better the cliff-hanger, the more I get excited about what comes next. And it always feels fantastic to me when that next installment or episode finally arrives. “YIPPY! It’s here!”

2. My first commitment is always to the story telling. Sometimes the story fits neatly into one book; however, the juicier, twisty stories with crazy plots where the characters go on a journey just won’t. Not unless I make the page count very, very high, and I’m am not a fan of the 210K page book because it just feels like I’ll never get to the end. Break it up, though? I’m there!

- Why do you write?

I write because I love to. And in the process I hope for two things:
To make someone laugh when they need it most and to support my family.

-Tell us something about you that's not a secret but no one really knows?

In my heart, I still don’t consider myself a writer. I didn’t study English or Literature. I studied International Business and Spanish. So how can I be a writer if I didn’t go to school for that? (Stupid, I know.)
BUT my rational mind knows that anyone can be anything they set their mind to if they work hard enough. In the end, however, my strange hang up keeps me “real” and working so hard. The day I put my feet on the desk and say, “Yep, look at me! New York Times and USA Today bestselling author” is the day I don’t deserve to be where I am.

-Who was the inspiration for ROEN?

My inspiration for ROEN was more of a what rather than a who. Everything I’ve learned over 15 years in the corporate world, where leadership skills are shoved down your throat, has taught me that certain leadership traits can be learned.
However, a true leader has charisma and a certain selflessness that doesn’t make them look weak, but gracious and strong. Even when admitting their own shortcomings.
That’s really what the book is about. True leadership versus the fakes. The island is the boss we all hate who takes advantage and uses fear and threats to get what he/she wants.
ROEN is a true leader. He knows he can only succeed if his people do.

-Who would you want to be marooned with on a deserted island?

My husband. He’s awesome and can do everything—build stuff, make jewelry, cook, kill critters for food, clean, dance, wash, repair a dishwasher, chop wood, and decorate. He’s like the Swiss Army knife of people. Love him.

-Where do you come up with some of your funny one liners (like from Happy Pants Cafe)? In the shower? Making dinner?

No one thinks in a linear fashion, one thought at a time. We have tons of stuff pouring out of our heads at any given moment. I think the humor comes out of capturing those random, inappropriate, WTH thoughts we all have.

Here’s an example:
Imagine you’re at a beach resort on vacation. You’re wearing a bathing suit, and you’ve just gone swimming in the ocean and realized you didn’t wear enough sunscreen.
You open the door to your room and see a dead body on the floor.
This is where you need to be honest with yourself. How would you react?

Here’s me:
Shock. OMG, there’s a dead person on the floor. Did I walk into the right room because there’s no reason for that body to be here. Scream! OMG, there’s a dead body on the floor. Will they think I did it? Oh shit. Should I run? Call the police? What do I do? There’s sand in my hooha and my skin hurts! I can’t run like this. I don’t have clothes on or money and…crap, that poor person. Who killed them? Swivel, swivel. Is the killer still here? Dammit, this sand is not feeling good.
So that’s the sort of mental diarrhea that might come out of my head when faced with a horrible situation. Obviously, seeing a dead person isn’t funny, but the fact that 90% of us would be thinking about the sand in our hooha is.

-King was a big departure from your usual funny and light books. Had you been considering writing a darker storyline for sometime?

Yes! That story was in the brain-shoot for a while. I think it’s good to try new things and get out of your comfort zone. Going darker was definitely that for me. Mermen is, too!

-How would you describe your writing process in less than 140 characters?

Total chaos topped with a heaping helping of the unknown. And fun.

-Do you have a favorite character you've written if so who and why?

 Cimil and King. I love how they are so extreme and ruthless, but loveable. Their insanity is what makes us love them.

-Any weird habits you'd like to confess?

Nope. I don’t want to confess. Kidding. I don’t have any…

-For a person who's never read your books, how would you describe them?

Adventure Romances for those who love to be surprised. Because you never know where my stories will go.

-Do you have a brainstorming whiteboard

Yes. It’s my biggest tool. I use it all the time. I then use Post Its religiously to track threads and clues that have to be woven in. It looks like a giant cluster but it works for me.

-Who is your favorite paranormal author/book?

Anne Rice and Charlaine Harris

-What is your favorite snack when you are writing?

Is coffee a snack?

-How many books in series? Will we get more vampires?

Not sure about the series, but we will definitely see more vampires in Immortal Matchmakers.

-Are any of your characters based on real life friends/acquaintances?

Not really. Most are an amalgamation of various people.

-How is "Mermen" different from your other titles, which are well-loved and very popular?

Mermen may feel different at first with so many evil, evil hot men, but I don’t think it’s different at all. It’s an adventure romance. There’s a bigger underlying moral story. It’s fast paced with a ton of twists. I’d say it’s exactly like everything I write.

-If "Mermen" were made into a movie, who do you see portraying Roen and Liv?

Roen…OH, sigh. I would have to choose Stephen Amell from the show, ARROW. For the Liv, I’d have to say Gemma Arterton.

-If you were stranded on an island, what are the five things (no people!) you wish you had with you and why?

Sunscreen (I’m so pale, it’s not even funny)
A solar charger for my laptop
My laptop
A lighter (so I could build a fire—I hate being cold)

-Do you listen to music when writing?

Yes. I generally have a play list for each book and share those in my “note from author” section in every story.

-5 fave movies?

Ugh. I don’t know. Maybe Pride & Prejudice and North & South, but both are BBC mini-series. Ummm… The Princess Bride is great! (Corny and sweet with lots of adventure. Go Buttercup! I loved World War Z (so scary and suspenseful). Ooh, I watched Snowpiercer on Netflix the other day—frozen apocalypse on a train—that was freaking cool. And…definitely Star Trek #1 of the new batches with Chris Pine. I love all of the Star Trek movies, but the opening with the Beastie Boys playing and the kid driving off the cliff sucks me in every time!

-5 fave books

Ugh. That’s hard. I don’t think I know. Can I be lame and just say there are too many?

-Who would you recommend that has the same quirky writing style as yours?

I don’t know if they’re the same, but I think some of the funnier Paranormal writers are Kerrilynn Sparks and Alexandra Ivy.

-What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?

I guess I’d still be doing the corporate gig, negotiating contracts for big companies, working twelve hours days. (Oh, God…that sounds wonderful. Way less hours than I did today.)

-With everyone wanting to love mermen why did you decide to make them the villain?

They’ll just have to read and find out! But everyone should keep in mind who I am and what I always write. I never really leave readers hanging, though they may suffer a bit to get to that pot of gold.


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