Mir Foote


Mir Foote grew up in the country, in a small community called Whitehawk. There she had the woods for her playground, dirt roads for her adventures, and an entire wilderness for inspiration. She was lulled to sleep at night by the sound of drums and coyote calls. By day, she explored.

Now, the world is her playground. She spent a year of school in France and another month in Prague. She taught English for a year in South Korea. She has walked on the Great Wall of China, scaled Reichenbach Falls where Sherlock Holmes nearly met his match, and stood in the ruins of Pompeii.

Mir Foote is a world traveler, an amateur linguist, and lover of the written word. Currently, she is looking into the far reaches of the past and future, exploring new stories, and working on her next book.

Smashwords Interview

What are your five favorite books, and why?
Ooh...must I hold myself to just five? Well if I must, in no particular order for absolute favorite:

1. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. The other books in the series as well, of course, including the Simarillion are brilliant. But The Hobbit has a special place in my heart because it is the book my dad used to read to me and my brothers when we were little. It's the first proper chapter book I had ever been read or read for myself and it will always be a favorite.

2. The Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. Perhaps naming an entire series is cheating, but really it would be impossible to single out one to be on the list. I enjoy his world building, his understanding of what it is to be human, his sense of humor, and the way many of his books don't divide into chapters. This was especially nice when I was younger and my mom would tell me to stop reading and I'd say 'Can I finish the chapter?' because of course that would mean finishing the entire book.

3. E. Nesbit. Another unfair answer since I didn't even name a book, but again I'd be troubled at choosing one. For those who don't know her, she wrote many children's books in the late 1800s/early 1900s. I love them because its a bit like being given a time machine to that era and seeing it through the eyes of a child. That they're mostly fantasy stories is just the icing on the cake.

4. Diana Wynne Jones. Perhaps I should just give in and rename this 'favorite authors'. Like E. Nesbit, she mostly wrote for young adults and children. Like with Terry Pratchett, I love the world building and her understanding of her characters. Like E. Nesbit, I love her understanding of children. She writes the world of fantasy like it is real, and I love her stories.

5. Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I know this covers several books but at least I named more than the author this time! He is a new addition to my list of favorites. Growing up, I developed a vehement dislike for the mystery genre, and considered Sherlock Holmes to be a 'boys book' and kept well clear of it. I don't know where I got either notion. I have, throughout my life, read any number of books with male main characters, and most books that I enjoyed the most had an element of mystery to them. Still, the only book I ever deigned to read by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was 'The Lost World' and that's only because it had dinosaurs in it. Then a few years ago I was teaching in Korea. The city where I lived was rich in culture and Asian life...but rather empty of things like English movies. When I was vacationing in Seoul for Christmas, I jumped at the chance to see a movie in English. At the time, I was so cut off I knew nothing about what was coming out. I had seen no previews. I was presented with four options. One was a toddlers film, so that was out. One was Twilight. Even if I had been tempted my brother, who had come to visit me for Christmas, definitely wasn't. Then there was Avatar and Sherlock Holmes. I knew nothing about either. Avatar was just about sold out. Sherlock Holmes still had a couple of seats together. We chose that.

After seeing the movie, I dived into the Sherlock Holmes genre. I found the books online. I found tv shows. I found a new favorite book.

So those are my top five. Today. At this moment. It leaves out Jurassic Park, and Dinotopia, and The Secret Garden, and Pride and Prejudice, any number of other favorites. But if I was going to name all my favorite the list would probably be a hundred books long, so I suppose its best to just leave it. At the very least, those five are a good start.
How do you approach cover design?
A couple of years ago, the prospect of designing my own cover seemed impossible. If asked, I would have said I can't draw, and the fantastical themes of my stories don't lend themselves towards Earth photography.

Then something rather unexpected happened. It started with being a teacher in South Korea. I was new at teaching English and I wanted to play to my strengths: storytelling. So I started making PowerPoint presentations featuring English fairy tales. The students got to practice their simple English phrases and they learned a bit of Western culture at the same time. But of course these were children studying a foreign language. The stories needed pictures.

Of course the easy solution is to go searching online and find free pictures and clip art. And that does work...to a certain extent. What I mostly ended up with was a myriad of Snow Whites, all looking different from each other, with the necessary poses or expressions to match the text. At some point, some of the simpler bits were just easier for me to draw myself. So I started drawing. And I tried everything I could think of to 'cheat' so that I could get away with my lack of skill. I used copy and paste. My brother introduced me to Gimp. In the end, I drew quite a lot. And after about a year or so of this, one day I actually looked at what I was doing. I was drawing. Me. On the computer. A skill I swore I'd never have. It turns out, constantly practicing a skill really does improve it over time! Who knew?

So, in answer to the question, I approach it in one of three ways:

1. I draw the art myself on the computer using Gimp. In actual fact, only two of my covers have been done this way: the first (but not second) version of The Wishing Stone, and Mathew Maria

2. I find a relevant photo and use that. This is what I did for my poetry book, Dance against the Wind.

3. The final and, in my opinion, best method is a combination of 1 and 2. I find a relevant photo and then I add my own touch to it. Mountain of Stars, for instance, started its life from a photo of an actual tree. Almost Earth is mostly a photo from my trip to Pompeii...but if you look closely you will notice a few changes. And the Wishing Stone cover art features not one, but two different photos: the ocean and the plant. The spaceship and the flower were drawn in by me.

As my art skills continue to improve, who knows? Perhaps I finally publish one of my picture books!
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Mir Foote online


Mathew Maria Brings the Sun
Series: Mathew Maria. Price: Free! Words: 12,650. Language: English. Published: June 21, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction, Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Values & Virtues
Just because something is very small, that does not mean it can’t be important. Mathew Maria is very small, but she still does amazing things.
Eleanor Rosaline Kidnaps a Dragon
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 16,740. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables, Fiction » Children’s books » Readers / Chapter Books
Sometimes life has dragons. That doesn't mean you need a knight.
The Perfect Kingdom
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 500. Language: English. Published: September 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables, Fiction » Children’s books » Fiction
Sometimes, being perfect is a flaw. Sometimes, it takes imperfect to save the day.
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 6,460. Language: English. Published: September 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Spiritual, Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
'And when you ask the question 'why', you’re standing for a fall, but if you never ask the question, then you have no faith at all.'
Almost Earth
Series: The Chronicles of Evrion, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 38,210. Language: English. Published: November 29, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Their wish got them there. Can their map get them home? Or will the pirates find them first?
The Wishing Stone
Series: The Chronicles of Evrion, Book 1. Price: $2.40 USD. Words: 32,140. Language: English. Published: November 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Everyone has heard the warning to be careful what you wish for. Fewer know to be careful of the interrupted wish.
The Storykeepers
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 37,780. Language: English. Published: November 19, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Fairy tales & fables, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fantasy
There are stories not told to the children, stories that must not be told to the children, of times when evil won. Four orphans must make sure their story isn't one of them.
Mountain of Stars
Series: The Chronicles of Evrion, Book 3. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 38,330. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
Deserted on an alien planet, chased by pirates, haunted by a prophesy, and left on the doorstep of a mountain with no doors. The Chronicles of Evrion continues when Jinx and his friends face a mountain.
Pirate Perdita and the Time Travelling Zombie Dinosaurs...from Space!
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 22,830. Language: English. Published: November 3, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Science & Technology, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Sci-Fi & fantasy
What would you do if you had a dinosaur army, a spaceship, and the ability to travel through time? The zombie dinosaurs are among us. Run.
Dance Against the Wind
Price: $3.00 USD. Words: 4,770. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry
"If there is one activity in this world that I love, it is to make words dance." Mir Foote has been writing poetry for over twenty years. Now at last, her award winning poetry has been collected together into this single volume. Partnered with beautiful photography gathered from her travels around the world, these are poems to delight, captivate, inspire, and enthrall. Enjoy the dance.
Mathew Maria
Series: Mathew Maria. Price: $2.40 USD. Words: 8,960. Language: English. Published: October 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Family / General, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
In the Martin household, the stairs are never for walking, bubbles are only for emergencies, and the door must never ever open when the music plays. Come join Mathew Maria and her family, where the extraordinary triumphs and the smallest child can save the day!

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