First off I would like to say thank you so very much Paulette for joining me here today! It means a lot to me to have you featured on my blog. I think your book will make a huge impact on the readers and the way they think of the how society functions today compared to back then. I know it did with me.
1. So I have to ask what inspired you to write this book?
First let me say, thank you to Chasity for the invite. You’ve been
a delight to get to know, love your blog, and hope we stay in
My basic inspiration for writing this story started with a photograph,
that was the seed, but the deeper motivation that watered that seed
and grew the story, moved the it through me was the injustice of
Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment for doing something that was as natural
for him as any other of us here, or anywhere for that matter. I can’t imagine falling in love, making love, and because of my preference of who I chose to
be with, I land in a prison of hard labor. For me, this was mortifying.
2. Would you say you have a specific writing style?
I don’t write from a “should” perspective or formulaic place. I’ve seen
comments that the scene description in my book really resonates
historical but that some of the dialogue doesn’t sound historical. I
was aware of that when writing and with creative license stuck
with what sat right with me, while reading it. I didn’t try to
keep it stilted or confined which might resonate more with the
late 1800s, when my characters spoke to me I wrote their
words down. When I was into the rewrite and re-read it had
to flow and keep me interested, if the narrative was too
didactic (me trying to show off what I learned or my
research) or like I was trying to do something, instead
of the story just flowing along, that part was cut. Cuts to
to honor the flow of the story, which is why it’s probably
only 202 pages. Other readers told me to pad it, make
it longer, put in more of the historical research, make
the dialogue more time appropriate, and when I fiddled
around with that, that’s exactly what the story became–
someone else’s opinion and pulled attention off of the
action. My style is to step out of the way, for the sake
of the story and reader, in hopes it will hold interest,
keep the pages turning, and then ultimately perhaps
resonate with the reader new ways of seeing things.
3. Will you continue to write books on deep issues such as the ones touched on in ‘The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap’ or will you write a different genre?
I’m open to most genres. The next story I’m writing (into Chap 7) is a love
story, about a couple that met in an Oncologist’s office, both with advanced
metastatic cancer, fell in love… It’s based on an award winning non-fiction
short story I wrote in College. I’ve also got a couple of murder mysteries
on the back burner, fully complete but need editing and rewrites. I
guess I’m a vehicle for whatever flows through me, seeing that
my job is to get it down in some reasonable fashion so it’s readable,
(laughing here) because honestly I couldn’t say what all this writing
is about and why one story pops and we write and another just
sits there. So many mysteries, perhaps divine intervention does
the writing and I’m just the secretary. Not trying to get deep and
heavy here, just what’s coming up. There’s a famous statue of
David, carved by Michelangelo, incredibly perfect in every
aspect: artistically and anatomically, and when asked how he
did such a masterpiece he replied (and I paraphrase) It was
already there, I just carved away the excess stone. I doubt
he said this because hubris was a high crime back then, he
saw something from a bigger perspective. I can’t compare myself
with the greatness of the Master Michelangelo, but I have a sense
of what he was talking about which sits on the table of the answer
to this question.
4. Is there anything that you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Getting out of the way, lol. It’s hard to let go. I spend hours, months
researching, and there’s an inclination to want to show off, like
the student raising her hand, screaming out, pick me pick me,
but I know that would be a story stopper. How to pick out what will
fit, what will be that one sentence of value that the reader will
somehow see in it months of research, is a killer! The editor
edits, but the writer has to cut and we don’t always see our
writing, or even ourselves, from a perspective that another
will see us from, all we’re left with is our intuition and hope
that it isn’t a mental detour. Hard to write on faith but that’s
what any good story teller, artist, right brain activity relies
on, probably is also at the base of left brain activity too, I’d
5. Are you currently working on another project right now?
I’m spending an enormous amount of time tying to promote
this book, because profits are going to the first no-kill animal
shelter in Ventura County, CA. where I live. (The Santa
Paula Animal Rescue Center: they have a facebook
page if anyone cares to visit and like them). It kills me
to see the sad faces of dogs and cats behind bars on
death row and for what? What did those poor fury
ever loving friends do to deserve that. I plough on putting
in time promoting this book every day. It’s exhausting, but
I love animals and so it motivates me. My passion for
rescuing dogs, in particular drive and and sits up top
of my daily to-do lists. I’m also a Nurse Practitioner,
specializing in women’s health in Ojai, where I live with
my hubby, Terry, and our two rescue doggies (from a kill
shelter), Max & Bella (they sit atop my facebook page so
if anyone wants to meet them, feel free to friend me).
And, I continue to write, read, review/edit other’s work,
on and on.
6. Who’s your favorite author and what makes you like their work?
I think Steinbeck. Not just saying this because he won the Pulitzer
for Grapes of Wrath, but more because I read that book and when
it was over it haunted me. How did he write that, with such
conviction, that I felt for the characters. I cried and hungered
with them, like no other book I’ve ever read. Still to this day,
years later, I can taste the dryness of that dust bowl. That
said, there are so many brilliant and talented authors that
amaze me, that I look forward to reading and don’t want their
stories to end, too many to really comment on.
7. What was the hardest part about writing your book?
I think I addressed this with question #4, challenging part of
writing was also the hardest part about writing.
8. Do you have a specific message that you want to get across to your readers?
The absolute bottom line, aside from the passion and motivation on my part
to bring more tolerance into this world, is this: I hope you enjoy the read. I
hope it brings something new and enjoyable to your life, that you pick up
the book and when you start you don’t want to put it down. Life is too
short to not enjoy, and so for everyone reading a book, any book, my wish
is that it’s something you’ll enjoy, that you’ll love. It’s all really for and about
the reader, isn’t it?
9. What book are you reading now?
So glad you asked, The Afflicted Girls by Suzy Witten. She is a masterful
writer. It’s a historical fiction that addresses the Salem Witch debacle.
I got interested in her book when I read the synopsis and had been
so fresh off researching mine, which has teen touted as a Women’s
Brokeback Mountain vs. Arthur Miller’s The Crucible (which is about
the Salem witch trials). I’m into the first part but it is exceptionally well
written that I can only imagine it will grow on me as a favorite.
10. Who designed the cover of your book and how did they come up with it?
I worked with my friend who has her own publishing company and does
design work plus editing. We used a photograph of my husband’s grandfather
and grandmother, because it fit with the three main characters in the story
and looks to be that time period.
Again, thanks so much for the invite and allowing me to blab on here.
Hope everyone will visit the book’s page on facebook and visit its
For anyone interested in purchasing it: there will be a giveaway on
Goodreads from Monday August 20 through September 25.
It’s sold on Amazon (the kindle is free for Prime members):
Happy reading everyone!
About the Author!