Guest Author Wednesdays ♥ Paulette Mahurin
Posted by Tempeste O’Riley
Hello everyone! I’m ecstatic to have Paulette Mahurin, Author of the historical fiction novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap with me today. Please say hi and leave her a comment or two below.
Paulette Mahurin is a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in women’s health in a rural clinic in Ojai, CA. Prior she worked and precepted NP students from UCLA & USC in the second busiest ER in Los Angeles County. She loves to write in her spare time.
She’s an award winning short story writer and has just recently, March 2012 published, her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap. She lives in Ojai, Ca with her husband, Terry, and their two dogs they rescued from a kill shelter, Max and Bella.
You can find her at:
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
The year 1895 was filled with memorable historical events: the Dreyfus Affair divided France; Booker T. Washington gave his Atlanta address; Richard Olney, United States Secretary of State, expanded the effects of the Monroe Doctrine in settling a boundary dispute between the United Kingdom and Venezuela; and Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for gross indecency under Britain’s recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When news of Wilde’s conviction went out over telegraphs worldwide, it threw a small Nevada town into chaos. This is the story of what happened when the lives of its citizens were impacted by the news of Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment. It is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
What do you find the hardest part of being an author?
Staying true to the story, the characters, and getting out of the way. Not writing something into the story line because I invested hours, days, months, into researching it and want everyone to know it, when all that’s required is a sentence or two–keep to that. You put in the time, you kill yourself hour after hour, and end up with one word or one sentence. One of the hardest lessons, not just in writing but life, let it go.
What’s you favorite thing about writing?
Feedback from readers; that it made someone cry in a good way, that it made someone cry in a bad way, it helped someone see something new and helped someone see something about themself that they didn’t like, that they want their mother or aunt or daughter to read it, that they gained something from it, that they bought it for their lesbian daughter who hadn’t come out to them yet but they’ve always know it …
Just how H.O.T. is your book?
It’s subtly hot. Disgustingly hot in a rape scene. Gently and lovingly hot in a first sex scene.
How sweet or romantic do you tend to be?
The romance comes through in a real way, in how we realistically relate, especially in times of stress, when it’s the love interest that sustains us, carries us, and gives us reason to continue in the face of hatred. There’s a deep passion and conviction of commitment and loyalty with the lesbian couple protagonists. And, in the friendships they end up cultivating which one could say is romantic in the true meaning of romantic.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Straight forward, cut to the chase. I don’t get into a lot of literary fill in but let the story line, the character interactions move the story along. I try to keep anything out that would pull he reader out of the action of the storyline. I have a balance of narrative and dialogue with scene description but I don’t overdo it. If anything, I’m accused of not giving enough, readers wanting more story, not wanting it to end. Consequently it’s not a long book, only 202 pages but this is how I write. I don’t do filler just to make it longer.
Which is you favorite storyline/angst situation and why?
The degree and intensity of hatred from the antagonist in the story, Josie, and how it’s met and dealt with. The human condition is a complicated mess of emotions, false faces, pretenses, bullshit stories about “me” meeting stories about “you” and meanwhile inside the real deal is happening. In this novel, we have a character, Josie, who doesn’t hold back; she makes you cringe when she spews the “N” word, or slams a Jew, and wants to kill Gays. She makes you sick but yet you get to peek at her story, a little of her insides, and in that you see that she’s human and possesses what we all have, she’s just more off the bell curve in the hatred direction. But, we’re all shades of that gray.
What inspired you to write about it?
The inspiration for the story line was Oscar Wilde’s unjust imprisonment in Britain in 1895. Britain had recently changed its laws on a man having sex with a man, indecency, to make it a criminal offense, imprisonment of two years in a prison of hard labor, and Wilde was the first noted celebrity to be convicted under this law. He spent two years on a wooden slab, doing a treadmill for six hours/day, eating watery soup for meals, and for most of that time being denied pen, pencil, or paper. All this for having sex with his lover.
Can you imagine that? You meet someone, your hormones flare, and what is the most natural human instinct throws you into chaotic torture. His imprisonment was a watershed change in history for Gays, in which abuse and intolerance escalated in parlors and living rooms around the world where the news spread. I used his imprisonment to set the stage for a lesbian couple, living in a small Nevada cattle ranching town, to become paranoid they’d be found out. His imprisonment moved along with the story that took place over six months and while the lesbians were plotting to avoid being found out the town continued to receive news of Wilde keeping the stir of hatred ongoing.
You can have everything in life taken from you but what you make your attitude. (paraphrase) Viktor Frankl
What’s next for you?
Am well into the next novel, in which a couple who both have cancer meet in an oncologists office. It’s based on an award winning non-fiction short story I wrote while in college.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
In honor of the 15 years spent with her beloved companion Tazzie, as well as her desire to support no-kill animal shelters, proceeds from the sales of “The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap” benefit the Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥