Interview Day 3 @ Telas Notes: Persecution Is Alive And Well Throughout The World

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Paulette Mahurin on The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap

I’m continuing my interview today with Paulette Mahurin about her novel The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap. Enjoy!

** I found this novel to be very relevant to today. What do you think?
Definitely. The human condition has evolved in many ways but in many ways not. Persecution is alive and well throughout the world, as is the case with teen bullying and suicides, the ethnic wars being fought, women mutilation in some developing countries, battles against the morbidly obese, socially unacceptable, those off the bell curve are deemed freaks and made fun of. The gossip and hate mongers surrounding Josie, in the book, can be replicated in small towns everywhere (and large cities, of course), where hearts are closed and egos strive on putting others down, persecution will thrive. Aside from my passion to help animals, advocating for tolerance is an equal passion, a world where people can come out of their closets and live their lives without fear of being damaged, emotionally or physically, and I’m not just talking about the GLBT communities, but anyone who differs and fears rejection because of that.
** How many books have you written?
This is my first. I’ve written and won awards in college for a couple of short stories but this is my first full length.
** What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting out of the way and letting the story take the lead. I put in a lot of time researching and wanted to show off what I learned. Like the kid jumping out of their chair in school, screeching pick me, pick me! I spend months on some topics and included a lot in the book but when my editor saw it she said cut, cut, cut…! It sounds way too didactic, too history lesson classroomish…Oh crap, what do I cut? I was deflated because I had to reduce pages, almost two chapters down to a couple of paragraphs but when I read through the rewritten manuscript, it was better, flowed without distraction. I had to cut a lot, which is probably why the book is not that long, only 202 pp, lol!

** How did your experience with battered women help you in writing this book?

I think it gave me a little realistic depth on the hurt that is caused. It’s one thing to read about it, but when you see a woman lying on an examining table, crying and bruised, it does something to you, to your cells, your heart. It must have poured out of me in some of the scenes with the torment Mildred and Edra lived through.

Thank you so much, Paulette, for your wonderful interview! Friday, I look forward to discussing your love for dogs and the rescue work you support.
Happy Reading!

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About 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 Britian's recently passed law that made sex between males a criminal offense. When the 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 Wildes' imprisonment. It is chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship bring strength and healing. Paulette Mahurin, the author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs--- Max and Bella. She practices women's health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. All profits from her book are going to animal rescue, Santa Paula Animal Shelter, the first and only no-kill shelter in Ventura County, CA, where she lives. (see links below on Ventura County Star Article & Shelter) To find out more please go the The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap on facebook or Amazon or e-mail us at the gavatar addresses. Thank you. (photos: of Paulette, her family, and a reading at The Ojai Art Center, July 2012)
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