Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover

Historical fiction author Paulette Mahurin

Don’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover

By ,

Paulette Mahurin

I’ve received the great pleasure of being asked by Marian Lanouette, to come here and talk to you all today. What came to mind as I was thinking of what to say is a recent review I received from another author, who is more well known than I am. She wrote that at first she was really anxious to read my book because it was historical fiction and the cover didn’t appeal to her. The minute she got into the prologue she was hooked, couldn’t put the book down, and cursed me for losing sleep. She loved the book and has been promoting it to all her friends.

Another blogger wrote to me to ask if she could read and review my book to post on her blog. Of course, I was thrilled. She then apologized for her blog site being mainly for YA and paranormal, and hoped that wouldn’t turn me off. I told her I had just read and reviewed (5 star review) a vamp paranormal book and loved it, plus just purchased another one from Amazon.

What gave the first reviewers the impression in the first place that she wouldn’t like my book and the blogger in the second situation that I would be offended by a different genre? Krishnamurti, a famous philosopher that Eckhart Tolle (author of The Power of Now) credits as his teacher, said, and I paraphrase, the word is not the thing. A thought about something is not what you will experience while involved in the activity, and when we think something that is confining or holds us in a box, a perspective that is limiting, we deprive ourselves of the richness of walking into something new.

Most of what I’d written before The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap were love stories and several incomplete murder mysteries. Writing this story was out of my own box and came to me in a flash. It kept me awake at night with ideas pouring forth, that refused to be ignored. I was never attracted to historical fiction and here I was writing it, researching it, engulfed in it, for six years. I was obsessed with fact checking, learning about the news that came over telegraph wires in 1895, the year that Oscar Wilde was imprisoned in England for having sex with another male, and alive came characters that were every bit as real as my own family and friends today. And, believe me they are characters!

I wrote and opened. I wrote and learned, and what I learned was this, that until I live an experience, or read a book, or relate with someone personally one-on-one, how can I comment about what that experience really is? I vividly learned that things are not what I think they are and the nature of thought can be as much a fiction story as any book we pick up to read for entertainment. How can I know a sunset described in words, or the gentle kiss of a baby, the wag of my dogs tale, a drop of rain, or love’s tender embrace? How, without direct first hand experience? And so it is the same with books, with stories, with genres, that there are preferences that will not disappoint but there are also surprises, and in trying something new, holding judgment at abeyance, we may walk through many hours of joy before the page of a book that could have been lost to us.


Paulette Mahurin, an award-winning 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. She has taught college level nursing and does pro-bono consultation for women with health issues. She’s also an active animal advocate.


PRESS ARTICLE: VC STAR Sept. 9, 2012 Sunday Life Section:
SANTA PAULA ANIMAL RESCUE CENTER: (where all profits are going)

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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