Saturday, November 3, 2012
First let me say thank you so much for inviting me over to chat with you and for this great opportunity. I’m a Nurse Practitioner, specializing in Women’s Health, in Ojai, CA where live with my husband Terry, and our two dogs, (rescued from a kill shelter) Max & Bella. My passions are writing and animal rescue (dogs in particular). All the profits from my book are
going to the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County, CA. Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center. (http://www.santapaulaarc.org/) It is my life’s dream and passion to see as many sad faces out of their prison cells and wagging their tails in their forever homes.
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlapis a historical fiction, with a strong theme of tolerance. It’s a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its unintended consequences and how love and friendship heal.I have also written romance and mystery stories but this is my first published novel. I’ve had non-fiction stories published while in college, centering around stories involving working
with cancer or dying patients, inspirational stories.
General fiction lovers or anyone up for a good read. It seems to be well received across all genre groups. It is not, however, a children’s book as it deals with serious adult themes.
I can sit and write for hours. I love to write. I love to get in the zone and just let the story, the writing, do its own thing. And, I am disciplined to put in the time. My weak point is I get carried away with researching and what to include or not, and lose sight of the importance of letting the story flow and not interjecting too much. That only lasts until it gets to my editor, lol. I have a great editor who won’t let me get away with turning the story into a didactic class room lecture. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of what “I” want to include and what serves the story line. Luckily, I work with some great professionals who guide the story back through me, and get me back out of the way.
I’m laughing because I don’t seem to have this problem, more writer’s diarrhea. As I just mentioned, I tend to overdo it, but then it all gets worked out once my editor gets her hands on it. I’m lucky in the sense that I can sit and things do flow.
This is my first.
Aside from what I wrote above, I think it’s knowing when the story is completed. Stories are snap shots, not the full length life born to death script, but rather a microcosm that could
easily be expanded. The rewrite and find new things to add seems endless, there’s always a better word, always another idea, a what if, or should have this or that, but at some point enough is enough and it’s done. Then you turn it over…
Not to sound trite, but I love a good story, not genre or type specific. I love a good historical fiction, and have recently review a vamp and werewolf story that were quite good, and who doesn’t like a good poignant love story with substance. Enjoyment is something subjective to my experience with the book before me, not the type of book. Maybe I’m an oddball, but I’m glad cause it keeps me open to all sorts of reads.
Again, Grapes of Wrath,was incredible but I don’t have a favorite. I love the classics, and the good contemporary reads, it’s all in the storytelling. I’ve read some indie authors recently that
are really good and loved reading their work. My criteria for a good book and good author is did it grab my attention, hold it, carry it along with the story, and was I sorry when the book
came to an end, because I didn’t want it to be over? Been too many to comment or pick out one all time favorite.13. How long does it take you to write a book?
This one took six years. A couple others that are complete except for the final editing phase took a little over a year. This historical aspects take longer because I had to fact check everything.
14. Out of all of your characters, which is your favorite? Why?
Charley. He comes out of desperation, wanting to die to be with his wife who just died, and when he was at that point of giving up on life something changed for him. His character is a metaphor of what our hearts know, that our minds can never understand, of what is possible. His metamorphosis is all about hope and all that is good and right in the human condition. And, yet he struggles with his insides, like all the rest of us and never loses sight of his humanness, his authenticity, which makes him real and that is easy to relate to. I love the guy.
15. What is one of the most surprising things you’ve learned as a writer?
That in some ways, when you get out of your head, and just let those fingers type away out comes the story, almost out of thin air, where thinking doesn’t exist. It’s magical when you learn to trust in the flow and let it go where it will take you. You don’t see the big picture, the full story, until you type your last word and sit down and read it. You think to yourself,
I did that?
16. What does your family think of your writing?
They love it and are extremely supportive. My husband is one of my readers and is a great help. He’s my rock, my typo-correction-King and I don’t know how I’d get through without him, a shout out here to a really great guy! You’d like him also.
17. What does your writing schedule look like?
I get up in the morning, around 6:00, take care of our puppies and get myself some tea then head into the den and away I go. I’m lucky, my schedule is my own and open, except for the days when I work, which is part-time.
18. Do you manage to write every day?
Usually. Lately, I’ve been involved in promoting my book because of my neurotic passionate desire to want to help as many animals get out of jail as I can. That is holding a very high priority for me currently. I feel if I stop putting energy into then what? I’m self promoting and have to keep making connections, like this with you (again a big thank you) and so far, luckily
it’s been paying off.
19. What’s the latest news you’d like to share?
OMG, I’m so glad you asked. For a thank you to all the incredible support I’ve been given by wonderful and kind people like you, Raebeth, I did a five day kindle book free download through Amazon. It just finished yesterday and the number of downloads boggled the mind, 18,204. That’s a lot of energy for my little 202 pp book. Amazon ranked it #3 in kindle store sales and things are looking good. The kindle price is only $2.99 so a lot need to sell to translate that to funds for the dogs, cats, furies, but with efforts like yours here, I’m hopeful.
20. Do you have any advice for new writers?
A writer writes. Just sit your butt down in the chair and do it, like in the Nike commercial, just do it. Doesn’t matter if it’s ten minutes or ten hours, to feel involved in the process a writer needs to write. Leave the editing up to the editor and tell the critic in your head, between your ears, when it raises its ugly critical head to shut up!
Thank you so much Paulette for your time. It was a pleasure having you here today.