joi, 15 noiembrie 2012
Giveaway and Interview with the author Paulette Mahurin, author of The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap
1.What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find about you?
I’m afraid to fly. And, believe me, I won’t unless it’s an emergency and
2.What was the greatest thing you learned at school?
That to understand a word conceptually is very important. How many words do we come across that we think we know the meaning of, the definition, and put what we’re reading into that context only to find out we had it wrong. The dictionary is a helpful learning tool. Once I mastered being able to understand how to study, it opened so many new doors for me.
3.What is the best piece of advice you ever received from another author?
Try to write from the viewpoint of the character. What does she look like through his eyes, how does she feel about her, and to get out of the way of what I might think or how I feel it should be done. This has not just helped me in writing but also in life. There is another person over there, how does she or he really think/feel? Not what do I think they think/feel? It makes for good listening An author/writer can listen to his/her characters and go from there.
4.Do you have a favorite quote that you keep visible in your work environment to help inspire you?
I just looked around my study and don’t see any quote, but one did come to mind from Oscar Wilde and that is, Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. What better thing could there be than that?
5.What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?
The most important one is to help rescue animals, dogs in particular (they are my passion) and try to get as many of those sad faces out of cages and into their forever homes. Because
all profits from my book, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, are going to animal rescue I will continue to promote this book. I also do a considerable amount of pro-bono work with women with health issues, as I am a health care provider here in Southern California. It fills my heart to use my experience to help others when they are most vulnerable and in need of a friend to help, who can.
6.Tell us about the project that involves saving the animals.
My husband and I have rescued rottweilers for the past 28 years. It started out with a dog my mother-in-law had, Altair, who had cancer and had an amputation. He had the best attitude of any dog I had ever met and I bonded with him. He was a teacher for me, on living and being in the moment, presence, no matter the hand you’re dealt. Because of him, we took to the breed. Year after year, puppy and older dog, abused dog, neglected or abandoned dog, we brought them in and when we couldn’t take on any more we brought them to rottweiler rescuers where we could. They are a wonderful dog, loyal and sensitive, playful, and I love that breed passionately. They, like some other breeds, have gotten a bad name, mistakenly because people abuse and use them to fight or be mean but that can happen with just about any breed. In fact, when I worked in the second busiest emergency room in Los Angeles County the highest statistic of dog bite was from a poodle. Rottweilers did not rank high up for biting This was a national statistic kept from emergency rooms nation wide. Again, this points to people’s misconceptions about the breed.
7.Why did you choose to save rottweilers?
Love. I fell in love with Altair. And, to this day whenever I see a rottie, puppy, older dog,
I get all soft and warm inside, like with your beauty, Sasha. I posted her photo to my Facebook page because it just makes me happy to look at that adorable face. I love their coloring and muscular body and how loyal and protective they are to their family. I don’t know when they started to get a bad name because they started out years ago as a work dog, in Germany, they would pull carts and help their masters. That’s what they are all about, they
love to help, and play. At least that’s how I feel about them.
8.I heard you have two beautiful rottweilers. Tell me more about them.
We’ve had so many come through our doors. We currently have Max, a purebred who was born with a missing paw and thrown away to a kill shelter because the breeder couldn’t sell him. He’s the sweetest dog alive and like Altair shows us that being happy in this moment, right here and now, is always available, no matter the hand one is dealt. Then we have Bella, who is a rottie-sharpei mix. She’s the funniest dog we’ve ever had. She’s got the big rottie body and the tiny little sharpei ears, wrinkly face and curly tail. She can jump from the ground on to of a table so in some ways she’s like a big cat. Again, too many have come through our doors to recount here now or I’ll put you all to sleep.
9.What do you think is the best way to change people’s mentality about rottweilers?
That’s a hard one. How do we change the mentality of hatred or prejudice. How do we
get anyone to think anything? That I do not know. What I do know is that love sees itself, sometimes only in glimmers but in those moments the heart knows what the mind can never comprehend. For me, all it would take is to have someone hold little Sasha when she was that puppy in the grass, a tiny little puppy, harmless and so inquisitive. That puppy still lives inside of her. But, without contact, without the opportunity to love, then what? Then we stay set with our thoughts and prejudices, never knowing the fullness that awaits outside the prison of judgement.
10.Tell us about your book The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap.
It takes place in 1895, after the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, and the impact his prison sentence has on a lesbian couple living in a small Nevada ranching town. It is not just a story about the lesbian couple, but also brings in racism and anti-semantics, to point up the theme of hatred and intolerance that spreads though judgmental thoughts that close minded people possess and spread, toxic gossip. This book is a chronicle of hatred and prejudice with all its devastating and unintended consequences. But, it is also a love story, a friendship story and that lives are healed through the power of these friendships.
11.What inspired you to write it?
I was in a writing class and saw a photo of two women standing very close together, looking fearful, wearing turn of the twentieth century clothing. The photo screamed out lesbian couple afraid of being found out. That was the seed for the story which really came to life and bloomed during the research phase into that time period, which was Oscar Wilde was tried and convicted for homosexual behavior.
12. How did you come up with the title?
The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, seemed appropriate since it was she who was
persecuted and bullied all her life. It just came to me.
13. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I would hope that the story, the theme, helps shine a light on intolerance and the harm it does not just to others but our own hearts. How can we as human beings see each other as that, human beings-different, not bad or good, but different. After all, we are all human.
14.What was the hardest part of writing your book?
All the editing and rewrites. Once the basic story is completed it’s nit pick grammar,
structure, what flows, what’s believable, and switching around where something apprears
in the story. That is tedious hard work, but necessary because if you don’t dress your story in a format and structure to serve it, you can lose the reader to distraction.
15.What are your expectations for the book?
I try not to have expectations. That lead to disappointments. It is my hope, a prayer,
that the book continues to sell in the name of tolerance and also to help save animal’s
16 .Do you have any advice for other writers?
Like the Nike commercial says, Just do it. A writer writes. If you don’t sit your butt
down i the chair nothing happens. Doesn’t matter if it’s for ten minutes or ten hours
if you aren’t writing then you’re not involved in the process.
17.Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
To every single person who picks up the book, reads it, reviews it, talks about it,
spreads the word, I am grateful for you are lending to an energy that is shining a light
on tolerance and helping to rescue dogs.
18. Where can readers stalk you?
VC STAR Sept. 9, 2012 Sunday Life Section:
SHELTER PROFITS ARE GOING TO:
About the author:
Paulette Mahurin is a nurse practitioner, specializing in women’s health in a rural clinic in where she lives with her husband and two rescued dogs. She also taught in several college level nursing programs, including UCLA, where she had a Master’s Degree in Nursing from their nurse practitioner program. Her two passions are writing and rescuing dogs.While in college she wrote and published two award winning non-fiction short stories.