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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Interview with Paula Calloway

YGR: Thank you so much for agreeing to interview with us here at You Gotta Read! It's a pleasure to have you!

Thank you for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.

YGR: Introduce us to Paula, the person, not the author.

I was born in PA and raised in FL. I have a handsome hubby, aka my knight in shining armor, and a daughter that I could not be prouder of. I have three dogs, well, more often it's they have me. I'm a stickler for time's cooperation and when I don't get it, it messes me up. I love to cook from scratch because there's nothing better than a home cooked meal. I'm a perfectionist who knows perfection is an unobtainable illusion. I love when everything is symmetrical, but there isn't a straight picture in my house. LOL I'm a blue-eyed blonde fire sign and often live up to almost every aspect, good and bad. How bad? Well, hubby's grinning.

YGR: Now that we all want to move in with you and be part of the family, tell us about Paula the author.

You sure you want to move in? I write when I can and whatever the characters want. Each character comes alive and whispers in my ear. I just write what they say. When I have three or four demanding attention and it gets a little out of hand, I call Nyan, the CW, aka, character wrangler, and he rounds them up and settles 'em down. Maybe one day I'll get his story.

YGR: What are some of your fears? How about passions?

The unknown is my biggest fear. There's a lot in life we'll all face and that doesn't bother me, it's the unexpected unknown that pops up in my path. I hate curve balls and monkey wrenches. I like an even keel with a little wave here and there and can even weather a good storm when I know it's coming. But to have one pop up out of the blue, well, that just messes up my plans and dang it, I worked hard to lay those. LOL I live with the phrases live and let live as well as expect the worst and hope for best so life doesn't get too many edges. Freedom and life are my passions. I love to live and live to love. All in all, that's probably why my characters must learn to conquer the obstacles on their path to that HEA.

YGR: When you're not keeping your husband awake with your tossing and turnings at night, what sort of books do you read?

Pretty much anything I write such as fantasy, paranormal, sci-fi, futuristic and contemporary. I get a little lost with historicals if they get to intense, but I like the medieval time frame.

YGR: How did you get into writing?

I've always been creative. I started drawing on the wall when I was about twelve. My mom claimed they were too pretty to paint over and just wished they were on paper so she could have kept them. Sorry, mom. I went from drawing to poetry while I was a teen. I never really started writing stories until I was about twenty-eight and that came from a dream about a futuristic earth with only a dying chance. That dream haunted me three times and then became a dream I couldn't stop having until I was so frustrated to see it that I wrote it down to get rid of it. That dream came back, continued again and I wrote what I saw. This went on until that dream became the story I called The Book in 1991. It's sitting on my computer, waiting for me to revise it and I will. I have to. It's a futuristic that opened the door to writing for me.

YGR: Tell us about some of the books you have written.

My books, stories, babies. I have one publisher and that is eXtasy Books. I have a standalone: Dark Hope. There twins in that story are getting their own little short tale in an eXtasy Books anthology called Café Nowhere. I have five tarots stories: A Second Chance, A Light in the Dark, Home Port, A Cry in the Night, A Heart's Chance. I also have two stories in the anthologies by A Collective Mind. In Atlantis Allure: A Tale of a Tail, and in Emerald Envisage: A Living Forest. The Emerald Envisage is just released today. Some day in the near future, I hope, I plan to finish the LaViolette series-twelve to fourteen parts, Zendara series-four parts, and The Book, now titled Touch of Earth-two parts with a three to five part short series branch off.

YGR: What is the hardest thing you have found about writing and how have you overcome it?

Writer's block. That big gray monster seems to avoid me since I built my 3500-gallon pond and triple waterfalls. If inability to write hits, I step onto the back porch, lean on the railing and listen to the cascading, tumbling and crashing falls. Guess you could say I drowned that beast. Finding time is now the monster and I'm still working on that battle.

YGR: Which book of yours is your favorite?

A Heart's Chance. I fell in love with Mikeli. He was supposed to be bad and hated, but it didn't work that way. *sigh* When I finished the book, I wanted to rewrite the whole story. I hated his wife, hated what I did to him, hated that I hurt him. He didn't deserve that. He really was a hero and he is very close to my heart.

YGR: If you could go back and meet one of the characters in your book, who would it be and why?

Aside from Mikeli in the above question so I can rescue him, Tarmathian from A Second Chance. He is the epitome of my father and husband and is an amazing man I would love to meet.

YGR: When you get reviewed, is it important to you to have people comment on your review?

I consider a review a professional opinion. I've seen a book get a low score, turn right around and get a high score. Numbers don't matter as much as words. What a reviewer says is more important than any number rating.

I have a book that the reviewer's comments were awesome and stuck with me, yet the rating was low. At the same time, I've had a book get a five, but the reviewer's words didn't tell me much. I like to hear why the reviewer liked or hated a book. Tell me why something did or didn't work, what was liked or disliked.

I love and invite opinions from readers. I've had readers who fell in love with some of my characters enough that they have re-read a book three and four times. I have one reader who asked for a follow-up on some secondary characters and another who has the cover of one book as the background of her desktop because she loved that book that much. Do these matter to me? Oh yeah. More than any words can. When a reader says I touched them, the characters meant something to them or the book is special for whatever reason, I cannot express my gratitude enough to that treasured and cherished gift.

I love comments from readers and reviewers. Feedback is important to me and I want to know, good or bad.

YGR: Is there a genre that you would like to write but haven't so far?

Nope. I will not cross into genre I am lack experience in or have no knowledge of. Right now m/m and m/m/m/f are the hottest things going, but I would never dishonor a genre I am unfamiliar with by trying to write it. I have far too much respect for writing as a profession and far too much love as a pleasure.

YGR: What is one of your favorite things of being an author?

Staying at home and working when I want…okay, when the characters demand. LOL

YGR: If you could no longer write, what would we find you doing?

Crafts. I do soap making, candle making, crystal wrapping and wood burning as a way to relax when I need an escape.

YGR: What advice would you have for a new writer?

Try, then try again. Get someone, not a friend or family member, to read your story. Ask for honesty and expect it. Prepare yourself for the slam of a lifetime. You may have weak spots, excess things that lead nowhere and bog the story. Edit. I don't care who you are or how long you have been writing. I do not know of any author, epub or NY, that does not make mistakes. Research. Is it one or two words? Does that word really mean what you want to say? It is an ellipses or em dash? Make sure. Make real sure because simple mistakes will hang you with most any publisher. If you want to write for a particular house, follow their guidelines. If there is anything you are unsure of, ask. Most will tell you anything their guidelines didn't make clear.

YGR: Thanks so much again for interviewing with us. It's been so much fun. I hope you will consider blogging with us sometime!

Thank you for having me. Anytime. You ask, I'll answer. :)

1 comment:

lastnerve said...

Wow, that was an awesome interview! I am really glad that you have beaten the writers block monster, I think I may just make hubby dig a huge hole in the yard so I can start to write! lol I was amazed at your answer about writing a book in a genre that you do not know. Most people I know would write a different genre regardless of the research it takes to write it. So kudos to you for your decision. I have Hearts Choice that I haven't started reading yet, but I am so happy to know that it is your favorite. I will be reading it ASAP. Thanks so much for blogging with us and I look so forward to reading your books. You rock Paula!