Featured Author – Lois Lewandowski

get-attachment.aspxToday I feature a fellow yogi and author, Lois Lewandowski.

Hi Lois, I’m glad to have you as a guest on my blog today. I can imagine the readers would like to get to know you a bit before we jump to talking shop. So, I‘d like to get started by asking you a few personal questions so that we can get a feel of the person behind the author. If that’s okay with you?

Hi Lucy. Thank you for having me on your blog. I am happy to share my thoughts with you and your readers.

Given the choice what would you rather do, play piano, dance, or write the next great novel?

Throughout my youth, my body and mind were molded by the arts. My sense of who I was and wanted to become developed as I studied ballet and piano, and I cherish the lessons learned. At this point in my life I prefer to take the experiences of these two art forms, dance and piano, and transfer it into writing. I was never more than a mediocre pianist, and I haven’t had a ballet class in many years. Yoga fills the need for stretching and flow, with the added benefit of meditation. The afterglow of yoga is conducive to writing.

Are you a restless soul, or are you a rooter? i.e. do you like to travel, or do you rather stay at home?

We’ve lived in the same home for twenty years, so I guess I’m a rooter. I am also an organized hoarder. I save every piece of paper my children have drawn on, family tchakas… I still have my husband and my record albums. That said, I realize there is a big, beautiful world out there with wonderful people who have fascinating cultures. I hope to add more travel to my personal journey.

I know you started out as a blogger. Do you still run the culture and cuisine blog? And what is more gratifying to you blogging, or fiction writing?

I had actually started my first novel before the blog but lacked the discipline to do the work. One of my best friends had an idea for a dinner club, The Culture and Cuisine Club, and she invited four other couples. The hosting couple picks the country and we all contribute courses. We have cooked Ethiopian, Thai, Italian, Polish, Spanish, Cuban, Moroccan, Indian, French, Irish, Australian — and many more. The idea for the blog started after the third shared meal, and I’ve been at it for four years. Blogging has taught me discipline. My blog has morphed a bit and I have added an Authors Eats feature where other authors share a recipe and a story. Although I love blogging on the Culture and Cuisine site I prefer creating fictional stories. I’ve always had a bit of a fantasy world in my head, and now I can dump it into my computer. Also, the books allow me to go into far greater detail about the subjects I love, especially food, fashion, gardening, entertaining, etc. I like to write my novels savory and my characters spicy. I also have to give a shout-out to a great site I blog for, Indies Unlimited. It is an informative blog for writers and authors of all levels of experience. They are a wonderful group of supportive writers and I’m proud to contribute.

Well, that wasn’t too bad, or was it?

No, that was fun and not scary.

But since you’ve come here to talk about your work, can you tell us the title of the book you would like to talk about?

I would like to talk about my murder mystery “Born to Die: The Montauk Murders.” btdmontaukgood picI have always been a fan of murder mysteries; P.D. James, Agatha Christie, and Rex Stout come to mind. One of my favorite movies is Gosford Park. I decided to create a similar story, character driven, full of beautiful people, delicious food, and an incredible masked ball. In this murder mystery I introduce the reader to Miranda Richards, an 80-year-old art world icon. She was inspired by my admiration for Iris Apfel, and is extremely popular with my readers. I was told at one book club I attended that she better be in the next book, which I have recently completed. Miranda is famous for her series of paintings, ThePaint People. She discovered them in the sponge painted walls of her water closet. They are a demanding muse, and as alive to her as you and me. 

Did you have difficulty coming up with this title?

The title refers to the jaded way in which we view the expendability of certain people we meet in our daily lives. We move on from tragedy and death all too easily. I added the subtitle because two weeks before I published Lisa Jackson released a book by the same name and I wanted to distinguish mine from hers.

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

The ending of my most recent manuscript didn’t have the spark I wanted. After a conversation with a friend I decided to rewrite the last chapter and changed the ending completely.The last two paragraphs in particular took a couple of days of picking at them, walking away, and revisiting them with fresh eyes. Finally, I knew I had nailed it. That evening I met some friends and we played a couple of sets of tennis. I didn’t play well, but we stopped for a beer afterward and toasted the completed manuscript. It’s great when friends share your joy in an accomplishment.

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

After a conversation with a friend two weeks ago I decided to rewrite the end of “A Gourmet Demise.” The last two paragraphs in particular took a couple of days of picking at them, walking away, and revisiting them with fresh eyes. Finally, I knew I had nailed it. That evening I met some friends and we played a couple of sets of tennis. I didn’t play well, but we stopped for a beer afterward and toasted the completed manuscript. It’s great when friends share your joy in an accomplishment.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

I have worked hard on developing an author platform through social media, book club appearances, and in my day-to-day interactions with others. I am on Facebook every day, and I’m addicted to Pinterest. Pinterest is a branding mechanism and, I believe, a soft sell for authors. Pinterest is pretty, a fantasy, a visual cornucopia. I read about marketing, branding, and promotion constantly to educate myself and pick up ideas. I know I need to advertise more. Picking the correct site is the key. The KDP Select free days brought me new readers and some nice reviews. I have also used a constant contact newsletter to keep my readers up to date on what I’m doing. I share recipes from my kitchen on my blog, and this hobby is interesting to people. I think this lets a potential reader know more about me. If I could cook for readers, I would. The best I can do is to describe the food well enough to make them hungry.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

There is always chocolate in my books. I have a board on Pinterest called “The Other Food Group.” I am obsessed with chocolate, especially when combined with coffee.

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

I have loads of favorite recipes, hence the extra weight that refuses to go away. I make a chicken with sherry cream sauce that is delicious and fairly easy to make. The basic recipe: Pound down four chicken breasts, dredge in flour with salt and pepper, and cook in a little veggie oil until just done. Transfer to the oven while you make the sauce. Sauté one minced shallot in a little butter, when translucent add one chopped clove of garlic and one 8 ounce package of sliced baby bella or white mushrooms. When garlic is fragrant add ½ pint heavy cream, 2 tsps. chopped pimento and ¼ cup of good sherry. Cook down a little until all the flavors meld. Serve over chicken and rice pilaf. This is my sister-in-laws recipe and she said I could share it.

Sounds delish! Too bad I can’t post a picture of it.

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

I have a good excuse: My son is home from college today. First I need to make chocolate chip pancakes. Then, he wants Italian wedding soup, and I have to make the stock from scratch. And the little meatballs. I had a glass of wine while I was cooking, so I’m feeling relaxed and a bit foggy. I fall asleep on the couch watching TV.

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

I’m laughing because I just used my child as my excuse for not working. Seriously, I greet each day thankful that I have the opportunity to reinvent myself as a writer and an author. I love what I do, even when I’ve face-planted. I am also a proud Jersey Girl and Rutgers College alumni! I don’t know Tony Soprano, but Mario Batali made me a Stromboli once at the Stuff Yer Face restaurant in New Brunswick. New Jersey is a lively state populated with a cast of characters from many different cultures. Living in N.J. with access to Manhattan and wonderful museums, the theatre, concerts and sports was an advantage when I lived there. Here’s a little secret. If I were to be reincarnated I would like to be a hockey player. A defensive player with awesome puck handling skill, speed, smarts, size and the ability to grow a studly play-off beard. Is that personal enough? If not, there was that hot summer night in 1981 when we all decided to…

Thank you so much for this great interview Lois! Now, where can the readers find you online? And you readers, what is a summer you will never forget?

I am on FacebookPinterestGoodreadsTwitter.

Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing, Book Two

Casa de Naomi Book Two - Jacket SM

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

After reading the first book in this series by Paula Rose Michelson the choice to read the second book was easily made. It suffices to say, I made the right choice. This book, like its predecessor did not disappoint. In fact it was hard to put down.

But let’s not spoil your fun by posting my review. Instead I’ll give you a short blurb to entice, but I must stress the fact the full pleasure of reading this book can only come upon you by actually submerging yourself in the world Paula has created.

Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing, Book Two

Naomi wants Chaz’s love. Chaz loves Naomi, but will not forgive his wife’s lying to him. The attorney wants Naomi’s estate. The Padre wants the couple to reconcile. Nicco wants to marry Lucinda. Lucinda wants to marry Nicco. Neither will wed until Chaz and Naomi are standing with them when they say their wedding vows. Who will get what they want? Find out when you read the second volume of Paula Rose Michelson’s saga, Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing.

Take a look at the trailer, which I enjoyed watching, and tell me what you think of it.

Featured Author – Freddie Wegela

2010-12-20_22-02-40_374 Today a man with a vision joins me on my blog. Let me introduce to you Freddie Wegela.

Hi Freddie, we have read a bit about you when you were a Guest Blogger. For those who have missed that one, check it out here. As I said, welcome Freddie. Have a drink, grab a chair and make yourself comfortable.

Where, or when did your writing life start?

My third grade teacher (appropriately named Mrs. Reed) was a very beautiful woman, and to please her I pretended to read Gulliver’s Travels, for which I received many delicious hugs. I understood little of what I read but enough about tiny men and giant frogs to make her think I was comprehending some of it, which I guess I was, though I knew if tested I wouldn’t pass. Anyway, it was during this period I got the idea that girls, grown up beautiful girls, liked books and that (quite possibly) they liked the boys who wrote them even better. The truth of this was born out in the 11th grade when another beautiful teacher of mine asked if she could keep a short story I had written for an assignment, a grotesque story of a soldier who had tried desperately to free himself from the clutches of a dead man’s hand that was emerging from a grave. It was a terrible story but she liked it and by extension (I imagined) she liked me too – which, of course, kept me writing, even if only occasionally. A certain confidence had been born. The Muse appeared to me many times this way, early on and later in life, in various and beautiful (and sometimes not so beautiful) female forms.

Do you consider yourself a poet or a straight fiction writer?

This is a bit like asking do you take your fiction straight up or dirtied with a little poetry. Ezra Pound declared that if one wanted to learn how to write poetry one would be well advised to learn how to write good prose. I had written nothing but poems early on and well into my adult life before coming across Pound’s words, which inspired me (ironically) to try my hand at fiction. And to my delight, I’ve found the distinction made between poetry and prose to be at best a false one. In writing the novel, Then Like the Blind Man, for example, the attention paid to the rhythm and music of word phrases to render the southern vernacular was very much like that paid to writing poetry.

Have you been Published?

Yes. See above. Some indeed have seen fit to publish what was originally scratched on odd scraps of toilet paper and in bent notebooks in moods of angst and repose – some with, some without doubt.

Are you an author first, or is there another profession you call yours?

I’ve been a counselor, but gave that up to write full time. Now, that’s what I do – assuming there’s an ‘I’ of course and a ‘doer’ and a thing to be ‘done’ – which I am attempting not to do – which of course is another way of doing what you have set out not to do. This has something to ‘do’ with writing I think in that some of my best writing has occurred almost without warning or almost without any intention whatsoever. I’m not sure what I’m talking about here exactly but I’ll leave it here anyway – just because there’s something about it that feels right. I can’t say that being a counselor or psychotherapist has had anything directly to do with the day to day skill of writing, though it certainly has provided information and inspired a range of feelings, compassionate and those of a less charitable nature.

Is there any place on earth you love above all?

If there are no places on earth, where is the question of a favorite? The answer to this question is the place – the one I love most of all.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Something called Soak. This is not constant so much as curious – and rare – remembered – included in Blind Man.

Can you give me the recipe?

Here it is – straight from Then Like the Blind Man!

She walked around Granpaw and stood next to the stove. She had a thick white mug like his in one hand and a spoon in the other. “Orbie hon, look up here to me. You got the dry eye, don’t ye?”

I didn’t know if I had it or not.

“No,” I said.

“Yes you do.” Granny dug out a spoonful of coffee and biscuit from her mug. I’d seen her do that other times I was down here. Coffee and biscuit from a mug was one of her most favorite things. She called it ‘soak’. “You know what the dry eye is?”

Note: Add sugar if desired.

And now for something serious. 🙂

What is the book you came over to talk about? As mentioned above, THEN LIKE THE BLIND MAN: Orbie’s Story

FrontForWebAMAZON

How did you get the idea of writing that one?

I was born in Kentucky but soon after my parents moved to Detroit. Detroit was where I grew up. As a kid I visited relatives in Kentucky, once for a six-week period, which included a stay with my grandparents. In the novel’s acknowledgements I did assert the usual disclaimers having to do with the fact that Then Like The Blind Man was and is a work of fiction, i.e., a made up story whose characters and situations are fictional in nature (and used fictionally) no matter how reminiscent of characters and situations in real life. That’s a matter for legal departments, however, and has little to do with subterranean processes giving kaleidoscopic-like rise to hints and semblances from memory’s storehouse, some of which I selected and disguised for fiction. That is to say, yes, certain aspects of my history did manifest knowingly at times, at times spontaneously and distantly, as ghostly north-south structures, as composite personae, as moles and stains and tears and glistening rain and dark bottles of beer, rooms of cigarette smoke, hay lofts and pigs. Here’s a quote from the acknowledgements that may serve to illustrate this point.

“Two memories served as starting points for a short story I wrote that eventually became this novel. One was of my Kentucky grandmother as she emerged from a shed with a white chicken held upside down in one of her strong bony hands. I, a boy of nine and a “city slicker” from Detroit, looked on in wonderment and horror as she summarily wrung the poor creature’s neck. It ran about the yard frantically, yes incredibly, as if trying to locate something it had misplaced as if the known world could be set right again, recreated, if only that one thing was found. And then of course it died. The second memory was of lantern light reflected off stones that lay on either side of a path to a storm cellar me and my grandparents were headed for one stormy night beneath a tornado’s approaching din. There was wonderment there too, along with a vast and looming sense of impending doom.”

I read the usual assigned stuff growing up, short stories by Poe, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Scarlet Letter, The Cherry Orchard, Hedda Gabler, a little of Hemingway, etc. I also read a lot of Super Hero comic books (also Archie and Dennis the Menace) and Mad Magazine was a favorite too. I was also in love with my beautiful third grade teacher and to impress her pretended to read Gulliver’s Travels for which I received many delicious hugs.

It wasn’t until much later that I read Huckleberry Finn. I did read To Kill A Mockingbird too. I read Bastard Out of Carolina and The Secret Life of Bees. I saw the stage play of Hamlet and read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle too. However, thematic similarities to these works occurred to me only after I was already well into the writing of Then Like The Blind Man. Cormac McCarthy, Pete Dexter, Carson McCullers, Raymond Carver, Flannery O’Conner and Joyce Carol Oates, to name but a few, are among my literary heroes and heroines. Tone and style of these writers have influenced me in ways I’d be hard pressed to name, though I think the discerning reader might feel such influences as I make one word follow another and attempt to “stab the heart with…force” (a la Isaac Babel) by placing my periods (hopefully, sometimes desperately) ‘… just at the right place’.

Did it take you long between idea and finished book?

Let’s see. I started the short story I think sometime in 97 (maybe earlier) and the first draft was completed in the spring of 2003. I was working with Judith Guest (Ordinary People) and Rebecca Hill (Among Birches) at the time and their suggestions and criticisms required another almost two years of writing before I had a serviceable draft ready to submit to agents. More editing and rewriting followed in response to the agent I was working with and later to a couple of professional editors. I don’t think I had what you’d call a ‘finished book’ until 2008; approximately 11 or 12 years after I began the journey.

How did you celebrate writing the last words of your manuscript?

I don’t remember. Probably I drank wine and ate a little cheese. There was no definitive end. In fact, I went back and changed aspects of the ending even after it was published.

What do you like most about being a writer?

I like getting into the skin of my character, seeing the world from my character’s point of view. I like the attention to detail this requires. I like getting into the smell, the taste, the sight, how the character might hear a sound or how a certain texture might register with a character’s sensibilities. I like getting into all that and then working very precisely with the details of creating and showing a scene that is either an expression of what is occurring or completely at odds with it. The rest – the selling, the marketing, the posing, the branding – is all nonsense in a way or at the very least beside the point.

What do you do to promote your book and which thing do you think works best?

Well, there’s Facebook. My book has its own page at Facebook where I try to promote it and other books as well as other writerly things. There’s my website and blog. I have some recordings of me reading from my book there with sound effects and musical loops. I have other plans for the site but have no idea when or if I’ll ever have time to get to them.  I advertise. I’m on Goodreads, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter. I’m learning how to tweet. My book is with Kindle Direct Publishing and I have offered it for free several times, which has served to get a fair number of readers and many, many customer reviews, most of which, I’m happy to say, have been of the five star variety. I think that for a relatively unknown like myself it’s important to secure advocates for ones work, not just sales. My book has been downloaded almost 75,000 times for free, which hasn’t directly put a dime in my pocket but has most certainly created a small and growing audience for my work. And that tickles me several different shades of sunrise pink.

And to end on a creative note. Can you tell me something about you no one has ever heard before? (You can cheat and make something up, but if you do you have to tell us it’s really a very well crafted lie, because we have to believe it. 🙂 ) I am not a writer; I am not a householder, husband, brother, friend, uncle, son, a salesman, shaman, seeker, therapist, tai chi practitioner, irreverent fan of chocolate chip cookies, baked chicken, pinot noir, juniper and gin. In fact, I am nothing in particular yet I am. (go figure)

Thank you Freddie for this great interview. It was a pleasure hosting you and I do hope you will want to return at some stage when you have more news to share.

Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing, Book One by Paula Rose Michelson

When Paula Rose Michaelson asked me to read and review her books I was hesitant at first, knowing these are books with their feet firmly planted in faith. However I was very pleasantly surprised by how she manages to make me feel for the characters and draws me deep into the story. At one point I was so engrossed I just had to read on to know what happened to Naomi. Which is quite a feat for a book about faith–I’m not a Christian, in fact I don’t ‘do’ religion at all–yet this book made me forget it’s theme and had me focus on the story of the young woman. A true heroine, one who one cannot help but care for.

Without spoilers it is hard to write a review for this book and give you the full scope of its lure, but I tried anyway. You can read it here. There is so much going on and yet it never it reads ‘stuffed’ or cluttered. Paula’s style of writing is one which is pleasant to read and easy to remember. Without a doubt the second book in this series will captivate me as this one did, but to know if that is true you will have to come back and read my view on part two which I will post tomorrow.

For now I shall leave you with the blurb from book one and the links where to get this surprising book on faith and Naomi’s transition from teenager to adulthood.

Casa de Naomi - Book One - Jacket[1]

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing, Book One

Fifteen-year-old Naomi wants to practice her faith in public, find her uncle, and help him raise enough money to bring their family to America. To accomplish this she agrees to companion a blind, old woman whose family plans to tour Europe and settle in the United States. Her plans are thwarted when the woman passes away aboard ship, and Naomi is handed over to immigration. While she awaits her interview, an old Tía comes to Naomi’s rescue and offers to take her in. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Naomi agrees and unwittingly enters the country illegally.

This is Naomi’s journey from adolescence to womanhood, from frightened isolation and captivity to the noble status of heiress with a mission and responsibility many would shirk placed upon her shoulders. Along the way, she contends with piercing memories, hurtful loss, jealous opponents, a devious lawyer, and a curious priest. Through each step of this journey, she guards two secrets she dare not share with anyone, not even Chaz, the man she has married. Will she keep his love when he discovers who she really is? Find out in the first book of Paula Rose Michelson’s saga, The House of Blessing

Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessings, Book One

Trailer 

Featured Author – Paula Rose Michelson

A while ago I came across a remarkable author on Twitter. Luckily she was willing to join me on my blog and today I feature her once again.

Let’s not delay ay further but let me introduce to you, Paula Rose Michelson, a true wordsmith.

Casa Series 001-1

Welcome Paula. I’m honoured to be able to host you and hope you’ll like me grilling you. 🙂 But first tell us a bit about the woman behind the author, or the woman inside the author.

I am the founder of LAMB Ministries, which helps women recover from trauma and abuse through the effective use of scripture, and prayer. Besides that I lead a monthly writers group at Congregation Ben David in Orange, California, and together with my husband, Ron, serve with Chosen People Ministries.

We are the proud parents two married daughters, and grandparents of seven grandchildren. When not writing, speaking, or teaching the effective use scripture, you will find me researching my next book or meeting with friends.

That is a nice, short introduction which gives us a glimpse of who you are. 

I do however have some questions for you, just to satisfy my curiosity and shed some light on your inner being.

When did you first get the idea of founding your own Ministry?

Good question! I didn’t know and had never thought about founding anything!

I had become a believer in Messiah while completing my training to become a Chemical Dependency/Lifestyle Disorder Councilor in a dually diagnosed psychiatric unit at Woodview Calabasas Psychiatric Hospital. On the very day, I was offered full time employment, my husband told me he’d been promoted and we were moving to the San Francisco bay area, which was nine hours from the San Fernando Valley.

We didn’t know a soul and since we agreed to let the family whose home we were buying rent back we were living in an apartment.

I met a lady who invited me to church. On that first Sunday a woman shared about her friend who was sober but fearful, a white knuckle alcoholic, and had been living like that for many years. I mentioned my background and the books that might help once I’d unpacked them. She asked for my phone number, which I gave. The same afternoon she called to tell me that she and her friend had prayed and felt I should meet with this woman. I agreed and within a month that one woman had become ten.

Though none of the others were in recovery for an addition, each one had the same issue, a fear that the trauma they experienced would continue to be repeated, if not by others, by them. Having dealt with my own stuff, and worked in the system, then discovering that God’s word is affective and will accomplish his purpose, I began teaching these women what I had learned.

When our friends who were missionaries on furlough from YWAM realized what God was doing, they asked me to contact our pastor. I met with him and was appointed the head of Women’s Lay Counseling. While in Freemont, CA, I interfaced with Stanford’s Chemical Dependency staff and worked for the Rubicon Center as a house parent for six teenage girls, which the state had removed from their homes because of abuse, drugs, child endangerment, and other issues to numerous to delineate.

Do you ever doubt?

When I am doing things in my own strength, I feel dread, not doubt, and that tells me that I am not listening to or reading Gods Word.

At the writers group do you write any genre?

The writers group I lead had to disband because our congregation moved to another location, and many programs were eliminated due to lack of space. However, while the group existed I encouraged each writer to follow their hearts leading.

What genre, besides scripture, do you like to read?

I love almost anything that would be classified as “P” or “PG” writing and doesn’t use a lot of swearing and gets to the point without taking Gods name in vain. Because my fiction, which many have labeled “Romance” requires a great deal of research, I’m a passionate reader of history, but love all well written books whether mysteries, historical, biographies … the list goes on and on!

Why did you write the books you did?

Again, I must confess that writing six books about my Sephardic heroine, Naomi was never a goal! I was writing a book about three women who meet while hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Ruth was a lot like me so it was easy to write her character sketch.

Scout was a pastor’s kid and having known many writing her character was fun!

Naomi was the third, and least important character, or so I thought! She was difficult to sketch because I had never known a Spanish Jew. Every time I tried to write her sketch, I ended up researching and writing about the trail, minor characters, anything but this illusive …

Finally I told a few friends that I needed help, and was surprised to discover that three of them, Correne, Betty, and Janice were Sephardic, and my friend Trish had married a man who did not know about his hidden heritage until she told him. My friends lent books. After I devoured them, I ordered many more and began researching what happened to the Spanish Jews hundreds of years before the Spanish Inquisition as well as its little known Mexican counterpart.

I had spoken about the book with my publisher friend who had been asking me to write for ten years. She was interested in publishing the work. After months of waiting she asked what I was doing. I told her I was writing a character sketch for Naomi. As requested, I sent her my dailies. Forty days later she told me I had begun to write a different, and she believed, better book, and suggested I go back three days and begin reading! And that is how the two Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing, and the four volume Naomi Chronicles were written. But, since I’m telling all, I believe it important to mention that if Naomi had not begun to tell me her story, after asking her mamá’s permission and receiving it, none of these books would exist!

What a wonderful journey to an incredible end result. But let’s not get ahead of things. I have more questions about the who and why of you.

Did you have any trouble coming up with the titles?

After writing what became books one and two, I met with my friend who publishes and discovered that not having a book or chapter titles happens.

Hahaha, Tell me about it. You would be surprised how many authors change the titles of their WIP’s not once but often before publishing. Shoot! Linda Rae Blair even changed it after publication first time. I’m sorry for interrupting, go on.

During our meeting we settled on Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing, which should have been the title of the saga for the first two books. If I had it to do over again, I might have chosen separate titles for those books. Since I like to move forward and cannot do that well if I drag around regrets for things that could have been better, that lesson taught me what I need to know, so I’ve given each of the four Naomi Chronicle Books their own unique title and cover!

Can you see any character in your books turn away from faith?

My characters are written as they present themselves. Given the reality that many in the faith have issues there are characters within the books that lust, are raped, consider abortion, and yes there is even a member of the clergy that tries to run away from his sin nature. Personally I think writing about a person who turns away from their faith and the effects it has on them and others would be amazing but so far that’s not the story I’ve been hearing! Perhaps someday I will.

Do you ever speak to your characters? When you do, do you discuss, or lay down the rules on how they should behave?

I don’t remember speaking to the characters, but have been told by readers and read reviews of the books when readers were so upset that they worried about or talked to the characters! One reviewer mentioned staying up all night trying to figure out how she could help Naomi. Another reader was so upset that while speaking to Naomi, she woke her husband out of a sound sleep in the middle of the night!

That is amazing and a sure signs you are able to pull the reader into the book and have them solidly relate to your characters. Well done!

If you would have to change anything in your books what would it be and why?

I have at times written something that made no sense, gone to bed, thought I should fix it, begun to get up and heard God say, “Do not edit me!” Hearing those affirming words reminded me that though the world calls me an author, he called me to write. Therefore, I am a scribe for Messiah.

Do you ever write alternative endings?

No, I haven’t written alternative endings. It’s enough just making sure that I keep tract of each character, local, and situation so at the end of each book as well as the end of the saga the reader’s not only happy but knows where each of these people are and that they are all right. This is very important to me because there are at least three more series or sagas that I’m researching, and some the minor characters in this saga will be featured in those stories where readers might also find out what’s happening with Chaz, Naomi and the others.

Okay, the serious part is over. Let’s move on to the fun. 🙂

What do you like to secretly do to unwind?

Unwinding is so very important! If I have the time, I like to take off with my husband, who also writes, and go to Big Bear’s Best Western Chalet, a deluxe getaway that looks like a castle! Both of us love to hike the woods, eat great food, walk around the town, and write! If I’m local, meeting with my girlfriends for a gab fest. I love talking with my writer friends in Wales, Australia and other far flung places and planning what island we will meet on for a month and who we’ll invite to join us once we’ve time and money.

There’s a great plan if I ever heard one!

Now, you know I like a scoop, so tell me something that will be fun for us to know about you.

I can’t tell a joke without laughing and my laughter is so infectious that everyone starts laughing. By the time I’ve stopped laughing and can tell the joke, I’ve forgotten what it is and usually while admitting that I’ll start to laugh and where all off to the race’s again!

Paula, you do sound like a fun woman to know! Great, because the fact you have an infectious laugh means you know how to enjoy life and those people bring joy to others.

Now, do you have a craving for sweet or salty snacks? And when does it hit you?

I love food period! If I’m up, if I’m down, I love food! Since I lived next door to my grandparents and my grandfather owned and was a Jewish baker, I love anything sweet! My husband introduced me to salt. After years of experimenting, I can testify that life lived with a little sweet and a little salt helped me understand that everything has a reason for being even if I currently don’t know why!

That is a wisdom not many people realise is important to keep in mind.
But tell me, what is the song that got stuck in your head the most while you wanted it out?

Since I love music, I don’t remember wanting to get a song out of my head. I do smile each time I hear Johnny Mathis sing The Twelfth of Never because that was one of the songs I listened to when I was writing the Casa Saga books.

What movie awakened something basal in you? And what emotion was it?

The movie Charly staring Cliff Robertson based of the book Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes was, by far, the most terrifying possibility I’ve ever seen depicted on screen because it shows how a drug can transform a very developmentally disadvantaged adult into a genius from whom scientist are learning while the one they are learning from discovers that he will become as he once was.

And finally tell us a secret, one that colours your cheeks just thinking back on it. Or just tell us something fun to know about you.

I’ve learned that we can only see in others what we have perceived in ourselves so whether others rave or morn, it’s not about me, and knowing that allows me to be me free to be me!

That is a most wonderful statement to end this interview with. Thank you Paula for so freely sharing these snippets of your life with me and my readers.

Now tell me where can we find you on the internet?

Facebook

Twitter

Amazon Author Page

Writings by Paula Rose Blog

Paula’s own site

And finally, I am proud to announce Paula will be back tomorrow with more. Do come back and don’t miss out on a wonderful revealing of the book.