Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Welcome to Frances Pauli's guest blog
Welcome Ms. Frances Pauli to Love Romances and More, thank you for joining us.
Did you always want to become a writer?
Thanks so much for inviting me. I remember always wanting to write stories, but then I always wanted to paint as well. My whole life I bounced back and forth between the two, imagined illustrating my own books, that sort of thing. For whatever reason, I chose Art when college rolled around. In the end, it turns out I have more of an author’s soul than a painter’s. Painting regularly bored me. I could write every day for the rest of my life and still want more time to do it.
What is the most, and the least interesting fact about writing?
The most interesting part has to be that moment when you go back and read something that you’ve let sit. You’ve got a fresh perspective and you read along thinking about what you need to tweak or change. Then you find something, some twist or quirk or bit of dialogue that you don’t even remember writing, and it’s like the story did that all by itself. Those moments are where the magic is.
How did you celebrate your first release? What was it like to see your book in a bookstore? Do you have a special ritual for celebrating a book release?
I wish I had enough releases under my belt that I could give you a great, quirky ritual. Since I’m hovering somewhere around…one, I’ll have to say I have big plans for quirky in the future. Right now, I’m only certain that it will involve some good wine and chocolate…definitely chocolate.
How did your family react to fact that you write romance novels? Have your family read your book?
My husband is thrilled, but only because he thinks I’m going to get rich and buy him a boat. Seriously though, the reactions vary from arched eyebrows to supportive enthusiasm. I think most of them wish I’d write something they enjoy reading more. Not a big romance family. My friends are tickled to death. They read right up my alley.
Most authors are also avid readers. Is this the case with you? If so, who are some of your favorites? Have any influenced your writing?
Okay, I’m going to show my age here, but I started reading long before Romance had met Speculative Fiction. So I had to make do. My all time favorite authors wrote Science Fiction and Fantasy with strong romantic sub-plots. Andre Norton is, and always will be, my hero. I used to sneak over to the Romance section and read a lot of Jude Deveraux. Today, I’m really enjoying the flood of books that I would’ve killed for back in the eighties. I like Katie MacAlister a great deal, and I’ve discovered some e-book authors that I consider top notch. Karina Fabian’s work makes me laugh so hard I cry.
Do you feel each of your characters live with you as you write? Do their lives sometimes take over a part of your life? Can you name an example? Do you have living role models for your characters?
I tend to get into my heroine’s head, but I wouldn’t call myself a “method actor.” The story itself has been known to posses me and infringe on daily life more than a little. Some of the most minor characters in my books have proven to be my favorites. Old Mary in my Urban Fantasy trilogy is right up there. I love it when a character I had no intention to invest in stands up and grabs the spotlight. Very few of my characters descend from real life people, but many of them have traits or quirks that do. I’m not telling which ones, either.
Where do you get the inspirations for your books?
More than half of them probably start with a dream, or a fragment of a dream. The rest come from daydreams, people or situations I run into or just ideas that pop into my head.
Do you find it difficult at times to write love scenes?
It’s funny, I never thought it would be. Then I got to the first one and totally clammed up. I never expected it because I had no problem imagining them, but I think that cultural “no-no” instinct kicked in. In the end, I compromised and settled around a sensual heat level. I can have fun there and still be fairly comfortable. Who knows, I may push that boundary someday.
Do you have a problem with deadlines and have you ever suffered a writers block?
I actually enjoy deadlines. I learned writing for NaNoWriMo that a deadline gets my fingers working better and faster than anything else. I’ve never had writer’s block (knock on wood) but I’ve been stuck plenty of times. I joke around that, when faced with writer’s block, I just kill someone or write a sex scene. It’s not entirely true, but the idea is to do something extreme to get the plot rolling again.
Do you prefer stand-alone books or series (As a reader or a writer)?
I like a trilogy. That wasn’t one of the options was it? I suppose my answer is series, but with the qualifier that my attention span usually wanes after book four. Some series just keep going, and I need closure. I want a nice, tidy happy ending.
If you could change places with one character from your book, who would it be and why?
I’d pick different ones for different reasons. Liz, from A Moth in Darkness, because I’m in love with her hero. Chloe in The Dimensional Shift, because she gets to travel between dimensions. In my work in progress, all the characters are Supers, so there’s certainly some fun to be had there as well.
What is your favorite book from the books that you have written so far? Who are your favorite hero and heroine, and why?
I’d pick The Fly in Paradise, the sequel to Moth, because I’m the most invested in that world emotionally. Moth was my first finished novel, my first sale, and will always be my first love, but Fly is really where the conflict takes off. Liz and Lockland are my favorite pair by far. The relationship is all about destiny, and I’m a sucker for that.
Would you like to give another genre a try?
Definitely. I have a tendency to flit about as it is. I think that’s why I like the term Speculative Romance. It allows for some wiggle room. Almost all of my stories have romantic elements, but there are a few that classify better as something else, and even a few with no Romance at all. My first published piece was a short Science Fiction story, The Alien Embrace, which sounds like a romance now that I think about it. It really wasn’t.
Which book was the hardest to write and which the easiest?
That first one, of course. Only because I didn’t really believe I could pull it off. Writing that one took forever—more than a few years. Then I found out about National Novel Writing Month. The second one took thirty days, and a lot less stress. Of all my work, though, the easiest to write is Space Slugs, my online serial. It is literally a blast to do. I update every two weeks and the episodes are a little treat between higher pressure projects.
If you could choose of your books for a movie, which one would it be and who would you as the cast?
A Moth in Darkness. I think it would make the best movie, and I can see it translating well. It has a lot of great effects that would be lovely on the big screen. Fairy revels, dancing in the air, elves and gnomes, trolls and boggins, that sort of thing could be great in a theater. Of course, I like the depth of that story, the relationships. And it has the two sequels built in. I wouldn’t cast anyone who is already in Hollywood. It’s lucky I’m not in casting, right?
If you could travel through time to visit a special time period or famous person, what or who would it be and why?
Can I go forward in time? I want to meet the genius who finally gets humanity off this rock and shake his/her hand. Backwards only, I’d say Shakespeare, which is a cliché answer, or Andre Norton.
Do you listen to music while you are writing and if so what music is it?
Oh yes. I like Opera a great deal. It has all the elements of story, all the drama and the conflict, without words to distract from what I’m writing.
Big congrats to your latest release, can you please tell us something about the book?
Thank you. Roarke is a short Science Fiction Romance about a woman who wakes up with no memory. She is told that she’s come back from the dead, and she has to puzzle out the world and the people around her to find the truth. What she’s being told doesn’t jive with her own instincts, especially about the two men in the picture. One is supposed to be her fiancé, but the one she’s really drawn to was supposedly involved in her death.
As she starts to recover traces of memory, suddenly she has to decide if who she was is really who she wants to be.
Are you working on anything right now, and can you tell us a teaser about these projects?
I have a Romance I’m working on right now that features futuristic artists on an anachronistic planet. The technology is advanced, but the culture and the aesthetic is nostalgic. That heroine falls in love with an artist who was famous before he suffered an injury that forced him to cut his career short. The story is about giving up too easily, and how to learn to hope again.
I also just finished the first draft of a Supers Romance that was a great deal of fun to write. I’d always wanted to try that sub-genre.
Roarke by Frances Pauli
Published by Devine Destinies
Short Science Fiction Romance
They have to be lying when they tell her she was dead. With no memory of her past, and no idea who she actually is, Nora has little options. Alone, and at the mercy of the Mercenary Defense Conglomerate, she searches for clues into her past, and the truth about her supposed demise.
If she is a prisoner, robbed of memory and held against her will, then she must trust no one. If she has, in fact, returned from the dead, then who could possibly help her? Armed with only her wits and her inexplicably sharpened senses, she is forced to play along, to search for the holes in their story, and to piece together the flashes of memory that serve only to taunt her.
But the visions seem to confirm the impossible. The man who is supposed to be her fiancé seems bent on confusing her, and the one person she is desperate to be near may very well be responsible for her death. If the silent Roarke is her enemy, why do her visions draw her closer to him? And why, when nothing else seems remotely familiar, does Nora find herself remembering, or wanting to remember only him?
Though she always held aspirations to be a writer, Frances originally chose to pursue a career in visual arts. Her stories, however, had other plans for her. By the time she entered her thirties, they were no longer content existing solely in her head. Compelled to free them, she set aside her easel and began to write in earnest
She currently resides smack in the center of Washington State with her husband and two children. When not writing she dabbles in insane things like puppetry, belly dance and playing the ukulele. She collects rocks, and is a firm believer in good wine, fine chocolate and dangerous men.
Her short fiction has appeared in Alternative Coordinates magazine.
More information on Frances and her writing can be found at www.francespauli.com
She offers a free online serial at: http://spaceslugserial.blogspot.com