ABOUT THE BOOKIrene Seligman loves the warmth and beauty of her Southwest hometown, but only one thing could make her quit her prestigious job as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan to return there: the guilt applied by her demanding mother, Adelle. After Adelle’s most recent husband dies, leaving her with nothing, Irene decides to take a break from prosecuting criminals to move back to Santa Fe and open an upscale consignment store. With Irene’s determination and her mother’s eye for haute couture, they’re sure to make a killing. But on the day of the grand opening, Irene discovers the body of one of Adelle’s friends in her storeroom. And although the intrigue causes business to boom, when someone else from Adelle’s social circle is murdered, Irene begins to suspect her mother might be in danger too. Ever the protective daughter, Irene investigates her mother’s friends, suspicious that they’re hiding more than designer clothes in their closets. But as she gets closer to uncovering some real skeletons, Irene might not live to regret coming home again.
INTERVIEW WITH PAULA PAUL
Paula, how did you get started writing?
I loved writing stories as a child, but I began my professional career as a journalist, working for newspapers in Texas and New Mexico. I had my first book published while I was on hiatus as a journalist to raise my children. I continued to write novels after I returned to the newsroom and have continued ever since. I no longer work as a journalist and spend all of my writing time on my novels.
What's your favorite thing about the writing process?
I love the research, and I love developing characters.
Do you have a writing routine?
I try to write every day Monday through Friday. My goal each week is to write 6000 words or approximately 20 pages. I write as long as it takes to do that—usually three to four hours a day. If I don’t make my quota, I write on weekends.
What do you think is hardest aspect of writing a book?
The discipline to write even when it doesn’t come easy. From a technical perspective, plotting is the most difficult for me.
What’s more important–characters or plot?
Character is the most important part of any book, in my opinion. It is the character’s motivation and personality that drive the plot.
How often do you read?
I read every day, and I always have a book going. Sometimes it’s fiction and sometimes non-fiction.
What is your writing style?
Writing style is hard to define or describe, especially for oneself. I believe my style is simple and straight-forward with a lyrical twist. The straight-forward aspect is the influence of my career as a journalist while the lyrical influence comes from my reading.
What do you think makes a good story?
A good story is one that interests the reader. For my own personal taste, I want it to be character-driven and lyrically written.
What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Sometimes I say that I wish I’d known how hard it is to keep writing after so many rejections. However, I don’t think it would have changed anything even if I had known that when I first started. I wanted to be a published writer so badly that even knowing that wouldn’t have made me stop.
Do you have any secret talents?
I am a water deviner, or water witch as it is known in Texas. I can use a forked stick or wand made of wood to find underground water by walking along a field until the straight end of the wand points downward.
Is writing your dream job?
Writing novels is my dream job. I have a love/hate relationship with this career.
Do you have any marketing tips you could pass on to indie authors?
The best marketing tip I can offer is to read bestselling novels in the genre in which you wish to publish then try to make your work measure up to them.
If you could only watch one television station for a year, what would it be?
How often do you tweet?
Rarely. I just can’t get the hang of it.
How do you feel about Facebook?
Facebook is a wonderful marketing tool. Posting about my works in progress, pub dates, when my books go on sale, when I win an award or get a good review has helped my sales. I like using Facebook to keep up with family and friends as well.
For what would you like to be remembered?
I’d like to be remembered first for being a good mother and second for writing meaningful novels that are a pleasure to read.
What scares you the most?
Not publishing again.
What five things would you never want to live without?
Books, the Internet, and a computer for writing.
What do you love about where you live?
First, I love that my family lives here and second, I love the climate and beautiful scenery of New Mexico.
What’s your favorite thing to do on date night?
I love the symphony and dinner afterward in a good restaurant.
What’s your favorite fast food?
What’s your favorite beverage?
What drives you crazy?
People who don’t seem to be able to think before they speak.
What is your superpower?
What do you wish you could do?
Write a Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel.
What is one of your happiest moments?
The births of my two children.
What do you like to do when there’s nothing to do?
Where is your favorite place to visit?
Someplace I’ve never been.
What’s your least favorite chore?
Cleaning house, especially drawers and closets. Why? It takes time away from reading or writing.
Do you give your characters any of your bad traits?
All the time (impatience, absent mindedness, temper).
Do you procrastinate?
What’s in your refrigerator right now?
Besides milk and eggs, there is wine, cheese, stuffed grape leaves, blackeyed peas.
What is the most daring thing you've done?
Flew an airplane.
What’s one of your favorite quotes?
“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”
What would your main character say about you?
“Why can’t you remember what I did in the last chapter?”
What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to write?
My novel called Crazy Quilt because it was a fictional account of the after-effects of my bout with breast cancer.
How do you like your pizza?
With sausage, cheese, and green chili.
What is the wallpaper on your computer’s desktop?
Describe yourself in 5 words.
Passionate, impatient, stubborn, curious, short.
What’s your favorite song?
What is your favorite movie?
Dead Poets Society.
Do you have a favorite book?
Shogun because of the way the character development was handled.
If you had to choose a cliché about life, what would it be?
Life is interesting.
What are you working on now?
The second book in the Irene’s Closet series. I’m almost finished with the first draft, and it still doesn’t have a title, but it has to do with stolen Native American artifacts.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paula Paul is the author of more than 30 novels including mysteries, historical novels, and literary novels. She is the winner of several national awards and has been an Amazon bestseller. Among her most popular novels are those in the Alexandra Gladstone mystery series. A Killer Closet introduces a new series. A native of Texas, Ms. Paul now lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Connect with Paula:
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