An Interview with Author Paula R.C. Readman
The Writing Slut’s Blog: Guest Book Tour and Blog Swap.
Paula – Good morning, Dawn. Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog.
Dawn – Nice to have you here Paula. Before we start, can I say, that’s a very unusual title for your blog!
Paula – (LOL) It’s okay Dawn, please allow me to explain my new title The Writing Slut since finding a publisher for my crime novel, Stone Angels, I’ve been touting for business on Twitter, Facebook and any other street corner I can find. You spend years writing, editing and rewriting to produce a book that someone wants to publish, but in that time you haven’t really thought about what happens next. Yes, I was aware I might have to do a certain amount of promoting and marketing, but I had always imagined sitting in a bookshop or being on the radio, doing something physical. Instead, I’m strutting my stuff across an invisible place with no idea whether its making a difference or not.
Dawn – Well, Paula, perhaps you’d like to tell us a bit about your writing experience.
1) When did you first begin your writing journey and what drew you to choose that genre?
I guess it was my nature, Dawn. I have always been interested in the dark and mysterious side of people and the world as a whole. Ancient history, the supernatural, ghost stories that sort of thing. The unspoken and unsaid part of life. As humans we all have two sides, the side we show to the world, and the part we keep hidden. I like writing about the hidden side.
2) What writing elements do you think are your strongest points, and what would you like to be better at?
I like to think that I think outside the box and come up with an original story line. Hmm, tricky question, Dawn…What would I like to do better, or be better at? I suppose the main thing is to have more self-belief, and be better at editing. It’s tough to let go of what you see as perfect writing, especially, after putting in long hours to get it right, only to cut it in the end.
3) Tell us a little about your latest writing project – is it a new idea or one you have been mulling over for some time?
I’m working on a novel I wrote in 2004. It’s a vampire novel with a twist. Of course. I have a publisher who’s interested in the novel, but I need to cut the word count by half. I’m also working on a new novel. It’s a follow on novel using the characters from The Funeral Birds. The Funeral Birds tells the tale of Dave Cavendish and his failing detective agency. In the crime novella published by Demain Publishing is a murder, a witch and owls in a ruined church. My next book finds Dave setting up business with his wife, Joan, and his long dead ancestor, Granny Wenlock.
4) How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer at the moment?
When I first started writing, I couldn’t channel my thoughts to one thing at a time. I started quite a few projects. My first novel had some promising feedback but wasn’t taken up, so for a while I focused on writing short stories while learning my craft. This means I have plenty of short stories as well as unfinished novels. I tried my hand at writing a sci-fi novel, but the subject matter was too big for my writing ability at the time.
5) Do you write a synopsis first or dive in to the first chapter? If you’re writing a short story, do you plan your story or let the characters lead you?
Usually, I map out a basic story line. A sentence i.e. the story is about a man buying a dog. Then I start asking myself a series of questions. The who, what and why. Who is he? Why does he want to buy a dog? And what is his reason for buying a dog and not a cat?
6) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I’m up early as my husband starts work at five in the morning. I try to write all day when working on a story or novel. I do have breaks and try to exercise as much as possible in between. Sitting too long isn’t good for the body.
7) Do you set yourself a daily word count?
No, not at the moment as I’m editing, but once I’m back working on my next novel, I’ll try to set targets to keep myself motivated
8) How do you select the names of your characters and do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?
Well, I have several books on surnames and baby names. There has been an occasion when I’ve glanced up at my bookshelf and taken a name off the spine of a book, if I needed one in a hurry. No, I don’t know everything about them, I like the characters to show me their true colours as the story unfolds.
9) What sort of scenes do you find it hardest to write?
For me it’s writing tension and pace. As I write horror and psychological crime, I’m never sure whether I’ve achieved enough tension to scare the pants off my readers without turning to writing blood, guts and gore. My aim has always been to have my readers turning pages and not their stomachs.
10) How long on average does it take you to write a book?
My first crime novel Stone Angels took me a year to write, but another five years to knock into shape. Of course, life has a habit of getting in the way as I lost my mum during the five years I was busy rewriting, editing and cutting the book about. I’m hoping my next novel doesn’t take me as long as I’ve learnt a lot more about editing since its completion.
Dawn – Thanks Paula, it’s great to find out a bit more about you and your writing.
Paula – It’s been great chatting with you, Dawn. You make a great cup of virtual tea too!
Paula R.C. Readman, Author of ‘Stone Angels’: mybook.to/stoneangels
Find out more about Paula R.C. Readman here:
Goodreads: Paula R C Readman
Amazon author’s page: Paula R C Readman
Cafelit.co.uk Meet the author. Paula R C Readman