Monday, March 4, 2013

Guest Author Paula Martin

Welcome to my Reading Nook, Paula Martin. Please make yourself at home and let my cabana boys/girls get you a drink.

Comfortable? Wonderful. Now let’s get started.

To get us started can you tell us a little about what you are working on or have coming out? 

My latest release is ‘Dream of Paris’ published by Rebecca J Vickery Publishing in February. It’s based on a story I originally wrote in the 1970’s, but of course I had to do a lot of updating because the world has changed a lot since then. Today’s cell phones caused me the biggest problem because it’s so much easier for characters to keep in contact these days, and sometimes I didn’t want them to be able to contact each other! The reverse side of that was the Channel Tunnel which made it quicker for the characters to get from the south of England to Paris.

How would you describe yourself using only five words? 

Curious, independent, passionate, talkative – and (frequently) wacky!

If you could write a warning label for yourself as a person or an author, what would it say? 

Don’t ask her anything before 10a.m. if you want a sensible answer – and don’t move anything on her desk. It might look a mess, but she needs all those sticky notes!

Do you have any guilty pleasures? 

How many am I allowed to have? I’ll admit to two: diet coke, and a can or two of lager as a useful accompaniment to writing at times! As Hemingway said, ‘Write drunk, edit sober’.

Name one thing readers would be surprised to know about you. 

I’m a quiz addict! Love quiz shows on TV, play trivia quizzes online, and organize quiz nights for my Over-50’s social group. My mind recalls all kinds of useless information (except for what someone said to me yesterday or last week!)

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? 

After all the rain we had last year in England (and the awful ‘summer’), it would have to be somewhere mainly dry – and with warm summers! Maybe Cyprus, because they drive on the left there, so I wouldn’t have to get used to driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road.

How do you get yourself in the mood to write?

Usually by reading through (and editing i.e. tweaking words and phrases) whatever I wrote the previous day. I do try to write something every day, even though I may delete it the next day.

Can you share with us your typical writing day. Is there anything you have to have while writing?

I’m retired so theoretically I could spend all day writing now, but I often meet with friends for coffee or lunch. In the morning, I catch up with facebook, yahoo groups and blogs, but I tend to do my fiction writing in the evenings. Two reasons, I think – first because I’m a night owl and my brain works better in the evening, and secondly, it could be a throwback to when I was working fulltime as a teacher, and also had a young family. Evenings were ‘me’ time when school work was done, and my daughters were in bed. Maybe old habits die hard.

Who are some of your favorite authors? 

My favourite is Sharon Kay Penman, who writes wonderful novels about medieval English and Welsh history. Her knowledge of the period, and her portrayal of the (real) characters of the time is second to none, in my opinion. John Jakes is another favourite. I love his Civil War trilogy and the Kent Family Chronicles.

What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for? 

I have about 70 TBR books waiting on my Kindle, many written by my ‘internet friends’, so it’s difficult to choose just one. I enjoy reading the stories by people I’ve ‘met’ online over the last few years.

Is there something special you do to celebrate when one of your books is released? 

This is going to sound very boring, but I don’t do anything special!

Do you have a favorite TV show you can't miss? 

Downton Abbey is my favourite of recent shows. I can’t wait for Season 4 to start. My favourite series of all time, though, was ‘The West Wing.’ It was this show (and writing fanfiction stories about Jed and Abbey Bartlet) that brought me back to writing fiction again after a long gap.

If you could date any character from any book, who would it be and why-no it doesn't have to be from your books?

Ooh, who to choose? My immediate reaction was Mr Darcy, but on second thoughts it might be Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’ Diary (as long as he looked like Colin Firth, of course)

What is the strangest source of writing inspiration you’ve ever had?

One of my current ‘works in progress’ was inspired by a newspaper article about an apartment in Paris which had been abandoned in 1939 when the owner fled to the south of France at the outbreak of World War II. It turned out the apartment had originally belonged to her grandmother, who had been the mistress of an Italian artist. A portrait of her by the artist sold for 2 billion dollars. In my story, the apartment becomes a house in Ireland, which is inherited by my hero and heroine who have to try to work out the links to their own families (and fall in love in the process, of course!)

If your muse were to talk behind your back, what secrets would he/she tell?

My muse would definitely say, ‘She starts a new story with only a vague outline, so I keep having to nudge her in the right direction. Oh, and I also drop great ideas into her mind just as she’s falling asleep but of course she can’t remember them in the morning!”

Anything else you want to add?

My author pages on Amazon are:

Dream of Paris blurb:
Anna Richards has a dream of going to live and study in Paris, but when Matthew Carlton comes into her life, her dream changes direction. Attraction sparks between them, but Matt’s behaviour is strangely inconsistent. Anna is shocked when she discovers the reason and is sure there is no future for them. Can Paris work its magic and make her dream come true?

Matt has kissed Anna for the first time and now they’re in a small bistro on the Left Bank.

Arnaud brought them a bottle of wine without Matt having to order it.
She looked across the table at him, afraid he was about to tell her the kiss meant nothing.
“Paris has gone to our heads, hasn’t it?” he said with a small smile.
She lowered her eyes and stroked her fingers up and down the stem of her glass. “Is that all it was?” Slowly she was returning to reality, even though she tried to cling to the dream.
Her heart jerked when he put his hand very gently around hers. “Do you want it to be any more?”
She raised her head again until her eyes met his. “Do you?”
He studied her for a long moment, and then sighed. “We’re playing with words, aren’t we? All I hope is you won’t hate me when you look back at this.”
She frowned, not understanding. “What do you mean? Why should I hate you?”
“I’m worried you might think I’ve been taking advantage of you.”
“I don’t understand.”
“I know how much you love Paris, Anna, and Paris is a very romantic city.”
“And you think that’s why this has happened? That we’ve been swept away by the atmosphere here?”
“I don’t know.” He drained his glass and reached for the bottle again. “I suppose we won’t know, either of us, until we get home, will we?”
“I know already.” She held out her glass for him to pour more wine, and went on, “But what about you? Has it just been the magic of Paris for you?”
“So what has it been?”
The silence seemed to go on forever. The candle on the table sent flickering shadows across Matt’s face and she knew he was deep in thought. She looked down and, as she took another sip of wine, she saw her hand was trembling.
“If you want the honest truth, I’ve wanted to kiss you for weeks.”
Her head shot up. “What?
“You mean you didn’t realise?”
“No, I—For weeks, you said?”
“Yes.” He smiled. “The first time was when we played that crazy tennis game—and the prom night, of course, and after the staff meeting—and ever since we arrived in Paris.”
She stared at him, hardly able to believe what he’d said. All the time she’d been thinking it was an impossible dream, he’d been wanting to kiss her. “Why didn’t you?”
His gaze met hers for a few tension-filled moments, and then, without breaking eye-contact, he reached to push a stray strand of hair back from her cheek. His soft fingers traced the outline of her ear as he tucked it behind, and stayed near her earlobe, gently caressing the side of her neck with his fingertips
His eyes softened. “Because I’ve been trying not to fall in love with you.”

Thanks for taking the time to be here today. I wish you many sales and wonderful reviews.

Many thanks for having me as your guest, Dawn. 


Celia Yeary said...

VERY interesting! I love your answers and now I know you are wacky--but only when you talk so much.
The problem with updating an older book can be tricky. I certainly don't have one that old, because I'm still fairly new to the writing world, but even a book four years old would need some updating to be re-released.
I'm glad your newest release is doing well. I finished it two nights ago and wrote a short review from my Kindle Fire HD, but I can't find it. I've done that another time for a book, and the review went to my FB page--from there I got it to the owner. The reason for the short review is my all-thumbs use on the little keyboard. Maybe I'll find it, but probably will need to write another one--it was a good read!

Rose Anderson ~ Romance Novelist said...

Cute post. I love the Hemingway quote!
Best luck,


Linda King said...

Interesting interview - and I enjoyed the excerpt very much. Going on my 'to read' pile!

Paula Martin said...

Celia - so now you know more about me :-) I checked but coulnd't find your review, but so glad you enjoyed Dream of Paris.

Rose - I think Hemingway's quote my my mantra!

Linda - thank you so much, hope you enjoy it when it reaches the top of your pile.

Jennifer Wilck said...

Paula, I love the inspiration for your novel--I'm fascinated by old houses/apartments and their history. Great interview!

Alexa said...

Wonderful interview! I enjoyed learning more about you.

Paula Martin said...

Many thanks, Jen and Alexa :-)

Debra St. John said...

Hi Paula,

I had to Kindle TBR pile is about that 'tall' too, plus I have a literal pile of paperback books waiting to be read. I have to dust them every week when I clean house!

Congrats again on another release!


Anonymous said...

Great questions and answers. I really liked the little story that gave you inspiration, Paual. I'd have loved to read that news clipping. Jordan

Paula Martin said...

Debra - I have a pile of 'real' paperbacks too!

Jordan - you can see the article at

Linda Swift said...

Just stopped by for a quick read of your intereting interview, Paula. I have read Dream of Paris and enjoyed it very much. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good romance with added subplots that keep you turning pages. I'm wishing you much success with this book.

Paula Martin said...

Thanks so much, Linda :-)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

Your answers were wonderful. I could relate to so many of them. LOL
I loved the premise for the story about the hero and heroine who inherit a house in Ireland. I enjoyed reading your inspiration for it--so interesting.
Dream of Paris looks like a great story. It sounds positively romantic. I've never been to Europe, but I dream of Paris, too. LOL
I wish you every success,Paula.

Paula Martin said...

Thanks so much, Sarah. I'm lucky in that I've been able to travel so much in Europe, so can draw on my own experiences for the settings of my stories.

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