Welcome to another edition of Author Spotlight! Today we’ve got none other than the lovely…
Worst crocodile wrastlin’ technique ever. Good thing he’s fake or I’d now be typing with my toes.
Here’s a little more about her, officially:
Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. When she’s not writing, she’s kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers. Find her online at www.authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.
Aaaaand here’s what I have to say about her:
Paula is freaking fabulous and you’ll be seeing a lot more of her to come in future years (Oh, yeah, she has like 30 books coming out in the next few years, just FYI.), in multiple genres, from multiple houses, because yes, that’s how cool she is. It’s gross.
And here’s a little bonus material, provided by Paula:
My FB page When I get 1000 likes, I’m giving away an ARC of LIARS, INC. (INT). Hook a sista up because It’ll be totes awkward if it takes me until release date to get there O_O
And now, most importantly of all, let’s talk those books!
Little-Known Fact About The Art of Lainey:
Liars, Inc. releases March 24, 2015!
Little-Known Fact About Liars, Inc.:
I pitched this idea to my agent at a conference back in 2010 before she was even my agent and she liked it. But then I let the plot marinate for over a year before I started writing because the character motivations weren’t clear to me.
A Sensory Image to Go with It:
“Never Meant To (Lie)” by Radio Iodine. (They were a 90s St. Louis band and that’s a hard song to find, but the whole album, Tiny Warnings, is brilliant.)
VICARIOUS (Tor Teen, Fall 2015/Winter 2016): This is far and away the most ambitious book I’ve ever attempted, requiring expert consults in psychology, technology, weapons, and Korean culture. It scares me, trying to write as an EFL speaker from a different culture who also has PTSD, because there are so many ways I could mess it up. Good thing I like a challenge 🙂
“Chop Suey” – System of a Down
And now, for the book pimping portion of our program, because this is my blog, after all:
Tell us about your critique partner(s)/co-author(s) and why their books are awesome!
I’m super-excited for Marcy Beller Paul’s UNDERNEATH EVERYTHING (B&B, Fall 2015). Marcy writes lyrical yet economical prose, similar to Ally Condie or Gayle Foreman. Her book is a unique balance of literary and commercial that will appeal to both teens and adults.
I’m also very psyched for Philip Siegel’s second book. I’m not sure if I can say the title, but I’ve read the book and Siegel delivers a heartfelt and hilarious story, filled with his trademark witty prose.
1-3 other books in your genre(s) you love? 1-3 other books not in your genre(s) that you love?
I don’t really have a genre, per se, but I guess I’ll call myself a contemporary romance and mystery writer, at least until VICARIOUS comes out.
Who are you repped by?
I am repped by my dream agent, the fabulous Jennifer Laughran from Andrea Brown. Sometimes I still have to pinch myself when I think about that.
As a published author, what was something you learned through the process that was so not worth the stress?
Obsessively monitoring your rankings/ratings/reviews. Amz rankings change every hour and you can move up or down fifty thousand places from morning to afternoon. So then, what is that really telling you? On ratings and reviews–yeah, those first few skewerings hurt like hell, but the only way you’re not going to have bad reviews is if you’re not selling any books.
What was something that actually was?
Getting your manuscript the way you want it. I know people who are DONE after copy-edits–they don’t ever want to see their pages again. They don’t proofread master pages or read their manuscripts out loud because they just can’t bring themselves to read their stories one more time. I will nitpick until the last moment, tweaking word choice and even asking if I can add or delete whole paragraphs if it means improving the story. Once that book goes to the printer, that’s it. No matter how hard I try, there will always be something afterward I wish I had changed. But the more I put into it, the less of those instances there will be. Plus I feel like the public and publisher deserve my best effort.
What sorts of things do you shamelessly pass off as “research”?
*looks around for tax professionals* Several trips to the gun range, international travel, adventure sports, krav maga lessons. I’m still debating whether I can write off some personal training I needed in order to be fit enough for the krav maga lessons 🙂 There may be some purely-for-research shark diving eventually. Here’s the secret to happy writing–write what you’re really passionate about, not what you think the trends are or what agents say they want. Then the research won’t even feel like work.
What do you always wish people would ask you in interviews?
Heh. If you could dedicate any one song to your most negative reviewers, what would that song be? IDK why no one has asked this yet 😉