Thursday, 18 October 2012
Author Interview: Paulette Mahurin
Paulette Mahurin, an award-winning author, is a Nurse Practitioner who lives in Ojai, California with her husband Terry and their two dogs--Max and Bella. She practices women’s health in a rural clinic and writes in her spare time. Her passions are spreading the word for tolerance, writing, and animal rescue, which is why all the profits from her book are going to Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, the first and only no-kill animal shelter in Ventura County, CA.
First let me say thank you so much for having me over to your great blog site for this interview, Annette. (You're very welcome!)
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
Both. The overview of the story is usually planned out and then it’s free flow. By the time I get to the final edit, it may resemble nothing of the original plan, lol. I think that’s how most of us live, the old adage that life is what’s happening while we’re making other plans.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
Yes, and I usually let them. They get toned down by the editor if need be but I find that when they take over, that usually needs to happen for the story. It has not gotten out of hand, not yet, anyway.
What is your favourite food?
Salad. I love a good salad with all sorts of yummy things in it. Last week I had a great Chinese chicken salad and I’ve been fantasizing about going back for more.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Definitely morning. I do better with sunlight. I worked a night shift in the emergency room a few years back and that was tough, threw me out of kilter for weeks after the shifts ended. I have the circadian rhythms of a farm girl (a city slicker farm girl) that likes to rise with the sun rise and crow.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
I live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, Ojai, CA. I’m quite content staying right where I am. Next, Hawaii, for the weather all year round.
Do distant places feature in your books?
If you consider Nevada distant, then yes.
Do you listen to music while writing?
I have to have quiet while writing. I have enough noise going on between my ears already, and get distracted by music and talking when I’m writing. I love quiet. I also love music, just not while I’m writing.
The story takes place in 1895, just after the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde, and the impact that has on a lesbian couple living in a small Nevada ranching town. It’s a story about hatred, and how it shuts people’s hearts, how hatred is spread, and the devastating consequences that happen, usually to the innocents. It is also a love story, a metaphor on the power of friendship and the strength of the human spirit to rise above adversity and conflict to take the high road. It’s message is tolerance, have your differences but don’t make another human being a label because of them, we are after all, all just human, deserving of human rights.
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
Writing is the easy part. Publishing and marketing, that’s not for the weak of heart. Takes an enormous amount of time to get the word out, whether published or indie. There are a lot of good people out there, networking, willing to help, like you, Annette, and that takes the sting out, big time.
Is there anything you would do differently?
I really can’t think of anything right now. I’ve been lucky with the editors I’ve worked with, lucky with the support I’ve gotten, and lucky with all the friends I’m making who are helping me promote. I don’t know what else I could have done differently. I put in the time writing, had a professional editor (three of them), multiple readers, and sent it out to tons of reviewers. I think the rest is luck, does that one special someone read and indorse it? I guess that’s every author’s dream. I’m still hoping for it, not so much for me, but because all the profits are going to animal rescue and when I think of getting their sorrowful faces out of cages and into their forever homes, with wagging tails, it makes my heart feel good.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
My experience with people who have been abused and persecuted. Then there was the research that strengthened my emotional conviction to bring as much truth to the page as I can. Oscar Wildes’ imprisonment, a gross miscarriage of a legal system, did that. It motivated me, brought me to places, that poured out onto the page, and I didn’t hold back. My best teacher has been life, experiences I’ve or others have lived that I’ve encountered. What could possibly be more powerful?
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
A writer writes. Just sit your butt down in the chair and do it. Doesn’t matter if it’s ten minutes or ten hours. It’s really that simple. Like the Nike commercial slogan, Just do it. And, tell the inside of your head, all the excuses and put downs to shut up!
What are three words that describe you?
Supportive. Fun. Loyal. Do I sound like a dog? I should only be so wonderful!
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
Way to many to comment on just one. The masters like Steinbeck, Dickens, Bronte, along the contemporary, and even unknown. There’s just way too much talent out there to pick one, thank goodness!
Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book
Ben and Sarah met in their Oncologists Office, at death’s door. Little did they know it would lead to a love they never expected, a love to last till death do them part. (based on an award winning true story)
Any places readers can find you on the web?
Thank you, Paulette and good luck with all your books :)