Paulette is an indie author who holds a Master of Arts in reading education. Her writing inspiration stems from watching fantasy and paranormal movies, as well as her real-life experiences with mental health issues. She hopes her readers will find humor in her stories, become curious about seeking peace through the present moment, and consider reaching out for help if they are struggling with their own issues.
Paulette loves drawing, watching a good thriller, kayaking, and eating chocolate…lots of it. She and her husband live in North Carolina with their two cats, Linda Hamm and Bree. Of the Lilin is the first book in her new upper YA paranormal series, The Sage Chronicles. You can check out her website here.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
It was back when I was in elementary school. One day at church, while the priest was giving the blessing, a woman a few pews in front of me suddenly got up and dashed out the front doors. She’d taken off so quickly that the strap of her purse slid from her shoulder and started falling to the floor, but she snatched it up before it did and tore down the aisle and out the entrance.
I was already having a tough time paying attention to the lesson for the day and so spent the rest of the worship time holding the picture of the woman in my head, replaying it, finding the best words to describe how her hair, purse, and body moved, the energy she gave off, and wondering why she left so suddenly and where she may have gone.
It was then that I knew I wanted to be able to share what I felt with others. I didn’t realize it at the time, but as I grew older, I found that writing was an excellent way to bridge the gap and invite others into my world.
What does your writing process look like? What do you find the most effective? What do you find the most difficult?
Initially there is a scene that I can’t get out of my head, and I feel driven to write it down, play with it, try to put into words the feeling I get when I see the scene in my mind’s eye. From there, I begin to write. As I build my story, I then begin to draft out a plot outline, character descriptions, etc. For Book Two, I’m thinking of starting off with an outline and see where that leads me.
The most difficult part of writing is when you don’t feel like doing it. It isn’t even writer’s block for me. It’s when you feel burnt out, tired, and unmotivated. Those are the times you have to push through.
How many books have you written?
Of the Lilin is the first book in The Sage Chronicles and the very first book I’ve written. I’m working on the second book (Book Two of The Sage Chronicles) now!
I also have a diary novel entitled When Life was Yellow in beta reading mode about a young girl coming to terms with her obsessive-compulsive disorder. Her story is based on my life experiences with the illness.
What is one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
It takes a lot of people to help create a book! From beta readers, ARC readers, editors, marketing, etc. It takes a village!
Can you tell us about your latest project? What inspired you to write it?
My latest project, When Life was Yellow, is based on my experience with obsessive-compulsive disorder. I’ve only recently come out about it to friends and family. For years, I kept it a secret because I was ashamed of it. I’m hoping my book will let others who struggle with OCD know they aren’t alone and that there’s help out there.
What is your best character-building tip?
I like to think of a scene – just a normal everyday one like cleaning the house before company comes over. Then I place each character into the same exact scene and think of what they would be wearing at the time, what would they be thinking, saying, etc. The idea of placing the characters in the same context helps me really tease out how each one would approach the situation so differently.
How do you market your books? How much interaction do you have with your readers?
I have a basic market plan that involves reaching out to book reviewers for their review of my book before it’s launched. I promote my book on Twitter and Facebook. I’m also looking into blog tours. I’ve not done them before and am excited to learn what they’re all about.
My reader base is small at this time, but I enjoy interacting with them whenever I can.
Who is your favorite author and why?
The author that stands out to me the most is Joanne Greenberg who wrote I Never Promised You a Rose Garden. What draws me to her is not only the topic of her novel but the images she provokes and the rawness with which she fleshes out her MC.
What words of wisdom do you have for young people who want to start writing their first book?
My “wise” words are for anyone who is starting the writing process no matter their age (as I’ll be 50 in October). Write because you love it and be open to critique, but only make the changes that truly resonate with you. When you write, you’re leaving a bit of your soul behind for others to know once you’re gone.