Hi Paula, tell us a little about yourself.
When I look at the title of your blog, Peering Through Life’s Window, it reminds me of one of the roles I have in life – pastor’s wife. It’s been said that we pastor families live in glass houses. I’m glad I don’t really reside in a glass house. I would hate for everyone to see the dust and laundry mountains that are a part of our life. But, I guess this is just proof that we are just normal people who have been called into a different vocation.
I’m a proud mama to a daughter who is a sophomore with Liberty University online. She is studying to go into children's ministry. I had the privilege and honor to homeschool her through all twelve years.
I’m a published author and acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group. God has called me to write and for that reason, I only write Christian themed books. He has blessed my writing ministry by allowing me to hear from readers about how one of my books has encouraged them in their faith or made them think about faith in Christ. Recently He has also given me opportunities to share through speaking.
It's wonderful to impact the lives of others in this way. Thanks for sharing. I'd like to add that I'm fortunate enough to have Paula work with me as my editor.
Lots of writers enjoyed reading as children. Did you? If so, what did you read?
Yes and yes and yes! I loved to read. Thank goodness my mother worked at a Christian bookstore and kept me stocked on reading material. I started out with Trixie Beldon. I loved helping her solve mysteries. I loved the Little House books and was privileged to read some of the first Christian romances as they hit the shelves. Still love my Christian fiction of all genres and review many of them.
Let's talk more about your writing and why you're doing it.
As I said above, I feel a call from God to write. I know how many times I would finish reading a Christian fiction and mull over the take-away and be encouraged in my faith. Issues that I’ve dealt with or specific things God has taught me are most likely to end up as themes in my books. And, from feedback I’ve received from readers, these must be similar issues that others are dealing with. Other than the calling I feel, I just love to write stories. I enjoy the process of creating settings and characters and seeing where they go and what they get into.
Tell us about your latest book.
My most recent release came out in March 2014. Legacy and Love actually contains two contemporary romance novellas.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
The inspiration for Legacy and Love would have to be my Mamaw Lindsey. She was a strong Christian woman whose influence I still feel in my life even though she went on to Heaven my senior year of high school. Her godly legacy really fueled the themes in these two stories. You can see the lingering influence of a godly grandparent for both of my main characters.
What do you love about this book? And what do you hope readers will tell others about it?
I love the fact that when we are intentional about the legacy we leave, our influence can continue into future generations. I hope readers will tell others how they felt a strong need to be intentional about leaving a godly legacy to those around them.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
Let’s see – The idea for my Blessing Series came from a sermon illustration. Inheritance from Legacy and Love was a combination of my mamaw and an idea of having a secret that is discovered after the death of the granny in the story. The other story in Legacy and Love, The Prayer Shawl, came to me after remembering the short prayer shawl ministry I was involved in. I have a file where I keep ideas and starts for stories. One story I’m working on came from the testimony of a waiter we had while on vacation.
In three words describe your style of writing.
I’ll use what a reviewer and several readers have said about my writing: Thundering with emotion.
How do you get to know your characters?
When I create characters, I will write a one page description listing different aspects about them such as physical description, personality type and quirks, and basic flaws and goals.
What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
I work part-time as an assistant at a local public school to off-set the cost of my daughter’s tuition. I arrive home at 12:30 each week day, eat lunch, then get to going through emails and updating blogs and Facebook. When that is done, I look at my schedule and take care of writing and editing projects that are due soon. I divide my time between writing my own manuscripts and editing for my authors.
I am fortunate that I have what my husband calls my writing hole. In the extra bedroom at the end of the house I have an L-shaped desk with my laptop, tablet, files, and notebooks. I also have things on the walls around me to inspire me.
Do you have to juggle writing with a job, family responsibilities or other obligations? How do you balance it?
I have a part-time job as well as writing and editing in addition to being a pastor’s wife. I do a lot of juggling. I am a super-organized person. My family might say to the extreme. But, this is the only way I get everything accomplished. I have a planner on my desk that I fill in with tasks that must be completed first. I strive to check off everything each day. If I don’t, I move it to the next day. Also, by having my own space, I can work on something and leave it open on my desk so I can return to it. I definitely take advantage of every moment. I carry my writing notebooks and tablet with me just about everywhere in case I get a moment to work.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I’m working on two books with deadlines in April and May. Each will be part of a line releasing from Prism Book Group in 2015.
I’ve done extensive research for Love Does Not Dishonor. God led me to so many discoveries in my research by making things come together that I am thrilled each day as I get to continue writing this story.
The other is tentatively called Love Again and will release through a Christmas line. This will be new for me since I’ve never really written a Christmas themed book. But, I already have a head-start on this story.
The Prayer Shawl
Sean Holland is a magazine reporter always looking for the next story. Hope Weaver is a pediatric nurse who shares Christ through making prayer shawls. The shawls are just the touchy-feely story Sean needs, even though he’ll have to endure Hope’s strong Christian beliefs to get it. An unexpected connection brings them together as a couple. But, can they find love if they don’t share their faith?
Alex Lyndon’s life has been a series of fits and starts with no finishes. She finds herself jobless and divorced. Now her only family, Granny Olivia, is critically ill.
Chase Carson had to step into running the family business when his father died. The time is past due to visit Miss Olivia.
Alex and Chase must go on a treasure hunt. Will each find purpose and love for their lives in the process?
Paula is a published author, acquisitions editor, and speaker. Her first two published works were The Blessing Seer and Be The Blessing from Pelican Book Group. Both are women’s fiction, and their themes have been the topics of speaking engagements. Be The Blessing won the Selah Award in 2014 in the novella category. In November of 2013, her first romance released in the anthology, Brave New Century, from Prism Book Group. This book went to number five on Amazon’s bestseller category, historical Christian romance. Legacy and Love is her first solo romance.
Reviewers of her writing characterize it as “thundering with emotion.” Her articles have appeared in "Woman’s World," "The Christian Online Magazine," and the multi-author devotional blog, "Full Flavored Living." She wrote a section for Join the Insanity by Rhonda Rhea. She has devotionals included in several collaborative books.
As an acquisitions editor for Prism Book Group, Paula particularly looks for romance stories with Christian values at its core. She’s especially attracted to those manuscripts that leave the reader mulling over the story long after turning the last page.
Having been an avid reader of Christian fiction, she now puts that love to use by writing book reviews. She is a member of ACFW and is on the author interview team. She was a member of the 2014 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference faculty.
Paula is a pastor’s wife and mom to a college student. She homeschooled her daughter through all twelve years, and they both lived to tell about it. Before educating her daughter at home, she was an English teacher in public school.