Today's Darklight On... is with Paula Roe. Welcome, Paula!
Paula, you write for Silhouette Desire, but you are drawn to speculative fiction. What attracted you to the genre?
Growing up with Narnia books and Doctor Who, Blakes 7 and Star Trek on the telly, I’ve always loved that ‘other worldly’ stuff. But it’s only been in the last ten years or so, when I need to ‘replenish the author well’ outside the category genre, that I’ve gotten into spec fic. In particular, the UF genre which is exciting and fresh and unconstrained by anything except the author’s imagination. Thank you Laurel K Hamilton, Keri Arthur, Rachel Vincent, Maria V Snyder, Jennifer Armintrout... <g>
Please tell us a little about your road to publication.
Gosh, it was looong and paved with yummy goodies that turned sour when you ate ‘em ;-) Years and years of writing, submitting, getting knocked back. Seeing my fellow writers getting published and wondering when it’d be my turn, dammit. And entering contests, let’s not forget those – all 90 (or so) of them. They were good for me because it forced me to write to a deadline (and I suck at self-made deadlines). They also got me in front of an editor in the year of 2006, when I had a bunch of contest wins and placings doing all sorts of good things. I got The Email in September 2006, and my first Desire, Forgotten Marriage, came out in September 2007.
Your most recent release is Promoted to Wife? Can you tell us a little about it?
I loved writing this story (well, moreso than the others <g>) It’s part office romance, part good girl/bad boy, part makeover story. Zac Prescott is a dream, less alpha than all my other heroes, and Emily is every-girl, worrying about love, weight, appearance, work... I loved writing their dialogue, loved their conflict and loved my secondary characters (especially Emily’s sister AJ, who really does threaten to steal every scene!) I’m particularly chuffed Romantic Times described their relationship as ‘sizzle and burn’ <g>
Are you a plotter? Pantser? Or somewhere in-between?
Hahahahaha! Sorry, just had to do that because for me, I’m a little of everything. J But mainly, I’m a scener (meaning I write the scenes then string them together into a cohesive, understandable way) but I also need a plan, first for my editor, second for me because my flighty Gemini personality would have me standing in the middle of my office yelling “where the hell is this story going? What am I doing? Why, God, WHY?!!!” if I didn’t. I love discovering new ways of writing that make the tedious bits easier and I’m thrilled to share some of those discoveries in my upcoming workshops this year.
Do have a favourite of your characters?
Generally, the ones I’m writing now. J But as I’m kinda over them right now (the familiarity/contempt thing) I’m currently fascinated with Arrik, a dark and tortured noble warrior who features in my erotic- off-world-alternate-fantasy story.
What are you currently working on?
Heaps! (the Gemini thing again). My tortured warrior story, plus a couple of erotic novellas – an historical set in 1872 Naxos with a sexy Greek and a repressed English widow, and a contemporary which features a hit man and woman who must play a bunch of bedroom games to carry out their job. Plus, I have a June 1 deadline for my next Desire which will hopefully be the first in a three-book series. Interestingly, this is a story I originally wrote over 15 years ago :-D Sure, it’s changed a lot since then, but the premise is kind of the same. And it’s interesting to see how much I’ve learned in those years! Oh, and I’m waiting on feedback for a secret project I’m hoping my editor will like...
What is your favourite part of the process of writing?
The character charts – I love figuring out who my people are and what makes them tick. The next best part is handing in my line edits, which means everyone is happy with the story and I can finally kick it out of the nest <g>. I’m okay with the “The End” but not truly ecstatic because I always need to do more work after that!
What can we expect from Paula Roe in the future?
More books! We’re talking waaaay in the future, right? ;-) Hopefully something completely different in the spec fic area. Or an historical or two (my very first love). Or maybe that Young Adult body switch idea that just simply won’t go away...
Who are your favourite authors?
I like to share the love with many, many authors, both for their writing skills and their wonderful generosity and friendship. ;-) Keri Arthur, Anna Campbell, Kelly Hunter, Bron Jameson. And ones I admire from afar – Suzanne Collins, Michael Grant, Jennifer Rardin, Vicki Pettersson, Sarah Mlynowski, Sophie Kinsella, Jennifer Wiener and the aforementioned above.
What are you currently reading?
I’ve just discovered Vicki Pettersson and Jeaniene Frost, so I’m totally involved in those.
Do you have a favourite spec fiction movie or tv series?
Waaaay too many! ADORE Firefly and Serenity, TrueBlood. Loved Moonlight and Charmed. Oh, the recent Star Trek movie (I can haz the forbidden Spock love!). And from the UK, Life on Mars, Afterlife, Being Human and the hilariously dark Misfits. Oddly, I’m not a Supernatural fan, nor a Buffy watcher (yet).
Do you have advice for emerging writers?
Learn and grow. Don’t be too precious about your work because we all suck at some stage. Read, go to conferences, attend workshops, ask questions and understand what your strengths and weaknesses are. And develop a thick skin!