Thursday, May 3, 2018

Meet our Members: Paula Vince



Each Thursday in 2018 we will be interviewing one of the members of Christian Writers Downunder – to find out a little bit more about them and their writing/editing goals.
Today's interview: Paula Vince

Question 1: Tells us three things about who you are and where you come from.

I'm descended from several families who migrated to South Australia to escape bad conditions in their homelands in the mid 1800s. That makes me a 7th generation South Aussie, so I like to think living in Adelaide is deep in my blood. I've lived in the Adelaide Hills since I was a teenager, but we've recently moved to a beach suburb. We are still getting used to the figurative and literal sea change. And I've homeschooled my three children since 2003, but it finishes at the end of this year, since my youngest son is 14 and will begin High School subjects in 2019.


Question 2: Tell us about your writing (or editing/illustrating etc).  What do you write and why?

I've written 9 novels altogether. Six are inspirational dramas for the New Adult market with elements of romance and suspense. I also challenged myself to write a young adults' fantasy adventure trilogy, just to see if I could. It was great fun, but really stretched me. I also love writing blog posts about books and all things literary. And I've started a fictionalised account of the life of my grandfather, who was a war hero, boxing champion and South Australian celebrity of his generation. It's a bit of an unusual and close-to-home project for me, so I'm progressing fairly slowly with that one. I had to sit on it when my Dad, who was his only surviving child, passed away at the start of last year, because I felt too emotional to continue. But stopping for the short term doesn't mean forever.

Question 3: Who has read your work? Who would you like to read it?

I really don't know the full answer to that, but it would be great to find out. My novels have been sold in the Australian Christian fiction market and some school catalogues, along with Amazon and the usual modern channels. Although it doesn't happen with regularity, I love to hear from readers, and find out where they're from. Not knowing the full extent of our audiences is a mystery we authors always have to deal with.

Question 4: Tell us something about your process. What challenges do you face? What helps you the most?

It always involves jotting thoughts down with a notepad and pen to start with. That's an old habit from schooldays which has stuck, because the flow dries up if I try to type straight from my head onto computer. I like it that way though, because I consider the first computer draft my initial edit. My brain is used to regarding the process in these separate steps, and I think it helps stop any inhibitions about the messiness and disorganisation at the start. Because it knows it's allowed to be messy then.


Question 5: What is your favourite Writing Craft Book and why? 

I love Elizabeth Gilbert's 'Big Magic', but it's probably more of a book about forming a resilient attitude than actual craft. So to cover both bases, I'll add 'The Sound of Paper' by Julia Cameron. It's full of wisdom and helpful hints about everything from getting ideas to dealing with all kinds of feedback, not to mention actually getting things on paper in between.

Question 6: If you were to give a shout-out to a CWD author, writer, editor or illustrator – who would they be?

Wow, there are so many, that's a hard pick as I'd like to give shout-outs to several, but I'll mention a couple that spring to mind right now.

Anusha Atukorala, since I'm looking forward to attending her book launch in a couple of weeks, and am already enjoying her beautiful, encouraging book. It's just the sort of read we all need to help keep our spirits up.

Rose Dee, because I love occasional visits to far north Queensland in the real, and she has such a colourful, descriptive way of bringing that part of our country to life whenever I dip into her stories at home, I might as well be straight back.

Jeanette Grant-Thomson, because she's highlighted such a variety of interesting, topical issues and people in her fiction and non-fiction. It's just what what we need in Australia, where so often people with interesting tales just slide under the radar, without a chance to tell them.

And I'd also like to highlight the work of 'Belinda Peoples Writer' who has a passion for encouraging normal, average people in our daily lives, and giving us encouragement to keep going, in her 'Belle of the Bell Curve' reflections. It's something not many people think to do, and is much appreciated.

Question 7: What are your writing goals for 2018? How will you achieve them?

For this stage, I seem to be focused more on reading than writing, at least for the time being. So I'm concentrating on studying the writing techniques of authors from way back, including the great classics. I also love to keep track of modern new releases, to compare changes and styles over time. Just soaking them in gives me lots of satisfaction.

Question 8: How does your faith impact and shape your writing?

My faith always affects my writing because expressing my impressions on the page is always how I've processed things. So in a way, writing shapes my faith as much as my faith shapes my writing. I love that sort of feedback loop, and the record it leaves as a bonus.


Paula Vince is a South Australian author of contemporary, inspirational fiction. She lives in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, with its four distinct seasons, and loves to use her environment as settings for her stories. Her novel, 'Picking up the Pieces' won the religious fiction section of the International Book Awards in 2011, and 'Best Forgotten' was winner of the CALEB prize the same year. She is also one of the four authors of 'The Greenfield Legacy', Australia's first and only collaborated Christian novel. Her most recent novel, 'Imogen's Chance' was published April 2014. For more of Paula's reflections, you may like to visit her book review blog, The Vince Review.

18 comments:

  1. Hi Paula. That was a refreshing read. Thank you for sharing - I really enjoyed it. I'm so taken up how you found time for writing NINE novels while home schooling your children. That is very impressive. I am looking forward to reading your latest book when it comes out. Can well understand it is hard to write at present so soon after your Dad's home-going. Your granddad sounds an eminent man and how precious it is that you are writing his story.

    Thank you so much for the shout-out and glad you are enjoying my book. What you say here resonates well with me: "So in a way, writing shapes my faith as much as my faith shapes my writing. I love that sort of feedback loop, and the record it leaves as a bonus." Fully agree Paula. I find that writing helps me explore my faith and go deeper into God. No wonder journaling is one of the spiritual disciplines. We writers are extra blessed because we have this wonderful tool called 'writing' in order to do life better and we are richer for it.

    All the best Paula in your new season in your lovely new home and in crafting your latest book. Enjoy this special time of reading too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anusha, I'm looking forward to seeing you at your launch in a couple of weeks. I'm glad you say that journaling is one of the spiritual disciples, and it's not at all surprising. I remember reading once that a study of the human brain showed the same areas lighting up for people writing in their journals and praying. I'm sure you'd agree that makes such a lot of sense :)

      Delete
  2. What an interesting interview! Thanks Anusha and Paula. And thanks so much for the shout-out, Paula. That's encouraging. I really enjoy not only our books but also your amazing blog articles. How you find the time and patience to write them in such (helpful!) detail, I don't know. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome, Jeanette :) Thanks for your encouragement about my writing too, and especially your mention of the blog articles. I'm so glad you enjoy them, as I love writing them. Some of them quite a while, but they're a great break from working on longer things. Still, I've recently been limiting them to one a week, because of time constraints.

      Delete
    2. I realise you must spend a formidable amount of time on all this. But the blogs are a blessing. That was meant to be 'your books' not 'our books' above. Sorry!

      Delete
    3. Haha, you'd know well yourself what time suckers these things can be, demanding an extra minute or two all the time. That's why I'm so gratified to hear they're enjoyed

      Delete
  3. I loved this interview. Paula, your books were one of the first Aussie Christian author's I ever read and you were a great inspiration to me. I love your work - I think I remember you saying in your books that you like to make people laugh and cry? You have done both, as well as challenged me with my faith. Thanks for writing! May God give you all you need to be able to finish your grandfather's story. I really hope it can be a healing process despite how difficult it is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jenny, thanks so much :) I remember the days when I first discovered your own work too, and we caught up online. We can't ask for more than the 'laugh and cry' test, and when we can inspire each other in the same way, it's a real blessing. I hope to keep working on my grandfather's story, as he one well worth telling. He was a colourful character in many ways, being a 'wranger' with bright auburn hair.

      Delete
  4. A really interesting interview, Paula--thank you! I always love how you seem to choose to go your own journey, irrespective of what others are doing, and be true to who you are. And I appreciate your honesty and humility in it all as well. I think that book about your grandfather sounds excellent, Paula--so may you find joy in completing it when the time is right.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jo-Anne, when I look back, I've certainly tried a few different things, and have enjoyed running them all past the members of CWD as we go. I think it won't be too long before I pick up the threads of that story again, and even have one first draft completed, just patiently waiting.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for sharing some of your author journey, Paula. I (personally) appreciate your encouraging support of Australian authors, and your fabulous snippets of intriguing bookish details.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carolyn, I'm glad you enjoy those :) There are certainly some interesting snippets out there. And thanks for your support likewise.

      Delete
  6. Love your books, Paula, as does my sister, so you can add us as avid readers of your work 😊. I also enjoyed your book blog and the bits I’ve read of your grandfather’s story. Wishing all the best in the midst of some big changes this last year and coming up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Jenny, and a big thanks to both of you for your kind feedback and support. Yes, I don't know if it's just me or if big changes seem to accelerate the older we grow. But always great to offer mutual support to our members as we face them :)

      Delete
  7. Another South Aussie! Thanks for sharing some of your story Paula.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi David, it's a great place to live, isn't it?

      Delete
  8. Lovely to find out a little more about you Paula.
    My heritage on my father's side is from South Australia. My grandfather ran away from home at 14. He was a big lad so when he landed in Sydney he told the Navy he was 16 and had lost his birth certificate, naturally they took him (the year being 1917).
    I have to confess I have only read The Greenfield Legacy (which I LOVED). I also love your posts and photos on Facebook!
    Thanks for sharing.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dianne, our older generations have such fascinating stories, which are so well worth remembering �� I'm glad you enjoyed The Greenfield Legacy. We four certainly had a blast writing it.

      Delete