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
Legacy', Greenfield '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. Australia