Friday, June 11, 2010

Interview Friday with author Frances Pauli

Frances Pauli was born and raised in Washington State. She grew up with a love of reading and storytelling, and was introduced to Science Fiction and Fantasy at an early age through the books kept and read by her father. Though she always held aspirations to be a writer, she chose to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in visual arts. The stories, however, had other plans for her. By the time she entered her thirties, they were no longer content existing solely in her head. Compelled to free them, she set aside her easel and began to write in earnest. Her original love of Speculative fiction combined with her covert excursions into the Romance section led her into the realms of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, where she finds herself quite comfortable. Her fascination with Science Fiction and a growing passion for the NASA channel divert her happily into tales of the far future, alternate dimensions, and the wonders of space, usually with at least a touch of romance. Frances currently resides smack in the center of Washington with her husband and two children. When not writing, she dabbles in insane things like puppetry, belly dance and playing the ukulele. She collects rocks, and is a firm believer in good wine, fine chocolate and dangerous men. Her first eBook, Roarke, was published by Devine Destinies in March. Her short fiction has appeared in Alternative Coordinates magazine.

VS: Frances, I want to thank you for taking the time to be interviewed here on The Writing Mama. Finding time to write must be really hard with two toddlers in the house. Can you tell us a little bit about your children?

Frances: Thank you for inviting me. My daughter, Casadie, just turned two, and my son, Wyatt, will be five years old this coming fall. They are active, intelligent and amazing little bundles of energy! While you might guess the names are inspired by the old west, (and my husband would certainly agree) both were minor characters in the Star Trek franchise. . . it’s my little secret.

VS: I love Star Trek, but did not guess you named your children from characters of the show. Funny how things we love can inspire us even when naming our children. Now Frances, I know you fell in love with reading and storytelling as a young child. Do you feel this and being a writer has made teaching your children to love books even more important to you?

Frances: Absolutely! Like most writers, I am first a reader. My kids have more books than I do, and that is saying a lot. We try to read to them daily and have since day one. Both of them seem to really love books at this point and I certainly hope we can keep that attachment in place.

VS: That’s wonderful. I wish I could say I read everyday to my five-year-old daughter, but I don’t. I do try my best to find time between my three kids to read with them a couple of times a week though. Speaking of books, you are an author of an eBook, ROARKE. Can you share with us any challenges over publishing an eBook vs. a print book if any?

Frances: I’d have to say getting the book to blip on readers’ radar. Publishing with an electronic house is actually a great deal like going the print route. I’ve had fantastic support in getting Roarke into the online stores, getting it reviewed and even some publicity from my house. I’m thrilled with what they’ve done, but there is still a lot of effort that falls to the author. You have to really work at getting people’s attention without over doing it. There’s a delicate balance and a lot of time and effort involved. Still, nowadays, I believe that most print authors are finding themselves in the same boat.

VS: I could not agree more with you about how authors are taking on a more active role in marketing their books these days. Now that your first book is out, can you share a little about the adventure of trying to write and edit with kids at home?

Frances: Wow. Well, adventure is the right word. I joke about hiding under the couch to write, but it’s only barely a joke. Finding time to get things put to paper, to prep submissions, meet deadlines and do the promotional dance online while watching two extremely active toddlers is challenging at best. I like to multi-task, which helps, but some days I also wish I knew how to juggle.

VS: LOL. I totally understand those feelings. One author once said to me, “Don’t you wish there were 36 hour days?” Sometimes I think that might just give me the time I need to get it all done. With that in mind, do you find it hard to balance your personal writing time with your family responsibilities?

Frances: Sure, but the thing to remember is your first job, your “real” job is Mom. Balance is important, and you do need to prioritize writing time, but in the big picture, I have one priority and that’s my children. My career is important, and I take it very seriously, but there are still days when you just have to say, it’s not going to happen today, and go play with your kids.

I mean the book will still be there waiting for you. Kids grow up too fast to waste a minute.

VS: So true! My baby girl, Sabrina is growing like a weed. She is now four months old and I still feel like I just brought her home. My five-year-old starts school this coming fall and my son just turned fourteen. How the time flies. Now Frances, you mentioned in our emails back and forth about editing a new release. Did your children help to inspire this book?

Frances: My children are an inspiration in a lot of ways. I can’t say they directly influence characters or plot—which is a good thing considering I write romance. They do inspire me to try harder, to work harder, to grit my teeth when necessary and to laugh it all off when that’s a much better idea.

VS: I think our children like you said can inspire us in many ways, too. I would love to know more about your WIP. Can you share a little about this new release?

Frances: My upcoming release, The Dimensional Shift, features a small town maid who is recruited to work in a hotel for inter-dimensional travelers. She’s tossed into a world of unlimited possibilities, parallels and species, and before she can get her bearings a string of thefts and a cross-dimensional crime ring target her; making her covert crush on her new boss seem like the least of her troubles.

VS: Sounds very interesting. Now with all the writing, you try to fit into your day, do any of your two children show interest in becoming a writer? If they do, do you encourage them to follow their dreams?

Frances: They like to write on my walls. Does that count? They are a little bit young, but my son does make up stories and we’ve gotten into making books. I put together the paper and a cover, and he fills in pictures and tells me the story. It’s a good start, right?

VS: That is always a wonderful start. So is writing on the wall. Not sure if you have read all my post, but in one of them I talked about how author Anne Rice writes her story ideas on her walls first. Come to think of it . . . I use to write on the walls as well as a kid. You may have some writers you are raising after all. (Smiles) Well being the busy mom that you are, what tips can you share with parents who are seeking publication?

Frances: Tread carefully. Learn everything you can about the industry so you can spot a scam when one comes calling. Google everyone you deal with and be vigilant. After you know where you’re going, be persistent, be stubborn, believe in yourself and don’t let anybody tell you “can’t.”

VS: Wise words. I am not always good about Googling everyone I meet in the writing world, but I do check out their websites or blogs; if they have them. Speaking of which, when I went to your website, I noticed you have a few other works in progress. Can you share a little about them and the inspiration behind the storylines?

Frances: My Urban Fantasy comes out in November of this year. It’s the first in a trilogy about human and fairy interactions, and also the first novel I ever completed. The protagonist is addicted to fairy revels.

I have a novella in the works about an artist who finds herself engaged to the wrong man. That one, I think, is my tribute to years of art school. I just finished writing a holiday story about the Oak and Holly princes, and I’m currently editing the sequel to Dimensional Shift. That one takes a great deal of inspiration from my years working in retail and the pet industry. Think inter-dimensional critters.

VS: Sounds like you will be very busy this summer and into next year. I cannot wait to see the finished results. Well Frances, you have made it to the end of this little Q&A. Is there anything else you would like to share with us about being a “Writing Mama”?

Frances: I love it. Truly, I can’t think of anything better than raising my kiddos, and working at home where I have the luxury of just stopping, closing the laptop and getting down on the floor for some toddler time.

VS: Being a parent is wonderful. I missed out a lot on my oldest growing up, but I am making up the time now. So enjoy your little ones and being home with them. Frances, I thank you for taking the time to share with me and my readers about being a writing mama. You have inspired me to be a better Writing Mama and not to give up on my dreams.

Frances: Thank you so much for having me!

VS: It was a pleasure to have you here today Frances.

For those of you would love to know more about Frances Pauli and her books please visit her website at and/or visit her blog at


ISBN: 978-1-55487-519-1

You can be purchases it at:

or get a copy for Kindle at:
Frances Pauli offers a free online serial at


  1. I can certainly relate to this Frances. I had a long hiatus from writing and only began writing again when my first child was born. I've been writing since through all three of their young lives and am aware of the irony of the inspiration they provide me coupled with the lack of time that goes hand and hand with parenting is. I use my children in my work in all sorts of ways, so smiled at the way you made use of yours as minor characters. A terrific, inspirational interview - thank you!

  2. Thanks for stopping by! It is something of a catch 22 isn't it. I'm glad you liked the interview and I wish you tons of luck with your writing and parenting!


  3. Like I posted on another site recently, I admire those of you who write while raising children!
    From a fellow Washingtonian...