Hi Paulette, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I personally don’t feel like my background is overly spectacular. I grew up with a few challenges in life that kids around me didn’t have but I had a great balance of love from my family to get me through those times. My specs are simple really, graduated high school with a million of ideas on what I wanted to do with life but nothing concrete to be honest, got my degree still without a clue as to what I really wanted, then found a job and started figuring out life. That’s the cliff notes of me I’ve never been one to like complications or as it’s so used now “drama”. I don’t mind being and if that is on my own I’m good with that also. I took on the world of photography first and have to say it’s been a great love affair some of that work inspired me to push out my dream of being an author.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
Full honesty the only goal I had originally was to just get the stories out. The ones that have been in my mind for years really. Now that I’ve found growth had some really inspiring conversations around my writing and the writing of authors I truly admire I’ve come to a place of positivity. I want people to escape into the words find a light when maybe life isn’t given you that. Enjoy the realistic fairytales that come from the words in my imagination.
Which writers inspire you?
Maya Angelou Ava Miles, Rochelle Alers, Rainbow Rowell, Nia Forrester, Terry McMillian, Jane Austen, and Christina C Jones are just a few…. To be honest my list is probably endless but diverse at the same time my imagination loves to be fed and I enjoy so many genres.
What are you working on at the minute?
Book three of “The Ladies” series I started last year. My goal is to show a diverse group of independent, educated, and complicated women bonded through true friendship with the ladies. I’m also finishing a “reunion” so to speak of my first series “Where Your Heart Belongs” a where are they now type thing. Then a novel about tragedy and triumph of a young father it’s a story that came to me on vacation about two years ago and I’ve started working it out since then.
What genre are your books and why?
I don’t know that I fit one genre but I would say Multi-Cultural and African American Fiction and or Drama’s. My stories cross culture lines at times explore the many influences to culture and life. The ways we are so similar but still distinctly different.
In 10 words or less can you create a quote that describes you and your writing?
I’m not sure I can do it in 10 words or less but if you give me one extra I have this: Fresh, inviting, youthful look at the world that exist through words.
Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?
Zoe Saldana, I think she could give Storm all the fire I tried to convey in the book and maybe a little more. I’ve loved her since drumline days so I would go with her.
When did you decide to become a writer?
I would say after I read Taken by Storm by Rochelle Alers I knew the stories in my imagination needed to be on paper and that started me writing without the thought of anyone reading it round 23. Then the realization that thirty-five was knocking on my door led me to sit down with my laptop and get out all the thoughts running through my head to actually let someone else see.
Do you write full-time or part-time?
Mentally I write full-time in reality I am slightly more than part-time. Life requires income so that takes a good amount of time that I’m just letting things ramble around my head then I escape to my laptop at the first chance I get almost every day.
Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?
Not on purpose, however, I usually end my days writing, a good amount of times I’ve fallen asleep with the computer on my lap.
Do you aim for a set number of words/pages per day?
No, I think that would make my head hurt trying to focus on a certain number of words and getting the thoughts out the way I want them. I let them keep coming till I am to tired then start the process over the next day.
Where do your ideas come from?
The world around me, parts of my life, music, random thoughts, pictures, and well just about any and everything. Completely honesty my first series came to me after fighting with the thoughts from a visit to my former high school for homecoming. It poured out of me from beginning to end after that night.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just to see where an idea takes you?
I’m not sure really. I do write down the main thoughts about the story that comes to me in the beginning, but not any specific order or layout. I will write down key factors like names and dates or birthday’s but mostly I let it all just flow. I know in some ways that is an outline so I guess it’s a yes and no.
How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?
I think I’ve hit adulthood (lol). I myself know some of my work, in the beginning, had a sense of youth and maybe that was my minds way of growing and expanding my thinking and then, as a result, my writing. I feel like now my words still hold that sense of youth but full blow adulthood had taken over and truly all ages can enjoy my work.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Most of the time it's focusing on the thought I have no problem at all imagining things but focusing on the thought and completing it becomes a problem. One thought sparks another and then I want to take that road before I’ve gotten down the first one. (sigh)
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
Taking on a new culture one I’m not completely versed in. It’s been my goal for over a year now to show how the world has mixed and we can truly love one another so exploring a culture that wasn’t exactly brand new to me but still on the list of (do I really know them). It was the hardest thing for me.
What is the easiest thing about writing?
The story (if that makes sense) the idea of how to convey the person's emotions so that the words are clear, the process of building the scene so that one could close their eyes and be in the midst. The complex parts of families and histories and how all the little parts build the larger picture. How in chapter two there is the hint of drama that explodes in chapter eight. The story itself is the easiest part to me.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
On average, it takes about three months to get the full story out. I’m sure if life wasn’t going on around me it would be a lot faster but the bills have to be paid, clothes washed, car serviced etc.…
Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
Well the optimist in me would say flourishing. When I look back five years I couldn’t say I was an author, I wasn’t anywhere near writing to the point of letting someone read my work. So, I would say if I stay on the path I’ve started down I should find my way to success and inspiring others to take on their dreams full force.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Stop fighting it, grab the fear and let it guide you. It will all work its way through and you’ll love yourself more for going for it.
Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
Coretta Scott King. Her quiet power was overwhelmingly inspiring to me she was the first Michelle Obama, educated, classy and full of power.
If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? The heart of a woman by Maya Angelou. That book was about her life and what a life it was, she was so young and experiencing so many exciting, traumatic and uplifting things. The way her words guide you through the experience you can help but walk away feeling your own power.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Go for it if nothing else you’re going to learn something and you can only grow from learning.
Connect with Paulette Jones:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Jones/e/B00TH2TPY4