Monday, March 10, 2014

Fiona Paul Author Interview

Photo Content from Fiona Paul

Fiona Paul lives in the Midwest but travels a lot since she can't breathe if she spends too much time away from the ocean. She graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a major in psychology and spent a year teaching English in Seoul, Korea while she was deciding what she wanted to be when she grew up. Answer: everything. In addition to being a teacher and writer, she's also worked as a saute cook, sporting goods manager, veterinary assistant, and registered nurse. When she's not working, you can usually find her kayaking, reading, or helping turtles cross the road. Her future goals include diving with great white sharks and writing more books, not necessarily in that order. Venom is her first novel.

Series: Secrets of the Eternal Rose (Book 3)
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Philomel Books (March 20, 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0399257276
ISBN-13: 978-0399257278

Praise for STARLING

"Readers will not want to miss a single exciting chapter of this Italian Renaissance trilogy." Booklist  

Was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?
Honestly, I never thought I could pursue writing as a career. I thought of authors like musicians or actresses, and I didn’t grow up in a world where those careers felt possible to me. I always wrote—poems, stories, plays, etc—because it was fun for me. When I graduated from college I applied to writing graduate school, but I didn’t get accepted. After that, I gave up on writing for a few years until I started doing book reviews for a website. I gravitated toward YA books and the more I read the more I wanted to write my own stories.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
My fave book is Going Bovine by Libba Bray. She is a total master of teen voice and even though MC Cameron isn’t exactly likable, I found myself falling right into his story and cheering him along. Going Bovine is kind of a genre-bending book, but I also like most of Dean Koontz’s adult suspense novels—particularly Watchers, Lightning, and Odd Thomas.

What do you feel is the most significant change since Venom?
When I started working with Paper Lantern Lit I was kind of starstruck and awed by the whole process of working with an NYT bestseller and a professional editor. For the most part, I ran with the outline I was given and didn’t make a ton of changes to the Venom storyline. Throughout the writing of the trilogy, I became more attached to the plot and characters and had strong feelings about how the story should resolve. Basically each progressive book feels more like me because I fought for the plot points I believed worked best for the narrative. Of course my own stories (writing as Paula Stokes) feel even more like me. I guess my biggest change is moving away from the literary studio or book packager model to a place where I can have ultimate control over my books.

Which character have you enjoyed getting to know the most over the course of writing the The Secrets of the Eternal Rose?
I would have to say Luca. Cass, Luca, and Falco all grow and change throughout the trilogy, but while Cass and Falco’s evolution went where I expected, Luca really ends up being much more complex than I ever envisioned.

When asked, what’s the one question you always answer with a lie?
I have very little patience for liars and tend to be honest to a fault, so I can’t think of anything I would lie about, but I do tend to avoid discussing things like politics or religion because I’m a live-and-let-live girl. I know where I stand on the issues and I’m okay with it. I’m not interested in spending hours arguing with people in an attempt to change their minds. People should do what they feel is right. If that’s different than what I do, so be it.

Tell me about your first kiss.
Hah. I was 14. His name was Chris. He played guitar for my brother’s band. The only time I ever skipped school was to hang out with him—he was a total bad influence :)

When was the last time you cried?
I cried in February on my vacation when the shuttle van that drove me from Los Cabos to La Paz hit a dog that was crossing the street :/ Our driver wouldn’t stop to see if it was still alive and I felt a ton of guilt at the thought of leaving a scared, injured animal helpless in the middle of the road.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heartbreak or have never loved before?
I will always choose an epic high and crushing low over an even but uneventful life, so I would go with guaranteed heartbreak. Not all relationships are meant to be forever and although I am single now I feel lucky to have found true love twice.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?
Well, I would kind of like to be a teenager now because I could shave 20 years off my life J But if you mean what decade in the sense of music or fashion or similar, I think I was a teenager in the perfect decade for me—the nineties. I am still obsessed with nineties music and TV shows and style.

10. I would take gym, even when I didn’t have to anymore, because exercise is good for the soul.

9. I would try out for a play. I loved acting class but shied away from actual productions due to stage fright.

8. I would be nicer to that weird kid that no one was nice to.

7. I would be less weight-obsessed. Starvation isn’t healthy, or sexy, or productive. Being thin isn’t everything. Really, it isn’t anything when you start realizing what actually matters to you.

6. I would sign up to be a foreign exchange student. Traveling has changed me more than anything else I’ve ever done. I wish I had started exploring the world earlier.

5. I would take Spanish instead of French. Or maybe take both and opt out of Calculus. There have been plenty of times where speaking Spanish would have come in handy, but never once have I had to figure the surface area of a kidney-shaped swimming pool.

4. I would work harder on my college entrance essays. Despite 99th percentile test scores, a perfect GPA, and a whole list of athletic and honors activities, my first choice university, waitlisted me. This is partially why I ended up staying in St. Louis for college, and that was the wrong choice for me.

3. I would date the slightly goofy guy who I knew liked me, even though my friends thought he wasn’t cool. That guy turned out to be amazing—kind, smart, funny, successful, handsome. I messed up bigtime by not giving him a chance.

2. I would tell the guy I dated instead—older, controlling, possessive—to get lost a lot earlier. That guy made me feel bad about who I was. Never stay with anyone who makes you feel that way, regardless of how perfect he is on paper.

1. I would recognize what I had going for me and be more confident in everything I did. I remember feeling awkward, ungainly, and unattractive—thinking that I was smart, cool, and kind but that it wasn’t enough for me to be desirable to anyone. Newsflash—smart, cool, and kind equals desirable to people who matter. Don’t be like me. Don’t waste years of your life feeling not good enough. Make the best of what you’ve got and realize that you are awesome.

The dark, seductive conclusion to the thrilling Secrets of the Eternal Rose trilogy!

In the final book in the trilogy, Cass and Luca are back in Venice trying to find the Book of the Eternal Rose to clear Luca’s name and keep them both out of prison. But the hunters become the hunted when the Order of the Eternal Rose figures out their plan. Filled with twists and turns, danger and torrid romances, this novel brings the Secrets of the Eternal Rose novels to a thrilling, heart-pounding, sexy conclusion.

You can purchase Starling at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you FIONA PAUL for making this giveaway possible.
2 Winners will receive a Copy of Starling by Fiona Paul.
1 Winner will receive a signed Copy of the entire trilogy 
(PB Venom and Belladonna and hardcover STARLING).
MARCH  12th WEDNESDAY Book Haven Extraordinaire REVIEW
MARCH  13th THURSDAY  The Reader’s Antidote INTERVIEW
MARCH  14th FRIDAY Candace’s Book Blog REVIEW

MARCH  16th SUNDAY Book Soulmates REVIEW
MARCH  17th MONDAY Rainy Day Ramblings GUEST POST

1 comment:

  1. Would love to win Starling! Secrets of the Eternal Rose is such a great series :)