Name: Paulina R. Woods
Where are you from: 29 Palms, California
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Paulina: Right now (November 13) I am sick as a dog. I hate being sick but it has given me time to write. I think I did 6k on a demon WIP (work in progress) I’m working on. With witches amulet series, I’m waiting on my editor to send back Captive Guardian from the first round of edits.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Paulina: I started writing when I was very young as a way to communicate. I was born with a speech disability and a learning disability. I have a hard time, still, with getting my point across when I talk but writing is my medium.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Paulina: When I was about twelve and wrote a short story about suicide after a dear friend took his life. After writing that piece I went on to write many short stories that have never seen the light of day.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Paulina: I had a story dying to get out.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
Paulina: I don’t think I do but that could change after I publish a few more books.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Paulina: My titles come to me while I am trying to name the characters. The Witches Amulet Series titles came to me almost all at once. I am missing two titles but I have time to come up with those.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Paulina: Love conquers all. I wanted to write books about couples who are completely different falling in love. So my gargoyles do not change form.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Paulina: None of it. I have had some of my friends who have read Stone Guardian tell me that it reminds them of me and my boyfriend but I can honestly say I did not intend for that to happen.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Paulina: I should hope not. Wait if I could find a gargoyle who was loyal and my everlasting mate I would run not walk to the closest portal.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Paulina: Renea Mason has been my biggest supporter in my journey to authorhood. She not only listened when I wanted to quit but she walked me through self-publishing. Not only do I love her work but she is one author I would love to meet in person and hang out with.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Paulina: I am powering through Maya Banks books. I usually get hooked on an author and have to read everything they have ever written. I think I have three more weeks before I finish her work.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Paulina: Krissy Daniels contacted me about a year ago to read a book she had written, this was when I was still a blogger, and I was blown away. She wrote such a gripping story that I still find myself going back to read her work again and again.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Paulina: These are my hopes J
* Witches Amulet – three more books in 2016
* Demon Chronicles – one book in 2016
* Love Through Time (short stories) – end of 2015
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Paulina: I dream of writing as a career but then I look at the long road ahead of me and I want to give up. I have such a supportive group of ladies and family that I can give up because they keep asking me what’s next. So yes I will be making this a career as soon as I can.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Paulina: I would have made sure I had a great editor before I published. I went with someone that I thought was a good match but it came back with a lot of errors and I finally had to pull both books off sale.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Paulina: My mom most likely. She has written a few short stories but was too scared to publish.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Paulina: Grammar/Spelling. My learning disability makes it hard for me to catch a lot of things others do or misspell words I know are wrong but can’t figure out.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Paulina: Sherrilyn Kenyon, I love her and have actually met her twice. She is so down to earth and each one of her books are so well written that I have to read them in one setting. I always tell people if I could become half the writer she is I would die happy.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Paulina: Not yet. In April I will be doing a signing in Ohio but for now I am traveling through my stories.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Paulina: Alchemy Book Covers and Design
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Paulina: I have good days and bad days. I get my better ideas while I am helping guest at work and have to try and jot things down while I keep moving. So the hardest part would be getting the creative juices flowing when I am at home.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Paulina: I learned that I am really, really bad at grammar.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Paulina: Write and listen to those who have come before you.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Paulina: Thank you! I know there are so many books out there and for a reader to take the time to actually read my book is amazing.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Paulina: Nope not at all but I do know that I have always been ahead in my reading. As a matter of fact by six grade I was reading Tom Clancy.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Paulina: I find joy in the simple things in life. I have been with my boyfriend for four years and his laugh still makes my heart speed up. I do everything I can to make sure he has a lot of happy days.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
This Bitch. Why? Because I am honest to a fault and if I happen to die young it’s not because I kept my mouth shut.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
Paulina: I play video games and I play them well. I actually have an Xbox and Playstation 4.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Paulina: Bones, Big Bang Theory, Two Broke Girls, Anything on Investigation Discovery, Most things on Syfy, and most prime time. I am a TV junkie.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Paulina: Food – anything unhealthy, Color – purple, Music – country
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Paulina: If I can’t be a writer I want to be a traveller. I want to see the world and live like there is no tomorrow. I don’t want to die and have never lived.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
STONE GUARDIAN MEDIA KIT
Witches Amulet #1
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Date of Publication: November 18, 2014
Word Count: 48K
Cover Artist: Keri Knutson
Createspace (print): https://goo.gl/J3c0QP
Amazon UK: http://goo.gl/O121Wo
Amazon AU: http://goo.gl/4Xv2iZ
Element – Fire (Healer/Destroyer)
Royal House – Purple
Milcah was born to rule. Stolen soon after birth, her magic was locked and she was forced to live a normal life, with no knowledge of her heritage.
Raised by a detached parent, she learned to depend on herself and her best friend, Mary, for support. While on a road trip across country she’s forced to find shelter in an abandoned town called Beacon.
She finds her destiny and learns about her past which will lead to the salvation or damnation of the world, and a mate who can give her everything her heart desires. Can she let go of her insecurities and accept her mate’s love?
“Damn it. How can I get lost with MapQuest? Stupid directions.” Milcah banged her fist against the steering wheel. Two weeks ago driving across the country had seemed like a great plan, but now, not so much. “If I had known driving was going to be more stressful than work I would have flown.” She laughed at the silly thought of flying anywhere when she’d had to borrow money from Mary just to pay for gas, food and hotel expenses. After leaving Tucson, Arizona, she had gotten lost on all the small highways and the godforsaken two lane highway she was driving on now was devoid of any traffic in either direction. Her phone refused to get any type of signal and a nasty looking storm was coming up fast in her rearview mirror.
“Fuck me. I should have stayed home.” Thank the goddess she had filled up at the last gas station, at least she wasn’t going to run out of gas. With her MapQuest not working and her phone giving her crap, she was in serious need of a place to stop and rest. A thunderstorm, her old beat up Honda, and the threat of a flashflood was not a great combination.
Driving slowly, but not too slowly, Milcah searched for a place to stop. Twenty minutes later she spotted a sign reading Beacon: A home to be proud of. From this distance she could barely make out the buildings, but even a small town had to have hot food, hot water, and a nice warm bed. Ignoring her misgivings, she turned right onto a small, barely paved road.
“Ouch!” Her left tire dipped as it slipped into a pothole, snapping her teeth together. Milcah hoped the older car would hold up because she couldn’t afford expensive repairs.
Like a horror movie, the road started to look overgrown and all but disappeared in some places. The last time this road was paved was probably when pavement was first introduced. But with storm clouds closing in, there was no way she was turning around. In desperation she reached across to the passenger seat and picked up her phone, maybe she could get better reception closer to town. No such luck. As she passed under a sign reading ‘Welcome to Beacon’ she tossed her phone back onto the passenger seat.
“Beacon of what?” The empty streets sent a chill down her spine. “This town should be named Forsaken.”
There was no other way to describe the sad, abandoned town. It had overgrown grass on the side of the road, buildings with blank, empty windows and the only sounds were the half-broken shutters blowing in the wind. The town looked like it had been built in the early gold rush years and then abandoned soon after. A feeling of dread, reminding her of her dream two weeks ago, slithered down her spine as she drove down the main street.
“What have I gotten myself into? I don’t think phones were invented when this place was a booming town. There’s no way I am sticking around. I can make it to the next town.” And now she was talking to herself.
Making a U-turn, Milcah slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting…what the hell was that? A second ago the road had been clear as a summer’s day and now some thing stood dead center. Scared, but curious, Milcah studied the object. With wings reaching from the ground to above its head, whatever it was stood taller than the overhangs on some of the buildings. A little transparent, it reminded her of a ghost, but a ghost of what?
This is not a dream. I will not investigate. Milcah pressed the gas pedal, swerved around the creature, and headed for the road out of town. Gripping the steering wheel, she tried to stop her hands from shaking. What the hell was that?
Without looking, she reached for her phone, hoping it would work, and she could call Mary and bitch about her directions and the possibility of hallucinations until she calmed down. Instead her hand passed through something warm. Quickly glancing over, Milcah screamed as she stared into the eyes of the creature from the road, now calmly sitting in her car, somehow fitting its large frame inside. Hitting her brakes to avoid running into anything and slamming her car into park, Milcah turned in her seat to stare at it.
This close, she was able to make out more features, a heavy brow covering deep-seated eyes, a semi-flat nose resting over plump lips. Curiosity overshadowed fear and Milcah reached out and poked her hand through the creature, again feeling the warmth and a slight tingle. Reaching for her amulet in a nervous gesture, Milcah tried to remember what she had read about ghosts and the proper thing to do when you ran into one. She didn’t have any holy water, but it didn’t look like the specter was trying to suck out her soul or kill her.
“I think I have read way too many supernatural novels and need to get my head checked.” Her voice sounded unnaturally loud to her ears. Milcah looked out the window, making sure she wasn’t hanging upside down after crashing her car. A car crash would go a long way toward explaining what was happening. She turned her attention back to what was sitting in her passenger’s seat. It seemed to be studying her just as much as she was studying it. In the back of her mind she knew she should be out of the car and screaming, but she had never been normal.
It seemed fascinated by the amulet Milcah was playing with and reached out as if to touch it. Moving the amulet out of reach, Milcah tried to figure out what she was going to do. Looking at her amulet again, Milcah longed to be able to ask her mother to explain what was happening. Milcah glanced at her phone again, which was still under the creature, hoping to see it had reception. Not able to tell but not wanting to reach over and get it she decided to leave it alone. Huffing, she looked back at the creature to see he was following the movement of her thumb as she rubbed the amulet.
“What would Mary do?” At this moment, Milcah envied Mary’s ability to believe in the supernatural outside of books. Milcah believed in the goddess and that to honor her, humans need to take care of the world they had been given. She lit candles during the full moon and read her own tarot cards. She’d even gone to see a few mystics with her mother. Yet nothing prepared her for what she was facing in this small deserted town. She’d always believed people moved onto the next cycle after death and supernatural beings like vampires, werewolves, and gargoyles were fantasies made up by humans to explain evils in the world.
She rubbed at her temple where a pounding headache was starting to stir, usually a sign a nightmare would follow. Last year she had decided to see why she was having these headaches and nightmares. A psychologist told her she was suppressing memories from childhood. He believed Milcah had been abused as a child and the dreams were her mind’s way of dealing with the trauma. Milcah never told anyone about the visit and never went back. Her mother had not abused her. Sitting in her car staring at a ghost of some type, Milcah made a mental note to call the doctor as soon as she returned home.
Help us. The sound of a deep male voice overlaid with many others rang in her head. She jumped at the sound. Shaking her head, she tried to ignore the voices echoing around her. Help us.
“I’m going insane.” Milcah grimaced. “I need to get to the next town.”
As soon as the words left her mouth, thunder rolled across the sky, quickly followed by a flash of lightening. “Dang it.” The GPS was useless, but Mary had been thoughtful and placed a paper map in the middle console. After looking at the confusing lines on the map for a few minutes, Milcah gave up and tossed it into the backseat. Crossing her arms, she sat back and tried to think of another plan. There was no way she was driving anywhere in the storm fast approaching with a creature as her passenger.
Help us. There it was again. Glancing over at the creature in her passenger seat, she wondered if he was pushing his voice into her head. Before she could ask him the voice echoed again. Help us. With that last plea, something unlocked in Milcah’s mind. She lost focus in the real world.
About the Author:
Life is what you make it and nothing more. This is something I had to come to terms with as I struggled to find my place in this world.
I was born with a learning disability and no one could understand me but my older brother until I was almost eight years old. I was told my multiple teachers and school councilors that I was not going to graduate high school unless I went into a special program. In 2001 I proved them all wrong by graduating with a 3.5 and being accepted into Cal State University, Pomona.
Following the bad advice of my councilor I majored in animal science and after two years I had to drop out. For a while I wondered aimlessly and became homeless before I decided to give school one more try. Enrolling at Fullerton College I picked journalism to major in, why not I loved to read and write. In 2008 I graduated from California State University, Fullerton with my B.A. in Communication with an emphasis on journalism.
Of course life happens and I had to take a year off of everything to take care of my mom and younger brother. I thought I would never recover and would forever play catch up but then my older brother sat me down and told me that I needed to pursue my own dreams. So I started a blog and started posting reviews. It was fun but I was still missing something.
When author Valerie Twombly suggested I try my hand at writing I was skeptical that anyone would want to read stories from my head. I love fantasy and I fall in love with the most unique heroes. So between reading, working and taking care of my younger brother, I wrote my first novel and in 2014 I hit publish.
So I would like to tell those who have been told that they will never amount to anything that there is hope. You are only held down by your own limitations. Reach for what you want and fight to hold on to it.
Find Paulina @
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/paulinawoods