Award-winning author, Paula Vince loves to evoke tears and laughter through her novels. A wife and homeschooling mother of three, she resides in the beautiful Adelaide Hills of South Australia. Her youth was brightened by great fiction and she’s on a mission to pay it forward.
Her novel, Picking up the Pieces, won the religious fiction section of the 2011 International Book Awards. Her novel, Best Forgotten, was winner of the 2011 CALEB Award in the fiction category and also recognized as the best overall entry for the year, chosen over memoirs, devotionals and general non-fiction.
Paula’s books are a skillful blend of drama and romance tied together with elements of mystery and suspense.
Enjoy this interview.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from and how long have you been writing?
I’m from the Adelaide Hills in South Australia. It’s a lovely part of the world that resembles an English story book with a Mediterranean climate. We have scorching hot summers and very chilly winters. I live with my husband, our three children, and our nephew, who boards with us.
I’ve been writing for years and have been published since 2000. ‘Imogen’s Chance’ is my ninth novel.
Tell us about your latest book. What do you hope readers take away from it?
Imogen Browne has a history of past mistakes which she longs to make up for. She quietly resolves to help the Dorazio family, whose lives she accidentally upset years ago. Her biggest challenge is Asher, the one person who may never forgive her. And he is facing a crisis of his own. Imogen must tread very carefully, as trying to fix things may well make them shatter. Can the girl who considers herself bad news become just what he needs at a crucial time of his life?
It’s a sensitive story about misplaced loyalty, celebrating life and falling in love. Can family secrets concealed with the best intentions bear the light of day?
I hope readers will be encouraged through the lives of the characters, who find that God’s ways are often totally surprising. In ‘Imogen’s Chance’ in particular, I hope to touch the hearts of people whose lives have been rocked by illness; either their own or that of loved ones. A worrying diagnosis definitely doesn’t have to be the last word.
Share some of your writing goals. What is next for you?
I’ve never really had a clue from one book to the next. An earlier set of three novels I wrote turned out to be a trilogy, although I never had plans to link the characters from the first two with a third. This keeps the writing lifestyle unpredictable and fun. Ideas tend to strike from out of the blue.
Is there any type of writing ritual you have?
I write each chapter of my first draft by hand, without worrying about sense or legibility. I do rudimentary edits chapter by chapter, as I type them up on the computer. I like to get them into some sort of order before I go on with the next one, even though I know big major edits are still coming.
I also listen to music while I drive, because it’s easy to daydream about ideas for the books. Music is really stimulating. Each of my characters could have their own compilation album. Whenever I listen to music from the last few decades, I remember the characters whose lives I was planning at the time.
Who are some of your favourite authors?
There are many. We have several lovely Christian authors in Australia. I’d like to mention three of them, Meredith Resce, Amanda Deed and Rose Dee, who collaborated with me on a recent novel, ‘The Greenfield Legacy’ which tells the story of three generations of interesting Australian women who lived through some interesting historical times. It was great fun working on a project with them, and I’ll always remember it.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m enjoying reality TV shows focused around cooking competitions. They are very popular here in Australia, and do hook me in. The personality conflicts, alliances and dramas that develop are like those which happen in stories, and we get some good recipes as a bonus.
I also like to walk and cook, and I’m homeschooling my youngest son.
What is one of the things you’re most thankful for as a writer?
I’m very grateful for modern technology. Fiction in Australia used to seem almost impossible to move across our border, but times are changing. I love the opportunities Amazon ebooks, Goodreads, and generous bloggers have opened. We still have a long way to go, but we’re gradually feeling less isolated and more a part of the rest of the world. I’m thankful for my computer too. We have a far easier time to edit our manuscripts than people like Jane Austen or Charles Dickens ever did.
In your opinion, what is the measure of a successful writer?
A successful writer is somebody who knows how to balance lovable characters with a riveting plot. They know how to evoke emotions and draw tears and laughter. Their track record is so reliable that whenever readers open a new book, they trust that they are in for a treat. Then they are sad to turn the last page, because they don’t want to let the characters and their stories go. Best of all, these authors are able to subtly communicate truths about life with God which they may not even be consciously aware of in the writing process, and this has the potential to change lives and be a blessing.
Where can we learn more about you?
Keep in touch with me at my regular blog, www.justoccurred.blogspot.com