Apr 13, 2010

Up and Coming: Frances Pauli

I stumbled across a real find in science /speculative fiction, Frances Pauli. I met her on Goodreads and was following her virtual book tour to be supportive to a fellow writer. I happened to win a copy of her e-book, Roarke. Available from Devine Destinies and for Kindle from Amazon. 

I have to say, it's the best thing I've read in some time. The story is compelling and intriguing. It begins with the heroine waking from the dead. It gets better from there. If Frances doesn't become big in the future, there's something wrong with the world. I was sad at the end, because it was the end and there was no more to read. I definitely want more and am looking forward to her upcoming releases The Dimensional Shift, A Moth in Darkness and The Fly in Paradise. In the meantime, I enjoy her ongoing series Space Slugs. A free read on her blog.

Despite a tragic predilection to paint, Frances discovered her calling as a writer. She set aside her degree in visual art, packed up the easel and opened her laptop.

The stories that clammer for her attention inevitably fall into the Speculative Fiction category. She maintains that the Romance is not her fault.

Frances claims she eats far too much chocolate, drinks far too little wine, and does her best to get the stories out and on paper before they drive her completely insane. And, she boasts, "Good Wine, Fine Chocolate and Dangerous Men".

What is your definition of a dangerous man?

I think, for my fictional purposes, "dangerous" is more of an aura of mystery, a hint of potential danger that I really enjoy in a romantic hero. He's dashing, a bit rough, powerful and appears more dangerous than he actually is. Deep down, he's nothing of the sort. Just like I enjoy a villain with a side I can sympathize with, I like my hero to have a touch of villain in his mannerisms. But he's always the good guy, true, honorable, faithful. That's why the danger is so appealing, because there's a safety net.

Does he eat chocolate?

I love this question. Have you seen the movie, Open Range? There's a scene at the end where Robert Duvall teaches Kevin Costner how to enjoy a chocolate bar. Then they get up and take out about a hundred bad guys. Dangerous, definitely. Not only does a dangerous man eat chocolate, he knows how to enjoy it--the sensual nature of it. He knows exactly why women like it, and if he's a true gem...where and when to buy it.

What's your favorite chocolate and the best way to eat it?

I'm a sucker for Godiva. Dove will do in a pinch. I prefer truffles, love white chocolate, and enjoy a little dark in with my milk. :-D How to eat it? Slowly, leisurely, and with much enthusiasm.

Tell us something about creating Roarke.

Well, in some ways, the story is completely out of character for me. I mean, I wrote it in an odd serious moment, and it has less hints of random silliness than my other pieces. It started with a dream sequence, and the mood was all business. I like that about it. I think it works for mercenaries, but then I think, "Mercenaries? Where did that come from?" I really wanted to explore the whole concept of what makes us who we are. Is it our experiences? Our history? Or is there something at our core, some personality trait or soul characteristic that defines who we become, who we love, etc. Then I think, well, what could change that?

What is a good story to you?

Can I steal an answer from painting school? I want a story that evokes a response in the reader. (or a painting that does, for that matter) Hopefully, that response is the one I was aiming for, but I think I can live with any strong response. People have different filters, and so different reactions. More specifically, I want characters that people invest in emotionally, care about, laugh with. I like a story that makes you want more when it's over....but I'm not too keen on writing uber-long series, so that may be a tragic flaw.

I see you have a bunch of stories coming out - The Alien Embrace, The Dimensional Shift, A Moth in Darkness and The Fly in Paradise.

Alien Embrace came out last summer in an online zine. It's a short story in two parts and has absolutely no romance element--something that I rarely pull off. My next release is The Dimensional Shift, and it's a novel--first in its series--about a hotel for inter-dimensional travelers. Definitely romance, hopefully funny.

Moth and Fly are the first two novels in my Urban Fantasy trilogy. There is a strong romance thread throughout, but I wouldn't classify them as romance. The story is darker, grittier than my light books, but still has a quirky edge. The world centers around the interaction between humanity and the Fey races, and my heroine is an ex-agent who has lost her Elvin partner and slipped into an addiction to fairy revels. Fun stuff. But really, this one's my favorite. Can I have a favorite?

What are you working on now?

Right now I'm writing a short holiday romance. I'm also editing the sequel to The Dimensional Shift, and prepping to write the last book in my Urban Fantasy trilogy. I've discovered that finishing up a series requires planning...outlining...organization. Not my strong points, but I'm excited about getting the end of the story out and on paper. I've been with these characters a long time, so I want to do right by them.

I'm also gearing up for the Space Slugs one year anniversary. I can't believe it's been that long already. It seems like only yesterday when Neela first said, "Neep."

Do you have a favorite storm trooper story?

I don't have a favorite storm trooper story, but I do have a favorite storm trooper. No way, am I telling which one, though. ;-)
Thank you so much for having me!

Thanks for stopping by, Frances. I am excited about her upcoming releases. Now that I've found her, I want more. To find out more for yourself: Frances Pauli website: http://francespauli.com/ / her blog Speculative Friction: http://francespauli.blogspot.com/ , or join in the fun of Space Slugs at: http://spaceslugserial.blogspot.com/

Clicking on the titles of her works above will take you where to buy. Roarke is available now. The others are coming up later this year and in 2011.