Welcome to Dames of Dialogue, Pauline. Tell us about your trilogy Merryweather Lodge.
Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here. This trilogy is about a young girl who goes to visit her aunt and uncle at their quaint and mysterious little cottage in England. She had waited all of her life to visit that enchanted land but it doesn’t take her long to realize that her fairytale kingdom has a sinister twist. One night in her attic bedroom she is confronted by an entity that taunts her for the rest of her stay and long after that. Later, at the age of twenty, she is to discover that this entity is someone she had known century’s ago. I have created a world into which my readers can escape and an atmosphere that will evoke their imagination, stir their emotions and engage their senses. This trilogy contains elements of romance, mystery, humor, horror and sex. It was inspired by my own experiences at a remote little cottage near Stonehenge. In book number three I will reveal which parts of this story are true and which ones are fiction.
Now that’s what I call a hook. The trilogy sounds intriguing, all the more so due to your own real experiences. I note Merryweather Lodge – Ancient Revenge, first book in the trilogy, won the Readers Favorite 2011 Silver Award for Fiction/Paranormal. Congratulations and well-deserved! At this time, two books of the trilogy have been published. When will the third be available?
Do you have anything in mind following the trilogy? For instance, do you plan to stay within the same genre or publish in another?
Yes, I will be staying in the paranormal genre. I have a paranormal romance in mind. Although, I have written two children’s books, yet to be published. Any takers?
Good luck with your children’s books. You have an interesting background – running away from home at the age of 17 and living on the streets of London with hippies then immigrating to Canada. I find your rebelliousness compelling. Has it carried forward into adulthood and has it in any way impacted on your becoming a published author?
Oh yes, I’m still a non conformist. I like to live outside of the box and color cows purple. I do what my conscience tells me to do not what society tells me I should do. When I wrote my first (sellable) article, many years ago. I knew in my gut that it was good. It took me two years and many rejections to get it published. But I went at it with bold determination, so it was with the first book of this trilogy. I know when I have written something good that deserves to be published or something that is rubbish.
Good for you. I tend to be a non-conformist, too, although my Southern background somewhat dampens my verbal expressions. I note you write your manuscript in longhand first then transfer it to the computer. I’m curious as to your reason for this. Does it help with the writing process or is it based on a personal suspicion or just simply your preference?
Most of the time, especially if I’m writing fiction, I like to write longhand. I write in my purple room, at my antique desk, under a large picture window; then I type it into the cold inanimate piece of equipment I call my computer and edit as I go. Young people think this is weird but the blank screen does not inspire me. The lovely view outside my picture window does.
Well, I can certainly understand that. Do you consider yourself a pantser or outliner?
A bit of both. I do have a plot, a theme and an ending in mind when writing a book. But sometimes my protagonist (I write in first person) takes my pen and goes off at a tangent and I’m forced to change direction. At times I find myself asking her “Where are we going with this Emily?” That’s one of the reasons I like to be alone when I write.
I love it when my characters takes over – I’m always curious where they’re going to take me. What works best for you in regards to promoting your books?
I wish I didn’t have to. I’d like to spend more time writing and less time trying to promote and market my books. I remember when (years ago) one would write a book, get it published then sit back and collect the royalties. But it’s not that way any more. Most authors are not salesmen, public speakers or comfortable being in the limelight, especially if they are introverts, like me. But we are expected to promote ourselves, as well as our books, even by the big publishing houses. The internet of course, is the most powerful tool an author has and not nearly as intimidating. I blog, tweet, do online interviews, reviews, Facebook and try to keep a consistent online presence. It can be extremely time consuming but I know it’s an important element in establishing my writing career. Any publicists out there, willing to work for peanuts??
I think promoting is the thing I like least about being an author. I’m also an introvert and find it extremely hard honking my wares, so to speak. Who are your favorite authors?
I like to read mixed genres. One of my favorite books is Anne of Green Gables. As a child I fantasized about living in a big house, in the country, with a wraparound porch just like Green Gables. And, like me, Anne had a wild and vivid imagination. Lucy Maud Montgomery was a brilliant writer. I like the domestic bliss of Rosamund Pilcher, the fearful suspense of Lisa Jackson, the magic of J.K. Rowling’s, and the gut-wrenching horror of Stephen King. My favorite author is Dr. Wayne Dyer. I have all his books. I call him my spiritual mentor.
I don’t think anyone so far can top King when it comes to horror, although Koontz is very close. What book(s) are you reading at this time?
I laughed when I read your story about how you met your husband. Can you share that with us?
Of course. I was a new immigrant when I met my husband in an Irish Bar in Ontario. When he told me he was from ‘Semans’ Saskatchewan…I said to myself (after stifling a snicker) flippin heck Pauline, you do know how to pick um. But I’ve kept him (for 32 years) and haven’t regretted it since. Well, okay, maybe once or twice.
Do you have any pets? If so, please tell us about them.
I love animals and I’m a supporter of most animal rights organizations. We have an adorable Sheltie named Maggie Mae and a cantankerous ginger cat named Sam U.L.
Great names! Tell us about your part of the world.
I live in western Canada, in the province of Alberta. This province has a smorgasbord of delights for tourists and sightseers. Here are just a few, the majestic Rock Mountains, the acclaimed Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology, Athabasca Falls, The Columbia Ice fields, Banff Hot Springs and The West Edmonton Mall. It is one of the largest entertainment and shopping complexes in the world. Alberta is supported by tourism, agriculture and the petroleum industry. It borders the State of Montana. It is a beautiful part of the world to live but it can get pretty darn cold here in the winter. Canada is multicultural and has one of the strongest economies in the world. It is vast, with magnificent scenery but England, the county of my birth, will always be home to me. You can’t beat the lush English countryside, quaint old pubs and enchanting, rose covered cottages.
Both sound lovely, Pauline. Thanks for joining us. For more information about Pauline: http://www.paulineholyoak.com/
Thank you for inviting me to your site Christy. Good luck and happy writing to all the Dames in Dialogue.