Would you please introduce yourself and tell us what made you decide to write romance?
I'm a full time graphic designer for an advertising agency in Birmingham, Alabama, and I write romance novels in what free time I have left. I have always wanted to write, and I've always read romances and mysteries. So when I got serious about writing something original, romantic suspense is what came out. I love combining danger and passion in a way that raises the stakes for both the relationship and the mystery.
What was the inspiration for your current release 'Forbidden Territory'?
I am something of a skeptic about all things paranormal, but I have always been intrigued with the idea of having a special ability that set you apart from everyone else. How would a normal person cope with having such an abnormal talent? Would it be a blessing or a curse? And if you saw it as a curse, how could you run away from it when it was inside you? Out of that single question, I created the character of Lily Browning, a third-grade teacher who has clairvoyant visions that she's spent the last few years of her life trying to suppress. But when she has a vision of a frightened child, and immediately after learns that the child is believed to be the victim of a kidnapping that left her mother dead, Lily has to try to access those abilities that she's been so ruthlessly trying to avoid.
Do you do research for the books you write?
I do, but I try to not bog myself down too much in the research. I don't want to write a travelogue or a how-to manual for criminal investigation. As much as I can, I let the characters tell their story, filling in the blanks with research as they arise.
To date, which book has been the most difficult to write? Of all the books you've written do you have a favorite?
'Forbidden Territory' is my favorite so far, but it was relatively easy to write, even though I had to do a lot of revisions to make it fit the line that bought it. The hardest book to write is one that I haven't sold yet, although I plan to pitch it to my editor eventually. It's called 'Code Name: Willow' and it gave me fits.
Do you usually outline your stories before you write them, or do you ?go with the flow??
I've done it both ways. I do tend to outline more, now, because I'm dealing with deadlines. But my stories usually escape the confines of the outline, so I guess I also go with the flow.
How long does it take you to write a book?
With the category-length books, from concept to finish--three to four months, barring complications. Longer books probably take five months to a year.
What is the best thing about being a romance writer? Do you have any fears about writing
The best thing so far about being a romance writer was holding my first book in my hands. But the friends I've made among other writers and readers is a very close second. My biggest fear about writing is that I'll run out of ideas. I haven't so far, but that's the scariest idea to me.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on the third book in the Forbidden Series. (I recently sold book two, Forbidden Temptation, to Harlequin Intrigue. It will come out in August 2007).
What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have a favorite?
I love romantic suspense, mysteries, thrillers and anything by Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book; I usually re-read it yearly. I'm also a big fan of Nelson DeMille's thrillers, especially the John Corey series.
When away from writing, What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I like to listen to music, watch TV, spend time with my family. Read, of course.
Any tips about writing and getting published?
Be realistic about your expectations, dogged in your determination, and take any and all criticism as a chance to learn and grow as a writer.
Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for We Really Dig Romance Novels.
Thanks for the opportunity!
Check out the Paula Graves books we have.
Author website: http://www.paulagraves.com/