Interview with Charmaine Pauls

1. Please introduce yourself and your writing.
Ever since discovering the mystery of stories and the magic of books in our dusty school library, I knew I wanted to write. I won my first essay contest at the age of nine. My prize money was R2 (18c of a dollar today), and I spent it on bubble bath that came in a bottle shaped like Santa Clause. Between then and now I’ve never stopped writing. My professional career always required extensive writing, but it’s only since the last four years that I have written creatively full-time. I have a weakness for unrequited love stories and classics such as Wuthering Heights, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Dracula. I write sweet, sensual and sizzling hot romance novels, and balance those with dark, psychological short stories.
2. What inspires your writing?
Reading. Whenever I pick up a good book, I’m motivated to write when I turn the last page. My plots are inspired by emotional triggers, big or small, by events or people who touch me in a profound way.
3. When did you first realize that you were a writer?
I always knew I wanted to write. At some point in the struggle of holding a job and paying the bills, I almost gave up on my dream, but today I’m glad I persevered.
4. What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have?
I’m a diligent writer who writes at least four weekdays from 9 am to 1 pm. Weekends are family time. No matter if I feel inspired or not, I sit down at my desk and type away. As I have my creative peak in the early morning, I save that time for just getting the story down on paper. In the evening, when I experience a slump in energy, I edit from 9 pm to 11 pm. One morning a week is dedicated to creative recharging, whether that means having a coffee with a friend, taking a walk, or visiting an art exhibition. My brother’s art teacher always told him that environment is very important for creating, and remembering his wise words, I have set up a special, sacred room that is quiet, and in which I feel calm and stimulated. Whenever I walk into my study and sit among my favorite books and objects, I’m emerged in a special ambience that feeds my imaginary muse.
5. Which is your favorite of all the books / stories you’ve written?
Pyromancist. This book is the first of an eight-part paranormal romance series due in March 2015. It’s dark, it’s hot, it’s magic, it’s fantasy, it’s gothic and esoteric, all rolled into one. It’s like the juiciest hamburger on the menu with all the toppings.
6. What are you communicating with your writing (do you have a common / favorite central theme)?
One of my reoccurring themes is balance. I’m fascinated by opposites and how they compliment (and need) each other. I use a lot of yin-yang, black-white, day-night, sun-moon, good-bad, etc. in my stories. Even my titles reflect this quest for finding the whole in two halves. My first novel is titled Between Yesterday & Tomorrow. The central theme of the book is living in the present, instead of in the past, or the future. My second novel, Between Fire & Ice, a futuristic romance that plays off in Chile, showcases personalities attributed to the sun and the moon, the desert and the glaciers, the fire and the ice. Even the protagonists’ names reflect the theme, Elena meaning moon, and Cy (short for Ciro), sun.
7. What is your advice to aspiring writers for getting published?
Determination and perseverance. With a bit of talent and a lot of hard work, you can make it. Invest a good deal of time researching publishing houses, to decide to which house your work is best suited. The mistake I did with my first book, was trying to submit to everyone. With my second book, I chose 3 publishers that printed the kind of books I wrote, and customized my query letter and submission to each house’s style. The research took a lot longer than drafting the actual submissions, but the effort paid off. Two of the publishers I had submitted to, offered me a contract three months later, and I went with my first choice.
8. What is the best advice you ever had about writing?
Less is more.
9. Who is your all-time favorite author?
Aside from the classics, I’d have to say Lora Leigh for her breed series. She has a talent for writing thriller and paranormal into romance. Every single one of her opening sentences has always hooked me, in all thirty of her breed series books.
10. If you could go anywhere in the world on holiday, what would your destination be?
Turkey. Or Morocco. No, wait! I’d really like to take a flip in a space shuttle to the moon. I loooooove to fly.
Published 2015-12-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Seven Forbidden Arts, Volume 1
Price: $9.99 USD. Words: 427,100. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2016 by Melange Books, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
An action-packed paranormal erotic romance series Cain Jones starts a paranormal crime taskforce of individuals possessing seven forbidden arts to prevent an elusive enemy from taking world power by communication and technology domination. As the team grows, mission after mission, Cain slowly uncovers the identity of the archenemy he has to destroy.
Series: Seven Forbidden Arts, Book 5. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 113,460. Language: English. Published: April 12, 2016 by Melange Books, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
All is fair in love and war, especially when the enemy is a drug baron and the loot the woman you love. Sean Rivers lives with a dangerous secret. He possesses a forbidden art. As geomancist, it is in his power to destroy landscapes with earthquakes and volcanoes.
Series: Seven Forbidden Arts, Book 4. Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 90,160. Language: English. Published: October 17, 2015 by Melange Books, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
She’s sleeping with him. She lied to him. She loves him. Can she destroy him? Tough and invincible Maya Martin is part a paranormal crime taskforce. Her ability to manipulate water makes the South African born hydromancist an invaluable asset to the team. When AK47’s are smuggled from Mexico to Zimbabwe via Costa Rica, Maya is sent on a mission to destroy the arms and expose the syndicate.
Series: Seven Forbidden Arts, Book 3. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 91,270. Language: English. Published: July 2, 2015 by Melange Books, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Hispanic & Latino, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
All he could offer was thirty days of passion. He condemned her to death instead. Now he’ll do everything in his power to save her.
Propose To Me
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 91,000. Language: English. Published: July 16, 2015 by Melange Books, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - multi-author
Seven romantic tales of marriage proposals. Featuring authors Charmaine Pauls, Ellyse Roberts, Elena Kane, Tara Fox Hall, Caroline Andrus, Louise Redmann, and Katie Stephens.
Aeromancist: The Beginning
Series: Seven Forbidden Arts, Book 2. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 48,010. Language: English. Published: May 14, 2015 by Melange Books, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Erotica » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Erotic
Passion always comes with a price. Gifted with a hunted talent and a price on his head, the best Lann can offer Kat are thirty days of unrivalled passion before returning to his paranormal crime taskforce in New York. If Kat consents to his terms, she will agree to walk away on Day Thirty. Forever. But his uncontainable desire comes with an unforeseen price.
Series: Seven Forbidden Arts, Book 1. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 101,900. Language: English. Published: March 19, 2015 by Melange Books, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Erotic, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
At the same time as mysterious fires commence to rage through Clelia d’Ambois’ home village in Brittany, France, she starts sleepwalking. Daughter of a Japanese orphan, Clelia’s heritage is riddled with dark secrets that threaten anyone she loves. In a recurring nightmare she sees Josselin, the haunted man who abandoned their village nine years earlier, come for her, but she doesn’t know why.
A Miracle for Christmas
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 11,230. Language: English. Published: November 14, 2013 by Melange Books, LLC. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Family, Fiction » Inspirational
Michael Slanders only wants a steady job and a family of his own, but instead he lives from hand to mouth with his sick mother. Fired a week before Christmas and down on his luck, Mike needs nothing short of a miracle. Sometimes, goodness prevails. Sometimes, magic is made.