Interview with Katie Paul

Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Once I wrote a letter to the editor at the New Zealand Women's Weekly. It was all about how much I loved my birth mother for giving me up and my adopted mother for looking after me. I must have been about eight. They published it. My adopted mother cut out my letter from the magazine and stuck inside the front cover of her Bible. It's still there.
What is your writing process?
My goal is to write 25,000 words a week (not every week) which is the length of a novella. Before I start, I outline ten chapters with three scenes each. More often than not, I have too much material for my word count and I end up saying 'I need another Episode!'
How do you approach cover design?
I design my own covers using Photoshop Elements. I have used a public domain photo and each Episode is a different colour. My design skills come from my work as a photographer.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read non-fiction books about spirituality, sexuality and human behaviour. I love fiction with complex characters who discover their true nature through their relationships with the people they fall in love with.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have a Kindle.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in New Zealand in a conservative Christian family. My main character, Sophie Walker, grapples with sexuality and monogamy due to her indoctrination as a child. She is searching for an alternative way to interact with the divine nature of the Universe.
When did you first start writing?
I started to write seriously three years ago when I left my job in the theatre and went back to University. I finished my memoir during the course of my studies, but was unable to find a publisher. I discovered the process of writing non-fiction quite harrowing. Once I was free from the bonds of telling the 'truth' by writing fiction, I find myself enjoying writing much more.
What's the story behind your latest book?
Sophie Walker's life in theatre, her obsession with creating the perfect body, and the breakdown of her marriage are all loosely based on my life. Some of the story is 'almost true' and some of the characters are 'almost real'. The only non-fictional character is Izzy the cat -- and that's because she can't sue me.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Having gone through the painful process of trying to find an agent for my non-fiction book, I decided with my commercial fiction to by-pass the pain. I also publish serialized fiction, which is more of an indie model than a tradition publishing one.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has helped me get my work out to multiple booksellers, without me having invest the time it would take to create an account with each individual company. As an Australian author, there are some markets I can't access directly that Smashwords interacts with on my behalf.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy is putting two or three characters in a room and being surprised by what they end up doing. It seems Sophie, Michael, Pip, James, Beth and William have taken on a life of their own.
Published 2014-01-21.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Stages | The Complete Collection: Episodes One to Five
Series: Sophie Walker Novellas. Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 122,590. Language: English. Published: May 13, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Feminist, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
This is the complete collection of all the Sophie Walker Novellas: Stages | Episodes One to Five • Episode One - Breaking Up with Food • Episode Two - The Kiss That Changes Everything • Episode Three - The Single Life • Episode Four - Chasing the Dream • Episode Five - Losing Michael
Stages | Episode Five
Series: Sophie Walker Novellas. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,470. Language: English. Published: May 12, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Feminist, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Just when Sophie has finally got her life back on track, Michael is involved in a terrible accident. How will she deal with these tragic events? Will her new relationship survive? How will she hold on to her recovery when she is pushed beyond what she thought she could endure?
Stages | Episode Four
Series: Sophie Walker Novellas. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 25,000. Language: English. Published: January 25, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Feminist, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
On tour, in a foreign country, Sophie was expecting to live the life of her dreams, but reality crashes in — not just for her, but for those she loves. When she comes back to Sydney, she has some tough decisions to make. Who needs to stay in her life, and who needs to go? What should she do about the things she can’t control? And will she ever find the man of her dreams?
Stages | Episode Three
Series: Sophie Walker Novellas. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 24,650. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Feminist, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
When Sophie leaves Michael and chooses to live on her own, she only has one goal in mind — to sort out how she feels about Michael and James. Trying to soothe her growing sense of loneliness, Sophie throws herself into the world of online dating. Her encounters leave her wondering what kind of relationship she is really looking for and if there is any man out there who can measure up to James.
Stages | Episode Two
Series: Sophie Walker Novellas. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 23,950. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Contemporary, Fiction » Women's fiction » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
On a hot New Years’ Eve overlooking Sydney Harbour, Sophie kisses someone who isn’t her husband and sets in motion a series of events that threaten to destroy her marriage, her job and her reputation. Will Sophie survive the affair or will she damage herself and her husband forever?
Stages | Episode One
Series: Sophie Walker Novellas. Price: Free! Words: 24,830. Language: English. Published: December 28, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
(5.00 from 1 review)
Sophie Walker spends each night in darkness at the side of a stage, producing the alchemy of theatre. Her job is invisible to most people and so, it would seem, is her life. In an attempt to come out of the shadows, Sophie enters a body-building competition. But such discipline is hard to maintain, and Sophie finds herself locked in a destructive cycle of binging and restricting.