Interview with Paula Schumacher

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Getting a scene down in words the way it is playing out in my head.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on a murder mystery. It's set in Kansas. The sleuth is a forensic accountant who's recently taken up bridge (the card game). She is pulled into a recent murder case and finds clues through this new circle of friends.
Who are your favorite authors?
Laurie J. Marks (fantasy), Ursula K. Le Guin (sci fi), Orson Scott Card (the earlier works), Robert Heinlein (sci fi), Ray Bradbury, Barbara Kingsolver, Barbara Cartland (when I was younger and more into romance books), and just about anyone whose writing strikes me as clever, cool, intriguing, etc.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My dog. If I don't get up, he nudges me with his cold nose. (It doesn't take inspiration to get me out of bed.)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
My day job is managing people. I also play bridge--somewhere between too much and not enough. I enjoy going out to eat, having a silly martini, and listening to local music. There's also the yard to take care of. In all the time that's left, I'm usually walking my dog.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I search on topic. The topic just depends on what I'm interested in that day.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The first time I remember writing was when my father wanted to know who had written in crayon all over the upstairs closet. I was in kindergarten. My first full story was in 9th grade, I think. It was a little dark (and full of run-on sentences). When I was younger I wrote poems.
What is your writing process?
In November 2013 I participated in NANOWRIMO (national novel writing month). To get my word count every day, I put on head phones, cranked some music, and wrote stream of conscious. That worked really well for me. Now, I write out an outline, crank the music, and write. It helps tune out the inner critic. Later, I go back and fine tune things without the loud music.
How do you approach cover design?
Cover design is hard for me. I go to a bookstore and look at the covers of books in the same genre. Then I get with my designer and try to express the scene I think might look good. I ask for several ideas. The designer shows me some, and usually we pick one that I never even thought of and develop it.
What do you read for pleasure?
YA (young adult) sci-fi and fantasy. It's an easy read.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My Kindle Fire.
Describe your desk
The top of the desk is pretty much so taken up by my gaming system (CPU below, monitor and keyboard on top). On top of that are a bunch of sticky notes, notes on scraps of paper, notebooks with notes -- almost all of which have to do with the story I'm writing, and some of which have to do with searching eBay for household items or dog toys.

The desk drawer is open. In it are my reading glasses, flash drive for quick backup, music backup drive, and a gazillion little things people put in their semi-junk drawers. The pull out drawer has my laptop.

Oh, there's a few filing cabinets that are covered in notes, etc. And, a small set of shelves that are overflowing with books, notes, etc. And, on the wall, I have a sticky note outline of the current book I'm working on.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I was born in southern Minnesota and grew up in the upper peninsula of Michigan (the U.P.). They get A LOT of snow up there. And, it's not densely populated. I have a romantic view of snow. And, I'm introspective.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
There were several things that lead me down the indie path. The biggest influence was the change of the publishing industry, first with print on demand (POD) and then with eBooks. It just made sense to use a publishing method that had a much smaller footprint. With both POD and eBooks, you don't have to print a minimum of 5,000 books and store them in a warehouse until you ship them to a store that will ship back whatever it doesn't sell. With POD, you print what is requested -- no trees die unnecessarily. And, even more so with eBooks.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has provided me the vehicle to bring my books to a wider audience. And, they have fantastic author support. They really try to help us make it through the ePublishing experience in one piece with a well written book, nicely formatted, and ready to market.
Published 2014-05-06.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Hero's Quest Betrayed
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 81,450. Language: English. Published: September 24, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General, Fiction » Gay & lesbian fiction » Lesbian
When a jewel has been stolen from a temple, Peryn's people choose her to bring home the artifact that holds their collective soul. Peryn's adventure takes her from the seemingly idyllic life in the north to harsh realities in the coarse south. Here she meets Alyche--both friend and foe. Their relationship, fraught with misunderstandings, deepens until Alyche's will clashes with Peryn's quest.
Beginner's Guide to Office Boxing
Price: $5.50 USD. Words: 38,150. Language: English. Published: February 25, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Psychology » Interpersonal relations, Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Workplace culture
Does dealing with the people at work wear you out and beat you down? Have you ever thought you might be in the wrong job? Do you think that maybe the problem is you? Odds are you’re beating yourself up when you should be defending yourself. This guide to dealing with difficult people at work will help you understand your Office Boxing antagonists and provide you with options for success.