Paula Houseman

Publisher info

Paula Houseman thought her life was, well ... meh. Until she started fiction writing. Memories flooded back and she realised her existence had not been mundane at all. It had been ridiculous!

Her university studies helped her see what was hidden behind the absurdity, and to understand that at the core of everything we read and circulate, there is a wealth of ancient, uncut stories that echo from the backwoods of our individual and collective psyches.

Digging around in these myths, she rediscovered her passion for wordplay. Paula also became reacquainted with the butt-ugly, potty-mouthed goddess—she who embodies a holy kind of dirty and got her into trouble as a child! This muse reminded Paula of what it means to be 'real', and is responsible for the bawdiness in 'Odyssey in a Teacup', a book that pays homage to the glorious messiness of life.

Smashwords Interview

What is your writing process?
Where my writing is concerned, I don’t follow a step-by-step process. I’m not really a plotter; I’m more of a ‘pantser’—I fly by the seat of my pants. My creativity doesn’t want to be constrained by a pre-determined plan. And relying on instinct rather than logic makes the writing process mysterious and so much more interesting. And more real. I’m also interested in other writers’ techniques, and I learn a lot through reading; through paying attention to what I love in others’ writing—what makes me want to keep turning the pages? I also edit rigorously, but I follow novelist Zadie Smith’s advice: ‘The secret to editing your work is simple: you need to become its reader instead of its writer.’

I have awesome conversations with my characters! Most importantly, I feel when I write. If I’m crying while I’m writing a sad scene, or raging when my protagonist is locking horns with an obnoxious character, or getting turned on when I’m writing a sex scene (!), then I know that what I’m writing has depth and will resonate with the reader, because we relate through emotions, not thoughts.
What inspires you to write?
I grew up at a time when women and girls were taught to make ‘nice’, and the catchphrase was ‘Children should be seen and not heard’. That’s tough, especially when you’re a spirited child who thinks outside the square.

We need to be able to express who we are, all of us, not just our ‘niceness’. I used to express through art, but it wasn’t enough. I needed to find my voice—my many voices. And for me, the beauty of fiction writing is that I can do that through my characters because they represent the many aspects of the human psyche. I can give voice to the extremes of emotion without being shamed for it. That helps my journey, but I believe it also helps the reader’s because I’m writing from the soul, where writer and reader connect at the most basic level of humanness.

Extending on that, I have some big ideas that are outside mainstream thinking, and that have helped me through difficult times (and still do). And if they help me, they can help others.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Paula Houseman online


Where to buy in print


Books

Odyssey In A Teacup
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 90,400. Language: English. Published: June 6, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
A tut-tutting, big-breasted, modern-day gorgon; a humourless schoolmarm with an unfortunate name and freakishly long, yellow incisors (yeesh)—these are the kinds of people Ruth Roth regularly encounters. Add in daily dealings with an acerbic mother who squawks like a harpy, a father with a dodgy moral compass and a God complex, a bitchy mirror, and Ruth’s existence feels like a Greek tragicomedy.

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