Paula Boyd


Paula grew up in a small town in Texas that some would say is not unlike her fictional Kickapoo. Her love affair with writing and journalism blossomed when she realized the power of the printed word, particularly when she was called upon to discuss her journalistic decisions with the principal and superintendent of schools.
Nevertheless, she attended Midwestern State University where she was news editor for the university newspaper and co-editor of the yearbook until she was stricken with the tragic urge to get married.

After a decade of being away from writing to have three children, the creative side came bursting out again and she began writing her first novel in 1993. With only three chapters written, she won the Pikes Peak Writers Conference contest and was back in the game. That book, as well as the two that followed, didn’t make it to print, but she hit her stride in 1999 with her first published novel, a humorous mystery.

Hot Enough to Kill, the first in the Jolene Jackson Mystery Series, was featured in Redbook and other national and regional publications, and an excerpt is included in the University of Texas Press’ Lone Star Sleuths: An Anthology of Texas Crime Fiction.

The second title in the series, Dead Man Falls, won the 2001 WILLA Literary Award for Best Original Paperback and the third in the series, Turkey Ranch Road Rage, was published in 2010.
Paula Boyd and the Jolene Jackson Mystery Books have been featured in magazines such as Mountain Living, San Antonio Woman, Romantic Times and Colorado Homes and Living, and newspapers across the country.

Writing as Paula Renaye, she is the winner of seven national book awards and her books are sold worldwide in English, Spanish and Chinese. Paula is a certified professional coach, transformational speaker and frequent media expert on talk radio shows and in print media. For more information and articles, visit

Smashwords Interview

What inspired you to write your Jolene Jackson Mystery Series?
A trip back to Texas for a funeral. Seriously! My uncle, who was like a second father to me, had been ill for a long time and when he passed, we headed from Colorado back to Texas--much as Jolene would find herself doing very soon.

My uncle and I had always joked about being forced to go to family gatherings in the town near where I grew up, so making disparaging comments about anything and everything became a bonding activity for us. My mother never totally caught on, but she suspected and gave us the evil eye accordingly.

So, the night before we left for the funeral, I had a dream. I know it sounds hokey, but it’s also true. The idea for the book laid itself out in full living color and I had the opening line as well when I woke up. I loaded myself in the car, and thanks to my trusty laptop and an ongoing supply of motion sickness pills, I wrote the first fifty pages of the first book in the series, Hot Enough to Kill, on the trip down. No small trick with three kids and two dogs. Yes, I figure I had a little other worldly help getting that book started!
What is your writing process? Outline or by the seat of your pants?
Outlines work very well for some people and will suck the creative life out of others—me included. I’ve tried writing with an outline and even laid out an entire book using Jack Bickham’s Scene and Sequel Technique. It was the most hideously stiff and boring stuff I have ever written. And I didn’t write much—I couldn’t.

I also tried it with the index card method, where you write out scenes and shuffle them around to build your story, but that only added paper cuts to the monotony.

Now, I am not saying that either of these are bad ways to go about creating a novel—they aren’t—they are wonderful if they work for you. They simply do not work for me. My brain isn’t wired that way and will just shut down and refuse to play. Ah, but let it run free and loose and fun things happen! Left to their own devices, the characters will tell me their story. I just have to watch it unfold and write it down.

Okay, it might be a bit more involved than that, but it is a very fluid process. I have as much fun learning what happens next in the story as any reader. It works for me! And I figure if I’m laughing and having fun, the reader with too.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Paula Boyd online


This member has not published any books.