Pauline Baird Jones
Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
Background sounds so important. O.O I was, I am a reader. That is my first—and in my opinion—my most important credential as a writer. I took a couple of classes back in the day. Read a ton of writing books, but writing and reading. Yeah, that’s how I became an author.
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
In the last century. Oh, you wanted more precision? Okay, when I made my first sale as a writer. It was a short story and companion nonfiction article. I made $150. It took me about ten years to make that much again. O.O
Tell us about the first book you wrote
My first book was called Pig in a Park. It later morphed into The Spy Who Kissed Me, because publishers didn’t get the joke, I guess. And readers kept calling it the pig in a poke book. Oops. I got the idea for it watching the first Gulf War. It’s hard to imagine what it was like then. Our first televised war. We all became armchair generals. And of course, being a writer, I had to ask, “What if…”. Five hundred pages later I had a book that needed some serious editing… But it was an RT Magazine top pick and the first digital-only book to be nominated for an RT Reviewer’s Choice award (in company with six NYT bestselling authors). I still get a chill remembering it. The “prevailing wisdom” was to put the first book in a chair and chalk it up to experience. I still ignore “prevailing wisdom.” LOL
What is your writing routine?
I start every day with a groan and a can of Diet Dr. Pepper. Half a can later, I read email, update my social media. Groan some more. Check my sales numbers. I usually do my non-fiction writing (blog posts, interviews, etc) in the morning, because I wake up really slow. After lunch, it’s fiction time. I used to try to get all my writing done by about 3 in the afternoon, because that’s when school got out. Now that I’m an empty nester (though the hubs recently retired, so the nest isn’t completely empty anymore…), I have a lot more flexibility. Sometimes I’ll write late in the evening, but I never write early in the morning. Morning and I have irreconcilable differences.
Favourite snack whilst writing?
Fig Newtons–though there are days when it is Junior Mints—and something salty.
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
Reading. Or playing with the grand babies.
What piqued your interest in the sci-fi/paranormal genre?
It took me a while, but it gradually dawned on me that I love action/adventure, fish-out-of-water stories. And what better place for all of that than outer space? Only without the water. Okay, I also love time travel and unless someone knows something I don’t, that is also science fiction. I love the possibilities of SFR. Almost anything can happen. That’s very cool. And very fun to write.
One thing you’d like readers to know about the sci-fi/paranormal genre:
That it isn’t hard or mysterious. You don’t have to know science to enjoy it. There is no test to pass when you finish. Your science teacher will never know. And science fiction is made up. So you can just enjoy it.
Biggest accomplishment to date:
Becoming a grandma? Oh, you mean in books? Well, getting nominated four times for an RT Books Reviewer’s choice award. Winning twice (The Last Enemy was the first digital-only book to win!).
What’s next for you?
For me there is always a new book. It’s like, the book is done, now long live the new book. Until it’s done. Then it is long live the next book. Right now the next book is tentatively called Dead Spaces. In a weird twist, it will be part of my Big Uneasy series, but SFR, not romantic suspense and also set in New Orleans. I’m having a ton of fun with it.
Confessions of an Author:
Is there something we’d be shocked to know about you?
Let’s see, I already mentioned I’m short. The problem is, I’m not shocking. I’m rather dull in my real life. I don’t even like to fly (though that is as much about the strip search as the crappy customer service).
What do you find easiest to write? And, the hardest?
Creating characters is the easy part for me. And shooting things up. (grin) Describing settings, yeah, that is the hard part. Many times I’ll look at a scene and realize that it is happening no where and I have to go figure out where they are and how it smells and tap into all the senses when I just want to get to the shooting and the action. See, in playwriting (my first adventures in writing) you can just slap a scene tag at the top and then write some dialog. I like that.
Favourite travel experience?
I’m a hermit, so…okay, I loved visiting England. I got to walk down streets mentioned in Georgette Heyer’s novels. I got to visit Bath.
Favourite fictional character:
Anne Shirley. Reading Anne of Green Gables was magical. I still love reading it.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list:
Go to ComicCon.
Milk or dark chocolate?
Red, white, bubbly?
Diet Dr. Pepper in any and every situation. J
Salty or sweet?
Ooh, I like both. They are my taste buds yin and yang.
Beach or mountains?
Give or receive?