Tell us a bit about your latest book,
and what inspired you to write such a story.
Frances: My new release, 'Lords of Oak and Holly', is a holiday story about a down-on-her-luck ice sculptor who ends up taking a commission from the prince of winter. She's always loved the unpopular season, and falls for its personification as well, but ends up caught in the middle of a battle between him and his Summer counterpart. I love myth, and this tale explores the idea of the Oak King and the Holly King vying for supremacy as the seasons change. In the tale, the cold season is feared, and the need for balance between the two is misunderstood. Its a theme I enjoy, that dark and light are equally needed.
What kind of promotions do you do for your books?
Frances: I'm still learning, but I enjoy guest blogging and virtual book tours because I can meet a cross-section of readers and other authors and I can provide content as well instead of just saying, Hey, buy my book. I just can't bring myself to do that. I know that self-promotion is really stressed right now, but I think it's been overdone a lot, and in some places is really driving the readers batty. Not a good thing for any reason. I post my releases and news on Facebook and I'm looking into some purchased ads, but I can't say what's working and what isn't at this point. I suspect the best thing an author can do is write a better book the next time, and a better one after that...to garner that elusive word of mouth that we all want.
When did you start writing? Can you share an anecdote
from your earliest writing years?
Frances: I've been writing since they invented dirt. But seriously, regularly writing for about five years now. I can't imagine not doing it, and I've been known to take a day off and have to fight myself not to sit in that chair and start typing. An anecdote...hmmm. Well, back in High School a million years ago, I sent a short story to the Writer's of the Future contest. For some reason that round they put all my heroes on the judges panel, Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, you name it. I can only pray they didn't actually read the story. I recently did, and I'm still in hiding. Wow. Thank heavens we get better with age/time, right?
Which of your characters do you love/hate/fear/pity the most
Frances: I love my heroes, all of them. I have to. I fall in love every time I write a book. It's probably why I write romance. But my favorite characters are the sidekicks. I like quirky, odd side characters that show up for no reason and take over large portions of the book, or demand their own later. So far, I have an invisible best friend, a gelatinous alien clutz and a barkeep who just wants her very own fairy. It its weird, I'll probably do it.
How would you handle negative criticism or a negative review?
Have you ever gotten a bad review?
Frances: Define negative? :-) My first book got several reviews, and while they all rated it fairly high, there were all these comments. You know, the ones that make you feel like every little mistake, every flaw is exposed to the world. They were certainly valid points---no book is perfect--but they still stung even though all the reviewers also mentioned that they really liked the book. How did I handle it? How do you? You learn from it, write a better story next time, shake it off and eat some chocolate...lots of chocolate helps.
Do you have another book in the works?
Would you like to tell the Readers about
your current or future projects?
Frances: Oh boy, do I! I can't stop writing, remember? Right now Im working on next years holiday stories. You see, the Summer prince has demanded I tell his side of the story. I also have a bunch of releases coming up. The first book in my urban fantasy trilogy, 'A Moth in Darkness', is due out soon. Bring on the fairies! I also have a futuristic romance coming, a supers romance, and book two in my Dimensional Hotel series, Aspect Ratio for spring. I'll also be starting book two of my free serial in January. http://spaceslugserial.blogspot.com book one is there as a free read.
Before we let you go, tell us five random things about yourself.
Frances: Random...hmmmm. I have two children, toddlers I love tarantulas and own a hairless dog I play the ukulele I make a mean meatloaf and, I may love the idea of space travel, but no way are you getting me off this rock! (too scary) Thanks so much for having me! You can keep in touch and find out more about upcoming books at my website: http://francespauli.com or on my blog: http://francespauli.blogspot.com and on facebook. (links on both above pages)
Lords of Oak and Holly Devine Destinies Dec 15 2010 "Maris always loved winter, but she never dreamed
she'd actually meet Him..." When her interpretation of a traditional holiday scene
loses Maris the annual ice sculpting competition,
her favorite season takes a turn toward dismal.
The rent is due, and her landlady won’t accept a fourth
place ribbon. So when the enigmatic, Lord Brayce,
arrives with a last minute commission, Maris jumps
at the chance. And as her host’s icy exterior begins to
melt away, Maris finds there is far more to him
than meets the eye, and his attentions leave her wishing
this particular job could last forever.
But when Brayce’s family arrives for the holiday,
Maris is plunged head over heels into a world of secrets
and an age old conflict between brothers.
Can an ordinary girl survive at the center of a battle
straight out of myth? And if her impossible suspicions
are correct, what are the odds that Maris can win
Thank you, Frances! Good luck with your books!