Okay, nobody freak out but I did a video intro for the first time in two months! You know why? Because I promised today’s guest…and I always keep my promises. Even when my hair looks horrible…
Today she’s back with a fun Q&A…and a giveaway! So be sure to read to the end for details.
MT: I don’t read nearly enough YA, but I do LOVE it. Can you tell me what drew you to that genre?
RP: Sure, Melissa. When it comes down to it, I am a seventeen-year old stuck in a 40-ish body. Really, I am. I’m like Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates, I just want to live High School over and over and over again. (Ask my friends, I am a tad blond under this black hair, too!] That way, I can recreate hundreds of Young Adult stories to pour into my own upside-down-waterfall, fountain of youth.
Okay, all jokes aside, I love teens. And I feel like those years at the end of high school and start of college are when many of us first start asking the bigger questions about life, all stemmed from the primary search for identity and belonging. I love finding characters on this journey who have crazy challenges thrown at them and then walking with them till they discover answers, hope, and themselves.
MT: You’re so right about the end of high school and beginning of college being pretty huge years identity-finding-wise. Just made up that term. Pretty sure it’ll catch on. So what sparked this particular story?
RP: I kind of backed into Swimming Through Clouds after I finished my first book, the one that might never leave the virtual desk drawer. Because that first story was about a guy named Lagan who left a box of letters which revealed a hidden love story. But I needed a compelling reason for him to hide such personal information from his very best friend.
RP: Simply put, they asked. Or should I say, Chip asked me. Chip MacGregor is my agent, and he approached me with Amanda Luedeke’s brainchild, Playlist Fiction, a team of Young Adult authors who would launch Indie/Contemporary Fiction E-books, almost monthly, with fun giveaways and a team approach to publishing great stories for YA lovers.
I asked Chip, “Is there any reason I shouldn’t?” And he couldn’t think of any reason not to. And what a sweet team of authors they are. They’re not only talented writers and compelling story tellers. They’re wives, moms, and they’ve become my friends. And the rest, they say, is…well, Playlist Fiction has only been around since April 2013 so too soon to say ‘history’ perhaps.
MT: It’s seriously such a cool idea. Last question: When do you find time to write with your four princesses needing your attention and a hubby, I’m sure, who wants more eye contact, now that you’re staring at your laptop a lot?
RP: Truth is, this whole juggling thing is a work in progress. In the beginning, I wanted to blog, write, edit and do the book thing all the time. The lightbulb moment came when my then five-year old saw me tapping away at the kitchen table one night right up to her bedtime. Then when she climbed out of bed with sleepy eyes and bed-head hair, she found me right back there. Tapping away at the kitchen table.
“Mommy! You must be so tired.” Her ‘good morning’ greeting made me stop typing and look up.
“Why do you say that, bubs?” I went back to typing.
“Cuz you’ve been writing your book all. Night. Long.”
That was it. I folded my laptop shut, pulled her into my lap and kissed her a bunch. Nothing is more important to me than my girls and my marriage. And I’m married to the guy who loves me so much, he read my book (joking he was gonna hold out for the movie,) he knows my one line pitch by heart, and he even tells his patients to read Swimming Through Clouds when he hands them their scripts, claiming they can always read when they’re sick in bed. Or something like that! Now that’s love! 😉
And I wish I could say I have it all ironed out. I still have days when the scales tip too far to one side. But overall, I’m not as panicky as I was a year ago. As my hubs likes to remind me, the world will not fall apart if I don’t tweet back or blog or reply to an email for a few days. In fact, the world might actually enjoy my life-infused writing when I return from, ummm, living.
Rajdeep Paulus decided to be a writer during her junior year in high school after her English teacher gave her an “F” but told her she had potential. She studied English Literature at Northwestern University, and she writes masala-marinated, Young Adult Fiction, blogging weekly at InSearchofWaterfalls.com. Hang out with Rajdeep on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads and Pinterest.
Rajdeep has graciously offered to give away one ecopy of Swimming through Clouds to a lucky commenter. Leave a comment below for a chance to enter. You’ve got until Tuesday, July 23, at 5 p.m. CST to enter. I’ll use a random number generator that night to determine the winner.
Post-It notes play a fun role in Raj’s book, and she’s going to start a Tumblr page of Post-It note photos. Want to be a part of the fun? Here’s what you need to do: Post a photo to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter of a Post-It note with an I-heart message and use the hashtags #swimmingthroughclouds, #postitlove and #playlistfiction along with @rajdeeppaulus…and she’ll include you on the Tumblr. AND the first 25 people to post a photo will be sent a book of Swimming Through Clouds Post-It notes. How fun is that? Sample ——->