Bluewood interviews Paulette Rae, author of Alexandra The Great

Bluewood Publishing: Hi there, welcome to Bluewood. Tell us a little about yourself. What part of the world do you live in? Tell us about your background?

Paulette: I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. I’m sure many people won’t know where that is, but for me New Zealand is home and always will be. A three hour drive takes you from a surf beach to the snowy mountains – everything is accessible here, including plenty of inspiration for writing.

Bluewood: Who are your favorite authors?

Paulette: My first favourite I can ever remember was Mary O’Hara, who wrote the My Friend Flicka series. Then, along came Stephen King when I was a teenager, and later on Marian Keyes. Three completely different authors, whom I admire and love for their extraordinary talent.

Bluewood: What is your genre and what attracts you to that genre, and what made you want to write it?

Paulette: I’m a romance writer…always have been and always will be. While I write under the pen name, Helen McNicol, in erotica and short stories, I always go back to romance, despite the sub-genre or setting I choose. I’m just a big sop really and I enjoy a good love story.

Bluewood: The question you are probably always asked – how long have you been writing?

Paulette: I’ve been writing since I was about nine years old. Seriously. Since a primary school teacher awoke the writer in me, I’ve always had a passion for the written word, although I didn’t complete my first novel until about seven years ago.

Bluewood: Does the way you personally look at life reflect in your writing style?

Paulette: That’s a tough one, because so much of what we put into our writing comes from somewhere else. Having said that, I find it hard to write characters or themes which go against how I am in my personality. I’ve always found writing conflict really hard, because I tend not to be that kind of person. I’ll back down to keep the peace, so to have my characters acting someway that I’m not familiar with, is very difficult. Some characters I have intended to be evil and nasty have turned out to have a heart of gold. One day, maybe, I’ll be able to write the perfect villain, but I continue to work on that.

Bluewood: What concept or situation about your book makes it so unique?

Paulette: My books are all based in New Zealand, which give them a very unique flavour compared to the international choice we are given as readers in this country.

Bluewood: Tell us about Alexandra The Great. What was your inspiration for this book?

Paulette: Inspiration is again a tough question, because normally this comes from several different sources. The idea for my character, Mike, came from someone I used to work with at a transport company. He could back a b-train into the 45 degree angle of the warehouse in one attempt and I always remember how much that impressed me. Mike, consequently, is nothing like his namesake. Alex was a parallel universe projection of something I could have been in a different life. One of those: where would I be if this had happened? moments.

Bluewood: What is your favorite scene from the book and why?

Paulette: I love the scene where Alex attends the wedding and goes home a little ‘under the weather’ with Mike, after too much alcohol. It’s a really raw moment for her, when her inhibitions momentarily ‘leave the building’.

Bluewood: Have you written other books?

Paulette: Alexandra The Great is my fifth novel. Riding The Hurricane, Beside The Brook and A Diamond In The Dust under my own name. My next novel, due later in 2012, is The Silver Lining. I've also written an erotic romance Songs In The Key Of J I wrote under my pen name, Helen McNicol.

Bluewood: If you could tell us one thing about the Romance genre that makes your mind spin with ideas, what would that be?

Paulette: Romance is everywhere. People fall in love in all types of situations, whether it’s under tragic circumstances or more normal ones. The ideas are limitless. They’re all around us, just waiting to be plucked from the writer tree!

Thanks so much for chatting with us, Paulette!