I want to welcome Frances Pauli First I’d love you to introduce yourself.
Frances Pauli writes across multiple genres. Her work is speculative, full of the fantastic, and quite often romantic at its core. Whenever possible, she enjoys weaving in a little humor. Once upon a time she was a visual artist, but she's since come to her senses. Now she fills her miniscule amount of free time with things like crochet, belly dance and abysmal ukulele playing. She lives in Central Washington State with her husband, two children, a pair of hairless dogs and five tarantulas.
Tell us about your latest release
Dogs of War: Vertigo is the first book in a paranormal romance series featuring demons and the dogs who hunt them across multiple incarnations. The books cross timelines for the hero and heroine, bringing encounters from their past lives into the present and renewing a soul mate connection under the constant threat of the parasitic demons who follow each couple through life after life. The Dogs of War series also highlights the canines used in military conflicts and, hopefully, is a tribute to the dogs who have served alongside man in various theaters throughout our history.
Now I have a few questions for you – I have found readers do like to know fun things about us writers.
1.) Who is your favorite villain – it can be from a book (even one of yours), movie or TV show. And why?
Oh I have always loved Maleficent, primarily because she was so totally wicked for a Disney character. Over the top bad. I'm actually a little concerned that the new film might try to make her sympathetic. I like my bad guys to be bad to the bone, and would hate to see her nastiness explained away too much.
For a purely aesthetic choice, however, I'd pick Lucius Malfoy...because yum.
2.) Who is your favorite character out of your books? Why?
It's really hard to pick a favorite. You've heard that before, I imagine. For the Dogs of War series specifically, I'd pick Angel Remington. Angel is a big, tough as nails, tragic character who, despite liking dogs a lot more than people, manages to show her soft side at times too. Angel's soul mate, Rachel, was possessed by their demon and Angel was the one who had to kill her. So, she's pretty messed up, but her heart is always in the right place. I have big things planned for her in book three Cry Havoc, and I can't wait to put her on center stage.
3.) What do genre do you write? What made you pick that one?
I didn't. I just can't do it. (despite much advice to just pick one!) I have always read multiple genres, and I'm learning that that makes me something of a mutant. However, because of that, I think up stories in all sorts of places, space, underwater, past, present, future. I love them all. The romantic theme at the core is always there, and there is often humor, but the story that screams loudest gets written next and it is often a different genre than the last one.
4.)What are you working on now?
Currently I am writing book four in the Kingdoms Gone series. That one is set in a fairy tale world after the Final War has destroyed all the old kingdoms and left the current society in something of a mess. Most of the nobler races were wiped out in the war and we are left with imps, tinkers and fairy godmothers who use the scraps of magic that still linger in hidden pockets of "old space" to keep things from falling completely apart.
5.) What got you to start writing?
I always had stories in my head. Originally, I kept them for myself and spun them out in my head, elaborating and expanding to entertain myself. Then I became suddenly afraid that I would lose them. I started taking notes, but the notes didn't hold up over the years and I realized I'd forgotten some of them. That panic to "save the stories" is what finally got me motivated enough to sit down and actually write them out.
6.) Where do you get your ideas from?
I get some from dreams, and my dreams have a lot of story fragments in them. Since I started writing regularly and prolifically, however, the ideas can come from anywhere. Things I hear or see in real life and then ruminate on, people that catch my eye, conversations or questions about basically, life, the universe, and everything.
7.) What would people who read your work be surprised to find out about you?
Well, I'm pretty ordinary. I write about the very fantastic, but I live in the middle of the dry, empty desert, surrounded by brown grass and bare hills. I home school my two kiddos and have very, very little time to actually write. Somehow, the stories find a way to get out despite my schedule.
8.) Do you have any special talents?
This answer is going to come out a lot like the "what genre" one. Focusing is not my strong point. I crochet, spin and weave, paint, belly dance, play the ukulele, make wine, show dogs, do puppetry and teach Reiki. Not all at the same time, and definitely not often. There are far too few hours in the day!
9.) What was the one piece of advice you received when you were an aspiring author that has stuck with you? Why?
Keep writing. I think deep down that that's the only one that matters. Lots of advice, lots of it, is speculative, or based on personal experiences that may not mirror your own. But keep writing is the whole point. Finish one book, write another. Don't wait. Keep your muse moving and working. The words must flow.
10.) If you could talk to any famous figure (present, past or fictional) who would it be and what would you talk about?
I always pick William Shakespeare. Mostly because I want to hear him talk. Still, I think my love of words came from reading Shakespeare and it would be lovely to have a chat with him about it, about poetics and drama and putting it all together in a way that is timeless and lingering. What author doesn't want that? Words that linger long after they've moved along.
Thank you so much for having me on the blog!
Thanks for joining me Frances! Loved your answers - by the way you'll have to put those spiders away if I ever come to visit - have very healthy fear of them ever since a banana spider fell on my head as a kid. Won't touch them, don't even like to be in the same room with them.
A modern day accountant with a level head and her feet firmly planted in ordinary reality, Genevieve doesn't believe in past lives, demons, or true love. All of which seems like a perfectly practical approach to life until the thing that killed her in World War One decides it’s time to try again…
Genevieve Oliver doesn't break the law. She doesn't take risks, and she definitely doesn't believe in anything weird. So getting pulled over for speeding on the way to pick up her new dog wasn't exactly on her to do list. Even more surprising, the cop who shows up at her window seems familiar. She’s never seen him before, and yet, just looking at the man makes her want to cry. But Viv has her head on straight.
She shakes off the encounter and heads to the dog breeder only to have an old magazine photo trigger a full blown, past life flashback. Not only do the soldiers in the picture look like her and her mysterious cop, she remembers them, a memory that holds as much danger as it does passion.
Now Viv is bouncing between two lives and being stalked by something evil in both of them. As the love story of two soldiers unfolds, her own heart opens for a man who may not even be available. Not that she has time to worry about minor details. If she can’t figure out the demon’s identity fast, Viv could lose more than just her life. She could lose everything she never believed in.
Dogs of War: Vertigo
Viv cursed the lights flashing in her rearview mirror. Her speedometer read ten over, five more that she’d normally travel and enough to earn her a nice, fat ticket. Damn. Her wipers squeaked and brushed off a thinning film of rain. The side of the highway beckoned like her own funeral. So much for her perfect record.
She pulled her Malibu onto the shoulder and eased to a stop. Dog toys piled on the passenger seat, and she leaned across and shoved them back out of the way. The registration would be in the lower glove box, the slidey one she never opened. Her elbow jabbed a squeaky toy and it joined the wiper blades in mocking her. The box was locked. A chew rope tumbled off the pile and landed amongst the litter on her floorboards. Viv sat up and turned off the engine.
The patrol car lights shimmered and blurred through the rain—red, blue, red. The driver’s side door opened, and she looked away. The flashing and haze spawned a wave of dizzy she didn’t care to continue. He’d want her license as well, and she knew where that was. Unfortunately her purse lay buried beneath the heap of supplies, dog toys, chewies and sweaters that she probably hadn’t needed to bring today. Her nerves had made her do it, made her bring the whole shebang, and now they made her hands tremble as she tried to extract her handbag.
The sweaters parted and she managed to get her purse open before the light tap, tap, at the window stopped her heart. Her fingers snagged the wallet that miraculously hadn’t drifted to the bag’s bottom, and she sat up and tugged it free in one move. She felt dizzy again, had to lean back against the seat to catch her breath and found it ragged, her pulse racing. Was she having a panic attack?
The tap came again. Great. She’d look guilty or worse, drunk. She slid her left hand out and pressed the window lever. It hummed, and the glass lowered while she tried to compose herself. Outside the window, a wall of uniform waited. Viv could just make out the name on the badge: Officer Adams. Her eyes darted to the rearview mirror and back. She didn’t look drunk. Maybe he’d be in a good mood. Maybe he loved dogs.
“License and registration.” Officer Adams spoke too quietly for a cop. He nearly whispered.
“Of course. One second.” Viv extracted her driver’s license from an inside slot in the wallet. The registration would take more maneuvering, but she could buy a moment by passing one of them over. She extended the photo ID out the window at the same time her cop leaned down to peer inside the Malibu.
He looked familiar.
Deep set brown eyes regarded her over a strong nose and classic cop mustache. She knew him. Viv would have staked anything on it right then, but she was almost just as sure they’d never met. She watched his eyes narrow so slightly she’d have missed it if she hadn’t been staring. The dizziness morphed into a pressure in her head. His mustache moved, but he didn’t say anything more.
She was going to cry. The realization startled her enough to drive her to action. She dropped her gaze to the card in her hand, waved it a little to catch his attention. Her license. The cop. She’d be getting a ticket any second now. How stupid would crying look? God, she didn’t want to find out.
She chewed her bottom lip and waited.
He hesitated. His eyes fell to the card and lifted. Viv found her hands gripping the steering wheel and didn’t remember how they’d gotten there. Don’t cry idiot. He’s just waiting for your registration. Shit. She’d only given him half the request. Now she sat like a weepy teenager and he had to be wondering what kind of drugs she’d taken.
She reached for the glove box at the same time he spoke again.
“Do you have a dog?” Again, his tone didn’t match his profession, or his face for that matter. She’d have bet his normal speaking voice boomed.
“What?” She sat up and the seat beside her squeaked again. Christ. She had a kennel in the back seat for heaven’s sake. It was a logical question. “No. I mean, I’m on my way to get one. A puppy.”
“I’ll be right back.” He took her card and stepped away from the car.
Viv watched him in her rearview mirror—cop walk—but his had a nice edge to it. Or was she imagining that? She didn’t imagine him stopping halfway between their vehicles. He paused and looked back down at her license. She still hadn’t offered her registration. How much more guilty could she make herself look? But he didn’t spin and come back to arrest her. Instead, he returned to his patrol car, swung into the driver’s seat and sat behind the wheel without closing the door.
Weird. She pressed her lips together again. They trembled, and her eyes stung. Stupid. It’s just a ticket. But the embarrassment of it burned, and she knew she’d be crying before he got back. He’d think she was trying to get out of the fine.
He was beautiful. Viv cringed at the thought and watched him unfold from the car again. She sniffed but held herself together while he walked back through the rain. Her chest shuddered. He reached the side of her car and stopped again.
This time, he didn’t bend down. He poked the license back through her window. Viv took it and they both held on a fraction longer than necessary.
“You have a perfect record,” he said.
“I love dogs.”
The first tear escaped. He’d already turned and started away. Maybe he loved dogs. She cried while he started his car. Maybe she was sick. The dizziness could be a flu coming on. She should leave first. Wasn’t that the protocol? She fumbled the keys and had to duck to retrieve them from the floorboards. When she sat back up, his headlights already veered back out onto the road. His light bar went dark, and Officer Adams drove away.