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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Q&A with Paula Weston, author of The Rephaim Series

I have been in love with the Rephaim series since I first received an eARC of Shadows in July 2013. I haven't been able to wait for the US releases of the following books since. I'm so excited for Burn the last in the Rephaim series *sniff sniff.* These books are amazing and if you haven't checked them out yet, do yourselves a favor and get them now

Paula Weston is the author of the Rephaim series (Shadows, Haze, Shimmer and Burn), which has been published in Australia, the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. Shadows has also recently been translated into Turkish (with Haze to soon follow).

For her day job, Paula is a  journalist-turned-government communications specialist, where her writing involves a lot less profanity. :)

She also loves to read, blog, cook, eat, drink and travel and tends to get passionate about human rights, ethical food production… actually, she can get passionate about pretty much anything.

Paula is a huge fan of Australian literature, fantasy/paranormal writing across books, TV and film; she loves comedy; is a closet comic reader and TV addict; and is borderline obsessed with the Foo Fighters.
Connect with Paula: Website | Twitter

Which of your characters do you most identify with, and why?

I’d have to say Gaby. When I was in my late teens and early twenties I was fairly impulsive and impatient, and *possibly* had had some anger issues.  ☺ When I was writing Gaby, I had to channel that younger version of myself, and I was surprised at how easily the voice came. 

Like Gaby, when I’m under stress or threatened, I tend to react with action - so I certainly identify with that part of her personality. For me, doing something – even if it’s not the smartest option – feels better than doing nothing. (And yes, I’m still working on that part of my personality!)

There’s another key part of Gaby’s experience that resonates with me – how she comes to terms with her past. I’m not always proud of some of the choices I made when I was younger. I’ve changed a lot since then, and I always hope that people from my past judge me on who I am now rather than who I was then. Which is not that similar to what Gaby faces – even though she can’t remember being the person everyone keeps telling her she was. (Her struggle of reconciling who she used to be with who she is now becomes a bigger issue for her in Burn.)

If there were one thing that would make you stop reading a book, what would it be?

Gratuitous sexual violence – particularly involving women and children. I find those scenes very hard to read under in any context, but they especially repel me when it’s obvious they have no greater purpose in the plot aside from shock value.

Arguably, there are stories where that sort of violence is pivotal to the story and the character’s journey (e.g. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Kite Runner). But when writers use sexual violence as a way to ramp up conflict and tension – without a meaningful narrative context – it helps ‘normalise’ that type of behavior. It’s emotionally draining and distressing to read.

There have definitely been books I’ve started skimming for that reason. (I very rarely quit a book altogether, but I know it’s not working for me as soon as I find myself skimming.)

If you could have any superpower what would it be, and why?

I can’t go past the Rephaim power of being able to shift anywhere in the world in the blink of an eye. Aside from making international travel so much more comfortable and affordable (not to mention quicker!), it would also be handy in day-to-day life!

What material possession could you not live without?

I’d like to say ‘nothing’, but I left my phone at home the other day and had to drive all the way back from work to get it because – it turns out – I can’t live with out it. So I guess that’s my thing. In my defence, it’s the material possession that connects me to all the people I care about – and the wider world. I’m also a little obsessive about having a notebook and pencil/pen on me at all times.

What happens now that The Rephaim series is coming to the end? What’s your next project?

I’m about 22,000 words into a brand new novel (a stand-alone story). I’m still getting to know the characters and working out the nuances of the plot – and thoroughly enjoying the process. (Plus, it’s distracting me from the fact I have to let go of the Rephaim characters, which still hasn’t fully hit home.)

It’s still very much a work in progress, but I can say that it will be a thriller in a contemporary Australian setting, and that two of the narrators are older teens. There’s also a specific twist I can’t tell you too much about, only that it’s not angels (or any other supernatural creature).

Thanks for having me on the blog! ☺

Brittany: Thank you, Paula for doing this interview with me =)

Be sure to check out my reviews for all of Paula's books!

My reviews of ShadowsHaze, and Shimmer.

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