Interview with Paula Weston – Author of Shadows

As part of the Shadows blog tour, here is our interview with Paula Weston…

Please tell us a little about yourself
I live in Brisbane, Australia, a great part of the world!

I’ve been writing professionally for many years, first as a print journalist and then as a government media and communication specialist. These days I run a writing-design business with one of my best friends (I’m the writer, she’s the graphic designer).

I’ve also been writing fiction for years. I’d finished five other full-length manuscripts and two plays before writing Shadows, which was the project that finally scored me a publishing contract (first in Australia and then the UK and North America).

I’m a book geek from way back (even during my misspent youth). In between writing the Rephaim series, working, and having a life, I still read as often as possible. My reading choices are eclectic, but I’m definitely drawn to edgy young adult and paranormal stories.

Please tell us about ‘Shadows’ and your inspiration for the book

Shadows is the first book in the Rephaim series (there will be four in total).

It introduces Gaby, a young woman trying to get on with her life in a coastal Australian town after the death of her twin brother. In addition to her grief, she has nightmares about fighting hell-beasts. And then Rafa turns up – a stranger she recognises from her violent dreams – telling her things about her life that make no sense. Rafa turns her world upside down and makes her question who she is, who he is and – the big one – whether or not her brother is actually dead. She discovers she has enemies she never knew about, and that her violent dreams are much more than just nightmares.

The story for the series sprang from an idea about a girl and guy with a complicated history that only he remembered. And if he took advantage of the fact she didn’t remember the tension between them, there would be hell to pay if and when her memories returned. I knew there were paranormal aspects to her memory loss and that the two of them were part of a wider conflict.

As I was brainstorming plot, characters and world building, I came across a story in the Book of Enoch (a non-biblical historical text) about a fallen angel called Semyaza and two hundred fellow warriors. Ideas for plot and characters then came thick and fast, and the concept of the Rephaim grew from there.

My aim was to write a story with strong characters and an intricate plot that was fast-paced, had moments of tension and humour, and was a little bit sexy.

What are you working on now?
I’m currently doing intensive edits on Haze (Rephaim #2), which is due out in June this year, and working on the first draft of Rephaim #3.

Where is your favourite place to write?
I have an office at home, but I can be quite productive writing in front of the TV. I kick back in the recliner and work with my Mac laptop on a stable table. It’s comfy and – providing there’s nothing too distracting on TV – I can write for hours. It also means I can hang out with my husband and pets and not feel too isolated being tucked away in another room.

What do you like to do outside of writing?
Aside from reading, I like to cook, share great food with friends and family, travel, watch TV/movies with my hubby, go to the theatre, listen to music, walk my dog and have lively conversations with friends (about anything from global politics to fart jokes.)

Thanks Paula. Shadows is available to buy now.

Thank you to Indigo publishers for including me on the tour, I absolutely loved Shadows! You can read my review below.