In this week’s edition of our Self-Publishing Interview Series, we took a few moments to chat with Paige Love-Rose, author of Beauty. Paige’s debut novel follows the path of young Cleo Dorothy Turttle as she struggles through a journey of self-discovery while also attempting to help her father solve a series of gruesome murders. After making a dangerous deal with an unexpected guest, Cleo wonders if she–even with the help of her faithful guardian angel–will be able to face her fears, save herself and help her father before the killer gets to her.
Paige has been writing poetry since the age of nine and is currently attending college in the Boston area. She is also working on a follow up to Beauty entitled Lavender Sky, following the continued adventures of Cleo Turttle. Enjoy our chat with Paige about her writing process and how she developed her first self-published title.
- When did you decide that you wanted to become a writer?
- To be completely honest, I never thought about it. I never said, “I want to be a writer” it just happened. I was a really shy little girl, to the point where I didn’t talk at all. So, I just started writing poetry because it was one of the most exciting ways to express myself.
- Describe your writing process. Is it structured (scheduled time devoted to writing and word count goals) or more free-form (when inspiration strikes)?
- I’m a free-form person. If I were to try to put time aside to write, it wouldn’t go so well. If I don’t have my poetry journal with me, I would find a piece of paper and write all of my ideas down. It’s whenever it hits me. No matter where I am, I still write it down.
- How did you create your character Cleo—is she very similar to you or very different?
- Cleo is very funny and somewhat confusing. She is the complete opposite of me. When I was about sixteen my girlfriends would come up to me and ask me for advice. So some of the situations that were in Cleo’s life are the same exact situations from my friends. Cleo is also a bunch of personalities of people I know put together. She is also named after my grandmother “Cleo”.
- You said Beauty started out as a short story—what made you decide to turn it into a full length novel?
- I still consider it a short story. When I first started writing it was only eight pages long. I sat down and read it to my grandmother, when she was with us, and she wanted me to create a bigger story line. I wasn’t going to publish it, but it’s in remembrance of her.
- Did you have a particular target audience in mind when you wrote the book?
- No, not really. The person who is telling the story is a female and you would think it’s directed to women. It doesn’t really matter, you can read whatever your heart desires.
- How is your progress on the sequel, Lavender Sky?
- Lavender Sky is going to be a lot more interesting than Beauty. Cleo meets new people. Some of the people who were mentioned in Beauty, who you haven’t met yet, are going to be in this one. She also goes through a lot of task, to figure who she is and where she wants to be in life. Also, instead of depending on other people, she is the hero this time.
- What made you decide to self-publish your book? Are you still pursuing a traditional publishing contract as well?
- I wanted to self-publish Beauty because it’s my first experience. Yes, I still want to be signed with a publish contract. I find getting signed by a publishing company similar to trying to get signed to a record label. I want to make sure that my writing is mature enough and I want to have more experience before sending in a proposal.
- What advice would you give to other indie authors?
- Advertisement! It’s the best way to get people to know that you and your book are alive. It might seem expensive but there are a lot of free ways to get you out there.
Hot Seat Questions
Now it’s time for the just-for-fun Duolit Hot Seat questions. Let’s learn a little more about Paige, outside of her life as a writer and self-publisher.
- What’s the last book you read? What did you think?
- I just finished reading Beloved by Toni Morrison. I read this book over and over again; I feel it is much better than the movie. When I found out that Beloved was a book I knew I had to find it somewhere. The storyline is unique and causes gasps. I love it. From time to time I’ll also read short stories from Edgar Allen Poe but Toni Morrison will always be at the top of my list.
- In the movie of your life, who would play the lead role?
- Keke Palmer? She’s a really good actress. Jurnee Smollett would be really good too.
- Which is your favorite holiday and why?
- I love every holiday. I don’t have a favorite holiday; it would be hard to choose because I love being around family in general. I love the fall. I don’t know why but it’s just the colors that make it unique.
- If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
- I’ve read urban books, and I loved some of the female characters. The thing is, some of the characters that I’ve read about, have been through so much in the storyline. They always pull through but these are things that I would never want to go through. I would have to say J.K Rowling’s Hermione Granger. She’s kind of like me in so many ways, she’s bossy and smart.
- What’s your favorite TV show?
- I like so many TV shows, it’s hard to just to choose one. I like The Cosby Show, The Wayne’s brothers, Martin, Good times, Girlfriends, Hawthorne, Lincoln Heights, Charmed and there is so much more.