Author Interview: Pauline Harris

Written By: Janna - Nov• 06•14

My first author interview, and I’m so happy it’s with Patchwork Press’s new and amazing author, Pauline Harris with her debut novel, Puppet.

Puppet cover

Penelope lives in a world of advanced technology but many claim society has yet to catch up. Marionettes have advanced in the form of robots; lifelike creations remote controlled to perform super human tasks.When Penelope makes a deal with Jed, a marionette-obsessed scientist, she doesn’t fully realize what she’s getting herself into. In order for Jed to take her away from the orphanage she lives in, she must first agree to undergo his experiments and tests, ultimately creating something no one ever dreamed possible; the first living marionette.

As Jed shows off his scientific creation to the world, concerns arise surrounding Penelope’s abilities and what she’s capable of doing. Ordered to somehow lessen her abilities, Jed makes a desperate attempt to change Penelope to make her more human, more vulnerable. After Penelope lies to the officials about her past, Jed makes sure it’s the last one she’ll ever utter. The truth is now the only thing she is capable of telling.

As Penelope struggles with her past, her disturbingly new present, and her uncertain future, she is thrust into a magically twisted world of mayhem in search of the one thing she wants, but knows she can never have. The chance to be just a girl again. To be normal. To be real.

I coerced Pauline into an interview, mostly so I could get to know her better myself. *Sigh* I wish I would have started writing at nineteen. I’m seriously considering hiring her photographer too. Think they could make me look that young?
Pauline Harris author photo
This is an unusual retelling. What made you want to tell this story?

The fact that Pinocchio is an unusual story to do a retelling of was the exact reason I chose it. I didn’t want to do something that’s been really overdone, and I hadn’t heard of any good retellings of Pinocchio lately, so I tried it out.

Your main character is a female. Was that a conscious decision? Why?

It was definitely a conscious decision. I think mainly, I feel more comfortable writing from a girl’s perspective. And I just really wanted to write a gender-bent version of a fairytale – in fact, that’s kind of my thing now. My next fairytale retellings are all gender-bent just like Puppet is.

What does your family and friends think about your writing?

They’re all really supportive. My mom is always my first beta reader. She gets to read my books before anyone even gets a glance at what they’re about.

What was your favorite scene to write?

My favorite scenes in my books tend to be the climaxes, but telling you that would give the book away. 😛 Another favorite scene of mine to write, was the scene where Jed shows off Penelope to the world for the first time. She’s demonstrating her marionette abilities onstage while the scientists in the crowd gape in awe. It was just a fun scene to write, and it was also really important to the story.

What was the thing you struggled with most in writing?

I think the main thing I’ve struggled with the most is experience and trying to find my voice as a writer. I’ve been writing/publishing books since I was fourteen and in that span of roughly five years I’ve changed so much, and so my voice and writing has changed as well. I’m still trying to figure out my voice as a writer and gain enough life experience to write accurately about things.

If you had to give new authors one piece of advice, what would it be?

I would say to be fearless. Writing and publishing is scary but you have to develop a thick skin and not be afraid to send your book out into the world and promote it and work hard for its success. I was really nervous and embarrassed the first few times I published books, but I had to learn to get over that, and now its so much more fun.

Do you have plans for your next project?

I have lots of plans! I have a rough draft I’m in the stages of editing, I’m writing another fairytale retelling for NaNoWriMo, and I have yet another retelling in the outline process right now. I’m so excited to get all these ideas out into the world.

What’s the most recent thing you’ve read?

I just finished Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and I’m completely in love. She’s my favorite author right now and I love everything she’s done. Currently, I’m reading Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, as research for a possibly upcoming book. 😉

Who is your favorite author and why?

Rainbow Rowell is my newest favorite author, but it’s so difficult to just pick one. I also love Veronica Roth, mainly because she wrote Divergent in college (I’m in college right now) and the series is absolutely amazing.

Which character do you identify with the most?

The character in Puppet that I identify with the most would definitely be James. He’s basically me. He’s cautious, supportive and little bit of a wimp sometimes. Pen is a little too adventurous for me.

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