HerStory: Revelations, two families, traditions, tragedy, survival, restoration. A rich family with unspeakable traditions that lead to tragedy for them and their captives, it takes one little girl to restore this family to so semblance of normal. The second family, a father with drinking and gambling problems, jeopardizes his entire family then succumbs to the desires of his creditors causing tragedy for his community when a child goes missing and the survival of a mother who has lost her child and finally the child of the child restoring sanity to them all.
Tell us something about yourself.
Paulette Jones, born and nurtured in the city of New Orleans, during the turbulent 1960’s attended John McDonogh High School and UNO for a semester finally receiving her AA from Palomar College in San Marcos, California. She joined the Air Force and traveled the United States. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she realized she had a gift of storytelling. After reading several novels written by African American authors, she had a desire to see if she could put her stories on paper. At the completion of her quest she had written her first novel HerStory: Revelations. She was first recognized when several of her plays were performed at the Black Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, California.
How did you choose the title?
This book had several working titles and finally when it was time to go to press I had to answer the hard questions and come up with the title. I thought about what the book was about a woman with no name and said its herstory. The revelations came because at every turn there was a lesson, something new for me and I’m sure the audience will see this also.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
The biggest obstacles were not knowing the process of finding an agent, publishing, these are not things you learn in school. I think at first I gave up in a way but there were other things happening back then also, such as just needing an income but I kept writing even thought there was no money in it. I got a little recognition from some theatre stuff I wrote.
Do you have any writing rituals?
I prefer to begin writing at 4am and finish up around 8-9am some days that work and other days not so much.
How do you come up with the names for your characters?
I used family names in my first novel, which is a little funny because people ask my mother what color was her hair when she was a child. (The main character has a problem with her hair color) I’ve pretty much have run out of family names so I guess I’ll be making them up.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
I learned that I am indeed an author and that I can probably do anything I put my mind to.
If you were doing it all over again, what would you do differently?
I’d be more conscious of what and how I write, the format, the layout, structure. It would make the editing an easier process. The first book I just wrote as it came to me and I had to do a lot of work to get it tuned up.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
I don’t get to read much in recent years, but my favorites are Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. Because they spoke a language I understood. Their stories touched my heart and stirred in me my creativity.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
I just finished Girls’ Day out about three tween girls and an adventure they went on with their aunties. Also I’m finally writing my Katrina story, I stayed home during Katrina and people always ask me why I didn’t leave, it finally came to me “The Lord Made Me Stay” I’m also trying to edit the second novel I wrote, “Hidden Emotions,” the love triangle of three childhood friends and two other friends who try to hold everything together.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Keep writing, today there are so many publishing options, there are small publishing companies that will work with you and if you can get an agent to campaign for you that’s good too. But know that you sell your book, not the book store, or publisher, or even the distributor.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
I think my main audience is woman 45-65, I know that’s a large range but I found that a lot of seniors really identified with my characters.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?