Monday, August 29, 2016

Authors To Watch: Interview with Paulita Kincer, author of 'Paris Runaway'

Paulita Kincer has an M.A. in journalism from American University. She has traveled to France 11 times, and still finds more to lure her back.

She currently teaches college English and lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her three children, two cats and one husband.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Paris Runaway.

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When divorced mom Sadie Ford realizes her 17-year-old daughter Scarlett has run away to Paris all she can imagine are terrorist bombings and sex slaves. After learning her daughter chased a French exchange student home, Sadie hops on the next plane in pursuit. She joins forces with the boy’s father, Auguste, and the two attempt to find the missing teens. The chase takes Sadie and Auguste to the seedier side of Marseille, where their own connection is ignited. Since the divorce, Sadie has devoted herself to raising kids and putting her dreams on hold, but when her daughter needs her most, Sadie finds that concrete barrier to life beginning to crack. In her journey, she learns the difference between watching the hours pass and living.

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Tell us a little about yourself.

I started my career as a journalist because I figured that was one of the few professions that paid people to write.  Once I had kids, being a reporter didn’t work too well because the hours were crazy. Now I teach English in college and write novels. My three children are nearly grown, but it seems like they still require a lot of my time. My husband is also a journalist and is writing his first novel. We live in Columbus, Ohio, and have two cats, who we pretend speak with a French accent – I’m not sure why.

Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?

I’ve always written by the seat of my pants, but I kept finding that my book veered off course, so I’d have to cut a lot of words that I’d written. Ouch! It’s painful to get rid of those words that cost me sore fingertips. For Paris Runaway, I wrote a synopsis first with an outline, and I’ll have to say that it worked better. The process seemed more streamlined.

I was halfway through with another book when I realized that plotting helped me stay on track, so I plotted what I’d written so far and outlined the rest of the novel. I hope that helps me get through it quickly.

I write at home mostly, but I’m also part of a writers’ group so will frequently go to a local coffee shop where we gather to write and distract each other.

Can you tell us about your most recent release?

In Paris Runaway, Sadie, a recently divorced woman who prides herself on being a good mom, realizes that her 17-year-old daughter has run away to Paris, following a French exchange student. Rather than trying to get help from her ex-husband, Sadie jumps on a plane and chases after her daughter. In Paris, she teams up with the French exchange student’s father, and the two of them hunt for the children while exploring France. Sadie begins to realize life has a lot more to offer than she’d been searching for.

Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?

I have to admit that I’m a little in love with Auguste. He is a Frenchman whose son has gone missing along with the American daughter of the main character, Sadie. He’s very tender and caring toward Sadie, something that she never had in her ex-husband. After a day of walking throughout Paris, Sadie removes her sandals and her ankles are bleeding from where the straps rubbed. Auguste takes her feet in his lap and tends to her wounds.

What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?

The most challenging part of writing is focusing on what the characters want. I have a saying pinned to my dream board that reminds me: “How much your character cares about her goals is in direct proportion to how much the reader will care,” which was written by Laura DeVries. Sometimes, my first-round readers will suggest that I focus on something different. Some of my readers wondered if I wanted to show Paris Runaway through the daughter’s eyes. Then I realized, that this was Sadie’s story – the story of her awakening, so it couldn’t be told through the teenager’s viewpoint.
I’m glad I stuck with Sadie as the narrator and that I focused on her achieving her goals.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m working on a book titled Autumn in Aix, which is a sequel to my first novel The Summer of France. I’m more than halfway finished with Autumn in Aix, which tells the story of Fia, who moves to France with her teenage twins to run her uncle’s bed and breakfast. Newly divorced, she’s overwhelmed with raising her children alone and adjusting to life in a new culture, until she’s distracted by Ali, a Middle Eastern/American man, who seems enthralled discussing why countries, like France and Germany, should give back the art they have pilfered from other countries. Fia and her French lover Christophe worry that Ali might have a plan to terrorize France, or at least relieve the Louvre of one of its famous pieces of art.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring authors?

Don’t give up. Writing isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon.

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