Find a Christian store

Interview with Paula Rose

What sparked the idea for Revenge?

The idea came from an old photo featuring conveyor belts and one worker seeming to assist another. This struck a chord as we all need assistance sometimes.

However, since I write romantic suspense the assistance theme needs a thread of danger. My mind automatically shifted through scenarios and some plot elements fell into place hatching a story sketch, but then a time came when I had questions. Were these events even plausible? Was I on the right track? To find out, I started my research.

How did you decide your main character was a job coach?

Whether it is inside the Autistic community or inside any other community, employment is a necessity. I already knew some of the original plot inside Revenge, but I suspected a human resources department link was needed as it is in all businesses. I researched and uncovered my fictional job coach position had a lot more than story sense in it.

Any fun or interesting things you came across while researching your book?

I discovered an interesting fact about New Jersey. Although I knew that my state had an exceptionally high rate of autism diagnosis, I was amazed that New Jersey has jumped into the communities to make positive impacts and continues to be committed.

What was one challenge you faced while writing Revenge?

The characters and the muse didn’t always see things the way the author wrote it in a story sketch.

My story started flying off script early on as characters changed to become a bunch of unknowns writing their own stories. I lost an alpha male detective but gained a witness taking over an investigation. And a criminal became creepier than I ever imagined to leave even the author surprised in the end.

What was one thing you learned while writing this book?

I’ve learned that trying to force a story into the author’s mindset leaves scenes feeling forced, choppy, and dull. A story may arrive in one form, but be different in the end. I had to take a harder look at my own control issues, and I learned a valuable lesson here. Let. It. Go. And then I can take a step in faith.

What spurs you to write? Where do your story and character ideas come from?

For me, there is no hard and fast way stories arrive. It could happen from a thought or a what if question. A photo could nudge the beginning for one. A different story could pop into my mind from research that I’m doing on something else. Scenes can appear in my imagination without a tale attached to them. And often, I will know a character long before I know their story. It is because all of these reasons, plus many others, that I keep a writing journal.

Sketches of characters that penetrated my already taxed brain, unattached story scenes needing a home, and writing or research trials turning into dilemmas that refuse to leave me all will be in found inside the journal. Many single sentences appear as possible ideas or a “what if” that dropped anchor without prompting will be written here.

I see you’re a book reviewer too. How do you find time? Any tips or tricks?

Reading and writing go hand-in-hand. I’ve always been an avid reader. I find that reading and reviewing helps remove my thoughts from my own worlds and stories to give me space and ample time away. Meanwhile, these activities still provide benefits in learning and keeping non-fiction writing skills from collecting rust.

What has been the biggest influence to your writing career?

My parents and my husband were the first to help my creativity by understanding the time for writing and helping me to move on with my dream. Moreover, the authors of the books that I’ve read were the catalysts in creating the dream.

Which authors do you look up to?

There are many. When any author draws me into their story—whether fiction or non-fiction—I’m inside their world. When they make me not want to leave it, they join an ever growing list of other authors who’ve captured me on the way through my own journey.

What one resource, piece of advice, or book have you found helpful?

Don’t forsake reading time while you are busy with writing time. It’s easier to be taught by those who have gone before you and by those who are on the path when you invest the time to learn.

We are on a crafting expedition that must keep us growing, but we won’t know all that we’ve missed if we stay on the same road we started on. Reading feeds the love that brought us on this journey, and we are learning new ways to tread in the process.

Although, there is one caveat: Don’t just read the genre(s) that you are writing!

Sure, you’ll find new lessons in reading similar genre books, but if you are reading from many genres include new-to-you genres. That’s when you uncover the clashing of different worlds, different stories, and a different way of doing things. Plus, you’ll have a whole lot of fun.

When you’re not writing or reading, what do you do for fun?

I enjoy taking walks and taking pictures, and I can often be found in either Pennsylvania or New Jersey with a camera in one hand and a phone in the other.

What are you currently reading?

I just purchased a nonfiction book about President Lincoln’s coming to faith. There couldn’t be a more fitting book for this upcoming season!

Do you have an “all time” favorite book?

While I don’t have an all time favorite, I do enjoy reading the early Christian fiction novels and being immersed in their stories to uncover the beginnings of my craft.

Any parting words?

Learn more about my plotting inside the May edition of Southern Writers magazine’s famous “Magnolia Corner”!


Emilie Hendryx is a freelance writer and photographer living in the heart of Washington, D.C. She writes romantic suspense while dreaming up YA Sci-Fi dystopian worlds on the side. She’s got a soft spot in her heart for animals and a love for the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. In her spare time you can find her playing guitar or reading a book all while drinking too much coffee.

For more great interviews, visit our Author Interview Archives.

ACFW Members, click here to apply for an author interview!

Developed by Camna, LLC

This is a service provided by ACFW, but does not in any way endorse any publisher, author, or work herein.