Thursday, November 29, 2012

Paula Graves, Living Vicariously

I've always wanted to be interesting, but apparently I lack the drive or the internal resources for it.  I'm ruthlessly average, a bit on the nerdy side, and my life is so ordinary it even puts me to sleep.
So how on earth did I come to write romantic thrillers for a living?

I figure, the next best thing to doing something exciting is writing about it. I'm too afraid of heights to stand on a chair, but that doesn't keep my heroines from dangling thirty feet from a truss bridge in a hallucinatory state.  Fire scares the heck out of me, but I've been known to stick a hero in a burning house trying to open a nailed-shut trap door to save the heroine.

When I was a kid, my play time was all about pretending to be something I wasn't.  I guess writing books is the grown-up equivalent to playing pretend for me.

I've always thought of writing as a fun sort of therapy, in which I deal with my neuroses by living them out on page and winning. I get thrills through my characters, who get to do the interesting, exciting, and important things that I'll probably never get the chance to do.  Like take on a Mexican drug lord and fall in love with a smokin' hot cowboy.

My December story, "Wyatt" is part of a Harlequin Intrigue Christmas anthology called THREE COWBOYS.  My co-conspirators, Julie Miller and Dana Marton, wrote the first two stories, and mine wraps up the overarching mystery.  It's a tale about three brothers, estranged by time and circumstance, who join forces when the little sister they never knew existed is kidnapped by a ruthless drug cartel just a few days before Christmas.  There's plenty of danger and thrills, but there's also a heart-warming story about a family finding its way back together at a time of year when family and forgiveness take center stage.
I also have three indie e-books available now, books I chose to publish myself in order to help them find an audience.  Talk about living vicariously—one of them actually features a former President's daughter seeking help and protection from the former Secret Service agent who once protected her.  Check them out on my website:
So here's my question for you.  Do you read books to meet interesting people?

Don't forget to watch for our upcoming Book Derby!  Lots of free and 99¢ books up for grabs! Don't miss it!


  1. I loved Code Name: Willow!!!

    Your blog made me smile, Paula. We are very alike. I'm the biggest chicken in real life, but write tough action heroes and heroines that do wild things. It's fun to be an author :-) I get to fight my way out of the South American jungle without having to leave my chair and getting bug bites. lol

  2. Hum. I think all writers love living through their characters, but I do seek out "experiences" I can use in my books. I've flown in a glider plane and been down in a submarine. One experience I use over and over is when Patricia Rosemoor, her husband and my husband all chartered a cabin cruiser out of La Paz, Baja California and lived on it w/ a crew for three days. I've had a lot of my characters live or travel on a similar boat. That was the trip where I found out that Patricia and my husband have an equal interest in travel planning. I can sit back and let them plot out the adventure for me.

  3. Do I read books to meet interesting people? I do, and I prefer them on paper. No TV show can make the Imp as intriguing as he is when you can get into his mind. Have a great day, Paula!

  4. Do dead bodies qualify as interesting people? Because I love murder mysteries, and the corpses usually have the most fascinating back stories of all the characters. I do love to read, but nothing can compare to creating characters as I want them to be- which like you is often very far removed from my life and personality.

  5. Ack! Up in the air in a plane without a motor and deep down in the sea in a submarine??? You're far braver than I am, Rebecca. I definitely like my dangerous adventures in the pages of a book (or in a movie). So that's a very definite 'yes' from me, Paula. :-) Nice post!

  6. Rebecca and Patricia toss out all these amazing adventures they have and I feel like such a weenie and a slug in comparison! Glad to know I'm not the only one who lives vicariously through books!

  7. I love your comment about playing pretend, Paula! That's exactly what writing feels like to me. It's getting to be a kid all over again. :)

  8. Absolutely I read to meet interesting people. I need to escape reality, the day in - day out tediousness. I need excitement, not chores!