Friday, May 11, 2012

The Blog Ring of Power Presents: Pauline Baird Jones

Today on the Blog Ring of Power I'm excited to welcome Pauline Baird Jones.  She's here to talk about The Writing Life, and I love her answers.  To find the rest of her progressive interview, don't forget to stop by all the other Blog Ring of Power sites.

Pauline Baird Jones began her writing career penning romantic suspense (fictional murder doesn’t get you strip searched!) but she had a secret longing to ramp up the spills, chills and daring do.  By chance she wrote a science fiction romance, realized she’d been mixing fiction into her science since high school (oops, sorry science teachers!), and thought, why not go where she hasn’t gone before? After that, it was easy to stir in some steampunk. The Key was the first in her Project Enterprise series, which will conclude with #6, Kicking Ashe

BRoP:  What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine? Do you use pen and paper or computer? Work at home or at the library/Starbucks, etc.

Pauline:  I did mention I commit random of acts of writing in the previous post, so hopefully it wont be a terrible shock to learn that bleeds into my process, too. I have a sort of regular routine, in that I am at my desk fairly promptly in the morning. I read email and do my promotion due diligence, then face the blank computer screen. Since I write by the seat of my pants, my process involves lots of pacing and thinking and mulling. I don't use pen and paper because I can't read my handwriting anymore. Only once have I tried to write away from home. I had a deadline and lots of drama at home, so I went to La Madeline's Bakery and worked for several hours for several days. Not my favorite way to do things, but I was able to get a lot accomplished in a short time. 

But for me to create I need:

* quiet
* access to Diet Dr Pepper
* access to a bathroom (see above)
* chocolate
* my desktop or lap top
* a way to listen to my playlist (I create one for each book)

BRoP:  How do you balance writing with other aspects of your life?

Pauline:  Rather like a bad juggler. I drop things, then scramble to pick them up. It is a good thing I work with a small press, a small, VERY UNDERSTANDING press. 

BRoP:  When do you write?

Pauline:  When my kids were home, I used to write late evening or morning after they were in school. Now that I'm an empty nester, I work from mid-morning to late afternoon. Generally, I do that four days a week. When under the gun, I will work six days a week, but I always rest on Sundays. 

BRoP:  What has been the most surprising reaction to something you’ve written?

Pauline:  My editor told me that STEAMROLLED was just crazy, but I made it all seem so logical. I was surprised, because I thought she'd just tell me it was crazy. LOL!

BRoP:  What is the strongest criticism you’ve ever received as an author? The best compliment?

Pauline:  A reviewer once said that THE SPY WHO KISSED ME was too funny. And the best compliment was another reviewer saying I write great humor. LOL! Writing humor is always risky, because not every reader will get your sense of humor, so I wasn't too thrown, or puffed, by either assessment. 

Criticism is interesting. When I was a newly minted, published author, I think I remembered the criticism more easily than the praise. Now, well, I can't say I don't feel the hit of criticism, but I don't have time to wallow in it. I have too much to do. I use the praise to fuel my creativity and try to learn and get better from valid criticism. And if the criticism is from my beta readers, well, that is value added to my process. A wise friend once told me that good criticism makes us want to fix our work, while bad advice makes us feel discouraged. That's helped me so much in evaluating how helpful the critique. 

BRoP:  How do you deal with rejection and/or negative reviews?

Pauline:  I am fortunate that I don't have to deal with much rejection, now that I work almost exclusively with a small press. That's rather nice. Perhaps some people can just shrug it all off. I feel the hit of either rejection or negative review, but try to make them glancing blows, rather than the body blows they were when I was first starting out. I had to learn not to give power to the negative in my life. Its easier now, because I just don't have time for it. As I type this, I've been lucky that my latest release has, so far, garnered only positive reviews. I won't say it isn't grand to have the first ones be good, because I know they can't all be good. But its always nice to have some positive out there to pit against the negative.  

With hearts and lives on the line, a kiss may be all they have time for…
Time has dumped Ashe on a dying planet and she needs to figure out why before she ceases to exist. Or gets vivisected by some Keltinarian scientists. Or worse.
Vidor Shan might help—since someone somewhere is trying to hose him, too—if she can convince him to trust her. Probably shouldn’t have told him that only someone he trusts can betray him. Also wouldn’t mind if he kissed her on the mouth.
Vid would love to kiss the girl, but his brother is lost, he’s got hostile aliens on his tail, and the stench of betrayal all around him. Can he trust the woman who told him to trust no one?
Then a time quake hurls them to a nasty somewhere and some when…


  1. E.M! Many thanks for having me on the blog today. (Hmmm, that sounds a bit, I don't know. LOL!) Anyway, enjoyed doing the interview. :-)

    1. lol Thanks so much for letting us interrogate you... um I mean interview you. I love your answers.

  2. Writing humor is brave! Kudos to you. :) Had to laugh about the handwriting issue--I'm the same, can't read half of what I write any more, so I resort to typing whenever possible.

  3. Many thanks to you both! Yeah, my handwriting teacher from...whatever grade that was...would be do horrified if she saw my scribble. I start out, trying to write neatly, then its like, whatever, and out comes the scribble. (grin)

  4. I can't write unless it's on paper first. My handwriting isn't the best, but I can still read it. I worry for the day when that will no longer be the case. :)

  5. In the early days, when I was just starting out as a writer (pre-computer!), I would start out on paper. Then, when the ideas started coming too fast, I'd switch to a typewriter. That habit carried over into my computer days for a while, but eventually my brain made the transition--helped by my awful handwriting, no doubt. I know several authors who have to compose on paper, though. I think writers need to do what works for them as long as it works. Do not mess with the Muse! (grin)

  6. Love the shades and "matching" hat, Pauline!

    It's always interesting to see what the habits are of other writers. :)

    1. I love her author pic. :D

      Thanks for visiting Jean!