Paula Vince loves to evoke tears and laughter
through her novels. A wife and homeschooling mother of three, she resides in
the beautiful Adelaide Hills of . Her youth was brightened by great fiction
and she’s on a mission to pay it forward. South
Her novel, Picking up the Pieces, won the religious fiction section of the 2011 International Book Awards.
Her novel, Best Forgotten, was winner of the 2011 CALEB Award in the fiction category and also recognized as the best overall entry for the year, chosen over memoirs, devotionals and general non-fiction.
Paula’s books are a skillful blend of drama and romance tied together with elements of mystery and suspense.
Find out more at www.justoccurred.blogspot.com
Paula is the author of Picking up the Pieces, The Risky Way Home, A Design of Gold and Best Forgotten. Her new novel, Imogen’s Chance, will be published in April, 2014.
Paula is also one of the four authors of The Greenfield Legacy. Check out her Amazon page at
1) What genre of books do you write, and why?
They typically take place in my own environment. Many books have already been written to draw us in by their unusual settings and plots. Some character may have a unique occupation, such as being a missionary to a deep, dark native place. This, of course, is why we love them.
Rather than adding to these, I like to show the hidden drama and heroism of people simply living their lives in the twenty-first century in some suburban setting. There are all sorts of undercurrents calling for attitudes of valour. Sometimes the themes may resonate with us even stronger because the plights of the characters are so familiar.
2) Is there a recognizable quality in your books, which makes them distinctly your own?
Although I never consciously set out to do this, I like to take serious, potentially heart-breaking situations and fill them with hope instead. ‘Happily Ever After’ endings resulting from depressing and even tragic circumstances aren’t all that rare in true life, although the media may tell us otherwise. It’s good to remind ourselves of this, and I aim to do so through my writing. Readers who enquire about the themes of my novels may be forgiven for saying, ‘That sounds like a pretty heavy topic. If it’s going to make me sad, I’d like to be warned outright.’
I always reply that I’m confident they’ll end up feeling happy and uplifted with the way things turn out. I like to think my novels reflect the nature of some personal stories God presents us with in the Bible. Historical heroes and heroines such as Joseph, Ruth, Paul, Hannah, Jacob, Hezekiah and Gideon find themselves in fixes they would never dream they’d see the end of. Yet they are blessed and surprised by the wonderful things that happen. I’m sure many of us have stories of times when the same thing has happened to us. Those are the experiences I plan for my characters.
“Picking up the Pieces” contains a date rape situation which neither person involved believes they will recover from.
“A Design of Gold” begins with a tragic drowning accident which shatters a best friend’s confidence.
“Best Forgotten” features a dysfunctional family, as a young man who has amnesia delves into his past, afraid of what he may find.
“Imogen’s Chance” is about the possibility of divine healing in the face of a diagnosis that offers no hope. I’m hoping it will prove to bless invalids who may be going through far less than my character, Asher, has to face.
I think a good overall theme for my books would be Romans 8:28, ‘We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.’
3) What is one of your favourite parts about being an author?
I love reading other peoples’ novels. There are many authors I consider friends, just because we have the same occupation and share similar values. This holds true whether we have known each other for twenty years or one day.
I love to read Christian novels of all genres, including contemporary, romance, historical, fantasy and supernatural. I love it that even though we all start with the same raw materials, such as pens and paper, computers and notebooks, what we produce are products of our own unique imaginations and experiences, and the way God has worked through them.
People who are into mathematics (which I’m not) may even be able to work this into a formula something like GS = AE + VI + DI. (Good Story = Author’s Experiences + Vividness of Imagination + Divine Input.)
I have to admit, I also love it when people discuss my own characters with me as if they’ve become their close friends too.
4) What is one of the parts you like the least?
Much I love the support we receive from review sites such as Amazon and Goodreads, the star ranking system sometimes makes me a bit sad. After reading any story, knowing that the author has poured their heart, time and energy into it, I never like to choose a number out of 5. It’s not what stories are all about.
I do understand why people find it handy. It’s a quick guide that busy people can simply cast their eyes down, but I still think we could function without it. Amazon’s system also asks us to write a quick sentence to summarise our reviews. In my opinion, this, along with the review, should be sufficient without forcing us to add a rating (because if we don’t, it chooses a 3 for us anyway, by default). My rant is over. I know the star ranking system is here to stay.
5) What is ‘Imogen’s Chance’ about?
My heroine feels guilty and partly responsible for a couple of horrible events which happened when she was younger. One day, during a vulnerable moment, she vows to return and fix things up if only she gets the chance. For Imogen, back-tracking means returning all the way from
Imogen’s Chance blurb
She has given herself a chance to fix her personal history. But will old mistakes bring up new emotions?
Imogen Browne longs to make up for past mistakes before she can move on. She quietly resolves to help the Dorazio family, whose lives she accidentally upset. Her biggest challenge is Asher, the one person who may never forgive her. And he is facing a crisis of his own. Imogen must tread very carefully, as trying to fix things may well make them shatter.
A sensitive story about misplaced loyalty, celebrating life and falling in love. Can family secrets concealed with the best intentions bear the light of day?