WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO DRINK WHILE WE ARE CONDUCTING THIS INTERVIEW WITH YOU?
During the day, a nice cup of tea – strong with milk but no sugar. In the evening a nice cold glass of Chardonnay.
I like your taste Paula!
COULD YOU TELL US YOUR BLOGGING NAME AND THE NAME OF YOUR SITE PLEASE?
It’s Paula Harmon and my site is https://paulaharmon.com
…and as well as her brilliant site, you can also read more of Paula’s writing in The Caster & Fleet Mysteries:
WHEN DID YOU START BLOGGING?
WHY DID YOU START BLOGGING?
I wanted somewhere that I could post short bits of writing. They were mostly short stories or flash fiction to begin with.
After a while, I started to add random thoughts and since I’ve started publishing books and got to know other authors, I write about the writing process and also do author interviews from time to time. I wanted a place where I suppose I could share a little of myself with people who might be feeling the same way whether funny or sad or serious.
WHICH IS THE MOST POPULAR POST ON YOUR SITE?
Apart from the tab which lists the books I’ve written, the most visited post is ‘Everything At Once‘ which is about my son’s ADHD….
….closely followed by ‘Lost Sometimes‘ which is a piece of prose written last year (see below)…
…and ‘Whatever is in your heart, becomes your words…‘ which is about bullying.
WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BLOGGING?
I love it when stories or random thoughts resonate with other people. When they comment to say they recognise the situation or feeling or that it gave them reassurance that they’re not alone, it makes me hope that I’ve helped in some way. It’s good that I can add helplines if applicable.
And then if I write something hopefully humorous – usually poking fun at myself – it’s great when someone says it made them laugh. It is also really cathartic.
Like most people I found the impact of Covid 19 very hard to cope with and for me, lockdown came just after my mother had nearly died and was recovering and just before I found myself facing a serious illness of my own which came completely out of the blue. Being able to write down all the tangled emotions and work on turning them into prose rather than simply self-pity helped straighten them out in my head to a great extent. ‘Lost Sometimes’ is one of those pieces.
FOOD THAT MAKES YOU SMILE?
Good question! Any sort of food with good friends is wonderful and one of those things I’ve been missing during lockdown. I can never be sure which cuisine I like best because it’ll depend on the weather or my mood but I do like a little spice.
Last night we had lamb tagine but today, we’re going to have pork slow cooked in cider, finished off with cream and served with mashed potatoes and vegetables.
I collect cookbooks including ones from different eras as I like to work out what characters in my books might have eaten. Last summer I (successfully) cooked some Roman recipes from a translation of a cookbook by Apicius with some help from the Tavola Mediterranea website.
IF I WAS GOING TO SEND YOU FLOWERS AS A THANK YOU FOR LETTING ME INTERVIEW, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Freesias or oriental lilies please! Pretty and fragrant.
DO YOU HAVE A SONG? ONE THAT FITS YOU AS A PERSON OR YOUR LIFE?
No because it depends on my mood and what’s going on generally. But in general, I love the positivity and hope of ‘One Day like this’ by Elbow:
‘Put Your Records On’ by Corinne Bailey Rae:
‘Songbird’ by Fleetwood Mac (especially sung by Eva Cassidy):
Great list of songs – I love all of them!
DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING IN LIFE?
Life is full of the unexpected and it’s easy to make plans and have them fall apart as happened for most of us in the last year. I want to be able to write more books and enjoy time with my friends and family, but I’m trying to keep learning how to go with the flow and enjoy each precious moment for its own sake. (I’d also like to sort the attic out, but I’m beginning to think that’ll never happen. I swear the stuff up there multiplies on its own.)
Our attic has the same problem with stuff that multiplies – it could be another mystery for Caper & Fleet Paula!
WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU WANT YOUR BLOG TO TELL THE WORLD?
That it’s all right to be you. That when things go wrong or you feel lost or broken, it doesn’t need to be like that forever and that it’s ok to ask for help. That joy and humour and love can be found in unexpected places. That everyone can find release in creativity like children do – without worrying about the end result. That it’s never too late to follow your dreams and maybe in fact the time when you can follow them was always going to be the right time after all.
It’s been such a joy to get to know you better Paula! Thank you so much for answering the interview questions and being such an amazing WEDNESDAY WRITER!
Paula Harmon writes chiefly (but not only) historical mystery books. She was born in North London to parents of English, Scottish and Irish descent. Perhaps feeling the need to add a Welsh connection, her father relocated the family every two years from country town to country town moving slowly westwards until they settled in South Wales when Paula was eight. She later graduated from Chichester University before making her home in Gloucestershire and then Dorset where she has lived since 2005. She is a civil servant, married with two adult children. Paula has several writing projects underway and wonders where the housework fairies are, because the house is a mess and she can’t think why.