I once again have a brave author from the Enid Writing Club who has come forward to be interviewed. My writing club, the Enid Writers Club, will be 100 years old January 6, 2023, and the interviews are part of our celebration. Our author this week is Paula Benge.
To celebrate the publication of our anthology, I wanted to interview the authors of the book. Paula’s work is in the book, Prose Colored Glasses Prose Colored Glasses: Writers Club, Enid + Free Shipping (amazon.com) available on Kindle and paperback.
Hi, Peggy. Thank you for this opportunity!
PC: Glad to have you, Paula. My first question is what genre(s) do your write, and why?
PB: My introduction to writing fiction was a Young Adult contemporary novel because my life was immersed with college softball at the time that a EWC member encouraged me to start a novel. I’ve since written a fantasy romance and begun a middle grade fantasy.
PC: What genre(s) do you read, and why?
PB: I read or listen to books constantly, everything except horror. I really enjoy fantasy more than science fiction, but I’ve loved middle grade stories, historical romance, young adult, suspense, women’s fiction, biographies, and nonfiction. For me, the writing itself, and word of mouth, determine what I’ll read next.
PC: Give us a glimpse of the surroundings where you write. Separate room? In the kitchen? At the dining room table?
PB: My writing desk is actually on my treadmill. I also sit at the treadmill and write, mostly because there’s a large window there and I need sunshine. I’m very productive at a coffee shop, too.
PC: How did you come up with the plotline/idea for your current work in progress.
PB: The idea for the middle grade story I’m working on came from a news story about a renovation at an Oklahoma City school that revealed a chalkboard from 1917 with writing still on it. My character is a little boy made of chalk who has been lost in a school for decades.
PC: Tell us one interesting thing about you not related to your writing.
PB: Something interesting about me? I once bought an old German hymn book at an antique store, and when I leafed through it later, I found a letter from my husband’s grandmother tucked inside.
My published novella, A Neapolitan Fairy Tale at Lake Okoboji, Amazon.com: A Neapolitan Fairy Tale at Lake Okoboji (One Scoop or Two) eBook : Benge, Paula: Kindle Store is set in one of my fondest places, Lake Okoboji, Iowa. We’d visit their actual nutty bar store daily (no Neapolitan flavors, sadly, nor fairies), and we didn’t leave without buying Okoboji shirts from Three Sons. Wild Rose Press requested stories about ice cream parlors set around lakes or oceans and Okoboji was it for me.
I’m currently going through a last edit on my softball novel, At the Heart of the Game. And my middle grade The Weird Life of Chester the Chalk Boy is about half written.
For the EWC anthology, Prose Colored Glasses, I included a children’s story about Milly, a bat with silver wings. I dedicated it to my grandmother, also named Milly. We lost her a few years ago, but her love and support made a huge difference in my life. The story was a pleasure to write, and I especially treasure it.
I’d love to keep in touch. You can reach me at paulabenge.com or on Facebook or Instagram. It’s been an honor to share this time, Peggy. Thank you!
Thank you, Paula, and best of luck with your upcoming works.
We’ll have another author from our club next week. What are you reading/writing this week?