Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Meet Speculative Fiction Author Frances Pauli

I’m pleased to welcome Frances Pauli to my blog today. Frances has a degree in visual arts, but has been a writer for most of her life. As a life time fan of speculative fiction, her stories reflect her love of the old myths, her imaginings on possible futures, and more than a touch of romance. She currently lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, two small children, and a host of exotic pets. When not writing like mad, she can be found collecting crystals, belly dancing and eating far too much chocolate.

Katie: Your current book is “Roarke.” Can you please give us a brief synopsis?

Frances: Sure.They tell her she was dead. Waking with no recollection of her past or herself, Nora finds she has few options. Inside the sprawling complex of the Mercenary Defense Conglomerate, she must discover the clues to unlocking her memory and her identity. If she belongs to this world, why does nothing strike her as remotely familiar? Is she a prisoner or a fallen soldier?

While her body struggles to heal she is left to unravel the circumstances around her miraculous recovery. Torn between a strong dislike for the man claiming to be her fiance’ and an inexplicable attraction to Roarke, the silent red-head responsible for her “death”, Nora can accept nothing at face value.

Even the fleeting images triggered by Roarke’s presence seem to lead her further into deception. As her nightmares begin to confirm the impossible truth of her demise, her shadowy memories paint a picture of a past she is less than comfortable with. While her fiance’ may hold the answers she seeks, it is to Roarke that she finds herself repeatedly turning.

When resolving the mystery behind her threatens any chance at her future, she is forced to leave the past alone in order to move forward. But when the dust finally clears, who she has been proves more disturbing than simply choosing between two men.

Katie: Tell us what speculative fiction is. Is this story considered speculative fiction?

Frances: Speculative fiction is something of a lump term for several related genres, namely Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Paranormal. I like the title because it gives me the freedom to basically fail to commit. I’ve never been good at picking a horse. Roarke is Speculative Fiction, but as a Romance, I’d probably classify it as Futuristic Romance or SpecRom.

Katie: What inspired you to write this book?

Frances: Actually, Roarke started with a dream I had. This seems to be a recurring phenomenon with my work. I have very narrative dreams and I tend to get caught up in reworking and expanding them.

Katie: Is all your writing in the science fiction romance genre? Why or why not.

Frances: I could say all my writing is either SpecRom or straight Speculative Fiction. See? I can’t even pick sides between Romance and non-Romance. I might need therapy.

Katie: Is “Roarke” an e-book, self-published or traditionally published? Why did you chose to publish in this way?

Frances: Roarke is an e-book, published through a small press, Devine Destinies. I chose e-publishing for a lot of reasons. With Roarke it was an easy call, as the story is fairly short and electronic houses are much more accepting of short works than traditional print. In general, I decided to go electronic because I found I really believe in the format and in the future of the industry. I think it’s an exciting time for e-books and even if I pursued traditional publication, I’d like to keep a strong electronic presence. I see this as a great time to get a solid foot in the door of an industry that has good and big things in its future.

Katie: You mention that you have no less than four books coming out next year through two e-houses. That’s a fantastic accomplishment. Are you going to continue to e-publish your books?

Frances: Absolutely. As long as they’ll still have me. Its been an incredibly exciting endeavor and this release really is just the first step out of the gate.

Katie: What kind of promoting do you do for your books?

Frances: I have a virtual book tour planned for the release of the title. I also use social media, I tweet, hoot, network and try very hard not to spam. I’ll be running a contest alongside the tour and giving away copies and promotional goodies to those who comment on the blogs along the way. I’m also a big fan of science fiction conventions for promotions. As a bonus, promo is a great excuse to go stalk some storm troopers.

Katie: Do you think it is harder or easier to promote an e-book than a print book?

Frances: I hate to sound too certain on this one, because I’ve only tried one of the choices. But logic would suggest that it’s a touch easier to promote online. You can do a blog tour without leaving your home. You don’t have to do your makeup. Getting dressed is even optional. I can tweet away with my feet up and a pound of chocolate on the desk and never look like I’m not completely together. (or someone very talented could)

But seriously, easy is one thing. The proof will be in the pudding. Which is more effective? That’s the question. Somehow I think face to face promotions may have a tad larger effect on sales.

Katie: What piece of advice would you give to someone who is considering e-publishing?

Frances: Google everyone. Find Preditors and Editors and check any and all offers and companies and individuals out before you sign anything. Learn the difference between self-publishing, e-publishing, vanity presses and print on demand. There are a lot of scams out there that depend on how desperate an author is to have their work accepted and recognized. Be informed and join some authors groups, follow blogs and learn as much about the industry as you possibly can.

Best of all, write a great book. Be open to criticism….I should say that twice. Be open…it’s not perfect. It’s never perfect. Listen and play nice and never take yourself too seriously.Thanks so much for having me!

Katie: Learn more about Frances at, at her blog at, or download a free read/serial novel at


Anonymous said...

Hi Frances, thank you for sharing what speculative fiction is. I wish you well with your e-books and your tour.

Cheryl said...

Excellent interview ladies. I'm kind of on the fence about spec fiction. Just doesn't seem to be my thing, but maybe a spec romance will be just what I enjoy.

I never thought I would get into eBooks until Santa brought me a Kindle. Now I love reading them.

Best of luck with your upcoming tour.


Dianna said...

Very interesting interview.

While I wouldn't mind having my books published as ebooks, there's still something about holding a book in my hands, a real, print book that I wrote, that makes me want a traditional publisher.

Frances Pauli said...

Thanks for all the comments. For me, Speculative Romance has a bit of the best of both worlds, though I still read (and sometimes write) straight Spec fic.

And while I agree that a print book is a wonderful thing, I was suprised how quickly I adapted and came to enjoy the different, but still sensory, feel of reading on my Sony.
The leather cover, the little click click of the page turning, even the flash as the page refreshes. ;-)
Not the same for sure, but still quite pleasant, and I certainly love that there are over a hundred books in my purse!

As for that real solid print book that I wrote, well, that one's coming in November! And I can't wait.

Thanks again!


Anonymous said...

Great interview!

Thanks for sharing what speculative fiction is. I have been wondering if my work fit there or not.

Frances Pauli said...

Hi, Cher,

I am so bad about picking a genre! It's like I have commitment issues. :-)

Just when I'm almost positive I want to stick with Science Fiction, a great Urban Fantasy plot will stand up a go, "ahem."

Then I think about Supers and Mermaids and maybe even a little Who-done-it? in there somewhere.

Maybe it's because I read all across the board too...
anybody else like a little bit of everything?


Frances Pauli said...
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Frances Pauli said...
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Michael Baker said...

Hi this was a really good interview, take care and talk with you soon.

joylene said...

Excellent interview, Katie & Frances. The book sounds fascinating. I'm over my limit, but I don't care; this book is on my wishlist.

Mayra Calvani said...

Great interview, Katie! It's always nice to learn about new authors and books.

Anonymous said...

Great interview. Lots of tips to glean from this one. Regarding e-publishing, I opted out the first time around last year when I self-published my first book.

But I'm going to have it released as an ebook in about a month since the demand is so high.

Stephen Tremp

Frances Pauli said...

The virtual tour starts today. If anyone is interested the schedule is up at
The contest for a free copy of the book allows an entry for each of the blogs you comment at.