About Paula Margulies:
Paula Margulies is the owner of Paula Margulies Communications, a public relations firm for authors and artists. She has received numerous awards for her short stories, essays, and novels, including her historical novel, Favorite Daughter, Part One, her debut novel, Coyote Heart, and her short story collection, Face Value: Collected Stories. Paula is a contributor to a number of blogsites and writing websites, including Author Magazine and The Writer’s Edge (writersedgeinfo.blogspot.com). She has been awarded artist residencies at Caldera, Red Cinder Artist Colony, the Vermont Studio Center, and Centrum. Paula resides in San Diego, California. For more information, please visit www.paulamargulies.com.
What inspires you to write?
My story ideas come from all kinds of places. For example, I had the idea for a short story about a married woman who falls in love with a Native American man. I don’t know where this idea came from, but I kept seeing the image of the husband, who I imagined had been in an accident of some sort, sitting in a chair with a rifle in his hands and his arms raised up in an Indian victory gesture. This image haunted me so much that I began a story about it, and that evolved into the novel, Coyote Heart.
Tell us about your writing process.
I write in my home office mostly, although I try to sneak away to artist residencies whenever my teaching and client work schedule will allow. I usually write on Sundays, but that all depends on how much life intrudes (and it does that often, believe me!).
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I read somewhere that an author should love all the characters in her novel, and I certainly feel that way about the characters in Coyote Heart. They are all flawed and all have suffered some kind of loss, which makes me feel for each of them, but if I had to pick one, it would have to be the husband, Everett Weedman. He is a rational man, who likes order and logic in his world yet, at the same time, he has a deep love of nature and he’s willing to sacrifice for what matters.
What advice would you give other writers?
Take writing classes and network with the people you meet there (they may become good future writing group members). Always treat other writers with respect, and read, read, read as much as you can!
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Coyote Heart was originally traditionally published. I began Coyote Heart (then called Bow and Arrow) in 2003 and finished it in 2004. In January 2005, I took it to the SDSU Writer’s Conference, where it won an Editor’s Choice Award from Shaye Areheart, an editor at Crown Publishers. I met my agent, Bob Tabian, at the same conference, and in 2008, I was offered a royalty contract by Kirk House Publishers. After the book made the rounds with the bigger publishing houses from 2005 – 2007, I submitted it to some university and smaller presses. One of them, University of Nevada Press, held it for one year and almost took it (it made it through internal and external reviews, but the editorial staff passed on it in a final publishing meeting). Kirk House was one of the small presses originally approached in 2007; they extended an offer in 2008. After a few years, though, I decided that I wanted more control over the marketing of Coyote Heart. I regained the rights to the book and published the current, second edition version.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think that more changes are likely, especially with regard to pricing and distribution.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: Contemporary, historical, romance, short story
What formats are your books in?: eBook, Print, Both eBook and Print