Jen: Today we are pleased to welcome YA author Kimberly Pauley to Romancing the Book. Kimberly, will you share a short bio with us?
Kimberly: Kimberly Pauley wanted to grow up to be Douglas Adams, Robert Heinlein, or Edgar Allen Poe, but has since settled for being herself and writing her own brand of quirky. Born in California, she has lived everywhere from Florida to Chicago and has now gone international to live in London with her husband (a numbers man) and the cutest little boy in the world (The Max).
Her first book was Sucks to Be Me and it made her very happy that it made the YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers list as she firmly believes reluctant readers are just people who haven’t found the right book yet. Her second book, Still Sucks to Be Me, was a VOYA best sci-fi/fantasy pick. She wrote Cat Girl’s Day Off because she wanted to share what cats really think with the world and also because she likes to read about kick-butt half-Asian girls with funky hair. In Ask Me, she goes to the dark side and questions the nature of truth.
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Kimberly: Ask Me started with the simple idea of a girl with the power of an Oracle who has no control over it and finds herself in the middle of a dangerous mystery. The first sentence I ever wrote about the book was: Ask Aria Morse anything and she’ll have to tell you.
Paranormal gets a Stephen King makeover: An oracle in a small-town Florida uses her troubling gift to stop a murderer—before he comes for her.
Aria Morse is an Oracle, blessed—or cursed—with the gift of prophecy. Ask her anything, and the truth spills out immediately. But Aria’s answers sound like nonsense, even to herself… just as they did at Delphi 2500 years ago.
To cope, Aria has perfected the art of hiding in plain sight—until Jade Price, the closest person she has to a friend, disappears. All of a sudden, everyone around her has questions. The “nonsense” Aria spouts becomes a matter of life and death.
She may be the only one who can find out what happened to Jade. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to being the next target of someone else who hides in plain sight. Someone with a very dark plan.
Jen: Describe your writing in 3 words.
Kimberly: Quirky. Off-Kilter. (Inappropriately) Humorous.
Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?
Kimberly: It’s a long list, but the short (and diverse) version would have to include Douglas Adams, Robert Heinlein, P. L. Travers, Edgar Allan Poe, Terry Pratchett, Stephen King, and Piers Anthony. Then I’d want to add in Marion Zimmer Bradley, CJ Cherryh, Frederick Brown, and okay…I better stop now.
Jen: How do you come up with characters names?
Kimberly: They often have some kind of meaning to do with the character (like Aria) or they might be named after family or friends (Aria’s Grandad Porter or Cameron in Still Sucks to Be Me). Some are even named after fans (Shelley in Ask Me) who volunteer when I ask for suggestions on my Facebook Fan Page or on Twitter.
Jen: Do you have a favorite character or one you most identify with?
Kimberly: The character of my own that is most like me would be Nat from Cat Girl’s Day Off because we’re both half-Chinese, short, snarky, and a bit odd. She’s the most me of anyone I’ve written, though I grew up in Florida like Aria in Ask Me.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
Kimberly: “Are you sure you’re not still a teenager?”
Jen: What’s next for you?
Kimberly: I am working on a darkly humorous adult crime fiction novel. After that, I have a YA paranormal sort-of love story I want to finish up.