An Interview with Paulette Mahurin: Author & Nurse Practitioner
Sylvia: Welcome Paulette. Please give our readers an introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Paulette: Hi Sylvia. My name is Paulette Mahurin and I am a Nurse Practitioner (NP), specializing in Women’s Health, where I live in Ojai, CA, with my husband Terry & our two dogs (rescued from a kill shelter). My passions are writing, animal rescue, and my pro bono work with women. While in college, I wrote two award winning short stories.
My book, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, is my first full novel. It centers around the imprisonment of Oscar Wilde and the impact it has on a lesbian couple, living in a small Nevada ranching town. It’s a chronicle of hatred and prejudice, with all its unintended and devastating consequences, and how love and friendship heal.
Sylvia: Your book covers a very controversial and sensitive topic. I can’t imagine being discriminated against for who I loved; however, I’ve experienced it based on my ethnicity. What inspired you to write your first book?
Paulette: As an NP, I’ve worked with a lot of abused women, prior to doing women’s health I worked in the second busiest emergency room (ER) in Los Angeles County, doing the SARS exams (sexual assault) among other presenting patient problems. My life in the ER abruptly came to a halt after being diagnosed with Lyme disease. While homebound with little else I was capable of doing, I wrote. When I felt better I joined a writing class and it was in this class the seed to the novel presented, in an exercise in which we used a photo to write a ten-minute mystery. My photo was of two women, dressed in circa turn of the twentieth century garb, standing very close together, it screamed out lesbian couple afraid of being found out. While researching that time period, I discovered Oscar Wilde’s imprisonment in Britain. The combination of my past experience combined with the photo and the research I did created a theme of women persecuted. It has always been a desire of mine to empower women, and so it is no surprise I created a strong lesbian protagonist to move the theme of intolerance and hatred along in the story.
Sylvia: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Paulette: What we think of others, and the actions we take, intolerance, bringing hatred into the world, isn’t something happening outside of ourselves, it is the poison that shuts our own hearts from knowing the true joy of what it is to be alive and live in harmony with others. The barriers and boundaries created out of persecution, prejudice, and bigotry is a cancer to our very souls.
Sylvia: Very powerful message! Do you have any advice for other writers?
Paulette: A writer writes. If you don’t sit down and do it, nothing happens. Tell the critic, the negating thoughts between your ears, to shut up. It doesn’t matter if you spend ten minutes or ten hours, it is in sitting down, in writing, that a writer is involved in the process and knows the joy of being a writer. Everyone has a story, just let it pour out, vomit it out, and leave the editing and critiquing up to the editors. Don’t be hard on yourself. I don’t know an author alive that doesn’t possess some self-doubt, among the best of them, and if you learn of someone who claims differently then I say that are out of touch with their insides. Writers have all the human emotion and reactions as anyone else. Try to weather these, while sitting your butt down in the chair and making it happen. Then be sure to surround yourself with supportive friends who won’t dampen your spark, find and surround yourself with friends who will turn that spark into a flame. And, from me to you, I wish you all the best, get in touch when you finish that novel of yours.
Sylvia: Yes, everyone has a story. It is amazing the lives you can touch by sharing your story. What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Paulette: Networking on blog sites, Facebook, review sites, and getting my book out to anyone and everyone I can. Not leaving any stone… I’ve been lucky because I’ve had it written up in the press, national magazines, and featured by a prestigious literary branch of a highly esteemed Art Center (The Ojai Art Center) as their read for the month of July, this year. I gift it to anyone willing to review it and am sure to keep human contact and reciprocate to help back when I can with review swaps, interviews, article, blog posts, etc. Right here, right now, is an example of my marketing because a friend told me about you, and here I am.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Paulette: It’s novel. If you search lesbian protagonists in novels in history, you won’t find many. It’s also not just a story with a human rights theme but a story every reader can relate to because it speaks to the fundamental evil that divides people in groups large and small, right down to marriages and full blown to nations. It’s a story about passion, to be ones authentic self in the face of hatred and prejudice, and to question at what price would we sell our soul, live our life for someone else? It is the human condition to seek inner peace, the joy of being, this is a story that speaks to that and introduces a character who lives through hell to achieve the metamorphosis we all dream about. It’s a story of love, friendship, and hope, despite all temptations to not connect in the heart’s meeting place. What person alive doesn’t want for that? It’s also been well and thoroughly reviewed by many different readers, with preferences for many genres and is universally liked with lots of comments about it being a can’t put it down read!
Sylvia: Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Paulette: In my den, overlooking a yard that looks like a park with a creek running through it. I live in an idyllic place of natural beauty and write where I never lose sight of it,
Sylvia: Wow, sounds serene! What projects are you currently working on?
Paulette: Promoting this book because the profits are all going to the first and only no-kill animal shelter, Santa Paula Animal Rescue Center, in Ventura County, CA, where I live. Dogs in particular are my passion and I am motivated to get as many fury friends out of jail, off death row, and into their forever homes, happily wagging ever after. I am also involved with helping women pro bono with health issues and in need of an advocate. And, I write.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Paulette: Kindness.We may lose everything but what we make our attitude. Viktor Frankl (in his novel, Man’s Search for Meaning) wrote that and I live by it. I am alive and there is always something to be grateful for. An act of kindness can change a life, I am reminded of that daily, with how it makes me feel to smile at someone when they need it, reach out a hand, offer some cash, give of my time, so many ways. All for how it makes me feel and I sleep well at night. It’s so powerful that there is always something one can do, when we’re feeling helpless with so much tragedy in the world and we wonder if anything will ever get better, well yes is the answer, right here right now, as long as I’m alive there’s always something to be grateful for and to extend that to another in an act of kindness, paying it forward.
Sylvia: Kindness… love that power word. Thank you Paulette! Please share your social media and book contact information.
Paulette: Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity and all the help you’re giving to authors around the world. You have my support and gratitude.
- Website: http://bookpromogroup2.weebly.com/paulette-mahurin.html
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/MahurinPaulette
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/paulettemahurin/
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Persecution-of-Mildred-Dunlap-by-Paulette-Mahurin/118847341594558