Friday, May 23, 2014

Words with an Author: Rajdeep Paulus

Good day folks!
Guess what it's time for?
That's right, another author interview! Today I'm going to be interviewing the lovely Rajdeep Paulus, author of Swimming Through Clouds and Seeing Through Stones. I had the privilege of meeting her at the YA Fest, and she's super nice and such a great writer!

Rajdeep Paulus Rajdeep Paulus is the author of Swimming Through Clouds and Seeing Through Stones. She  is mommy to four princesses, wife of Sunshine, a coffee-addict and a chocoholic.  As of this June 2013, she’s a Tough Mudder. To find out more, visit her website  or connect with her via Facebook  TwitterPinterest, or Instagram . 

Now into the questions!

1. How did you get into writing? When did you first start writing?

I'd like to think I've been writing all my life, but I can say my oldest memory of feeling like a writer was in fourth grade with my first spiral bound 'published' book called, "Fortunately, Unfortunately." I'm sure my mom still has it. I hope. :) 

2. Where did you come up with the idea for Swimming Through the Clouds? Who's your inspiration? 

I wrote a totally separate book about a guy (Lagan) who left a box of letters for his cousin (Rani) in which he described a girl (Talia) that he was madly in heart with, but had to keep her   a secret. I then had to figure out what could be so crazy and extreme that it would warrant living in hiding. That was the birthplace of Talia and Jesse's story.  

3. Are any of your characters based on people you actually know, if so, which ones? 

I'm sure there are tiny tidbits of my real life, friends and family in the books I write. For example, my real life BFF's favorite color is green. Or my hubby has a goatee and when we first met, he kinda sorta, okay, he did resemble Lagan. But the story in its most intimate details is entirely fiction. But the feelings of hopelessness or fear or love or joy were definitely drawn from moments in my own life. 

4. Have you written anything before STC? Published? Unpublished? 

Yes. I've blogged some 200ish crazy stories over at and I've also written articles and short stories that have been published on and off-line.  

5. If you had to pick only five books from your bookshelf you could keep, what would they be? 

The Book Thief, A Thousand Splendid Suns, Beloved, Hunger Games, and I am the Cheese 

6. If you could go back and change anything in STC, what would you change and why? 

I don't know, to be honest. If anything, I might add more details about the grandparents. That's a lingering question mark I never fully explored. 

7. Who is your favorite character from any book and why? 

This is going to sound so cheesy, but I've always loved when the underdog gets a really sweet love story. So one of my favorite characters is Charlie from The Perks of being a Wallflower.  

8. How long did the writing process take for STC? From conception of the story to final publication. 

Approximately two years.  

9. Who are some of your favorite authors? 

The authors of the books listed in #5. Plus, I'm a nerdy Shakespeare and Faulkner fan.  

10. What actors/ actresses could you see playing the characters of your book? 

Ooooh. I am so glad you asked, because I feel like I finally found my perfect Lagan: Avan Jogia (of Twisted Fame) with a goat, of course. I think, someone who looks like Dia Mirza would be perfect for Talia. And I have a nephew who I think could play Jesse. :)  

11. How did you come up with the title and cover of STC? Did you have any say in the final cover? 

The title literally came up when I wrote the chapter that features the title and I love the woman who designed my cover. Angela Llamas is a graphic designer in Spain and she was very open to making small changes that I wanted in the cover. 

12. Are you planning to write any more books besides STC? What are some ideas you have?

Of course! I have about three projects that are in the works, all YA Contemps in nature. 

13. What would your advice be to someone who's aspiring to be a writer? 

Write. Read. And then write some more. And let others read your writing and give you honest feedback before you publish. It makes a huge difference.  

14. Finally, just to wrap things up, what's your favorite color and why? 

I have so many! I used to claim RED all day long as a teen. Then one day, purple took over my life. Maybe something to do with my obsession with lilacs. Then one day, I fell into brown and I've never gone back. So now, as you might have guessed, I'm a bit biases toward Blue. Blue for Talia. Love blue.