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Paula has worked as a print journalist and government communication specialist, and is now one half of a writer-designer consultancy. She has been writing fiction for many years, finding her niche penning gritty young adult paranormal stories with an Australian flavour in the Rephaim series.
I was born in Port Pirie, South Australia, and spent my teen years in the Flinders Ranges. Before I turned 19, I packed up my HQ Holden and headed to Brisbane to continue my cadet journalism career – I’ve been here ever since.
My professional life has been spent writing (apart from brief stints cleaning a hotel and working at a take-away for pocket money while still at high school).
I was a journalist for 13 years, covering eclectic rounds from police and courts to entertainment. (During that time I was a book, film and TV reviewer for a few years until someone worked out I was having too much fun.)
From newspapers, I moved into government communications and headed up media and marketing teams, respectively, at Logan City Council and Redland City Council. This involved writing speeches for the Mayor (I never did get to use the line ‘a funny thing happened on the way to the forum’ despite a long-running dare to do so), as well as managing media relations and writing corporate publications. These days I work from home as the principal writer/co-owner of pH creative (a writer-designer consultancy).
Like many writers, I like to explore how people deal with the consequences of their actions. With the Rephaim series, I’ve given that theme a twist by having a narrative character dealing with the consequences of actions she doesn’t remember. I also tend to write about characters who feel they don’t belong – and how they get past that.
After writing for 16 years (with five other manuscripts in my bottom draw), the two-book contract with Text Publishing for the Rephaimseries changed my life. To have Text then sign me for books 3 & 4of the series before Shadows was released was also a huge moment.
Shadows and Haze (books one and two of the Rephaim series) have been published in Australia and New Zealand. They have also been sold in the US/Canada (Tundra Books) and the UK (Orion Books).
Where to start? Reading (particularly Australian literature and quality fantasy/paranormal stories), writing, blogging, cooking, food and wine, travel, Middle Eastern politics, human rights, Foo Fighters, theatre, films, great TV…it’s a long list.
You may have seen a (much younger) headshot in my journalism days, or you may have come along to see my play (with the cumbersome title of Double bourbon, a backseat and a book) when it had performances seasons with Phoenix Ensemble a few years’ back (I wrote the play – I wasn’t in it!)
Before I was signed with Text, I was an avid blogger and had two book review sites: Great Stories – (mostly literary novels) and Other Worlds –(fantasy, paranormal etc). I now only keep my author blog updated, but still post the occasional review on Goodreads. My author website is www.paula-weston.com.
Paula was very generous with her time with the girls. She was able to relate to the students in a practical way to give them valuable tips for writing their short stories, based on a Brisbane setting. In her workshops with the girls, she showed how the perspective of the character in relation to setting was important for setting the mood. She read from her own novels and from novels she admires. Hopefully the girls will feel inspired to follow up with more reading and to develop the connection between reading and writing.
During Book Week this year, Paula spoke to a large group of Year 7 students about her journey to becoming a published author and how she goes about writing her books. She kept the group engaged throughout the session and fielded a large number of questions at the end from students who were keen to learn more about being a writer and how to develop stories and characters. It was a fun and informative session, which the students thoroughly enjoyed.
Paula gave an interesting and informative workshop on the basic tools of fantasy writing and was an engaging and entertaining presenter. We appreciated her sharing her own experiences of the writing and publishing processes and all came away inspired and motivated.