Author Interview: Pauline Creeden
Posted by Amy -N- Jess
Author Interview with Pauline Creeden
Completely and utterly scattered. I have notes on the back of pages that I’ve printed out to re-read. I have post its with eye colors and other physical features so I don’t forget what my characters look like accidently – especially the side characters. There are papers scattered all over my desk while I write, but it is ordered chaos. I do remember where everything I need is…for now.
~Do you plot out your story or write as it goes?
Although I know my beginning and my end, the rest is sometimes just a general skeleton in my head or sometimes a complete mystery to me. Well, except for my actual mystery…that one had to be better plotted.
Who is one person you would like to meet for coffee?
I’m torn between J. K. Rowling and Stephen King…if I can’t have both and have to choose one, it would have to be Stephen King. I’ve seen them both in interviews, and I think I could really hang out with SK…JK? Maybe not so much…
~Which of your characters is your Book Boyfriend? Why?
Ben Oscuro from First Impression. He is the deepest male character in my stories. He is sweet and sensitive, but it’s under so many layers of protection and pain that he usually comes off as mean, rude, or hard to get along with. It would take one heck of a woman to make it past those layers to gooey center, and he’s likely to only ever let one in there, too.
~Do you believe in love at first sight?
Not love, but sparks can definitely happen. When I first met my husband, he’d already been bolstered up by all my friends telling me how hot he was…so when I met him, I thought, he’s just alright. I didn’t understand what everyone was so excited about. It was probably two weeks or so later that I actually looked at the possibility of him ever being more than a friend to me.
~What are your favorite hobbies?
My hobbies have this interesting habit of becoming careers. Growing up, I rarely did much outside of going to the stable and riding horses. So when I finished college, I dove into becoming a horse trainer and riding instructor. In college, I studied Creative Writing because always knew I wanted to be a writer. So in my first NaNoWriMo, I finished my a novel in 2011, and haven’t stopped writing since.
~Favorite drink? Alcoholic or not.
Snapple. Or really any kind of sweet tea…
~If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Ramen. I can hardly seem to be able to live more than a day without it.
~What’s your favorite fast food chain?
Chick Fil-a. It’s the staple of what I eat at horse shows – so much so that everyone either brings it to me or makes comments about me turning into a chicken.
~Are you a Tom boy or a girly girl?
Around a horse stable, in the dirt and muck, it’s hard to stay a girly girl. Some manage it, but I’m not one of them. I’m such a tomboy that besides awards from horse shows, I have trophies from playing Little League Baseball with the boys…and a fishing trophy from a tournament. I almost never wear dresses…and confession: I don’t even know how to put on make up.
~What are you currently working on?
I’m wrapping up the edit on Survivor, my Sanctuary novella (if you don’t know about Sanctuary, it’s my award-winning horror novel which has both aliens and zombies in it). And then it’s back to work on my mermaid novel, SALT. I just finished the novella prequel to it in November – which will be released late May.
She rips my hall pass from her pad and points it toward the young man sitting across from her desk. “Chira Kelley, meet Ben Oscuro. He’s new here and needs someone to show him around. It just so happens he’s also a member of class 18B.”
I finally focus on the boy. He doesn’t look up at me, and his disheveled dark hair is just long enough that it hides his eyes. But he pushes himself up from his chair, and his slim form towers over me. He’s at least six-feet-two and his uniform is almost as crumpled as his hair. He swings his backpack onto a strong, square shoulder and nibbles his full bottom lip. His smooth olive skin and dark hair make him look like a foreign rocker, and there’s something about him that seems vaguely familiar.
“Here’s a copy of his class schedule. When you’re not in the same class, I want you to leave a few minutes early and help him find the next class room. That’s your job for today. Got it?”
I swallow back and resist sniffling again. Taking the hall pass and the copy of the schedule from her, I say, “Um…sure.”
“Excellent. Robin, you’re off the hook.”
The office aide pumps a fist in the air before returning to file more papers in the cabinet. The secretary’s chair squeals a dismissal, and Mrs. Campbell picks up her phone, returning to her duties without another word.
Ben pulls open the office door and stands to the side to allow me to go first. The hallway that was empty only a short while ago is now full of students and their continuous conversations. With a shrug, I eye his class schedule quickly. Except for second and sixth period, we have exactly the same schedule. He’s in all of the advanced classes, too. Only he has gym for second period and Latin for sixth – opposite of my schedule, except I take French.
Piece of cake.
I glance up at him again, and his eyes meet mine. My breath hitches. His intense gaze makes me feel like he’s measuring me. The dark pools of his eyes seem deep and bottomless, but there’s something strange about them. They’re brown, but he has colored contacts. Why would anyone color their eyes brown?
My heart flutters. A sniffle escapes me before I can stop it. Ugh. I clear my throat and start in the direction of first period. “Follow me.”
We elbow our way down the freshman hall toward the second floor, but before we start up I point down the way. “Do you know what your locker number is?”
Ben nods and pushes his backpack on his shoulder farther.
I wait for a second and then smile. “What is it?”
“706.” He has a slight accent, and his voice is deeper than I expect. I suppress a shiver at the jolt the musical timbre of his voice sends through my body. I’m resonating like a tuning fork. I really want him to speak again with every fiber of my being. What’s with me?
“Uh…okay.” I swallow, trying to regain composure. I take him to the general area of the locker. “Here it is.”
He looks at it, nods, and returns his hard gaze to me. Is he always so stiff? Probably just nerves from being new.
“I know you don’t have any books to put in it, but do you want to try out the combination?”
He lifts one shoulder in a shrug and spins the combo quickly through the three numbers. I purposefully avert my eyes so he knows I’m not peeking. He opens the locker wide, nods toward me, and then closes it again.
“Great. We have first period over here.”
“You and I have the same first period?”
My body vibrates again, and I blink hard. So glad my back was to him so he couldn’t see the effect his voice has on me. I swallow and face him. “Actually, yeah. Our schedules are very similar. It’s a smallish school, so there’re only a few tracks that juniors can be on.”
He nods, and his eyes are half lidded as if he’s bored already.
I lead him toward our classroom. “We don’t really have assigned seats, so you can pretty much sit anywhere you want. I’ll show you to the gym at the end of class. I have French next, but it’s not too far from there.”
I lead him to the front of the class, and my friend Tasha gives me a wan smile and raises her eyebrows, looking back and forth between me and Ben. She mouths, Who’s that?
I roll my eyes and put up one finger toward her to let her know I’ll tell her in a minute. Then I turn to the teacher. I hand him the schedule from the office. “Hi, Mr. Scott, this is Ben Oscuro, a transfer.”
Mr. Scott’s kind blue eyes smile at us both. He sets down the Mountain Dew he was drinking and offers Ben a wide grin. He puts a hand out for him to shake. Ben hesitates but takes the hand in what looks like a firm grip. Mr. Scott shakes his hand afterward. “That’s some grip you’ve got there.” He laughs and leans down to the bottom drawer of his desk and hands Ben a geography text book.
With a nod, I return to Tasha and squeeze into the desk next to hers. I’m at Jackson Hall partially on my father’s insurance money partially on scholarship because my stepdad works at the school. What he does, I don’t know, because I’ve never seen him. Because of all this, I’m somewhat of a social pariah. My only real friend is Tasha Brown, a pariah herself, being one of the few African-American kids in the school. Still she tends to be more popular than me, because at least her family has the money they’ve made in the night club and music business. But then there’s that rumor…
“So who is the new hottie?” Tasha hops up and down in her seat.
I shake my head at her. “You are one big hormone, you know that? Sure, he’s cute, but is there any guy in the room you don’t consider a hottie?”
Tasha scans the room with her hand on her chin and a very serious expression on her face. Her hair is in the typical pigtail braids she usually uses to play up the uniform. She has on no sweater, and her shirt is one size too small, the buttonholes at the front stretch to expose part of her red bra. Finally she returns her gaze to me. “There’s only one guy in here that doesn’t rank hottie.”
She leans in conspiratorially and whispers, “Mr. Scott.”
I nearly choke on a laugh as I eye the middle-aged, balding teacher at the front of the room. But I have to admit, Jackson Hall is a prep school. And there’s no one who can afford to make their children look their best more than the wealthy. I guess if I take my father’s words to heart, it’s better to be the poor kid in the rich kids’ school…than the other way around. Right?
Tasha’s smile returns, and I follow her gaze to figure out why. Ben Oscuro walks down the aisle between us and takes the desk right behind mine. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. He smells like pine and mint, and it reminds me of the outdoors. When I open them again, Tasha’s smile has grown impossibly wider. She leans towards me and whispers, “What was that you said about hormones again?”
I shove my elbow toward her, but she dodges me with a giggle.
Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/paulinecreeden