I donít read a lot of fantasy, but Iíve always been fascinated by the lost city of Atlantis. So when author Paula Batesís novel The Atlantean Legacy showed up on cyber shelves, I couldnít resist reading it. Ms. Bates does a wonderful job bringing her version of the city to life, complete with fascinating characters, and she deserves the spotlight for August.
Since Ms. Bates did such a fantastic job of answering my interview questions, Iíve decided to post the interview in its entirety for this column.
Where were you born?
Iím a born and bred Hoosier, first appearing on this earth scene in the fair city of Indianapolis, Indiana. I donít live there now, although it is a pleasant city as cities go, very easy to navigate and survive in. I have called many other places home since then, including New York City and San Francisco, but I presently prefer the rolling hills of Southern Indiana, where I live in a smaller university town rich with the arts, music, and a vibrant metaphysical scene.
When you were a child, how did you entertain yourself after your mom told you to go outside and play or else?
Did you know my mom? Humph....anyway, I would imagine scenes, often having to do with fairytales or romantic figures. Sometimes I put on plays with the kids in the neighborhood; we did a production of Rapunzel one summer and invited the whole neighborhood. When Zorro was popular, I pretended to be the ďpretty seŮorita in the cantinaĒ who helped Zorro escape. I know, I know, I was the heroine behind the scene and let Zorro get the credit, but that was pre Title Nine and Second Wave Feminism. Female upfront heroes came later...as did my feminism, which I claim to this day.
What is the funniest thing that ever happened to you or that you witnessed, which made you laugh so hard you couldnít catch your breath?
Oh, wow, I think those things are best left uncommitted to printódonít want to embarrass anyone or get anyone in trouble.
What hidden talent do you possess outside of writingósomething you do for fun but are good at?
Itís not really hidden, but Iím a visual artist. I paint with several different media and do some mixed media work as well. If youíre curious, you can view my work at PaulaBates.com
What are you a collector of? It can be serious, funny, or unique.
I collect earrings. Iíve been amassing them from all parts of the country and the world since I first got my ears pierced in the late Ď70s. I also make themóanother artistic venture of mine.
The strangest dream youíve had at night while you slept? Or perhaps a recurring dream that doesnít make a lot of sense to you.
I have flying dreams. Sometimes theyíre wonderful experiences where I soar over cities and towns, but sometimes theyíre nightmares where Iím being chased over the rooftops of houses. No matter what, though, I am always left with the feeling that somewhere in the depths of my cells I carry the knowledge of how to actually fly. Maybe we all do! Could it be that if we meditate enough, we can access it? If I ever do figure it out and you see me soaring over your rooftops, wave!
What music groups/artists blast from your CD player while you write?
When I write, I need music that fits my subject and blends into the background. Otherwise I get too distracted. For example, while I wrote The Atlantean Legacy, I listened to Atlantis Rising, a CD by Michael Diamond. But, when I paint, since Iím accessing another part of my brain, I love listening to alternative rock or female artists such as Adele, Sheryl Crowe, Bonnie Raitt, or Etta Jamesóstrong women who inspire and make you want to move those hips!
They say that passion is one step below crazy. What are you most passionate about, other than writing, without taking a giant step into Looney Land?
I believe without a doubt in past lives. Iíve trained with Dr. Brian Weiss to get certified to do Past Life Regression on clients. Iím crazy/very passionate about metaphysical studies! I am deeply into developing my intuitive and psychic skills. My husband calls me a New Age ďchurch ladyĒ because Iím constantly attending meditation groups, crystal bowl sessions, or related workshops of one kind or another.
Name some of your most favorite things
Getting a deep tissue massage...ahhhhh!...nothing better. A great home cooked meal that I didnít have to cook myself. A great meal out at a fabulous restaurant. The ocean. My dog. Flowers. Flying in my dreams...
On Writing, In Paula Batesís Own Words
Why did you begin writing?
I have dabbled in the art of writing for years. For example, I have kept journals since I was in high school and have taken several writer workshops, but focusing so intensely on this art is a new development in my life. Until I began my book, I had considered myself a visual artist and a therapist, not a writer. I began writing The Atlantean Legacy because of a Past Life Regression (PLR) session I attended at a workshop with Dr. Brian Weiss, a well-known author and PLR therapist. During this hypnotic regression, an unexpected memory of Atlantis came through so intensely it left me shaking. After a few years of thinking and talking about this experience and subsequently getting training in PLR therapy from Dr. Weiss, I realized I had to get the story down in writing. The process of producing a book turned out to be longer and more involved than I had realized it would be, but writing, editing, and getting published taught me many skills about the art and the business, which I can apply to my next book. Hopefully the next time around will be much smoother. I do have another book nagging at me, and itís beginning to take form; Iíve actually written a few sections of it. I have a readership that wants more, so with my readersí support and encouragement and my inner muse beating down the door to let the next novel through, I am getting inspired.
Which author inspires you?
I enjoy any fiction that is well written, but especially fantasy or time travel books.
I used to read nothing but fantasy and sci-fi, like Ursula K. LeGuin, but that has shifted over the years to include a variety of literary genres. I love reading funny, witty books, like Tom Robbins, but I also enjoy reading metaphysical books like Eckhart Tolle, Sonia Choquette, Carolyn Myss, and Doreen Virtue. Presently I am reading the Diana Gabaldonís The Outlander series.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
Thereís a great satisfaction in giving solid form to the nebulous thoughts traipsing about my mind. What an incredible feeling to hope that, once these ideas are captured in print, the reader will enjoy immersing her/himself for a while in this world of my creation!
Have you experienced writerís block? And if so, how did you cure it?
Yes, of course. I think the cure is to just show up. Do writing exercises, and donít allow procrastination to take over.
When is your next book due out, and whatís it about?
There is no date set yet, but the next book is a sequel to The Atlantean Legacy.
Where can readers find you online?
I can be found at my website, PaulaBates.com, or my blogsite, TheAtlanteanLegacy.blogspot.com. You can follow me on Twitter at AtlanteanLegacy, or you can email me at AtlanteanChronicles@gmail.com.
Be sure to check out this talented authorís websites to learn more. My review of The Atlantean Legacy is coming soon!