Hi guys! The Belladonna blog tour stops by today and I am excited that author Fiona Paul is sharing her deepest, darkest secrets with us! Well, not really …
– Guest Post –
Five facts you may not know about Fiona Paul
1. My name is not Fiona Paul.
Everyone is always asking how they should refer to me and I never really know since my pen name books are coming out before my real name books. The quick and dirty explanation is that Paper Lantern Lit approached me to audition to write a Renaissance murder mystery for them and when I won the contract, I was required to write under a pen name. I had just watched Shrek and one of the names on the list I gave them was Fiona so here I am ☺ Hai. My real name is Paula— see here.
2. I am a huge tomboy.
Okay, I wear dresses and makeup and stuff sometimes, but I know much more about weapons and extreme sports than I know about embroidered handkerchiefs and tea parties. When it came to shoes and clothes and whatnot, I had to research the simplest of things. I still remember one of my first VENOM readers gently explaining to me that dresses are put on over one’s head, not pulled up over one’s hips. Crap—apparently I’ve been doing it wrong all these years.
3. I have attended seven different colleges
Yeah, I’ve been a bit of a professional student. Maybe you saw that campy Pauly Shore movie called Son in Law, where no matter what subject someone brings up he’s like “MA-jored in it for half a semester.” That’s pretty much me ☺ I have taken focused coursework in: psychology, computer science, culinary studies, secondary education, English, pre-veterinary studies, nursing, nurse practitioner, and nursing education. When I finished my first (of 3) degrees, I went back and talked to my high school English teachers who both urged me to become a doctor. I distinctly remember saying “Nah, too much school.” If I had gone to med school like they said, I could have finished a residency in brain surgery by now. Seriously, though, if you don’t like your job or your major, keep looking. Life’s too short to be unhappy at work, no matter how big your paycheck might be.
4. Working with leukemia/lymphoma patients changed my life
Not to get all heavy or anything, but in high school I was a shy girl. I had my friends, mostly tennis jocks or metal-heads (I know, I was a weird combo of athlete-burnout) but I was always afraid to put myself out there, to risk failure, to risk rejection. To risk being less than perfect. And I’m not going to lie, for a long time after high school I lived a life of “only do it if you’ll excel at it.” I admire published teen authors so much because I know my teen self would have wilted and DIED if I had received some of the reviews I have now back then. It takes so much bravery to make yourself vulnerable in a public sphere.
I have my amazing leukemia and lymphoma patients partially to thank for really reminding me to seize the moments while I still have them. Guys, cancer is a bitch. If you’re lucky, it announces itself with symptoms so you have time to get treated. But I have seen people completely fine one week and dead the next week from cancer—amazing people, nuns, teachers, firefighters—people who are leaving the world a worse place by dying. So how do you deal with that as an RN? You don’t sweat the small stuff. You risk it ALL for love, for success, for your dreams, and you pick yourself up and do it again when you fail. You never waste a moment, ever, because there are other people who would give anything to have the time you have left.
5. I fangirl over authors too.
I am so lucky to have some amazing reader-fans who tweet to me and say things like “OMG. I can’t believe you answered my tweet!” I. Feel. Exactly. The. Same. Way. I will never forget the feeling of finishing ALONG FOR THE RIDE and, tweeting Sarah Dessen to tell her how profoundly her book had affected me, and getting a quick thank-you tweet in response. I will never forget the FB message I got from Libba Bray when I messaged to tell her GOING BOVINE was the epitome of the perfect YA novel. “Happy writing, and happy human being-ing,” she said. Pretty sure if I ever get to meet her she will take one look at my red sweaty face and crazy googly eyes and call security. I promise I’m not the dangerous kind of crazy, Libba ☺
Make sure you stop by the previous tour stop at Treasured Tales for Young Adults, where Falco opens up about his feelings for Cass, and tomorrow’s stop at Pixelski, where you can read an an excerpt of Belladonna.
About the author:
Fiona Paul is a writer and registered nurse from St. Louis, MO.
Belladonna is her second release under this pen-name, the sequel to her 2012 début Venom.
Belladonna is published in Australia by Harper Collins, and is available now at all good bookstores and online. Thank you to
Fiona Paula for taking the time out to share her sekrits with us, it’s been a real pleasure to have her on Speculating on SpecFic, and for Amanda at Harper Collins for organising this amazing blog tour!