Friday, March 14, 2014

Author Joey Paul's Dying Thoughts Series

Today I have the privilege of having author Joey Paul with me. She was an un-known author to me and I fell in love with her stories. I think you will too!

Ever had a secret? Something you can’t tell anyone in case they think you’re crazy.

Tara does – she sees the last moments of people’s lives when she touches something that belongs to them.

Kaolin does – she doesn’t want anyone to know the truth about what happened to her father.

Now they’re both in trouble because secrets never stay quite as secret as we wish they would.

Join Tara in the second book of the Dying Thoughts series as she faces new challenges.

Tara Leverton has a ‘gift’. Up until recently it has been kept a secret from everyone. 

Things have certainly changed.

For one, Tara has a best friend, Kaolin. For another, Kaolin, her dad and the police know about her ‘gift’. She’s got the chance to help them solve murders – actually make a difference, one that doesn’t involve doing homework on time.

When tragedy strikes can Tara be the eyes seeing things that no one was supposed to see?

Join Tara and Kaolin in the third book in the Dying Thoughts Series. 

It’s finally summer and all Tara Leverton plans to do is spend the time sunbathing, hanging out with Kaolin and doing as little as possible. Her gift has kept her busy and now is the chance for some serious down time before her final year at school. 

Her dad on the other hand has other ideas about how Tara should spend her summer. He’s desperate for her to realise that life in the real world isn’t all solving crimes and hanging out with friends. She’s about to discover that their definitions are complete opposites when her dad gets her a summer job at a local charity. 

When a scary pattern emerges with the charity’s clients, Tara is thrown into the middle of a new case. Who is killing their clients? And can Tara find out before they come for her?

Writing the Dying Thoughts Series

I have had a lot of people ask me where I get my ideas for my books. I've told the same story a few hundred times, but I'll try it just this once more but this time I'll focus on the Dying Thoughts series and why I started to write a number of books about Tara - a fifteen year old who could see the last moments of someone's life when she touched one of their belongings and her friend, Kaolin who seemed to be the only one who would come on the ride with her. 

It's simple really, I had just written the last pages of Blackout and had long since finished my first book, and was desperate to continue writing. I had no ideas though. My first book was one I had started at thirteen and never really finished it properly. Once that was done, I moved onto Blackout, whose plot had been banging around my head for about the same amount of time. I'd done both of them and I was desperate for my next writing fix. 

I had a few criteria. It had to be something I would enjoy exploring. It had to involve crime and it had to be something I could turn into a series. I had grown too attached to my previous characters but knew I couldn't do anything more with them and I wanted a character I could watch grow.

I can tell you exactly where I was when I had the idea for the first book. I was in the frozen vegetables aisle in Asda Walmart. I was with my best friend and carer, her daughter hadn't been born yet so it was just us, walking up and down the aisle looking for what we wanted with our dinner. I was mulling over a few things when I started to think about what would happen if you could see how someone died just by touching something that was theirs. I had a character already picked out, I just needed a plot to add her to. B, my best friend was there to help me flesh out the story whilst we waited to pay for our food and then we talked the whole way back to our place on the bus.

After that it was just a case of a chapter plan and to start writing and I did that when I got home. A chapter turned into a few and then before I knew it I had written most of the story, but had also written myself into a tight spot. I gave up after a few weeks of writer's block and decided that writing just wasn't for me. Maybe I was a one hit wonder, and would just have to make do with the books I had already finished. It wasn't until almost six months later that I finally found the spark to get myself going again.

It was January 2004 and I was on a road trip in the US with a friend of mine. We were driving to Ohio from Alabama, stopping in a few places along the way to go and meet another friend of mine. She had been reading the first Dying Thoughts book chapter by chapter and one of the first things she said to me was "What happens to Tara and Kaolin?!" I was inspired by her love of my work and her desperation to read the ending that I got B to email me the completed file and that night in that hotel room, I wrote the piece that got them out of the mess I'd put them in.

I finished the first book a few weeks later, much to Renee's relief! I was inspired to continue and started the second almost immediately. The idea had been brewing for a while and I wanted to get it down on paper before I got blocked again. That happened of course, as it does with most writer's. I didn't finish it until after Blackout was first published in 2005. At that point it was the thought of having one of my books in print that inspired me to continue. Since then I have written almost four more, with the sixth coming to an end on my to-do list. I already have the idea for book seven and although I never planned to take it past five books, my muse had other ideas.

Tara and Kaolin have become staple characters in my writing life. I have watched them grow and develop more than any other character I have written. It's probably because they've been there since pretty much the beginning of my career, but although I know that one day I will have to say goodbye to them, I'm not ready to finish telling their story just yet. I have watched Tara grow from a dysfunctional teenager, to a young adult and have loved every second of it. People say that characters show you a part of themselves that you may not have thought of as you write them and I have to say that is true. Tara always surprises me when I put her in a tough situation. Sometimes in a way I have planned and other times, she just pops up with a different idea and I start going down a path I hadn't even considered before. I don't know how long I'll be writing her story, but I do know that I won't finish until Tara tells me to, she really has taken on a life of her own.

Joey is 32, disabled, a writer and part time student studying towards a degree in Health and Social Care. She loves to write and is at the moment working on her eleventh and twelfth books, as well as preparing her seventh book for publication. She started writing when she was medically retired from her job at the age of 19. Her first book was released in 2005 and after a brief time away, her second one was released in 2011. In addition to writing books, she also enjoys reading them and can often be found resting in bed with a good book, a cat and an ukulele.


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