Exclusive Interview with
Paula D. Tozer
When did you start writing?
I've been writing stories and poetry since I was a kid. I got more serious about writing in the 90's when I joined the Writer's Federation of New Brunswick and began entering their contests. I placed well in a number of contests (short fiction) at that time but took a 10-yr hiatus during a particularly difficult period in my life. The deaths of my parents were the impetus for me to begin an introspective journey...a journey that ignited my creativity in a profound manner. At that time I began writing blogs and songs. It felt so liberating that I progressed to writing books! Life is good!
What makes writing your passion?
Creativity is our birthright as human beings. We are worthy of this wonder simply by being born!
When I began my introspective journey with the intention of healing from profound loss and grief I realized the true power of the written word! You can, quite literally, write yourself free!
As a Creativity Coach, I have created a process that I call Contemplative Writing. It is designed to assist people in accessing and exploring their personal creativity with their best life in mind.
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was a child but became more serious about my creativity when I turned 50. I call it serious play!
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I self-published my first book, Saving Your Own Life: Learning to Live Like You Are Dying. It was a lot of work, especially to promote the work.
My 2nd book, An Elegant Mind's Handbook, was published by DeVorss & Company in 2021. Becoming a traditionally published author has been one of the most satisfying achievements of my life.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
My current works are in the non-fiction genre. I am the only "character" involved!
I have a work of literary fiction that I am now pitching to publishers. It is called Enchanting Treve. Treve is based on a beloved dog that went missing when I was at university. We never found her. I describe this book as Marley and Me meets Big Fish. It is a love story that transcends time, with the main characters being three women and two dogs.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I don't believe in writer's block. I don't get too caught up in perfection - I simply write and eventually the beauty is revealed. Each day I begin by being open to inspiration - from any and all sources. I have never been disappointed. I believe that a person can be stressed out of "flow" and that when we have created a Sanctuary in which to write the words flow like water.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
Write because creativity and self-expression are your birthrights as a human being. Write from your heart. Write about what you love. You are a storyteller - please share your beauty with us.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Paula, you receive what you called "flashes of brilliance"...but you can't hold onto the feeling. This is your Muse prompting you to write. Writing will be your source of healing as well as beauty. You are a born storyteller. Never stop writing, my dear!
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
I haven't had a bad review, but I guess I will take it in stride. Crap happens.
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I take it as an "atta-girl" and celebrate!
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Yes. As I mentioned above, Elegant Treve, is based on a beloved dog that went missing in the 70's.
My non-fiction work is also based on my introspections and explorations of self - very close to my heart.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
The character of Tessa in Elegant Treve is based on me.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
A compelling book cover is the first attractor that an audience has to your book. On Amazon, or any of the platforms, you will be smothered by a deluge of books, good and not so good, so you must stand out with an attractive cover.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
I am also an Aspirational speaker and Toastmaster. I enjoy conversing with readers - it was a delight to have a book club recently take on An Elegant Mind's Handbook and ask me to be their guest during that time.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
It feels great! What is a beautiful story, poem, or song if it is not shared? I share what I love in order to keep feeling the love!
Haven't been recognized in public much yet!
Who is your favorite author? Why?
For fiction I love Hemmingway. I appreciate his clean, spare style.
For non-fiction I love Wayne Dyer's work. He had a way of connecting with his readers that gave you a glimpse into his beautiful heart.
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I would love to follow in the footsteps of Wayne Dyer.
Would you rewrite any of your books? Why?
No. They are complete.
If you could switch places with any author – who would that be?
Wayne, I love you but you are deceased...