Interview with Paula Paul, Author of For Dead Men Only

13 Apr 2016
Tell us a little bit about your new release, For Dead Men Only.

In this book, Dr. Alexandra Gladstone looks for the serial killer of Freemasons in her village of Newton-Upon-Sea in 1880s Essex. She also finds herself being pursued by a strange horseman dressed as one of the Knights Templar who appears only at night and only at the time of a murder. She suffers an accident in this book that will probably affect her for the rest of her life. This is the fifth book in the Alexandra Gladstone series, and the second published by Random House/Alibi.

Name a book that you feel has impacted your lift significantly. Why was it so impactful?

A book that significantly influenced me as a writer was Shogun by James Clavell. When I read that book, early in my writing career, I had been studying how character development and character change influences plot. I found this book a perfect example of how to do it. As for my personal life, it’s a little embarrassing for me to admit that I read Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter in elementary school and decided that I would be like her.

What’s the last book you read?

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. (I loved it!)

What makes your world go round? Why does it bring you joy?

My family is the most important aspect of my life. My two children, their spouses, and my six grandchildren all live nearby. It brings me joy to see them develop personally, tackle and overcome challenges, and find their own joy. I love conversations with each of them, and I always learn so much from them. My husband died recently, and it has made me even more keenly aware of the importance of love and connections.

What’s something you’re truly terrible at doing?

Anything that requires a hammer or a screwdriver. Don’t even think about a saw!

Where did you write For Dead Men Only?

I always write in my office, surrounded by over-full bookshelves with my two five-pound Maltese-and-Poodle-cross dogs on my lap. The male is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Wolfie), and the female is Alexandra Gladstone (Allie).

What’s your favorite quote or scene from For Dead Men Only?

The opening scene is my favorite. My editor, Dana Isaacson, had me rewrite it twice! I usually hate rewriting, but it turned out that I really enjoyed rewriting this scene because Dana’s suggestions were so spot-on, and implementing them made the scene so much better.

Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?

About five years ago, my daughter gave me a paperweight inscribed with the question: What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? That inspires me every day.


Paula Paul is the author of the new book For Dead Men Only.

Connect with Paula
Author Website

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