I am so delighted to welcome Paula Scott to the blog today, my first author chat of 2017! She is a joy to talk with on Facebook and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know her a little bit over the last several months.
Paula began her writing career as a civilian contracted to write for the United States Air Force’s newspaper and magazines. Later, she wrote feature stories for a daily California newspaper. A fifth generation Californian, Paula’s great great grandmother came to California in a covered wagon and married a California farmer. Paula’s family has been farming ever since. Paula works on her family’s farm, writes historical fiction, and blogs about life, love, and farming at psbicknell.com.
You can also connect with Paula on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Paula’s newest release is Far Side of the Sea, the second book in her California Rising series.
A woman running from God. And the man she desperately loves. Because of the lies she believes.
Taken from her conquered Californio family during the 1846 Mexican-American War to be forced into marriage with a Yankee she despises, proud Spanish beauty, Maria Vasquez, draws a knife, and begins her journey to the far side of the sea. She will flee to Valparaiso, Boston, and finally San Francisco trying to forget the blood on her hands, only to find it is blood that will save her.
Dashing American ship captain, Dominic Mason, will win Maria’s heart, but shatter it when he rejects her for another, setting her on a journey back to San Francisco. There she discovers her heart can never be conquered, it must only be surrendered, not just to the man she loves, but to the God who will never let her go.
Captain Dominic Mason knows how to fulfill his duties. He’s living for God and country, determined to obey the Almighty and help bring California into the Union. Yet death and the devil’s deception will rob him of all he holds dear in San Francisco.
As California rises to statehood amid the madness of the gold rush, men will die for gold and for Maria. Will she ever escape the darkness that enslaves her in San Francisco and discover the everlasting light and love she so longs for?
Hi Paula! Welcome to the blog! I start all of my guests out with a fast four:
Paula: Apples. When I was little, I loved Granny Smith apples, probably because my dad loved these tart green apples and would cut them up for us with his pocket knife. Now days, crisp Fuji apples are my favorite. Love Fuji sliced up with cheese and a side of nuts.
Carrie: I used to love Granny Smith apples as a child too but my tastes have shifted more to the sweeter apples as I’ve gotten older. And crisp is key. Crisp and juicy. And my mouth is watering…. lol.
Paula: Winter for sure! Our family farms and all summer long we harvest our orchards, selling our peaches, pluots, apricots and nectarines to local grocery stores. Our whole family picks, packs, and sells our fruit together all summer long. Even our five-year-old helps in the orchard, along with Oma, my 74 year old mom! Come winter, I love hunkering down by the fire with my family when it’s cold outside and the orchard is all bare branches from the wind and rain.
Carrie: Yay for winter and hunkering down by fires!
Paula: Dogs. Cats are smart, but I love dogs. One of my first paying jobs when I was a young teenager was training dogs for people. I was a 4-H dog leader and taught kids how to make their dogs obey commands, which led me into the dog training job. My mom had to drive me to and from work because I didn’t have a driver’s license yet!
Carrie: Zuzu approves of your answer … except for the “cats are smart” bit. She begs to differ 😉
Paula: Coffee. I love my one cup of coffee with lots of cream and sugar first thing in the morning. I do enjoy an iced tea at lunch time, but never coffee or tea after 2 pm or I can’t fall asleep at night.
Carrie: I am a fan of neither but I feel like I should be…
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Paula: If I had a superpower, I’d love for it to be cleaning my house with the blink of an eye! We have seven children, four boys still living at home. Balancing writing with running a household is a real challenge for me. If my house is clean, it’s because I’m not writing enough. If my house is dirty, it’s because I’m writing too much!
Carrie: I would love that superpower too and I have no children LOL
Who is your favorite book character from childhood?
Paula: My favorite book character from childhood is Billy Coleman, the boy from Where the Red Fern Grows. It’s my favorite book besides the Bible. We even read Where the Red Fern Grows out loud to our kids one summer. I love how Billy never gives up. He doesn’t give up when his family can’t afford to buy those hound puppies he so longs for. He works really hard, saves his money, and then walks a long way through the woods to collect his pups. Never giving up on your dream, and then surrendering your dream to God, is a great lesson to teach your children.
Carrie: That book traumatized me against all dog books when I read it in fifth grade haha! But now, seeing your perspective on it, makes me think I should read it again.
Writing spaces are as diverse as authors and books. Where is your favorite space to write?
Paula: I do most of my serious writing at our kitchen table. I’ve had to learn to write while keeping an eye on our children, and the kitchen table is the best place to do that for me. Our kitchen and living area are one big room so the kids are always nearby, and I can see and hear them out the kitchen window in the backyard when I’m writing.
Carrie: Multi-tasking at its best 🙂
What inspired you to set your series in California in the 1800s?
Paula: I’m a fifth-generation Californian. My great great grandmother came to California in a covered wagon. Right down the road from our home is where John C. Fremont camped with his soldiers during the Bear Flag Revolt in 1846. When you’re in the 4th grade here in California, you study the California missions. My mom took me to see a number of the beautiful missions when I was a little girl. I think I fell in love with California history back when I was eight years old learning about the missions in elementary school.
Carrie: Oh wow! The stories your great great grandmother must have had! I’ve always found covered wagon travel a fascinating aspect of our country’s history. I wouldn’t want to travel the same way, of course, but I so admire the grit and perseverance of those who did!
Far Side of the Sea tells of the journey (both literal and spiritual) that Maria Vasquez and Dominic Mason both take during California’s rise to statehood. Which of these two characters do you most closely relate to and why?
Paula: I relate to both of these characters. Like Maria, I was raised Catholic, but wouldn’t obey God when I was young. I was religious, but didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ until my early thirties. Maria goes through some hard stuff with men that shaped her choices and put lies in her head. I can relate to some of this stuff through my own painful life experiences. I also relate to Dominic trying to obey God, thinking he’s doing the right thing, but is he really doing the right thing? As Christians, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing what appears to be “right and good,” when what we really need to do is to pray and be humble and ask God to truly guide our lives.
Carrie: That’s so true – we make it much more complicated for ourselves than it needs to be, don’t we?
What do you most want readers to take away from Far Side of the Sea?
Paula: I really hope readers take away the truth that no matter what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you, to your heart, to your body, to our soul, you can always be redeemed and made new by Christ. Your worth isn’t in what you do or what you look like or what you can give or take in this world. Your worth is in the Savior’s sacrifice for you on the cross. Because Jesus loves you, your purpose is to love and be loved.
Carrie: “Your worth is in the Savior’s sacrifice for you…” – yes. amen.
Paula, thank you so much for taking time to talk with me! 🙂 Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you.
Paula: I’ve just started working on: A Shepherd’s Love, the final book in the California Rising series. Very excited about this tale during the gold rush featuring Isabella Vasquez who was a little girl in Until the Day Breaks and a teenager in Far Side of the Sea. So hoping to have Isabella’s story finished before our harvest season begins in early June. Thanks so much for having me here, Carrie. I feel so blessed to be on your awesome blog!
Carrie: I am so looking forward to Isabella’s story – but not to seeing the series end! Excited to see where you’ll take us next though 🙂
Paula Scott is offering a signed paperback copy of Far Side of the Sea to one of my readers! (Due to mailing costs and international regulations, this giveaway is open to US mailing addresses only.) Winner will be notified by email and will have a week to respond before a new winner is chosen. Giveaway is subject to Reading is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies.
What about you? What is something about your own state’s history that you find interesting?
She is a new author to me! Yay, that is always good.
Thank You for the giveaway.
I was SO excited to see this interview here today. I devoured the first book in this series last summer and have been soooooo eager (i.e. excitedly impatient) for the second. 🙂 Fun interview!
yay! Thanks Melissa!! 😀
Appreciate the interesting interview on a new to me author who writes historical fiction, which is one of my favorites. Interesting history about my state is that it was originally a republic before it became a state.
Mine was (and I guess still is) a commonwealth! 🙂
The only thing I know about my state is that the town I live in is one of the first settlements in Ohio. Thanks for the interview and giveaway and good luck everyone.
Oh wow! Great history there, I’m sure!
I love Paula’s family history and will definitely check out this new-to-me author!
One thing Texas is known for is the Alamo.
Every state has so much interesting history and I love to read historical fiction and my state has so much Civil War history A new author for me but have bought the first in the series Until the Day Breaks I am loving it
yay! I’m reading (and loving) that book right now too, Pam:)
The story of the Alamo is an interesting part of my state’s history to me.
i find that a really fascinating history too, Julie – and I’m not from Texas! 🙂
Utah was settled by some of those people in covered wagons. I’m like Carrie and wouldn’t want to travel that way. Of course, they didn’t have too many alternatives then. I would have waited for the transcontinental railroad to be completed, which was on May 10, 1869, coincidentally (wink), at Promontory Point in Utah.
I didn’t realize the transcon railroad was completed in Utah – how cool!
The Golden Spike Monument is about 50 miles away from us. It’s where they drove the last spike in the railway. They have a commemoration every May.
That is so cool!
Abe Lincoln lived in Illinois for part of his life.
He did indeed! And i love it that I grew up in IL and now live in KY so I’ve been surrounded by Lincoln history basically my whole life 🙂
Sounds good! Paula is new to me, so love the interview! =) Maryland is rich with major history with the likes of the Civil War trails to the early independence ages (Revolutionary War), and not to mention the Baltimore & Ohio rail lines!! The museum is fascinating!
Great questions! Thanks!
So much history in your neck of the woods!! I geek out in that part of the US lol
New author to me, however I love reading historical fiction. I live in Illinois and our state is full of history. From the Chicago Fire, the Chicago World’s Fair and the gangsters into the 1920’s. Also, being the home of Abraham Lincoln.
I grew up in IL and I’ve always loved its history!
I live in Florida, the source of the fountain of youth 🙂 Actually I think the history of the railroad coming this far south, the “Cracker” cowboys, and the influence of Cuban immigrants and tobacco factories are a part of Florida history that many are not aware of.
All of those sound like things I want to learn more about!
I live in South Carolina, something that would’ve happened around the same time period That this book takes place would of course be the Civil War.
I love to visit Charleston, but have yet been out to the fort where the first shots of the Civil War were fired.
PS. I think Where the Red Fern Grows is the first book I remember making me cry. I think I was about 12.
I would love to visit Charleston again some day!
Just when you think you’ve heard of every author out there, along comes Carrie with a new one! This sounds like a series I need to add to my list.
As for something about my State (New South Wales)? It was the first state in Australia. However it has shrunk significantly in size over the years. It used to encompass half of the country, but gradually reduced in size as other areas were colonised and new states created. It’s still known as ‘The Premier State’ ? Although my husband would say Victoria is still better!
Oh that’s interesting! I hadn’t thought about a state shrinking but I guess Virginia kinda did that here.
My state New York has the Statue Of Liberty that was a gift from France.
I remember the first time I saw her. I bounced in my seat (in our car) and clapped my hands and exclaimed, “She really exists!” lol! The sad part? I was in my 20s lol
I have never read this author. Thanks for bringing her to my attention. Funny but her answer to winter or summer made me want that kind of summer even though she answered winter! I am not a summer person though at least not a Texas summer person!
As for what I find interesting about my state’s history, is that 6 different flags have flown over Texas (Spain, France, Mexico, the Confederacy, the Republic of Texas, and USA)
I didn’t know that about all the flags, Kim. Is that where the Six Flags theme parks come from?
Yes! Very perceptive Carrie! Embarrassingly, I didn’t put that together for a long time.
well, they’re all over the place now so the connection to Texas is looser.
Aw! You are so sweet to give me an excuse! 🙂
I love that there are so many mountains in this area – with such rich history!
Oops, should have mentioned that I live in Tennessee….near the North Carolina border.
Those mountains are my happy place! I love that area!
The town near where I grew up in Iowa was the site of the first robbery of a moving train. Jesse James and his gang were the robbers.
The multi-cultural individuals, the beautiful historical importance of the setting and the many pueblos.
multi-cultural individuals are my heartbeat!
It’s fascinating that NJ played a vital part in the Revolutionary War. It’s amazing to stand where history was created and think back upon the colonial days.
i love doing that! Yes!
Sounds like an interesting book. My great grandmother lived in California in the 1880’s, and she sang in the San Francisco opera. The family moved to TX by the 1890’s, where she met my great grandfather–a transplant from Maine. TX has so much history and I always love reading about it.
oh wow, JJ!! Your great-grandparents sound like fascinating people!
Carrie, thank you for introducing me to another new-to-me author. This series sounds awesome.
Texas is so rich with fascinating history. Thank you for the interview and giveaway! 🙂
You are most welcome, Caryl – one of my fave things to do 🙂
I’m from Virginia. We have so much history here, being one of the original colonies. I love being from a state that helped establish America as a nation. I love visiting our historical sites. Virginia is home to more presidents than any other state.
I’m a proud southerner and a proud Virginian.
I was in VA over Thanksgiving, Connie, and I was geeking out over all the history that was around me!
the state i was raised in is CA, and boy do i miss it somedays! so this book intrigues me :).
the state i live in, TN, was almost divided in half during the civil war, because half fought for the north, half for the south. the southern half almost split, and was going to call their half of the state Franklin, but they voted, and decided not to.
Kentucky was much the same way during the Civil War, Debi!
In my state, the gold rush history, amazing 😉
Gold rush history IS fascinating!
Texas is so proud of their history that I spent my entire seventh grade year being taught only Texas history.
Kentucky does that in 4th grade … unfortunately I moved here as a freshman in HS so I’m missing large gaps in my KY history knowledge lol
My state, Louisiana, has an intriguing history in the Acadienes who migrated here after being exiled from Canada. They were virtually homeless, and made their way by sea to southern Louisiana where the land was cheap and they could begin a new life. My own family history traces back to just such an Acadiene, Pierre Vincent.
oh wow!! That’s so cool, Hannah! What a great history!
My home county used to stretch all the way to Canda! No joke. It was really amazing to see the old maps hanging in the state house that showed Chicago in our now humble little county.
I grew up in North Dakota. I am always interested in history – always something new to learn!
definitely! me too!
Michigan was part of Canada back in the 1700s! Then the Brits beat the French and were awarded the territory Michigan was in. Of course, Henry Ford made Michigan famous for car production! And much to your liking, winters are cold and snowy!
Thanks for the interview. and would love to be a winner!
i didn’t realize that, Anne – about Michigan being part of Canada. How fascinating! And yes… I’ve thought many times of wintering up there 😀
I was born in Guyana and one of the things it is famous for is the Jim Jones story. I love the resilience of the people. No matter who owned us we kept our traditions. We are proud of where we have been and how far we have come despite the obstacles.
yes! what strength!!
I had never heard of Paula Scott before your two blog posts, so thank you! I find all of the history of my county in Northern NY very interesting–originally a wilderness of trees, rivers, mountains, and LOTS of snow in the winter that was somehow tamed by English, German, Polish, and French settlers who carved out dairy farms and created the then major industries of lumber/paper mills and tanneries that were the driving economical forces that lured people to settle here (along with religious and financial persecution in Europe and the promise of owning land in NY). It’s amazing too how many famous/important people actually were born in or were somehow connected to Lewis County.
what a rich heritage your county has!! how fun!
South Carolina has the largest Gingko farm in the world
i did not know that! lol
I live on the Oregon coast and the most fascinating piece of history is the Lewis and Clark expedition that landed in Fort Clatsop just a few miles up the road from me. Also the Salt Works 🙂
I know there are many more historical things here but those two stand out to me 🙂
how cool, Trixi!! I have always been fascinated by Lewis and Clark’s expedition
Forgive my lack of manners, thank you for the giveaway! Paula is a new-tome author but historical is my favorite genre 🙂
Like Paula I was born and raised in California, 3rd generation on my dad’s side, my great grandparents were originally from Oklahoma. My g-grandfather was a farmer, carpenter, and preacher and they left for him to find work. My favourite history of California is most definitely the Gold Rush. I’ve had this fascination since I studied it in the 4th grade. I even live in former Gold Rush territory.
that is so cool!!