Thursday, August 11, 2016

A Bookish Conversation with Paulita Kincer, author of 'Paris Runaway'

Paulita Kincer has an M.A. in journalism from American University. She has traveled to France 11 times, and still finds more to lure her back.

She currently teaches college English and lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her three children, two cats and one husband.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Paris Runaway.

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Title: Paris Runaway
Author: Paulita Kincer
Publisher: Oblique Press
Pages: 256
Genre: Women’s Fiction
When divorced mom Sadie Ford realizes her 17-year-old daughter Scarlett has run away to Paris all she can imagine are terrorist bombings and sex slaves. After learning her daughter chased a French exchange student home, Sadie hops on the next plane in pursuit. She joins forces with the boy’s father, Auguste, and the two attempt to find the missing teens. The chase takes Sadie and Auguste to the seedier side of Marseille, where their own connection is ignited. Since the divorce, Sadie has devoted herself to raising kids and putting her dreams on hold, but when her daughter needs her most, Sadie finds that concrete barrier to life beginning to crack. In her journey, she learns the difference between watching the hours pass and living.

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Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I have a pretty vigorous exercise routine, not that you’d know if from looking at me. I’m a little chubby, but I figure I’d weigh even more if I didn’t exercise like a fiend. I run most mornings and then I’ll walk with a friend. I also go to the gym and lift weights. So when I want more time to write, I have to force myself to cut back on my exercise regime.
I also teach college English and spend a lot of time parenting my young adult children, who are all at home for the moment during summer break. My husband and I try to sneak in some walks together, especially to the coffee shop, where I indulge in my favorite, a white mocha – which is probably why I have to exercise so much.

When did you start writing?

I’ve been writing since I was a little girl. My basement has a big box full of notebooks that I used to write stories. I’d get up early in the morning, make myself a peanut butter sandwich and go walking around the neighborhood looking for adventures. Then I’d sit down under a tree at home and start writing. Most of my young writings focus on covered wagons and traveling West, but I’m seem to recall that the planning of which supplies to take ate up a lot of pages. I hope my storytelling has improved since then.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

The moment I decided to independently publish my first novel was probably the pivotal point of my writing. I had written three novels, and each time I diligently sent them off to agents. Authors search for agents who then sell their novels to publishers, so agents are the gatekeepers.

I received a lot of requests from agents for my novels, but none of them had offered to represent me. Finally, I received a rejection from a New York agent for my novel Trail Mix, which is about two women whose children are growing up and moving on. The women are trying to figure out what their lives should be once their primary role of mother is gone. So they decide to hike the Appalachian Trail to discover who they are. The New York agent and her assistant replied that they enjoyed my writing, but they thought it was sad that the women didn’t know what to do with their lives after their children moved on.

That statement made me blow my top. I was surrounded by women going through that exact scenario. I realized that the New York agents might not be able to relate to the audience I sought to reach. That’s when I published my first novel. Paris Runaway is my fourth novel. 

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

I’m more than halfway through my next novel, and it is set in Provence, France – a sequel to The Summer of France. It would make my life so much easier to take my computer to France, set up my computer in a cafĂ© there and let my fingers get busy typing. I’m sure I’d finish in no time!

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

I’d love to pour a glass of wine and with my husband watch an episode of House Hunter’s International, preferably one set in France. I’d probably spend some time writing to get that next novel completed and then I’d settle in a chair on my front porch and read. Reading a book seems like such a luxury these days with the number of things we have to accomplish.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

Once I get to know Italy better, I hope to set a book there. My husband and I tend to return to France for our vacations, and we plan to move there in the next few years. Once we’ve settled in France, we’ll have a great jumping-off point for all the places we want to visit, including Italy.

Back to your present book, Paris Runaway, how did you publish it?

I published it independently with the paperback through and the ebook on Amazon. The paperback is available numerous places online, like Amazon and Barnes and Noble. I hire editors and a graphic artist to make sure my book meets the standards of traditionally-published books.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

Last spring, I traveled to Paris and Marseille to research the setting of my novel. I’ve been to Paris a number of times, but it always helps to refresh my memory – so I had to eat a lot of delicious meals and drink numerous glasses of wine to get the details correct.
I’d never visited Marseille before, but that’s where my 17-year-old Paris runaway and her French friend headed so that’s where I needed to go to make the story authentic. What a fascinating city! I’d love to spend more time there, not just to eat, but to tour the cathedral and to take a ferry to the Chateau d’If, where The Count of Monte Cristo was set.

Why was writing Paris Runaway so important to you?

The main character in my novel, Sadie, is a divorced mom who has devoted herself to raising her children. Most women I know take their role as mother very seriously, and I felt like they deserved an escape from this exhausting role. When Sadie chases after her daughter to Paris, she learns a lot about enjoying life again. That’s a lesson that we all need to learn.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

Like a lot of authors, I get ideas from things I see in my everyday life. I dream about visiting a place or escaping from responsibilities, and I let my characters experience that. As a married woman, one thing that I will never experience again is a first kiss – that thrill of uneasiness and delight before lips meet and then that soaring exuberance that this relationship could be the one.

Any final words?

Thanks so much for the interview questions and the opportunity to share my writing experience with you.

I hope your readers will consider taking a trip to Paris through my novel Paris Runaway.


  1. I really appreciate that you featured my book and allowed me to answer some terrific questions on your blog. Thanks.

  2. I really appreciate that you featured my book and allowed me to answer some terrific questions on your blog. Thanks.

  3. Love Paulita's books! Never been to France but feel like I have thanks to her novels.