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Welcome back Paul W Papa – A Second Interview…

February 9, 2015
mandyevebarnett


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What inspired you to write your first book?

I have always been fascinated with history and with Las Vegas, combining the two seemed like the natural thing to do with It Happened in Las Vegas.

IHI LV HIRES

How did you come up with the title?

The publisher came up with the title actually. My first book is part of a series called “It Happened In…”

Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or unpublished)?

My latest book Discovering Vintage Las Vegas is my fourth book, all of which have been published by Globe Pequot Press. This was by far my favorite one to write as it celebrates all those great places that have been in Las Vegas for 20, 30, 40, and even 50 years—quite an accomplishment for a town that blows up its past like most people change their shoes. This book tells their stories and invites the reader to visit each place on their own. Additionally, there are shout outs of vintage spots that each contains a short but interesting tidbit.

DiscoverVintageLasVegas

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. It’s important to treasure the past as you move forward.

How much of the book is realistic?

It’s non-fiction, so all of it. One of my favorite places is a gorgeous chapel right on the Las Vegas strip that got its funding from a notorious mobster.

Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

There are no characters in this book. However, there are plenty of people and they are all very real.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Yes. I would’ve liked to include a story on Ralph Jones Display. It’s a great spot where Christmas is celebrated all year round. I didn’t think of it until after I already wrote the book, but I did manage to give the place a vintage spot shout out.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I want them to understand that history doesn’t have to be boring. We all remember sitting around the campfire enthralled by some great storyteller. That’s what I want history to be—a great tale that you can’t break yourself away from.

What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?

I don’t really have a favorite chapter. Each story was a little adventure on its own and I enjoyed following each one to its conclusion—receiving a unique reward each time.

What is your favorite theme/genre to write?

History: or more specifically, the story of people. I find people fascinating and I have learned that each and every one of us has our own little story. My goal is to capture as many of those stories as I possibly can.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

I’m not into satanic things or the occult—though I have written a book about haunting in Las Vegas (Haunted Las Vegas). That’s not a road I feel comfortable walking too far down.

Haunted LV HIRES

What book are you reading now?

I’m always reading books on my craft—learning how to tell stories the best way I can. For relaxing reading I can usually be found with my nose in Lawrence Sanders’ McNally series or following Tom Dorsey’s lovable serial killer (I know—but it’s not what you thing) and Florida historian Serge.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Yes, Gretchen Archer and LynnDee Walker, both mystery authors. If you have not checked out these two women, you are missing something indeed.

Do you see writing as a career?

Oh yeah, a hard career, but a very enjoyable one. Hard only because what they don’t tell you at author school is that you can write the greatest book ever written, but if you don’t know how to get that book into the hands of readers, you’re wasting your time. Authors need to know not just how to write, but also how to embrace that evil word “marketing.”

Where do you see yourself in ten years?

Key West Florida…oh, you meant as a career didn’t you? I see myself with several books on the bestseller list, doing what I love—capturing people’s tales and ensuring their stories are not forgotten.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Making sure I honor the people I write about. Those people entrust their stories to me and I feel a strong weight on my shoulders to do them justice.

Have you ever hated something you wrote?

Yes, but only after it was published. Okay, here it is…my first book has so many mistakes in it I’m embarrassed to call it mine. I wrote the book too quick and didn’t spend enough time proofreading. When you get dates wrong, you lose your credibility and once that’s gone you can’t get it back. I learned a valuable lesson not to skip the proof-reading step. You can tell a great story, but if you say that story happened in 2003 when it really happened in 1993, you’ve cheated your audience—the people who have trusted you with their time and money.

What book do you wish you had written?

The Art of Driving in the Rain, probably one of the best books I’ve ever read.

What is your best marketing tip?

If you Indie publish, learn as much as you can about key words. Don’t think of it as marketing, put yourself in the role of the reader and think “how would I find this book if I were looking for it,” then make sure you book comes up on those searches.

What genre is your next project? What is it about?

Non-fiction. I’m writing a book about bike trails in and around Las Vegas. I’m an avid bike rider and this is my first guide book. It’s been fun and challenging…and I’m always up for a new challenge.

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

Sure, it’s a guide to 35 bike trails in and around Las Vegas. Some trails are for mountain bikes, some for road bikes, and some for urban bikes.  The book contains mile-by-mile instructions, as well as maps and cool things to do in the area.

Best Bike Rides of Las Vegas Cover

How do we find your books, blog and bio?

I can be found here:

Amazon Author’s Page: amazon.com/author/paulwpapa.americanstoryteller

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/PaulWPapa?ref=hl

GoodReads Author Page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3172096.Paul_W_Papa

In addition, I have a website: www.paulwpap.com. I have a blog on the site, but it is kind of under construction, but keep checking back, I have a very exciting project in the works and should be revealing it shortly.

Here is a link to Paul’s previous interview in 2013 -https://mandyevebarnett.com/2013/04/07/interview-with-paul-w-papa/

You can see he has been extremely busy writing! Thank you for joining us Paul.

Interview with Paul W Papa…

April 7, 2013
mandyevebarnett


Milieu – definition: surroundings, setting.

Welcome Paul W Papa, a non-fiction author who obviously takes particular interest in his surroundings.

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Of the characters you have created or envisioned, which is your favorite & why?

Because of the type of writing I do, I really don’t “create” characters. I am fascinated, however, by people from the old West. I plan to write books about Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday, and George Armstrong Custer. What lives these people must have led!

Wild Bill, Texas Jack Omohundro, and Buffalo B...

Wild Bill, Texas Jack Omohundro, and Buffalo Bill Cody in 1873 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you favor one type of genre or do you dabble in more than one?

For the most part I prefer to stay in the area of non-fiction for two reasons. The first is that I really enjoy telling people’s stories. I truly believe everyone has a story and I genuinely enjoy bringing those tales to life. The second is it’s just too dang hard to come up with all those characters and plot twists. How do you fiction writers do it?

What do you enjoy most about writing?

Seeing my books on the bookstore shelf. Seriously though, I think it is the process I most enjoy. I remember sitting around the kitchen table hearing the stories of my relatives and neighbors as told by the grownups in the group. While all the other kids were playing in the other room, I sat captivated by the tales being spun. Now when I write one of those tales myself, I picture my readers sitting around that same kitchen table intently listening as I weave my tale.

What reward do you give yourself for making a deadline?

First I take a deep breath. Then I take my two dogs on a hike while I try to figure out what to write next. Non-fiction writing isn’t like fiction writing. I’m not pitching a successful character with a good track record in a great new story. I have to pitch every idea from scratch. Every new book has to stand on its own. Just because my publisher accepted a book about haunted places in Las Vegas doesn’t mean she’ll accept my proposal to write about how the University of Wyoming basketball team won the national championship in 1944 (she didn’t by the way). Someday my name will be strong enough on its own to write what I want. Until then…well you just keep pushing ahead don’t you?

Have you got a favorite place to write?

I do. I love my desk. It is big and shaped like an “L”. I have a large color printer that is decorated with stupid little toys that make me smile. I have several Batman figures, an Alfred E, Newman dressed like the Joker and Donald Duck dressed like Darth Maul. There is a large picture window in my office and it lets in the best natural light. The rest of my desk is a bit of a mess so I’d rather not discuss it.

Do you plan your stories, or are you a seat of the pants style writer?

That’s a good question because while it goes more to fiction writers, it still surprisingly applies to nonfiction as well. I actually do a little of both. Of course what happens in the story doesn’t have to be planned—since it has already happened—but how the story will be presented still needs to be decided. I like to take walks with my dogs and do some overall planning as I walk. However, I also like to see where the writing will take me.

What inspires your stories?

I would have to say people. I like to get into the head of the people I write about. I wonder, for example, what Custer could have possibly been thinking when he realized he was outnumbered and there was little chance of survival. Why didn’t he call off the attack? Why did he keep going? I guess it is the people more than the event that makes me want to know more.

Do you nibble as you write? If so what’s your favorite snack food?

Sorry, I can’t answer that; I have food in my mouth. Actually, I don’t snack as much as I drink—not that kind of drink, though I have considered it—I usually have iced tea or a Coke by my side. In fact, when I’m in writing mode I often forget to eat. That fact, sadly, hasn’t had any effect on my waistline.

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading two books: Life’s That Way and Front Page Fatality. The first is a nonfiction book that contains the emails actor Jim Beaver sent out when dealing with his wife’s cancer. It is a touching and wonderfully written book. It has made me laugh and cry. The second is a work of fiction by the wonderful new author Lyn Dee Walker. I love mysteries and this one is top notch. My favorite quote: “But that’s the thing about dead people: they can’t warn you to keep your nose out of things that are going to put your ass in danger” Great stuff!

With no financial limits where would you vacation and why?

It would be a tossup between Italy and the Caribbean. Italy because I’ve been there before and fell in love with the place and the Caribbean because I’m a displaced pirate and have a strong need for places that combine water with little latitudes.

Do you have any odd habits or childhood stories?

Odd habits…let’s see, that may be a question better asked to the people I live with. I do have a childhood story though. When I was a kid, about 5 or 6, I was hit by a car as I ran out into the street to get my ball. When the car hit me I flew into the air, coming down hard on the hood of the lady’s car who hit me. I hit the car so hard I left an indentation the size of my body in her hood. I was rushed to the hospital amidst cries of “I’m so sorry” from the lady to my mom. She later sued my mother for damages to her car.

Do you have any pets?

Two dogs, both miniature Schnauzers. One gray (Gypsy) and one black (Jet).

StandardSchnauzer

Do you belong to a writing group? If so which one?

No writing groups, but I do belong to online chat rooms on both Facebook and Goodreads. I spend most of my time in Writer Unboxed.

What age did you start writing stories/poems?

I used to write comic books when I was a kid, maybe 11 or so. I created a totally unoriginal character named “Catman,” who had a Catmobile and a lair (hmm, I wonder who he was based off of). I didn’t start any real writing until well into my 30’s.

Do you have a book published? If so what is it called & where can readers purchase it?

I have 3 books published. It Happened in Las Vegas, Haunted Las Vegas, and It Happened in Wyoming. I am also under contract for The Crime Buff’s Guide to Outlaw Nevada. You can find them in local bookstores or online through both Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you want a signed copy you can get it through my website http://paulwpapa.com/

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If you could meet one favorite author who would it be and why?

Hmmm, that’s a good question. Probably Tim Dorsey. His books are great and his characters are way out there. He must be a fun guy to hang around with.

If you could live anywhere in the world – where would it be?

Key West, Florida. If you have to ask why, you’ve never been there.

What’s your favorite movie of all time?

Tombstone. I’m fascinated by the old west and by the gunfight at the O.K. Corral and Val Kilmer played a killer Doc Holiday.

Where can readers find you and your blog?

I have a presence on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/#!/PaulWPapa)

Goodreads (http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3172096.Paul_W_Papa),

Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Paul-W.-Papa/e/B002KXW69S/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1364943861&sr=8-2).

I can also be found on my website at http://paulwpapa.com/  where I have an active blog.

Do you have plans or ideas for your next book?

I have three proposals in right now. Two of them are in the Haunted series and another is a trail guide for biking in Southern Nevada (I’m an avid mountain biker). I’m also considering self publishing a book about Boulder City, Nevada.

Who is your best supporter/mentor/encourager?

My fiancé, soon to be wife, Melissa. She supports all of my crazy dreams and is patient enough to wait and see what I just dream up and what I actually pursue.

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