August 15, 2011

Author Interview: Paula Morris author of DARKSOULS

Hey guys, I've been honored to have an interview with one of my favorite YA fiction ghost Author to talk about her new released novel Dark Souls and some other awesome stuff.  Let us welcome, Paula Morris.
About Paula Morris

Paula Morris, a novelist and short story writer of English and Maori descent, was born in New Zealand. For almost a decade she worked in the record business in London and New York. In 2010, after six years in New Orleans, where she taught creative writing at Tulane University, she moved to Glasgow, Scotland. She now teaches at the University of Stirling.

Ruined, her first YA novel, was published by Scholastic US (2009). A mystery with a supernatural twist, set in post-Katrina New Orleans, Ruined has also been optioned for film. Paula is represented in the US by Richard Abate at 3 Arts: 49 West 27th Street, Fifth Floor, New York, NY 10001.
Visit her site here:  Paula Morris
Q: How did you come up with the title “Dark Souls”?
A: In a very roundabout way, I have to say. I don't know how to explain without giving too much of the story away, but basically I was researching a real-life arson attack on York Minster in the early nineteenth-century, which led to the work of a particular artist, which led to the work of the poet John Milton, which led to this quote. Really, all is explained in the book!

Q: Can you please tell us a little bit more about this new released novel of yours? And how long did it take you to finish writing it?
"Dark Souls" Published Date August 1, 2011
               A: I've written another book since I finished work on DARK SOULS, so I may be confused about this. But I think I worked on it spring and summer of 2010, with a revised draft finished around September. I began it when I was still living in New Orleans, and finished it in Glasgow, Scotland, where I live now.

Q: Also, can you please tell us more about the setting of Dark Souls
                A: The novel is set in York, which used to be one of the most important cities in England back in the days of the Romans and (later) the Vikings. It's a beautiful and atmospheric place, with medieval walls and a stunning cathedral, known as the Minster. I went to university there, and loved it. A couple of years ago I read an article in a magazine that described York as the most haunted city in Europe, and that got me thinking about it as a setting for a book.
Q: How is Dark Souls different to Ruined?
                A: Like RUINED, DARK SOULS is a mystery with a supernatural twist, set in a very old, very haunted city. They're also both about teenagers who are far from home, stumbling into strange and difficult situations. I think that maybe DARK SOULS is a little darker than RUINED. (It certainly has a higher ghost count!)

 Q: What is your favorite type of hero?
                A: Hmmm, that's a good question. Someone who isn't afraid to take action, I suppose - or rather, someone who'll get up and do things even if they ARE afraid.
Q: Where did you get the ideas/inspiration of writing YA books? And most of all, why ghosts?
                A: I wrote RUINED for my niece, who was 15 at the time. All the other books I'd written weren't really suitable for her. As for ghosts, I like their flexibility, if that makes sense. They're wild cards in a story, behaving according to the rules of their world, not ours. Some ghosts make themselves visible to many people; some are more reclusive (or exclusive). They're unnerving too, for both the characters in a novel and us readers. What will they do next? What do they want?

Q: It’s very obvious that you love to write stories exploring different places around the world, do you have any particular reasons to make a certain place a settings for the books that you write?  
                 A: For me, a story grows out of a particular place. I recently spent a week in Rome, researching for another 'haunted city' mystery. I had some ideas before I went, and had fixed on Rome because I knew it had a rich past with lots of possibilities for a ghost story. But I like to go to a place and be open to its stories, sights, history, secrets.
Q: I also learned that your working on the 2nd book of Ruined, when is it going to be published and what your readers can expect about it?
                A: You're right: I'm working on a sequel to RUINED right now. Many of the characters will be familiar to readers - like Rebecca and Anton - but some will be new, like Rebecca's best friend, Ling. Most of the novel is set in New Orleans again. That's all I can tell you right now! Hopefully it will be published late summer 2012.

Q: I just need to ask you this, what is your favorite YA book you have read so far?
                A: I'm going to go old-school on you, and sing the praises of the Donna Parker series (written in the late 50s/early 60s). But a more recent book: Meg Rosoff's HOW I LIVE NOW.

Q: I know you haven’t seen any ghost yourself, but would you like to see one at all?
        A: I'm not sure if I've ever seen a ghost or not. Who can tell?
Q: Any last thoughts for our readers? 
            A: Read as much and as widely as you can. It's a very cheap way to travel the world!

Thank you so much Paula Morris for being so gracious with your time. She is really cool.
I cant wait to read Dark Souls and also the 2nd book of Ruined. I love it dark and creepy. To know more about her, visit her blog. And thank you guys for reading my post. Hope you did enjoy it like I did. Cheers!


  1. what other books have you read

  2. So cool. York is exactly as I pictured it with the narrow, stone streets and old buildings. Miranda has spotted a ghost. He really does look like a ghost since he's all blurred out. Such an original cover!


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