GOTHIC READERS BOOK CLUB CHOICE AWARD WINNER
★★★★★ Outstanding Fiction “Dazzling sums up Paula Cappa’s paranormal/supernatural novel … an elegance and grace that seduces you.”
BRONZE MEDAL WINNER, Readers’ Favorite Book Award for Supernatural Fiction, 2014 “Beautiful and high standard writing style from start to finish … a superb and classy supernatural novel.” Readers’ Favorite Reviews
“Paula Cappa is a master of the metaphysical mystery genre…an extraordinary and original storyteller of the first rank. Very highly recommended.” Midwest Book Review.
I sometimes find an Author that jumps out at me, no, not in a scary way like from around the corner. Instead they jump out at me with words. They capture the imagination, the senses and give that subtle sense of not quite fear but that classic something. Yes, for a writer I am having a difficult time capturing exactly what I mean here. So instead of continuing to describe an Author that captures a classic style in a modern manner, let me introduce you to . . .
RW: Where are you from?
PAULA: Grew up in Connecticut but now live in New York State.
RW: I know you like to discover new authors, but I think one way to give our readers a feel for who you are in style of writing is to let them know who you admire.
PAULA: Writers that I admire greatly are Susan Hill, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Tolstoy, Lovecraft, MR James, Poe, Chekhov, Gertrude Atherton, Ann Rice, Daphne du Marier.
RW: With those classic influences of admiration, what in turn brings you to writing, writing fiction, a novel, do what you do?
PAULA: I began writing fiction in college. Then dabbled in it in my adults years, but it wasn’t until I began writing feature articles for community newspapers in New York and Connecticut that I really dove in. I took a summer writing course at Yale and that motivated me to commit and I went back to fiction. I’ve been writing short stories and novels and will continue to stay in fiction.
RW: I think if would be very unlikely anyone would be surprised that The Dazzling Darkness falls into the supernatural mystery/quiet horror/dark fiction genres. Tell us about your novel.
PAULA: The Dazzling Darkness is about a family. Their son goes missing and there’s evidence that he was inside a locked cemetery near his house. Supernatural powers prevail as the police and the family struggled to locate the child.
The main character is Antonia Brooke, a mom who owns a local bookshop in Concord MA. This is a story about a lost child and so many moms and dads have that fear. And it’s fear that propels the story. Fear of never finding Henry again and that some supernatural power will be stronger than our earthly powers.
Henry Vaughan (1600s) made the term dazzling darkness famous in his poem, The Night, which I quote at the opening of the novel …His line reads, “A deep but dazzling darkness.” Actually, it was originally coined by Dionysius (500 AD). Dionysius says, “Truth lies hidden in the dazzling darkness.” I found this symbolism for what Henry discovers to be a good representation. The poem emphasizes light can only be seen from the darkness. Essentially Vaughan is telling us that we can see more than just surface reality.
The novel actually developed from a line in one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essays in his address called Nature. He wrote … “Even the corpse has its own beauty.” Shocking statement, right? The more I read about Emerson’s personal experiences with death, the more the story began to take shape. Emerson lost his young wife Ellen only a short time after they were married. He buried her in the family vault and a year later, still driven by intense grief, he opened her coffin. What a heart-breaking experience! And then twenty-five years later, after his young son Waldo dies at five-years-old, Emerson opened his coffin as well. These images all connected for me: images of a cemetery, images of a boy named Henry suddenly appeared, coffins opening. The story just unraveled in a very exciting way and Emerson was that foundation.
RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?
PAULA: That we don’t know everything about this world or what may be on the other side of death.
RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?
PAULA: Not to close off possibilities to answers.
RW: Describe your book in one word.
Paula Cappa is currently is published by Crispin Books in Milwaukee, WI. With:
“Night Sea Journey, A Tale of the Supernatural” is about angels and demons. An artist named Kip Livingston paints her dreams. In one of her dreams is a firehawk. What is a firehawk? Probably not what you think. The thing about the firehawk is that it’s not just in her dreams. The entity breaks through into her waking life. And the firehawk has something shocking to reveal to Kip”.
She also has a short story, “Beyond Castle Frankenstein” about Mary Shelly seeking the ghost of her husband out in Journals of Horror: Found Fiction, an anthology of shorts.
What’s out next from Paula?
“A novel about the supernatural powers in music. And some short stories (Just got my short story “Magic of the Loons,” published in Dark Gothic Resurrected Ezine on Amazon.)”
Now for my off the topic questions to delve into your inner being.
RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?
PAULA: I’m a tea drinker (love teapots!)
RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?
PAULA: Take a nature walk, listen to music or watch reruns of Downton Abbey.
RW: What book are you reading at this time?
PAULA: Pierced Heart by Lynn Shepherd.
RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?
PAULA: Keep studying and practicing the craft. The goal is to be a professional writer, not just get published.
RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?
PAULA: I wish I wrote Susan Hill’s The Woman in Black. The best ghost story! Hill is a master at writing atmospheric prose and she can plot very tightly.
RW: What is your favorite word?
Connect with Paula Cappa:
Offers a free classic short story every week, my own published short stories, book reviews, and a contact me page.
Facebook: Paula Cappa
Google+: Paula Cappa
I think everyone can see how Paula might be able to make you jump just with her words. I want to thank Paula Cappa for this interview. I found her influences interesting in being the classics, those many of us grew up with. Who among us did not read Poe and Hawthorne in Lit class in High School? Anne Rice is a classic of the modern era in her imagery. With those authors firing the synapses in Paula’s brain you just know you are in for an interesting and perhaps sleepless read.
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