“Paula Dombrowiak grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois but currently lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She is the author of Blood and Bone, her first adult romance novel which combines her love of music and imperfect relationships. Paula is a lifelong music junkie, whose wardrobe consists of band T-shirts and leggings which are perpetually covered in pet hair. Music is what inspires her storytelling.”
“Paula is currently working on a sequel to Blood and Bone which focuses on Hayley O’Donnell’s music career while living in her father’s shadow. Bound to Burn will be released on November 30, 2021.”
Where are you from?
“I am originally from Chicago, IL. A midwest girl at heart but I currently live in Phoenix, AZ”
When did you first realize you wanted to be an author?
“My whole life I wanted to be an author. Life got in the way and by happenstance I pursued a different career but writing was always in my heart.”
What is your favorite genre to read?
“I love YA Fantasy, they have all the angst with a fantastical element that takes you away from real life.”
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
“Maggie Stiefvater is one of my favorite authors who writes young adult fantasy and her writing style is very simple, too the point but contains very unique plots. She’s edgy, fun and a tad dark. I also like Cassandra Clare because her writing style is very poetically descriptive with these rich storylines and deep characters. There is also Madeline Sheehan who writes darker romance. She taught me it was ok to show that love is sometimes ugly and painful. I feel like, or at least I hope, that I convey a mix of all three of them. I like really developed flawed characters, with an edge and a tinge of darkness.”
What was the inspiration for the Blood and Bone novel?
“Years ago there was a popular TV series about a country star who had a very deep bond with her guitar player. Although they wrote wonderful music together, the relationship was a bit toxic and co-dependendant but there was so much love between them. I loved the idea of exploring two people who had such a strong bond the intensity made it volatile. I’m a sucker for a redeemable villain and I’m a music junkie so combining the two seemed to be a perfect fit. Before I even put pen to paper, there was one song that kept playing over in my mind and it was One Republic’s Wherever I Go and I feel like that one song embodies the novel perfectly, it provided the overall mood for the storyline.”
What is the future for the characters?
“Will there be a sequel? I am currently working on the sequel, Bound to Burn, which will be released later this year. It focuses more on Hayley O’Donnell’s music career while living in her famous fathers shadow. While Blood and Bone was influenced by grunge bands of the ‘ 0s, (Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Green Day), Bound to Burn is influenced by the alternative rock scene of present day. Think of The Lumineers meets Sofi Tukker. If you don’t know who they are, well, you have some homework to do, ha ha.
As for what are the future of the gang in Blood and Bone, Jack, Erin, Cash, Wade, Adam and Amber will all be in the sequel. Some with bigger parts than others. I don’t feel like I’m finished with Jack and Erin yet.”
What do you think makes a great story?
“Well developed characters that you can relate to. I’m all about the human connection, and I gotta have all the feels. In a story I don’t want to be told how to feel or how the character feels, I want to immerse myself in that characters brain and feel everything they are going through, the pain, the joy and the passion. To me, that’s a winning story every time no matter what genre it is.”
What advice can you give to an unpublished author?
“First, as a writer, you have to be true to yourself, tell your story how you feel it because each voice is unique and there is a reader for every story.
Second, Read, Read Read!!! That’s how you learn what is out there in your genre and you get a taste of different writing styles, what aspects of the story you like and the ones you don’t. I think people learn from non-examples the most because you know what to avoid.
Lastly, Write, Write, Write, because the more you write, the more you learn. Sometimes it’s trial and error but you always learn from each mistake as well as build upon those areas that go well.”
I want to thank Paula Dombrowiak for participating in our Debut Author Spotlight for February 2021.
Interview done by HVDB Book Life