Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Teen Book Scene: Dark Souls's Miranda (This or That List)

Introducing the author of Dark Souls, 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.
Paula's first novel, Queen of Beauty, won best first work of fiction at the 2003 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Hibiscus Coast, a literary thriller set in Auckland and Shanghai, was published in 2005 and has been optioned for film. Her third novel, Trendy But Casual, a comedy set in New York, was published by Penguin New Zealand in 2005. Paula is also the editor of The Penguin Book of Contemporary New Zealand Short Stories (2009).
Paula's first short story collection, Forbidden Cities (2008) was a regional finalist in the 2009 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. 
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. 
Paula is the director of the Scudder Road Circus and Literary Journal. Currently, Scudder Road is neither selling tickets nor accepting submissions. 

Start with the basics: Lip gloss or Chapstick?
Miranda’s a no-nonsense girl, so I think she’d go for chapstick.

Cafe or Bakery?
When she’s in England, Miranda goes to a great place in York called Betty’s CafĂ© Tea Rooms. (You can see it here: Back in the US, she lives in a Midwestern college town, and hangs out sometimes in coffee houses. Maybe something like the Java House in Iowa City. ( But she’s not a coffee drinker. Miranda is a big fan of hot chocolate.

Ghosts or Angels?
Since her best friend died in a car accident, Miranda can see ghosts. That’s the trouble: she can see them everywhere.

Fantasy or Reality?
There’s so much of the supernatural in her daily life, I think Miranda would rather read realist fiction. Though ever since she started traveling with her family, she’s been an avid fan of the reality TV show THE AMAZING RACE.

Boots or sneaks?
Sneakers at home most of the time. In York she buys some high-heeled suede ankle boots, even though she knows she’ll hardly ever wear them.

TV shows or movies?
Miranda likes watching whole TV series on DVD. Right now I think she and her brother, Rob, are watching the creepy Danish (original) version of THE KILLING.

Cell phone or iPod?
She wants an iPhone but can’t afford it. So Miranda has an old cell phone she keeps dropping, and a Nano she got for Christmas a couple of years ago.

Love interest: Real or Incorporeal?
Hmmm. She meets someone in York, but if you want to know if he’s real or not, you’ll have to read the book …

Music: jazz or pop?
Actually, Miranda has a secret passion for classical music. (Her mom conducts an orchestra.) Though she still really likes The xx, and wishes they’d release another album.

Chocolate or Peanut Butter?
Chocolate, every time. 

Thanks to Paula and Teen Book Scene!