Today, at PBHQ, I have a wonderful guest who writes beautiful emotional books that serve to remind us of some of the evil atrocities carried out by man that should never be forgotten or happen again. Please make yourself comfortable, help your shelf to a glass of chilled bubby and meet award winning author, Paulette Mahurin.
First let me say a heartfelt thank you Pauline, for having me over to your blog site. And for all the generosity you have shown to me, and so many others.
My inspiration comes from what interests me in life. What opens my heart? My compassion? I don’t write from a “story idea” but rather a topic: homophobia, racism, anti-Semitism, etc. Topics that I don’t really understand and want to know more about. On a personal level, and so it is this personal desire that invites me into characters lives, whether real or imagined.
My first book came about in a writing class, from a photo of two women
circa 1890s, standing close together and not looking too happy. The late 1890s
was a ripe time for homophobia. To be specific in 1895 Oscar Wilde fell victim
to England’s indecency law change. That’s when it became a criminal offense and
he was tried and sent to prison for having an affair with another man. That hit
me right in the gut. Being imprisoned for an intimate involvement with the
person you love is cruel punishment. Wilde’s story fascinated me and so I
incorporated the photo of the women into his imprisonment. I made them lesbians
on the frontier in Nevada impacted by Wilde’s incarceration. The story flowed
forth from that premise.
My other books, the story lines, followed a similar path. Emile Zola’s
speaking out to help Alfred Dreyfus became my book, To Live Out Loud. The
Seven Year Dress was based on a woman I rented a room from while in
college; an Auschwitz survivor. After I wrote that book, my attention went back
to 1895, to Booker T. Washington’s Atlanta address. His struggled to educate
freed slaves. From there came my story, The Day I Saw The Hummingbird,
about a young slave boy who escaped to freedom on the underground railway.
Along the way, kindhearted people helped shelter him. On his journey, he
learned to read and write—an illegal act at the time. My attention then went
back to WW2 and the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and Vichy France—the
impact the resistance had on helping Jewish people. I became fascinated with
heroes who risked much to help many. I wrote about those heroes; real people
with little known about them. People often ask me if I’m bothered by writing
about heavy topics. No, I tell them. I’m inspired by the kindness, the decency,
the resilience that springs forth in the worst of times. These are the seeds
that grow my stories. The essence of what inspires me.
My next book is another story of German occupation in the Netherlands. Specifically, it deals with three people who helped rescue over 600 young Jewish children. On the main street in Amsterdam was a theater, a daycare, and a college. The theater was a deportation center for Jews. The Jewish children aged 12 and younger were housed across the street at the daycare. The daycare shared a backyard hedge with the college. The Jewish man managing the theater, the Jewish woman managing the daycare, and the Christian head of the college worked with the Resistance to help smuggle some of the smaller children under the age of three from the daycare to the college. In a box, a laundry bag, otherwise hidden, the children were moved over the hedge out through the college to be transported to safe houses. In the few months in 1943 over 600 children were saved. Based on a true story, my upcoming book, Over the Hedge, is about their rescue.
For many years, writing was a hobby, a secondary love to my main profession. A health care provider. I worked in the second busiest ER in LA county for many years. Writing help me maintain my sanity. Writing has always been a comfort and enjoyment for as long as I can remember. As a child I wrote in a diary. Then short stories. Two of my short stories won contests with one being published in college. My full time writing career happened by chance. I took sick with a chronic illness and was unable to do much more than move my fingers. Again, writing was a sanctuary for me. Eventually, a lot of my health returned and I took the writing class where I saw the photo of the women. My first book sprang from that well. I got lucky with its success. I haven’t stopped writing. Over the Hedge is my tenth book.
You can find more about Paulette and her books at the following…
Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Paulette-Mahurin/e/B008MMDUGO
Thank you Paulette for taking time out to come along and talk about your wonderful books. Thank you too wonderful visitors for joining us today. I hope Paulette’s story has inspired you to take a look at her books.
Take good care of yourself and I hope the sun is shining on your face and in your heart.