41 writers. One cause. We've rallied a platoon of crime, western, thriller, fantasy, noir, horror and transgressive authors to support PROTECT's important work: lobbying for legislation that protects children from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

Powerful stories from George Pelecanos, Andrew Vachss, Joe R. Lansdale, Charles de Lint, Ken Bruen, Chet Williamson, James Reasoner, Charlie Stella, Michael A. Black, Wayne Dundee, Roxane Gay, Ray Banks, Tony Black, Les Edgerton and 16 more, with 100% of proceeds going to PROTECT.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

a little about... Paula Pahnke

Paula contributed her story "Mommy is Still Sleeping" to the challenge, and begins writing for Cineawesome next month. If she told you to jump off the Brooklyn bridge, you would.

What inspired your story?

The parameters of the project, alone, were enough to inspire. I think this subject could (and did) bring together a kaleidoscopic group of people who’d all come to the same compassionate consensus, but I was struck, largely, by Fiona Johnson’s plea for "clever stories that don’t rely on tales of abuse or overt violence...” I connected so much with the understanding that not all abuse makes headlines and not all wounds leave physical scars. The story is loosely based on the reminiscence of a friend which had initially begun as banter about the annoyance of older siblings and slowly became the solemn tale of solitude from the point of view of the middle child in a single parent home.

What makes this cause important to you?

I live with my best friend and her 10-year-old daughter and though I don’t have any children of my own, that little spitfire of a girl is a treasure beyond proper description. I see how she approaches the world with such fearlessness and excitement, how she embraces people with such warmth and acceptance and the passion she exudes in everything she does. My biggest fear for her is that in an instant she could be robbed of that. There is nothing more heartbreaking than the moment you see a child lose their innocence before their time. There are so many devastating challenges a child may have to face, whether it’s personal illness, neglect, physical abuse or beyond. I think every young person, from baby to adolescent, deserves the chance to see the world as a wonder for as long as they possibly can.

Tell us a bit about yourself and where to find more of your writing.

I remember writing Sweet Valley Girl-style fiction when I was in the fifth grade and having my Father act as editor. I'd always considered myself a writer until it was instilled in me that writing was a hobby; So I thought I'd be a filmmaker instead, and spent most of my college years not actually going to class but exploring the inner workings of film and television sets and traveling everywhere I had a friendly couch to crash on. One day I decided it was time to grow up, finish school and get a real job. It wasn't until I realized that being a grown-up and a creative dreamer weren't mutually exclusive, that I began my creative recovery and I've been writing ever since.

1 comment:

  1. Paula, thanks for your kind words and I'm so pleased you understood exactly where I was coming from for the challenge. Many thanks.