Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a “Prune Picker,” though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.
The rustic San Francisco Bay Area countryside, the quaint small town in which he grew up, and the colorful people who once lived there, have all teamed to fertilize his ever-churning mind with stories that are yearning to be told.
From his earliest days in high school, his English teachers saw some raw writing ability in him, both for fiction and non-fiction, and urged him to pursue his dream of being a writer. In college his creative writing professors also encouraged him to mold his ability into a talent.
After settling on a career as an environmental biologist, where he’s written numerous technical publications, the stories swarming through his mind kept crying to get out. So Paul began writing fiction, but only as a hobby at first. He has recently finished his first novel,Bridgetown High, and is working on his second. Paul intends to keep letting his stories out through future novels.
Most importantly, why don’t you tell me a bit about yourself?
Originally I’m from a small town in Northern California called Port Costa. I attended the small, 3-room, grammar school there until the ninth grade, when I went to the much larger high school (John Swett High School) in the neighbouring town of Crockett.
After graduation, I attended Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill, California until the Vietnam war made me enlist with the U.S. Air Force. I served in the AF for nearly 4 years and spent most of that time in Germany. After discharge, I attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah where I met and married my wife.
I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Range Science and a minor in Wildlife Biology. I
worked in Oregon for a short time, but now we make Taylorsville, Utah. We have four children, two and two, and 14 grandchildren.
What has your career as a writer been like?
Frustrating. My novel “Bridgetown High” has garnered several great reviews. Everyone who has read it has loved it. However, few people are aware of its existence. So, a lot of my spare time is spent marketing.
What do you aspire for the future of your career?
I would like to write more novel, many of which are currently swimming around in my head, including a sequel to “Bridgetown High.”
What are you working on at the minute?
A sequel to “Bridgetown High.”
What genre do you typically write and what draws you to it?
I love historic settings. I grew up near an old railroad terminal at the end of a railroad town, with historic buildings and houses. Even as a youth, my home town combined with the rustic San Francisco Bay Area countryside, and the colorful people who once lived there, all teamed to fertilize my ever-churning mind with fictional stories that are yearning to be told. From my earliest days in high school, my English teachers saw some raw writing ability in me, both for fiction and non-fiction, and urged me to pursue my dream of being a writer. In college, I had creative writing professors who also encouraged me to mold my ability into a talent.
What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?
I got serious about being published several years ago when the idea for Bridgetown High
wouldn’t let me go. So, several years ago, I realized I could write during my lunch breaks and began penning some of the early scenes that did not become a part of my novel. Over the years, I’ve kept up with my writing regimen of writing for a half-hour a day until I finally finished and published BridgeTown High.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
No. I just try to find a quiet half-hour and put pen to paper, or keyboard to computer.
For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?
I really do prefer paperbacks or hard back books, but I find a lot of my recent purchases have been for the electronic versions
Do you have any advice for young writers?
Yes. Come visit my blog on web site (www.paulwwest.com). I have been giving writing ideas and suggestions in my blog entries titled “Everyone Wants To Be An Author.”
What is your favorite book and why?
Oh, wow. There are so many. Aside from the Holy Scriptures, Jack London was my first mentor. I could name off numerous other authors I’ve tried to emulate including John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, Richard Paul Evans, Dean Hughes, James Mitchner, and many others.
Favorite movie adaptation from a book?
After I’ve read the book, I rarely go to see the movie adaptation. I really prefer to read the story. However, I enjoy a good WWII movie such as “The Longest Day.” I also love drama movies if it’s not over done. Even though the current TV shows are largely police, detective, etc., and are totally fake, I enjoy the personal dramas depicted in them anyway.