Another Stories Behind the Shelves! Featuring Paula Stokes *applause*

As a part of her Street team for The Art of Lainey (a great light read you should definitely check out!) Paula kindly agreed on writing a post for my Stories Behind the Shelves Feature. So without stalling, I present to you, a little peek into Paula Stokes’ shelves!


Hi. I’m Paula. I heart firefighters, Oxford commas, Iron Man, the movie The Crow, and lots of other good stuff. I wrote The Art of Lainey. If you want a book that makes you smile and feel hopeful and happy, you should check it out. It’s totally not my fault if you start dating guys with mohawks and neck tattoos, though. Be sure to tell your mom that ;-)

Iris wanted the stories behind my shelves. My actual shelves got beat to crap when I moved from St. Louis, MO to Portland, OR last year. But that’s okay, because my happiness has increased like five-thousandfold since I moved. PSA: if you feel like you’re living in the wrong place, try someplace else. Whoever said you can’t go home again was wrong.

I work as a freelance manuscript consultant and also read a lot of ARCs and manuscripts for writer-friends, so I don’t get to read as many finished books as I would like. I keep hoping someday I’ll have more time, but most writers I know work at least two jobs, so I bet none of us get to read as much as we want. Writerly problems…

Let’s peek at my shelves.

stokes shelf 1

Oh look, the shameless self-promotion shelf! (Say that five times fast! ;-D) I wrote Venom, Belladonna, and Starling in collaboration with the book development company Paper Lantern Lit. The books were published in eight different foreign markets, but I only ever got copies of the U.S. and Australian books. Still, aren’t they pretty? You know how people say they’d buy a book for the cover? I would buy those books just for their spines!

I love the Venom books, but they were written from my brain, whereas The Art of Lainey spilled directly out of my heart, so I feel a lot closer to it.

Moving on…

stokes shelf 2

This is my favorite snap, because there are so many stories here. First, note the right side—I am a practicing registered nurse. That copy of the AORN journal? There’s an editorial piece in there that I wrote back when I was in nursing school. I won 500 dollars for it, which is a princely sum for a nursing student.

Oh look, a copy of the Tao Te Ching. Will there be a follow-up to The Art of Lainey entitled The Tao of Micah? Suffice it to say there is an outline for this book that is hoping to become Micah’s story.

Same Difference is one of my favorite YA contemps ever, and part of the reason I decided to seriously focus on writing. Pick up a copy if you haven’t already. It’s a quiet book but it’s brilliantly written. I’ve been a huge fan of Siobhan Vivian ever since.

On Writing is the best book on writing you could ever buy. I don’t know a single published writer who hasn’t read this book. It doesn’t matter if you read Stephen King or not, you owe it to yourself to read this.

A Tale of Two Centuries is the first book I ever blurbed (as Fiona Paul). I LOVE this book. I love Rachel Harris.

Three translations of The Little Prince. It’s one of my favorite books ever, and when I travel and find myself in bookstores, I always look for it. Someday when I have time to collect stuff, I’m going to try to acquire it in every language (probably about fifty to date). “What’s essential is invisible to the eye. It is only with the heart we can see clearly.” Preach it, Little Prince.

And all the way to the left, a limited edition copy of Dean Koontz’s Velocity. Back in 2012 when Venom was being published (as Fiona Paul) my mom wrote Dean a snail mail (isn’t she cute?) and invited him to my book launch since he was my favorite author all throughout high school. Alas, he couldn’t make it ;-) But he did send me a personal good luck note and some autographed books in celebration of my first publishing deal. How cool is that?

And finally:

stokes shelf 4

Moo says: Remember that bookshelves aren’t always just for books ;-)

I hope you enjoyed this mini-tour of my bookshelves. And I hope you enjoy The Art of Lainey if you manage to snag a copy. Thanks to Iris for hosting me on her blog, even though I’m still trying to figure out what “jexx” means ;-)

About The Art of Lainey

soonSoccer-star Lainey Mitchell is gearing up to spend an epic summer with her amazing boyfriend, Jason, when he suddenly breaks up with her—no reasons, no warning, and in public no less! Lainey is more than crushed, but with help from her friend Bianca, she resolves to do whatever it takes to get Jason back.

And that’s when the girls stumble across a copy of The Art of War. With just one glance, they’re sure they can use the book to lure Jason back into Lainey’s arms. So Lainey channels her inner warlord, recruiting spies to gather intel and persuading her coworker Micah to pose as her new boyfriend to make Jason jealous. After a few “dates”, it looks like her plan is going to work!  But now her relationship with Micah is starting to feel like more than just a game.

What’s a girl to do when what she wants is totally different from what she needs? How do you figure out the person you’re meant to be with, if you’re still figuring out the person you’re meant to be?

About Paula

paulaPaula Stokes is half writer, half RN, and totally thrilled to be part of the world of YA literature. She grew up in St. Louis, Missouri where she graduated from Washington University and the Goldfarb School of Nursing. When she’s not writing, she’s kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers! Find her online at or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.

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I am curious, is anybody else trying to figure out what my blog name means?