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An Interview with Paula Banks


Paula Banks, a natural storyteller, discovered her talent for crafting compelling narratives during her high school years. Today, she juggles her roles as a writer and Implementation Specialist with ease, effortlessly balancing her professional and creative pursuits. Alongside her literary endeavors, Paula takes pride in raising two successful sons and supporting her spouse. Drawing inspiration from her life experiences, Paula continuously hones her storytelling skills.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

Ann Martin, the genius behind the Babysitters Club book series, ignited my passion for writing. When I discovered her books, I knew I wanted to emulate her style. Now, with my own book series, Peyton’s Journeys, I’m living that dream.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

I wanted to blend two passions of mine: writing and hip hop. Both have been a source of support during tough times in my life and continue to be so today. Combining them feels like a natural extension of me.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

I initially titled my book “Peyton’s Rap-Tastic Adventure,” but when I uploaded it to KDP to begin the publishing process, I made a last-minute change to “Peyton’s Hip-Hop Adventure.” This decision was influenced by further research on SEO, prompting me to make the switch.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

Peyton does have a curated playlist featuring her favorite hip-hop songs. I believe these tracks would serve as an ideal soundtrack for the book.

Kendrick Lamar: “Now or Never”

Will Smith: “Gettin’ Jiggy wit It”

MC Hammer: “Can’t Touch This”

Nas: “I Can”

Kris Cross: “Jump”

Post Malone: “Sunflower”

A Tribe Called Quest: “Can I Kick It:?”

Drake: “God’s Plan”

OutKast: “Hey Ya!”

Webstar and Young B: “Chicken noodle soup”

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

Writing isn’t my full-time job, though I’m striving toward making it one! When I’m not penning writing stories, I work as an Implementation Specialist for a company I’ve been dedicated to for 18 years.

Here’s a fun tidbit readers might not know about me: I’m a huge fan of old TV shows and movies. You’ll often catch me binging classics like Alice and Charlie’s Angels whenever I have some downtime.

What books did you read (for research or comfort) throughout your writing process?

When I’m in writing mode, I find myself drawn to children’s books for inspiration and to explore what’s out there. Additionally, I make sure to read books that uplift me spiritually, as the writing process can sometimes shift from exciting to challenging in the blink of an eye.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

I hope everyone who reads my book takes away one thing: pursue your dreams. Regardless of your age or circumstances, you owe it to yourself to chase what you want. It took me 46 years to act on a dream that had been hidden in my heart. Don’t wait like I did—be better, pursue your dreams NOW!

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

atmosphere press

Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.