At Gothic Bite Magazine, we love welcoming new patients to become part of our asylum. We question them and learn about them. It doesn’t matter what creative field they are part of because they’re our patients now. This week, we welcome Paula Phillips.
Patient Name: Paula Phillips
Hi, my name is Paula Phillips. I live in New Zealand and have always had a passion for books and writing. I have been running a book blog since July 2010, when I decided to combine my passion for reading books and writing reviews and to share my knowledge of books with the world.
I have also been writing online for various publications since 2006-2007, after I finished my second bit of study, a Diploma in Freelance Journalism.
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I now have a variety of qualifications under my belt after studying for just over ten years, as learning is another one of my passions.
I am also a bit of an introvert and one of those ‘do not judge a person by their cover’ personalities.
Also, I am a big reader and read about three-hundred-and-fifty books a year. I do not skim or speed-read. I remember everything I read, as I have a slight eidetic memory.
GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: Why did you decide to write for Gothic Bite Magazine?
PAULA PHILLIPS: I decided to write for GBM because I wanted to get back into writing. I had stopped writing after my mum died and felt the urge to get back into it.
I also loved that I could write about serial killers and things that interested me that most people think are weird and shy away from if you talk about the ‘dark things of life,’ like crime and murder, etc.
GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What do you like the most about Gothic Bite Magazine?
PAULA PHILLIPS: I love that you can write about your speciality since I am more knowledgeable in supernatural hauntings and serial killers, which I enjoy discussing.
The group of writers has a community feel, are non-judgemental and accept you for who you are.
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GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What does the word “Gothic” mean to you?
PAULA PHILLIPS: The word ‘Gothic’ is extensive. But I think it represents someone who likes or is interested in things that ‘normal’ people think are a little dark.
GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What do you think people and society need to know about gothic people?
PAULA PHILLIPS: Not all gothic people wear dark make-up, practise Wicca or are Pagans. Even the all-American good girl could be into the gothic style.
Just look at me: I read, love to dye my hair bright colours, love cute things and superheroes and love listening to pop, country, and alternative music. I even attend church and read my bible.
I am a geek and a nerd, but on the other hand, I love the gothic world as I am a big fan of true crime, the darkness behind fairy tales, nursery rhymes, and the underbelly of the world.
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Examples are torture, cannibalism, sadism, and what drives people to kill. I find it all so fascinating. The biggest takeaway is: don’t Judge someone by their appearance.
GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: When writing your articles, do you do research, and if so, how far do you go with your analysis?
PAULA PHILLIPS: Most definitely. I could only write about what I do with research. I enjoy the writing side. But researching is a whole other ballgame.
The research is so fun as it can lead you down so many rabbit holes and can open your eyes to other topics or potential spin-off pieces.
I love learning and have a lot of random facts in my head, as researching is one of my strengths.
GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What is most important to you when writing your articles?
PAULA PHILLIPS: I follow a formula—the introduction must be captivating and the hook of my article. The middle section is about the kill, and the conclusion wraps the whole piece up.
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I also want to put my personality into my writing. If I am not a hundred percent invested in the article or the particular person, then I cannot write an article about them, so the piece gets scrapped, which has happened a few times.
I begin a piece without feeling it, so I cannot get behind that particular person or topic. Therefore, the article in my mind falls flat, and nobody wants to read a ‘flat piece.’
After all, those are what turn people off writing or make them fall asleep, which is a sign of a lousy writer.
GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: Which Gothic people influence you the most in your life?
PAULA PHILLIPS: I don’t have any particular Gothic person that influenced my life. So I will change the question to what drew me into this world, and the first one was Harriet the Spy, who loved solving crimes and mysteries when I was seven.
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My dad introduced me to the world of horror films as he enjoyed them, so we would go to the movies together or get out the videos/DVDs and watch them together—that was our way of bonding.
My interest in true crime started with receiving the Diary of Rachel Scott for my thirteenth birthday, about the Christian girl who died in Columbine. My Christian aunty, who brought me the book, probably didn’t expect it, but this got me into exploring school shootings and, later, other crimes.
It flowed from there, and when I turned fifteen years old, I discovered the world of the supernatural through books, and as I got older, the interest never waned or disappeared.
GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: Which gothic entertainment genre is your favourite and why? I.e., movies, television series, literature, cosplay, conventions, events, music, concerts, etc.
PAULA PHILLIPS: As a reader, literature has been my biggest and then movies. The revival of the slasher flick trope happened during my teens in the nineties and Y2K.
We don’t have any gothic conventions here, but they would be fascinating and extraordinary to attend.
GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: Do you believe in the paranormal? By that, I mean in hauntings, creatures out in the wild that we still don’t know the existence of?
PAULA PHILLIPS: I am on the fence about this. I believe there are ghosts and some things that we can’t explain, as even in Christianity-Pentecostal, there is the ‘Holy Ghost,’ which could be viewed as a paranormal entity.
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As for supernatural creatures, there could be some. It can make sense why some people are cannibals etc. or only love drinking blood. I draw my line, though, at extraterrestrials. I personally don’t believe in them.
GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What was your reaction when you found out you’d be a regular writer for Gothic Bite Magazine
PAULA PHILLIPS: I was excited. I could finally write about serial killers and true crime and get back into writing, which I wanted.
I love writing. It’s a passion, and I get excited and overjoyed when I see my work online for the world to read.
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GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What do you wish Gothic Bite Magazine could do to be more popular on the gothic scene? I.e., podcasting, vlogging, live ghost hauntings, etc.
PAULA PHILLIPS: Podcasting could be cool, or having a print magazine more regularly. I’m personally not a video person myself and prefer writing. But having a physical magazine with my articles in it would be amazing.
If we could do something to bring the Gothic community together, that would be awesome, even little meet-ups in certain places.
GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: What can readers expect from Paula Phillips in 2023?
PAULA PHILLIPS: I had a rocky start to 2023. So, I plan to get back into writing more regularly. I want to open readers to new serial killers and true crime that they never knew about. Bringing the obscure and unknowns into the light.
GOTHIC BITE MAGAZINE: Where will Gothic Bite Magazine bring you in the coming years?
PAULA PHILLIPS: It will help me continue to build my writing portfolio and get my name out there regarding writing articles. It will also increase, on a personal level, my skill of writing and knowledge bank.