Paula Tutman Interview – Paula Tutman, reporter for WDIV Local 4 News in Detroit, is also a local author of the suspense thriller series, “Deadline.” The first book is completed and is about a reporter who gets to the murder scene and does not realize the killer is still there. The murderer, in love with the reporter, continues to kill hoping the reporter will appear at each murder scene so he can see her again.
I had an opportunity to work with Paula Tutman on a WDIV news piece covering the Republican Gubernatorial Debate. I admired how she worked the segment and asked questions that made a difference in the outcome of the coverage. Now, I had the opportunity to do the asking as I interviewed Paula about her published work as an author. I soon realized Paula is just as good at answering the questions as she is at asking them. Paula Tutman Interview…
PAULA TUTMAN INTERVIEW
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – I know how busy you are. How in the heck did you have time to write a novel? How long did it take you to complete it?
Paula Tutman WDIV Reporter and Author – Well, I never wanted to be a reporter. I grew up in a household in which we weren’t even allowed to watch TV. I always wanted to write. My mom says I wrote my first poem at age 3 – I think it was closer to age 6. When I was a child I used to write poetry and short stories on my bed sheets and my mother wouldn’t change them until I was done with a particular chapter. I stumbled into the news business almost 30 years ago-obviously starting when I was 6:). I had no idea that it would give me such rich material to work with. As far as time, it’s an issue. The current book I’m writing, Local Noose has taken less than a year, but because I’m a newlywed and a mother for the first time, it’s been a real challenge to find time to write. Believe it or not, I’ve gotten the latest book done in a total of about 30 days of stealing weekends and evenings when able. I’m actually a pretty fast writer.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – Was it difficult to parlay a reporter’s style of writing into the colorful storytelling of “Deadline!!”? You’re very adept at both.
Paula Tutman WDIV Reporter and Author – No, not at all. And thank you. I write from something I call ‘The Voice’. It really does speak to me. he way I hear the words in my head is exactly the way they go on paper. Dialogue is particularly clear to me. People tell me they can taste my writing. I like that characterization, because I think I’m an honest writer who isn’t TRYING to create…the creation seems to find me where I am and chime into my consciousness. My husband thinks it’s weird.He says when I write, I laugh to myself, whimper, pace, sigh – the whole gamut of emotions that I’m unaware that I’m displaying because I lose myself in the ‘The Voice’ of what’s being said to me.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – As a WDIV reporter, do you find yourself wanting to “paint a picture” more on the stories you report on? This novel seems like a great way for you to expand more on what you see than what a TV newscast would limit you to.
Paula Tutman WDIV Reporter and Author – Interesting observation. One of my author buddies called my writing FACTION. Someone else observed that I write with a social conscience. I think both are true. I keep a little notebook with me at all times, and jot down crazy, interesting, outrageous, poignant, fascinating things that I can use in my writing later. And yes, I do get to expand on things as I write for fiction. I also get to change the ending, which is the most fun. It’s like creating my own little world, and I’m the boss. What I say goes. I like the creative control of this little world I’ve built. But because I write from that little voice, sometimes I don’t know what’s going to happen next. Sometimes I’m as surprised as the reader.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – Your novel paints an excellent picture of the “behind the scenes” work of a TV reporter. Is the “behind the scenes” work your favorite part of your work in television reporting or just the most interesting?
Paula Tutman WDIV Reporter and Author – Wow, I can tell you read the book, thank you! Yeah. If you like watching the news, or even if you don’t – you’ll get a real and accurate picture of why we do things the way we do things. ou might ask yourself why do we cover some stories and not others? Those questions are answered in the book.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – Have you ever felt like you were in danger on any of your WDIV reporting assignments?
Paula Tutman WDIV Reporter and Author – Absolutely. I’ve gotten into some very dangerous scrapes, especially as a police reporter. I’ve been shot at, kicked at and threatened. I’ve had three stalkers that I know of.
Lisa LaGrou of Oakland County Moms – What motivated you to pitch your Autism Awareness special to WDIV?
Paula Tutman WDIV Reporter and Author – Wow, you do pay attention. When I got out of college I actually taught Autistic Adolescents. I studied Therapeutic Theatre in college and had planned to work with children with disabilities as a life career…but alas, I stumbled into television news and became a writer. But I still wanted to shine a light on the topic; show how tough it is for some of these parents, and how little support many get. I wanted people to not turn away from something they didn’t understand, but look at it for what it is and try not to judge harshly.
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