East Kilbride author Paula Johnston talks joy as first book sold at Glasgow Waterstones

A self-published author has spoken of the “surreal” experience of seeing his first book on sale at Waterstones.

Paula Johnston published her first novel, The Lies She Told, on Amazon in August 2020, where it quickly climbed the bestseller list.

The psychological thriller reached number 13 in Romantic Suspense and number 48 in Psychological Fiction and sold over 10,000 copies.

Photo by Paula Johnston

Now, after more than a year on the job, the East Kilbride author has spoken of the “incredible” experience of seeing his book on sale at Waterstones following its release in the Glasgow Fort store on Monday February 14.

Paula said: “It was mind blowing, honestly, I’ve never felt anything like this in my life before, it was just a very surreal feeling.”

The 31-year-old wrote the book while working in an office as an administrator, spending her lunch break writing before finishing it at home during lockdown.

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After a year and a half of writing, she took classes to learn how to self-publish the book and even designed the cover and did the marketing herself, fulfilling a ‘lifetime dream’

Paula said: “I always wanted to be a writer when I was younger.

“For about five years I had been writing on pieces of A4 paper and drawing a cover to go with it.

“I studied journalism in college, dropped out and just felt there was something else I was going to do rather than reporting and that kind of stuck with me. until I decided to take the plunge one day and give it a try.”

Glasgow Times: Photo by Paula JohnstonPhoto by Paula Johnston

For The Lies She Told, Paula used her previous dating experience as inspiration for the book.

She said: “I had previous experience with online dating and I’ve spoken to a few people over there and it was just ‘what could be the worst case scenario if something got out of hand’, so I I just followed that.”

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Paula found out shortly before Christmas that people were going to Waterstones asking if the book was in stock, which helped speed up the process of getting the book into the store.

She said: “Everyone has been so supportive and I’ve thought the general reading community on social media has been amazing, they’ve really taken the book and they’ve shared it all over the place and that’s really those who have him where he is spreading the word.

“I’m really grateful to everyone behind me.”

After the success of her first book, Paula now writes full time and says it’s a little more “scary” to write her second novel.

She said: “It’s a bit slower than the first time just because I think there are more eyes on me this time, but I hope a lot of people enjoy this one more.

“I think it might be my favorite, so hopefully, fingers crossed, other people think so too.”

The Lies She Told is available for purchase as an ebook, audiobook, paperback and hardcover at Amazon and water stones.

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