Paula Toyneti Benalia: Brazilian Author


Paola Scott, MS Fayes, Carol Dias, Paula, me

Paola is a Brazilian author of the historical romance novel O dia em que te amei (Deusas de Londres Livro 1), and contemporary romances O Doce sabor da vingança, Por um amor como dos livros, O doce sabor do desejo, O doce sabor da justiça and Inexplicável Amor.

She has the most sensational hair, reaching below her hips – it’s mesmerizing. On the trip to Brazil where I met her, she was accompanied by her delightful mother, and it was such fun getting to know them both (and be hugged a lot!)

She’s married and lives in Santa Adélia.

Translator: Carol Dias


How long have you been writing romance and what do you like about it?

I’ve been writing for two years. I love to give life to the characters and put all my crazy ideas on paper so I can bring this to readers.


What inspired you to write romance?

A lot of things. Music, something that’s happened to me, anything really.


What was the initial motivation or inspiration?

I always liked romance, I always wanted to be a writer. There was a moment when I could fit this into my life and start writing. It wasn’t a specific moment but it was the right time in my life. I was more more mature, and it was a more stable time of my life when I could develop this.


Which book are you most proud of?

O dia em que te amei. It’s my first historical romance, set in nineteenth-century London, and I’m proud because it reached lots of people. The characters are British, too. 

It’s about a lady who has been brought up to be the perfect wife but she’s not perfect! She’s trying to find a husband but no-one is right. Then she meets a Duke who has his own hidden agenda; he wants to find the least suitable woman he can in revenge for the way his family treated his sister who was kicked out of the family home because she wasn’t perfect.

They marry, but she’s not happy because she wants real love. He tries to tame her, and she has to do what he wants at home, but the opposite in public. But then …. no spoilers!

In another book, I killed a character, but not in this book.


How did you do your research?

It was hard because I had to learn about a country I’ve never been to. It’s difficult to learn about British history. I used to read historical romances so the language and style is familiar. I’m a fan of Julia Quinn.


What do your family think of your success?

They’re all proud and go to events with me, but they’re not readers and they haven’t read my books. They don’t know about the erotic scenes! Definitely not my husband. If he read them, I’d be as red as a tomato.


What do you enjoy about meeting readers?

I love the hugs, and all the love and affection they give to me, that I feel I’m an author in their hearts. In Brazil, we love each other deeply and we love to give hugs and kisses.

[JHB: I’d have to agree! There are English hugs… and then there are Brazilian hugs—“I need to breathe now!” LOL]


What’s the most difficult part of being a writer?

To find a good publisher in Brazil is difficult. I traveled a long way to find The Gift Box. There’s only a small independent culture, and it feels like readers don’t value those as much. There’s a lot of piracy, too, so that’s difficult.


What was your favorite childhood book?

I have a lot of favourites but two are special: O Pequeno Príncipe [The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry] and Vagalume series [Firefly by Jen Minkman].

These books all talk about the problems of teenagers: family, loss, love. I always wanted to be a psychologist, so these books helped.


Is being interested in psychology important to a writer?

I’m not a psychologist anymore but I worked with people who had problems in childhood, and this experience is reflected in my characters.


Describe yourself in three words

Impulsive, intense, determined


What piece of advice would you give to readers to help them in their lives?

Dream more and dream about love like it is in books! One of my books is Por um amor como dos livros [For love like in books].


What do you enjoy about meeting other authors?

Everything! We come from different countries, cities and religions, but we come together for the same goal. We have different views but still inspire each other.


What’s special about a Gift Box event?

The love that people have for the authors, the event and the publisher. Lots of people come again and again, so that’s really special.


What is your philosophy of life?

Live like there’s no tomorrow. I’ll spend all my money today because there’s no tomorrow.


What are you working on now?

A secret project for Gift Box! I’m also working on the second book in the series Deusas de Londres


How many books have you had published now?



Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?

To have a lot of books published and selling all over the world!


What place in the world would you most like to visit?

Dubai. I like glamorous things and that would be Dubai.


How do you feel about the way women are treated in Islamic countries like Dubai?

That’s interesting. That’s one of the things I’d like to know because I’d like to write a book set in Dubai. If I know more about the culture I can understand better.


Where are you from?

A city Santa Adélia near São Paulo. A small city, so it’s calm and only 15,000 people live there. There’s no traffic or violence, and I can walk alone at night.


Do you have any pets?

No. I killed the fish I had as a pet! I don’t cook for my husband either! I like pets, that’s why I don’t have anymore!

[This gal cracks me up!]


Any final word for your readers?

Thank you for the love and affection. I promise that I’ll write a lot of books if you let me.



IG @paula_benalia

Facebook: Paula Toyneti Benalia escritora