Escapism - Hi! I'm Paula Richey, and I create engaging, multimedia stories in several speculative fiction genres from superhero to steampunk. My stories feature strong characters and relationships and focus on the particular strengths women bring to an endeavor.
You love a good epic adventure and a compelling plot - and you want more personality and originality in your favorite genres. You love characters who are treated as real, complex people, like you and like people you know, or who you'd like to know.
I believe that every member of the human race has an infinitely valuable soul. I strive to treat all my characters as people - complex, thinking, feeling human beings. I build nuanced relationships between my characters, and I treat their connections with each other with respect.
I also believe that guilty-pleasure romance and adventure shouldn't feel guilty at all! Fun stories about great characters that are uplifting and inspiring can and should be well-written, and they should be made for you to love. Conflicts, angst, and even tragedy have their place in a good story, but they shouldn't have the last word. I believe in redemption.
Somewhere on the spectrum between pop fluff and dense angst-ridden literature, there is a realm of excitement, adventure, and romance that you can inhabit for the space of a story.
You can get updates on my latest projects, freebies, and available work by signing up for my free newsletter, OtherRealm News. I include a PDF of a five-page prequel as a free sample for you!
Ten Universes of Stories I am on a mission to create ten universes - ten complete story cycles, each in a different subgenre, portrayed in every media I can get my hands on (and my mind around). I am dedicating the first universe, a superhero-genre comic series called Penance Copper, to the A21 Campaign against human trafficking.
"In order to survive, she became a murderer. In order to live, she found purpose. But will she ever be accepted by the heroes she once fought?"
Penance Copper will show you another side of superheroes - the hard, tough, dirty side, and the dedication and faith required to keep going day after day. Leaping in to save the day is the easy part, but committing to a cause, learning to forgive, and breaking free of the past aren't things that superpowers can overcome. Action, adventure, saving the world, and an unlooked-for romance make Penance Copper an engaging escape from the ordinary.
Penance will be offered on a subscription basis, with the majority of profits going to the A21 Campaign. I also have a prequel that details a bit about the other major setting and characters (aside from alternate-universe Earth) that will be featured in the story. Get your PDF of "Penance Copper Special Issue #0: The Origin of Kail" with your free subscription to my email newsletter.
"Your prequel to 'Penance Copper' was beautiful and very engaging. The art had a sensitivity that worked with the story wonderfully, and the story was full of emotion and surprises.... I already care about the characters, and will be sure to subscribe when you make subscriptions available." - GerardLee, author of The New Sons of Thunder
I am working with a fantastic artist, Mia Burgess, to produce a new comic set between our contemporary world and a fantasy realm, exploring souls, grief, destiny, good, evil, and whether humanity can ever truly be lost. I don't think that's going to be as heavy as it sounded just then!
Next up is a steampunk retelling of a favorite fairytale of mine, tentatively titled "Hyperborea," followed by a historical fantasy loosely based on another fairytale, which also gives a nod to the "mori girl" trend and anime. Past that, I have so many ideas and sketches! I'll put the vote to you when the time comes.
Our Escapism Can Free Others I am angry and heartbroken for the hundreds of thousands of women and children (and yes, some men as well) who are betrayed, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. These are people no less human and worthy of freedom than I am, and yet they are stripped of their dignity and exploited on a daily basis. The A21 Campaign is dedicated to finding, rescuing, and sheltering these people, and I am gladly donating my profits from the Penance Copper universe to further their cause. I keep my overhead as low as possible in order to donate the most I can and still keep the site running.
My Personal Story In case you're wondering what kind of background produces this sort of story-crazy, passionate-for-humanity person, I don't know. Here's a bit about where I come from and maybe that will help.
I was educated at home since third grade, which suited me fine. My introverted nature combined with a tendency to honestly speak my mind was very frustrating for the teachers and the other kids were starting to realize I was not conforming well. At the time, my parents had to travel during the school year to supplement our income and homeschool made the most sense of any option. I discovered that I really liked the freedom of learning as much as I wanted about any given thing and went on to college, where I learned, among other things, to write up my own schedule for the entire four years. (My advice to the college-bound - have your goals clear and your schedule put together from the info in the catalogue before you ever step into your advisor's office.) I graduated from Anderson College in 2003, with honors, a B. A. in English, and an award for Communication-Writing.
Then, between getting married, several deaths in the family, buying a not-so-great house with step-family post-funeral drama attached, and having a baby, every ounce of ambition, confidence, and hope was drained from me. Things did not look good for awhile, but with recommitment to Christ and better counseling, life has gotten so much better. My life is unrecognizable from what it was, in the best possible way. My hope and my future are back. Finally, I can get back to the stories I love, and this time, I can use my talents to give others hope and a future.
I've won several ribbons and a few cash prizes for my art in local fairs, and one of my favorite things to do is face painting to raise money for the local 4-H club. I volunteer as a writer for my church, and I also have my comics and other work featured in a few independent anthologies. I also create art and other content for individuals and businesses.
The name "OtherRealm Studio" comes from my love of escapism (and "portal fantasy" stories) and also my looking forward as a Christian to the "other realm" which will be even more fantastic than this one. However, I am repelled by "message fic" so I will not be writing preachy stories. If something comes off as preachy and inauthentic to the story, I need to hear that so I can make a better story.
So if you're interested in my work, get your free sample story by signing up for the bi weekly newsletter here. I keep your information private and I never sell your email address - your privacy is priceless and I respect that.