Good Morning Readers! It’s a cool, crisp morning here, but the temps will get up into the mid 70’s by lunchtime. My cats really like these cool mornings. Speak of cool-or rather cold!- Our next author knows what cold winters are all about. We don’t have to travel too far to meet this author, just head North.
Patti is a writer of Young Adult, Adult Paranormal, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Cozy Murder Mysteries, Horror, Thriller and Post-apocalyptic books. (do you think she keeps busy?!?) She publishes wide and you can find them on her website and Amazon. Now lets find out more about our Canadian neighbor.
Have you ever been to the United State and if so where?
As a Canadian, travel to the US was always a treat as a kid and something I have continued to do my entire life. In one three-month trip alone I visited 40 of the 50 states by car, living in a tent on a tiny budget and had a blast. There were so many highlights and I do plan to see the other ten states, my two bucket listers Hawaii and Alaska.
What is one expression that is common to your part of the world that might be unusual to us in the US and what does it mean?
There are so many that seem to be unique to my part of Canada! I live in beautiful Prince Edward Island, home of Anne of Green Gables and the most lovely beaches anywhere, but we are notorious for our slang. The most amusing to me isn’t so much a phrase, but an odd—when we agree with you, we do this odd little inhale of breath two or three times, making a ya sound. It’s hilarious and actually has a name and a history and likely began with the Vikings (who first settled my part of the world). http://bit.ly/ingressivepulmonicspeech
Where would you take a US visitor to your country to first and why?
Hands down, we’d tour my gorgeous little island paradise. Prince Edward Island has some of the warmest waters north of the Carolinas in summer and we often swim off my brother-in-law’s boat in the West River just off the Charlottetown harbor mouth. From our unique red soil (caused by an overabundance of iron in the clay) to the abundance of live performances, fresh seafood from the dock to your plate, art, Broadway-class musicals and so much more… and that’s just our capital city! Not to sound like a tourism ad, but you have to come see us—islanders are friendly and welcoming and our food, music and scenery are all breathtaking.
When did you start writing?
I think I’ve always been a storyteller, but the idea of wanting to write a book coalesced one afternoon while I was reading a Nancy Drew Mystery. I grew up on sci-fi and fantasy thanks to my father, reading a great deal of subject matter far too advanced for a kid but loving it. So when a friend let me borrow her book, my very first YA book, as a matter of fact, I realized partway through the simple storyline, as entertaining as it was, felt like something I could do. Of course, it took me many years and a lot of writing, studying and writing some more in order to develop the skills to do what I do for a living. However, the spark, I think, is the key ingredient. Without it, I likely would have stopped at some point and given up, instead of continuing to write and grow as a writer until I was finally able to do what I always wanted fulltime.
Describe your writing space.
You’re going to laugh at me, but because I work at home fulltime, I’m always moving around, looking for a new and better and physically healthier way to work. My chiropractor and I often discuss best practices because I want to be able to keep writing for many, many more years. So, my latest setup will crack you up. I’ve bought a projector and lap desk and I’m testing out writing lying down with the screen on the ceiling. The pugs and kitties love it and I have to say I’ve never felt more productive.
No teasing. I’ve heard all the lying down on the job jokes already.
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
When I’m in full-on production mode, it’s pretty steady. Typically I work on outlines or marketing in the mornings, write for at least three hours in the afternoons (my usual quota is five chapters), then take evenings to myself to watch TV or movies (I’m also trained as a screenwriter, so I often watch to study storylines and grow my craft as well as to chill out). Though, lately I’ve been indulging in my new favorite toy, an Oculus. And now I want to make all my books into VR mysteries.
Do you find it more challenging to write the first book in a series or to write the subsequent novels?
I’m one of those writers who hears voices, so I find writing rather easy, first, third or thirteenth in the series. I see myself as fingers on the keyboard (or holding the pen), invited to sit down with a new friend (or an old one, depending on where I am in a series) over a cup of coffee (cream and maple syrup for this Canadian girl) and write down this cool thing that happened to the character in question. Rather than a lot of backstory exploration, I let the voice fill me in as we go. I do outline extensively, so the books themselves are completely fleshed out before I start writing, which frees my brain to take a hike and allow the character to do her (usually) thing.
There have been times I’ve been four or five books in (even ten at one point), knowing there’s a giant ending coming and NO IDEA what that ending is. I do my best not to panic, because the voices ALWAYS come through and wrap things up so perfectly I’m kind of in awe of them. As long as I trust what the character is telling me, and don’t argue or try to change fate (like killing off beloved characters), the storylines always work out.
Best. Job. Ever.
Have you ever been on any sports teams? If so, what sport?
I was one of the founding members (and two years vice president) of the Red Rock ‘N Roller Derby league here on my little island. While I loved flat-track derby, it didn’t love me. After I broke my elbow and then my tailbone within four weeks of each other, I sadly had to hang up my skates. That remains my one and only sports team activity—I prefer to ride my horse, walk and do other activities that don’t involve breaking bones.
A big thank you to Patti for sharing a glimpse into her writing world. I don’t know about you, but a summer vacation to Prince Edward Island sounds wonderful. Both of the above books by Patti are free, so grab a copy and enjoy (don’t forget to provide your review!). I hope you are enjoying this series of author interviews. Be sure to let me know if there are any other series you’d like me to consider. Have a wonderful weekend!