For today’s Author Interview Friday, we have Patricia Campbell. Welcome.
Joanne: When did you first know you wanted to be a writer, and was there a particular inspiration to get started?
Patricia: I had a part time employee who was published by Harlequin American. We became friends over the years, and I’d often read pages of her works in progress. She belonged to a critique group, but wanted the opinion of a non-writer. I enjoyed giving her plot ideas. One day she told me to quit giving away all my good ideas and write the stories myself. After my husband died, writing became a wonderful outlet for my emotions.
Joanne: Do you have a background in writing or take any special writing courses that helped you along the way?
Patricia: For many years I’d written articles for my travel agency newsletter, and other business related pieces. I knew nothing about writing a book, only how to read them. I’ve always had at least two books going at the same time. I don’t remember when I wasn’t reading. Once I attempted novel writing I knew I had to learn the craft. Attending writer’s groups and going to conferences put me on the path. Now I consider my critique partners and feedback from other authors essential.
Joanne: Do you always write in the same genre?
Patricia: Yes, I write contemporary romance because with each book I get to fall in love with another wonderful man.
Joanne: Are you published through a traditional publishing house? If yes, how did you find your agent or publisher?
Patricia: I’m published by Etopia Press, a royalty paying small publisher. How did I find them? Query, query, query, query – ad nauseum.
Joanne: What were the deciding factors to choosing your publisher? Would you recommend them?
Patricia: I had no interest in self publishing. I knew there was somebody out there who would recognize that my books were good enough to publish. That’s why it took me over ten years. Yes, I have recommended Etopia to other writers I know.
Joanne: Do you always write in the same POV or narrative or do you switch it up in different stories?
Patricia: I write mostly in the POV of the two main characters. In the book I’m currently revising, I’ve also added the POV of my villain because his mind is so twisted. One of my books, not yet published, is written in first person POV by two characters and everyone else is in third person. I do love to read books written in first person.
Joanne: Authors and publishers are always talking about finding your “Voice.” Exactly what does that mean to you and how did you find yours?
Patricia: Haven’t a clue except to say that one should never try to emulate the style of another writer. I’ve often been told by people who know me, “That sounds just like you.” I write as I speak.
Joanne: Author, Jennie Nash, was quoted on Writer Unboxed that she reads other novels to study structure. Do you follow a structure pattern such as staying in chronological order, or alternating points in time, or different POV’s?
Patricia: I read for pure pleasure. But the bad news about being a writer is that it’s very hard not to notice mistakes and typos in published books. It takes away from the enjoyment of the story.
Joanne: What was the hardest part for you in the writing process; the outline, synopsis, query or building the story itself?
Patricia: Outline? Surely you jest. I detest the query, blurb and synopsis part once the story is completed.
Joanne: It is not enough to write a book and wait for the money to start rolling in. What marketing techniques do you implement to increase your sales?
Patricia: The advent of electronic publishing has increased the number of published writers beyond imagination. I mostly use social networking and email, as well as Facebook and my website to get the word out there. And interviews like this one. Then just hope the word spreads. As to the money rolling in – I can dream, can’t I?
Joanne: Are you a pantser or a planner?
Patricia: Definitely a pantser, but about halfway through the story I have to put on my big girl panties, slap my characters around a bit to let them know it’s me telling the story, not them.
Joanne: What advise would you give to new writers just getting started with their first manuscript?
Patricia: Keep writing, learn the craft, but don’t expect your very first manuscript to get published. Unless, of course, you happen to be writing the Great American Novel.
Joanne: How important do you consider critique groups and networking with other writers?
Patricia: Essential. There is no substitute.
Joanne: What is the premise of your novel we are promoting today?
Patricia: Individual goals don’t have to be the death knell of finding love and romance. As in real life – dynamic, powerful strong-willed people tend to attract someone with those same qualities. Once a Marine is the story of two such people. He’s a retired marine who owns and operates a charter airline, and has a hidden dark and dangerous life. She’s a determined dynamo on an upward career path. It’s the secrets he keeps from her that may destroy their relationship.
Joanne: Can you share a peek at your story?
. Once a Marine –
Is it a one night stand or the first day of forever?
BD James is on an upward career path. She works for a tyrant whose erratic demands have already cost her a broken engagement. Her personal life takes a dramatic turn when she meets Rafael Cruz, a retired Marine who lives a secret and dangerous double life.
When she learns Rafi has deliberately kept her in the dark about his black ops missions, she questions whether her passion for him is strong enough to overcome her fear and mistrust.
Rafi believes BD is the one woman who is strong enough to challenge him—a quality he values highly. He’s reluctant to change his footloose life, but BD’s much more than a plaything. He would give his life for her. He’ll do whatever it takes not to lose her.