"I'm a writer seeking to be an author. When I'm not writing I'm conducting a three-ring circus in my house. Believe me, it's a circus once you add that third kid into the mix. I try not to take life too seriously because if I did then I would be pretty upset about having stopped just a half-inch short of making it to five feet tall. It doesn't help that I have big ears and feet too, basically I look like a D&D Half-Elf. I write YA paranormal & fantasy. I’ve tried writing adult fiction only to find that I don’t really have enough perspective on being an adult yet. I’m 32, but don’t let my age fool you, I have three kids and I’m a housewife (since I’m like a D&D Half-Elf, I guess that makes me a House Elf like Dobby in Harry Potter), that brings my age down dramatically. I would be writing more Middle Grade but my eight-year old daughter talks to me like she’s a teenager, so that bumps me right up to Young Adult. I used to long for the day I could have real adult conversation again, but where’s the fun in that? I'm trying to have a good time while writing, querying & blogging. Are you having a good time? If not, stop in here from time to time and join the circus I consider my life.
I've joined that circus and think you should join it too!
What could be better than reading a single 411 paragraph about Patricia? An awesome interview into her writing world! Here it is.
How long have you been writing?
I started out with journaling when I was six years old. I wrote my first short story when I was eight years old and that’s about how old I was when I decided I wanted to write a novel. However, I stuck to short stories, journal entries and partially written novels for twenty four years. I spent the majority of my twenties reading non-fiction and historical fiction. For a period of time in my life I imagined myself writing a brilliant non-fiction book but I just couldn’t get it started. In the meantime, I worked at writing screenplays, poetry and children’s books. I queried a bit in the late 90’s and then went on to have my three kids. I went back to journaling my children’s lives and my experience as being a mom until my last child was out of diapers, which coincidentally, was around the same time Twilight came out. Yes, Twilight in all of its sparkling glory changed my life. How is that, you might wonder (I would if I were any sane person)? It finally occurred to me that I should try writing what I know. That’s what all the YA authors seemed to be doing. I don’t mean I know what’s it’s like to be a vampire (I don’t and I don’t write about vampires right now) but I do know what it’s like to be a teenager. I have to admit here, I was putting off reading or watching Twilight. I even told my neighbor I don’t read kid books anymore when she asked if I had the books. How lame of me. I was obviously barely alive by this time. I was only reading non-fiction. However, my bookshelves have a large variety of books. I even have my children’s books still. When I finally got around to reading Twilight I literally thought to myself, I think I can write YA. And then I thought, if Stephanie Meyers can sell millions of books with all those typos riddled throughout them then I can write a novel too. I mean this in the best possible way. It reminds me that perfection is subjective. So I got up on January 9th and started my first full length novel. Since that time, I’ve written over 300,000 words which turns out to be 4 novels and one complete revision.
(Wow! That's awesome. Don't have Twilight shame. There are too many of us that have the same experience with the sparkling heart-throb indulgence. Stephanie Meyer opened up all sorts of doors. Love her!)
What made you want to write?
I was shy and didn’t know any better way to convey my feelings than to write them down in a journal. I’ve also been an avid reader my whole reading life. I did a book report on Rudyard Kippling’s Just So Stories in the third grade, surprising my teacher with my ability to comprehend and understand every detail of the story. Books and stories just make sense to me. An author’s ability to look at a blank page and see enough detail in it to get a reader to suspend their disbelief and envision their story like a movie is incredible to me. When given a spare moment, I enjoy devouring books.
Do you have any pet peeves while writing? Any certain music or drink you just have to have to concentrate?
My pet peeves only kick in between 8pm and 12am and they include being interrupted mid-thought. However, if I’m writing during the daytime then I don’t mind being interrupted because I feel like I’m stealing that time anyway. Since my writing hours are kept while the majority of my household is sleeping I’m not usually bothered.
When I’m writing I NEED to have a cold can of Coca-Cola (regular or vanilla will do) sitting next to me. I wish I liked coffee enough to get on that band wagon but I just don’t. For me, coffee is a lot like the way I imagine licking asphalt on a hot Southern California day would be. I can’t live without music playing nearly all of the time. I use Pandora to provide the random natured variety I need to write story. I have somehow turned my Lady Gaga station into a perfect, all-era encompassing station. I get the Beatles, Kiss, WhiteSnake, Eminem, M.I.A., The Doobie Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, and, oh yeah, Lady Gaga on my station and of course that’s not all. I love Pandora. During my typical writing hours I will also play my DVR’d episodes of Ghost Adventures and Physics of the Impossible on the Syfy channel (I’m kind of a nerd. But I’m comfortable with that).
(Not nerdy. Not that nerdy is bad, though. Pandora rocks. Just sayin'.)
What is your favorite thing to write?
This is one of those types of questions that could have several answers. If you’re asking about genre then I prefer YA Paranormal and Fantasy. If you’re talking about what kinds of scenes I prefer to write then I would have to say romantic/love scenes. I also love writing dialogue.
(Cheers for YA Paranormal and Fantasy. What else is there? *quickly taking that back before everyone defriends me* I love to read all YA. I just can't write it all.)
What other genres do you enjoy writing, if any?
When I started my first novel I really thought it was going to be Science Fiction and I was happy with that, but then it eventually turned out to be more paranormal suspense than Sci-fi.
What is your favorite genre to read?
If I was going strictly from my bookshelf it would suggest I prefer to read non-fiction theoretical science, MG and YA. I think YA today is entirely different than the YA I read growing up. It’s more fun and interesting. There are a lot of good books out in general but YA is really fun right now, more so than adult fiction, for me. YA is still innocent and not really as heavy and personal as adult fiction. But who knows, I’m sure a wave of really great adult fiction is on its way soon and I’ll be changing my mind. I try to stay open-minded when it comes to books.
(YA books are definitely different these days, which is why I am now finally a lover of books and can relive my teenage years in a variety of ways. Oh, and I get to experience that fun innocent romance over and over again.)
What is your favorite blog?
I can’t pick just one favorite blog because there are a lot of good ones and it depends on what the topic is for the day. However, I most commonly refer to Nathan Bransford’s blog as well as K.M. Weiland’s blog: Wordplay: Helping Writers Become Authors and Elana Johnson’s blog when I’m helping my writing group, Write-A-Tat-Tat.
For socializing with other writers and for fun, I frequent Quinn’s blog: seeing, dreaming. . .writing and Michael’s blog: In Time. . . the most.
Too many great blogs to pick favorites though.
(There are too many, but you named some great ones!)
Have you been to a conference? If you've been to more than one, which was your favorite and why?
I participated in WriteOnCon this year. It was a blast. Met nice people, learned a lot and had fun doing it on my own schedule. I would like to attend a live conference one of these days but I would prefer to go when someone else I know is going.
(Yay for writeoncon!)
Which author's do you admire?
Alive or Dead?
Dead: I admire Mark Twain for his wit and humor and Edward Stratemeyer for his business savvy. Who is Edward Stratemeyer? He was the man behind the syndicate that produced all of the original Hardy Boys, Nancy Drews, Bobbsey Twins, and several other books. He was ahead of his time.
Alive: Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, for writing the book, God’s Debris. My brain is still aching from that read. And not to be a brown-nose or anything but I truly admire Elana Johnson. I’m not sure she wants to be admired for the reason I admire her but here it goes anyway: Every time I send a query I think about Elana sending like 200 of them. Maybe my numbers are off, I can’t be exact here, but can you imagine getting your 199th rejection and still sending your 200th query which happens to be the one that lands you an agent? I haven’t read her book, and I’m not sure how great of a read it will be (I’m excited to read it though), but even if I don’t end up liking the book it won’t matter, I will always think of Elana Johnson during my journey to publication.
(Agreed on the Elana Johnson thing. She's epic and I can't wait for her book to come out!)
How often do you write?
I write something, anything, everyday. If I’m writing a novel, I’m writing every day until it’s done. If I’m not writing a novel then I’m writing an email, blogpost, journal entry, email, revision, short story, grocery list, complaint letter to one of my kids’ teachers (not often), text message, Facebook post or a new book idea.
Interesting tidbit about me that most people don’t know
The first job I had when I moved to Hollywood in 1997 to attend The American Academy of Dramatic Arts was as a Production Assistant for a Merv Griffin game show called, Click. Ryan Seacrest was the host of the game show. It would be another year before Ryan Seacrest would get his job as a radio DJ. He had me driving around Hollywood looking for emerald green hand towels for his dressing room.
(That's totally cool. Look who's famous now! One day he'll be in line to shake your awesome author hand.)
Thanks so much Patricia. It was fun to learn more about you!
It's time for everyone to go check out Patricia's blog this instant!
Have a great weekend!