Friday, May 6, 2011

The Diva Doctrine Blog Tour: Author Interview and International Giveaway!

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Welcome to my stop on The Diva Doctrine Blog Tour!
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I am pleased to have had the opportunity to interview Patricia, I hope you all enjoy it!
? When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I think it was more that the Writing Muse decided it wanted me. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write, and when I had other jobs, even if I enjoyed doing them, I thought about writing longingly.

? How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
Well, let’s see. I had to put myself though college, so there were many. Hair washing at a beauty salon, McDonald’s counterperson, waitress, book shelving at a library, babysitting, Aamco Transmissions salesperson, Pontiac salesperson, diamond salesperson at the International Jewelers Exchange in Manhattan, clerk for an importer and exporter of semi-precious stones, English language teacher at Berlitz, clerk at a law office, English teacher at various high schools and junior high schools, EFL teacher in Greece, sales representative in Greece and Cyprus for Scholastic International, and owner/operator of a children’s education center.  I’ve probably missed a few. 

? How long does it take you to write a book?
My first book, Harlot’s Sauce, took me seven years to complete, including all the rewrites. But when I signed on to write The Diva Doctrine, I was rather shocked that my contract said it had to be completed in ninety working days. I worked day and night on it, but I got it in on time.

? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I research, research, research for everything I write, even for some of my blog postings, far more than I probably need to. And then of course, I use less than half of what I learn in my actual works. This quirk evolved because I want to make sure I get everything right, which is extremely important if you’re writing non-fiction, obviously. But even on my current work, which is a novel, I’m researching a great deal about where it takes place, because that location is an actual location which has oodles of history behind it. The history part has to be accurate, to my mind, because when I was young, I was hooked on historical romance and I picked up lots of history facts from them.  So, I want my facts to be accurate, too.

Now for Harlot’s Sauce, which is a memoir that takes place in Greece, I double and triple checked my facts and dates, just to be sure I remembered them all correctly. Memory can be very tricky and as I’m sure you know, more than one memoirist has been called out publicly for putting false or misleading information in their works.  Even for The Diva Doctrine, which is at the end of the day written as a rather light read, I interviewed more than a dozen experts from cosmetic surgeons to psychologists.  And do you know what I do with all the extra information I learn that I don’t use? I  barrage my family with it, especially my poor husband, who also works at home. I go into his office, interrupt him while he’s working, and say, “Honey, have you got a minute? You won’t believe what I just learned.”  I’m surprised he doesn’t have a bouncer guarding his door.

? Do you have a routine that you use to get into the right frame of mind to write?
I honestly don’t, Beverly. I know lots of writers have issues with “writers block” but so far, that hasn’t been a problem for me. I’m very self-motivated and disciplined. I have to be in order to get done everything I need to get done. I actually have the opposite problem too many things I want to write and only so many hours in the day.

? Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
This one makes me smile, because from my perspective, there are inspiring/interesting people everywhere.

? How do you decide what you want to write about?
Well, Harlot’s Sauce was something I felt I had to write, because it’s my self-actualization story, if you will.  On the other hand, I was approached by a literary agent to write The Diva Doctrine. As for the novel I’m writing at the moment, the story came to me because of three things:  a historical site I visited, a modern-day legend I learned about accidentally, and two sentences one of the writers on my magazine once wrote about his relationship with his father. The site, the legend, and the father/son story all fascinated me. They have nothing to do with one another, but in my mind, they somehow became connected and are the basis for this new story that just seemed to pop into my head. 

? What books have most influenced your life?
Four off the top of my head: To Kill a Mockingbird, Gone With the Wind, Atlas Shrugged, and The Witches by Roald Dahl

? What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I go to the gym and lift weights. I garden. I do some volunteer work.  I hang out with my husband and kids because they’re awesome, as are my friends. I do a lot of book promoting, too, not only for my own books, either. And of course, I do try to keep the sinks clean.

? What is your favorite comfort food?
Easy one: Lindt’s Dark Chocolate truffles.
Fun random questions: 
  • Dogs or cats?  -- Both
  • Coffee or tea?-- Both
  • Dark or milk chocolate? DARK for sure. (Now you’ve got me thinking about chocolate.)
  • Rocks or flowers? Flowers and lots of ‘em.
  • Night or day? Both, of course.
  • Crayons or markers? Probably crayons. But maybe markers.
  • Pens or pencils? Pencils for my address book and pens when I write checks.   
Thanks so much Patricia for sharing with us today and
Thanks to all the readers for stopping by The Wormhole!

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