Today on Make-Believe Mondays, my guest is Patricia Snodgrass.
Patricia, first, tell us a little bit about the manuscript you’re working on now.
Patricia: The story I’m currently working on is entitled “Love Fiercely.” It is set in the distant future aboard a spaceport and focuses on the lives of the medical examiners and their families who reside on the port. Not only is there a medical mystery to solve, there’s a mystery of the heart to solve too. Jerrod’s humanoid finacee Kitra is undergoing changes that he cannot begin to understand. That’s all I’ll say for now.
Debra: I like the title. That's something we all should do, when we find that special someone. Love fiercely and with the whole heart.
Ray Bradbury said, “We are cups, constantly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” How do you keep your creative cup filled?
Patricia: I love Ray Bradbury and he has been an influence in my writing since I was young. How I keep my creative cup filled is not difficult. I love to learn new things, which I think is vital in a craft such as writing. I am always seeking new venues for my writing, trying new genres, experimenting with grammar (as much as the editors will allow, ha!) and language. When I find those times when my creative cup seems empty, I find other things to do, such as paint, crochet, do beadwork and gardening. Taking long walks with the dog and enjoying fresh air and sunshine. And of course there’s the need for the odd road trip, which I’m currently craving.
Debra: Oh, I'm craving a road trip too, but it's soon to be satisfied by flying to Orlando on Wed. :-)
There is something about travel, or simply moving along when seems to feed the writing.
Is there a point when your characters begin to come alive and you can see and hear them?
Patricia: Yes, that’s when I know I’m really in the zone when it comes to my writing. When I feel as if I’m sitting back and simply dictating what the characters are doing, seeing, feeling, etc, that’s when I know the story is going to be good. I love it when this happens. I’m never sure if a story is coming together well if I have to drag it along myself. It’s so much easier when the characters come forward and tell their own stories. My niece who has a degree in psychology told me once that I wasn’t normal. I laughed and said, define normal.
Debra: Oh, who wants to be normal anyway? I think all writers have a touch of eccentricity and I think we ought to embrace that part of ourselves and just be. My writer friends are eccentric, fascinating people, and I love them just the way they are. Besides, it's our differences that make people interesting. And I know just what you mean about trying to drag a story along by yourself. It never goes well for me when I do that.
Some very famous authors have played with language, creating words for people or places that no one has ever heard of. Have you ever played with words in that way and if so how?
Patricia: Yes, I love playing with language. I sometimes collect languages the way some people collect butterflies or rocks. And sometimes I make up my own words. For example, I sometimes use the nonsense word ‘hucked’ to describe someone sobbing so hard they start hiccupping. Sometimes, my characters come from different cultures and have different languages. One character I wrote about was Cherokee, and she spoke the language. Today, when I was writing about an Afghani war veteran, she spoke in the Afghani language of Pashto. I didn’t even know Afghan had so many languages.
Debra: Hucked is a good word. Playing with language can be so much fun. Now you've made me curious about Pashto.
Patricia, thank you for joining us here on this Make-believe Monday to share a little bit of the magic of writing with our readers.
Visit Patricia at
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This Wed. I'm flying to Orlando to spend some time with my dear friend Marie before the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention begins.
Here are the panels and other events I am scheduled for at the convention. If you're attending, be sure to come up and say hello! I love meeting new people.
Sun. April 19th: 5:00 meet & greet dinner
Mon. April 20th: 2:00 - 3:00 Characterization with Diana Groe and Pat Simmons
Tue. April 21st: 11:00 - 12:00 Submitting with Jade Lee
2:15 - 3:00 Query & Synopsis
3:15 - 4:00 Rejection with Aleka Nakis, Susan Yarina, Kathy Love
Wed. April 22nd: 10:30 - 11:30 Resurrecting the Muse with Gerri Russell
3:30 - 4:30 Samhain Soireee Bookseller party
Sat. April 25th: 11:00 - 2:00 Book Fair (where I'll be signing my first novel, A Desperate Journey)
There are plenty of other events I'm planning to attend, but these are the places you're certain to find me.
I'll be out of town April 15th through April 27th, but Make-Believe Mondays will continue.
Keep watching my website www.debraparmley.com for photos and video from the book launch and for pictures from the RT convention in Orlando.