Welcome to Writers4Higher
This issue, Writers4Higher features
Hi, Pat. Welcome to the Writers4Higher family!
Tell me about yourself. Your book(s), your life, your inspiration.
I am a sixth-generation Floridian, and I have lived all but four years of my adult life in the Tallahassee area. I first wrote and published professionally as a social science educator, and it was a series of case studies that I wrote for a Florida history textbook I co-authored that I credit with bringing me to creative writing. There was something in that experience that lit a fire, and at the tender age of fifty, I decided to become a fiction writer. I had no idea where one started. To my knowledge, I’d never as much as met a fiction writer. Still I was determined. I audited writing seminars at FSU with the wonderful author, and gifted teacher, Janet Burroway, attended workshops, conferences, and read tons of short fiction, including the works of Raymond Carver, Zora Neal Hurston, Larry Brown, Dorothy Allison, and Annie Proulx. In the beginning, I wrote really bad stories, but kept working. Gradually, I began to discover my own voice and was fortunate to have some of my earliest stories published. I continue to write and publish short fiction.
The inspiration for my debut novel, Dream Chaser, began roughly ten years ago with the reading of a newspaper story about a family who adopted a mustang mare that suffered a tragic ending. The story stayed with me for years before I began to shape a different story around what I imagined of that experience for a fictional family. Dream Chaser will be released in August. My second novel, Wildflowers, is to be released in 2015, and it too is set in north Florida, but in the late fifties and early sixties.
When I think about my long dormancy before becoming a writer, I remember those twilight summer gatherings with my cousins on Granny’s front porch, pleading with her for just one more of her marvelous stories. I hope I carry forward a part of her in my fiction and that reader will come to ask that of me.
Where do you see your writing taking you in the future?
I sometimes bemoan the likelihood that I won’t get around to all the stories and novels I’ll want to write. Yet I am enormously grateful for excellent health and the necessities required for living comfortably, so that I may make the best of the time I do have. While I don’t have a “career-plan” for my writing, I would like for my work to find a faithful readership and that they will always want to know what’s next.
How do you use your talents/time to help others?
The burdens of working-class lives and their implications for the loss of human dignity is the emotional momentum that drives much of my writing. My characters are drawn from those so often viewed as the others; marginal voices of men and women whose lives exist outside the realm of social acceptability. I write to reveal a deeper truth about my characters, to forge a perspective that takes the reader beyond their profane words and dastardly deeds to expose their deeper human spirit. Simply put, it’s the old adage of not knowing a person until we’ve walked a ways in their shoes.
Would you like to find Pat?
Check out the links to this talented author:
Dream Chaser is available in print and e-book versions through all the regular online retailers (Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, Powells, etc.)
Publisher’s website: www.twistedroadpublications.com
Fiction with a Southern Twist