About Pat Bertram

Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. Second Wind Publishing liked her style and published four of Bertram’s novels: Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I, and one non-fiction book, Grief: The Great Yearning.

Grief: The Great Yearning is not a how-to but a how-done, a compilation of letters, blog posts, and journal entries Pat Bertram wrote while struggling to survive her first year of grief. This is an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.

Grief: The Great Yearning, should be the grief process bible. Pat Bertram’s willingness to confront grief head on combined with her openness to change is the epitome of good mental health.” —Leesa Healy, Consultant in Emotional-Mental Health.

Light Bringer: Becka Johnson had been abandoned on the doorstep of a remote cabin in Chalcedony, Colorado when she was a baby. Now, thirty-seven years later, she has returned to Chalcedony to discover her identity, but she only finds more questions. Who has been looking for her all those years? Why are those same people interested in fellow newcomer Philip Hansen? Who is Philip, and why does her body sing in harmony with his? And what do either of them have to do with a shadow corporation that once operated a secret underground installation in the area?

DAIDaughter Am I: When twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents — grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born — she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead. Along the way she accumulates a crew of feisty octogenarians — former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. She meets and falls in love Tim Olson, whose grandfather shared a deadly secret with her great-grandfather. Now Mary and Tim need to stay one step ahead of the killer who is desperate to dig up that secret.

More Deaths Than One: Bob Stark returns to Denver after 18 years in Southeast Asia to discover that the mother he buried before he left is dead again. He attends her new funeral and sees . . . himself. Is his other self a hoaxer, or is something more sinister going on? And why are two men who appear to be government agents hunting for him? With the help of Kerry Casillas, a baffling young woman Bob meets in a coffee shop, he uncovers the unimaginable truth.

A Spark of Heavenly Fire: In quarantined Colorado, where hundreds of thousands of people are dying from an unstoppable disease called the red death, insomniac Kate Cummings struggles to find the courage to live and to love. Investigative reporter Greg Pullman, is determined to discover who unleashed the deadly organism and why they did it, until the cost — Kate’s life — becomes more than he can pay.

Bertram’s publisher says: “I was told by some other small publishers with whom I had done research that I was going to get mountains of unacceptable crap for every worthy thing I received. So when I got Pat’s manuscript for A Spark of Heavenly Fire, which was like the first submission to Second Wind, I thought, ‘OMG, is this possible?!’ I knew in the first 20 pages that she was the real thing.”

Reviews

“Pat Bertram has a marvelous ability to write the longest parables in all of literature. She unglues the world as it is perceived an rebuilds it in a wiser and more beautiful way.” — Lazarus Barnhill, author of The Medicine People and Lacey Took a Holiday

“What are you waiting for? Read this book. Now. More Deaths Than One is much better than any “bestseller” out there. The plot is constantly surprising and intricate, the characters draw you into the tale and the overall writing is top notch.” — Mickey Hoffman, author of School of Lies and Deadly Traffic

“Bertram’s characters in A Spark of Heavenly Fire are heartbreaking and real. I love Kate. Absolutely love her. The description of everything seems spot on. Sounds much like New Orleans post-Katrina. Bertram clearly did her research on this one. Fabulous.” Rachael Wollet, freelance editor.

Light Bringer is one of the most unique novels I have had the pleasure to read in a long time. Ms. Bertram’s fascinating characters and unique subplots make this a page turner I absolutely could not put down.” — Deborah Ledford, author of Staccato and Snare

“Pat Bertram, author of More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire, is one of the best of the new crop of writers. Pat’s work is insightful, superbly crafted, and completely involving.  I would unhesitatingly recommend her books to anyone who enjoys speculative fiction of the highest order.”  Suzanne Francis, author of the Song of the Arkafina series from Mushroom Ebooks.

31 Responses to “About Pat Bertram”

  1. ~Sia~ Says:

    I’ve been in awe of Pat’s dedication to the craft of good writing for some time. I also like the fact she’s not into cardboard characters or passe’ plots.

    I enjoyed what I was able to read of More Deaths than One. I’d really like to read A Spark of Heavenly Fire.

    The curious and other authors should check out the writing topics she introduces in her group No Whine, Just Champagne on Gather.com You’ll be amazed at not only the subject matter, but the participation and Pat’s knowledge. I never walk away without learning something.

    Like I say, Pat is amazing.

  2. Joe R. Lansdale Says:

    Interesting to see Andrew’s kind words again. I have no idea who invented the serial killer novel, but my book has been cited by many as being the beginning of the type of novels that have become such a mainstay. I will also agree that it isn’t a great book. I was young when I wrote it, and I hope you’ll be kind enough to try some of the others, THE BOTTOMS, MUCHO MOJO, LEATHER MAIDEN, ETC. But the bottom line is I think it blended a lot of things that are now thought of as the serial killer novel’s back bone. Actually, when I finished that book, I moved on. I’ve written about serial killers since, but never in that way, and never in any way as the heroes of a piece. Genre writing and mainstream writing are welding together, and sometimes in good and interesting ways. But the old fashioned genre writing is disappearing. Maybe it should. All things mutate. LONESOME DOVE was a Western, and a great one. SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is bestselling genre, and so on. It’s there. It won’t die, but it will mutate. As for ACT OF LOVE, I think there may be a thirty year anniversary volume, 2011, and then I retire it. The reason it doesn’t have the impact it had then is now so many people have done what I did, and better than when I did it. But it’s also dated, and probably, at this juncture, my worst novel. But man, I’m glad I wrote it. I’ve been amazed over the years at how many writers have told me it influenced them. Surprising. I was just trying to learn how to write a novel and have a good time at it and maybe discuss a few social issues, if in a superficial way. Anyway, Thanks for the space. Joe Lansdlae

  3. LuAnn Morgan Says:

    I enjoyed reading more about you than what’s on your Goodreads profile!

  4. Mark David Gerson Says:

    We’re already connected in a bunch of social networking ways, Pat. I’d love to expand that by exchanging blog links. Let me know what you think. (http://thevoiceofyourmuse.com)

  5. slgreatsuccess Says:

    Good for you, jumping into independent publishing! Keep up the good work!

  6. Joy Says:

    kind of reminds me of Robert Parker – Raymond Chandler. I love mysteries!

  7. PurpleB Says:

    your post about grief captured my attention. Thanks. And congrates on surviving

  8. Frances Says:

    …you are of course, right. We have no place for grief in our world, most people do not know what to say to someone who is grieving and so rather than be in silence and witness with you the loss and the space, well meaning but clueless people sat sill things that somehow get stuck in your ear canals. You do not get over losing a love, ever. Full stop. Period. Time doesn’t heal, it just makes space for the absence. And the hardest thing to come to grips with is that life does go on, the sun rises and sets. Thank you for writing that.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      People always mention that they don’t know what to say to us, but they don’t need to say anything, do they? The best thing they can do, as you said, is sit in silence and witness with you the loss. It’s the caring that counts, not the words.

  9. fivereflections Says:

    hello nice to meet you
    david in Maine USA

  10. Emma McCoy Says:

    I nominated you for The Next Big Thing blog hop so you can post about your work in progress.

  11. Gigi Says:

    Hello Pat,
    You don’t know me but I happen to google 6 month grief survival and found your post and now blog. I’m sorry for your loss. Your post was a realistic opinion of grief and not a over processed version of what people say we should feel or experience during this time. As I cope with the loss of my mother, I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your words; it is comforting to read from someone who truly understands. Unfortunately, this is an experience you can’t prepare for and but can only walk your own individual journey once you’re on it.

    From one survivor to another, I wish you peace.

    Gigi

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’m glad you found some comfort in my words, Gigi. This experience of grief is a personal one, and yet we need to know that others have felt what we feel. I’m sorry about your mother. Wishing you peace in return.

  12. gumbaj Says:

    He’s not away from you…He’s among the stars..watching you every moment, missing you & a bit sad after seeing you sad. He wants you to enjoy your life…so to make him happy..just be happy. Say “cheese”. This world is full of pain & sorrow (http://www.lettersofnote.com/2012/11/i-will-always-be-there-with-you.html)…but we have to move on. Keep smiling :)

  13. Loveena Says:

    Dear Pat I just came across your blog and it helped me in realizing that i’m not alone in this grief…i’m 19 and its been 75 days since I’ve lost my soul mate in a car accident; we shared a love that was so intense and pure that I feel I’ll love him for the rest of my life! I’m still trying to find a way to live again because I’ve so far known the best part of life I was so unaware of the other side but I guess I’m stronger than my pain is . I’m going to follow your blog I hope to find the support thank you.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Loveena, I am so very sorry. You had him for such a short time! I’ve come to the conclusion that the time we spent with the person doesn’t affect our grief. The less time we had with them, the more we grief all that we never will have. You probably will grieve him all your life, but I promise you, as time goes on, the pain does lessen, and you will find the courage to continue with life.

      • Loveena Says:

        We’ve spent three years and nine months together and I must say I’ve never read, heard or even met any person that could love to such an extent as he did. At such a young age I’ve discovered the best and the worst parts of life but I’m thankful to have lived a true love to have met my soul mate even if he’s no more at least I’ve had him. Thanks a lot; I really feel aware of your grief but more than anything else I see in you a role-model.

  14. Moment Matters Says:

    Pat,

    How are you?

    Good news, I would like to personally hand you the “BEST MOMENT AWARD“. Congratulations and enjoy the rest of the day!

  15. The Style Crone Says:

    Dear Pat, I just googled ‘second anniversary of loss of spouse’ and I found you, for which I’m grateful. I read your post about preparing for the second anniversary of the loss of your husband, and it was very helpful. Thank you. I’ve been blogging since 713/10 (stylecrone.com) and wish I would have found you much earlier. At the time that I launched my blog, my husband had been struggling with a rare cancer diagnosis since 2/14/05. I coped with this trauma by blogging about outfits, aging and cancer caregiving. I posted photos of my outfits and Nelson was my photographer. I blogged through his death (4/20/11), grieving and my transformation. As I approach the second anniversary of his death, I have been struck with the depth of grief that I still feel.

    I live in Denver and see that you live in Colorado. It is a cold snowy day today, but it feels right as I struggle for meaning.

    Warmly,
    Judith

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Judith, It’s hard to deal with such a loss, no matter how we do it. It ends up the same — grief is a fact of our lives, and we simply have to learn to deal with it. I’m a year ahead of you in the process, and I still grieve, still search for meaning.

      I checked your blog, and was struck by all your hats. I’ve developed a fondness for hats since his death. They make me feel strong and dramatic, flamboyant and fun, all the things I don’t normally feel.

      Although I grew up in Denver (was born there and lived there for more than thirty years), we spent the last two decades of his life on the western slope.

      Thank you for stopping by and telling me your story. I always honored when people share their grief journey with me.

      Wishing you peace on these days leading up to the anniversary.

  16. alexiskrystina Says:

    Hi Pat! I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! :) Check it out here: http://alexiskrystina.com/2013/04/22/i-got-one-the-very-inspiring-blogger-award/

  17. alexiskrystina Says:

    You’re welcome! :)

  18. Paula Kaye Says:

    Pat…I have been wading my way through the grief posts archive. I want to thank you for setting it up the way that you have as this has made it much easier to read. I can only read a few posts at a time as the emotions you write about and the emotions that your writing evokes in me are so powerful. I have written here before that I am living with and caring for my husband who is going through this whole dying process. I am writing about the process on my blog and knowing that the day will come when my writing will be much like yours as I go through my own grieving process. It helps me to know what lays ahead. (I think!) I just purchased your book to read on my Nook on the many nights that “we” are restless. Thank you so much for all of this writing. I am sure that you cannot begin to know how many people you are helping with your words of grief.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Paula, I’m glad my writing helps at least a little bit. It’s good to know that we aren’t alone in the way we feel, even though we do feel so very alone in our pain. I just wish none of us ever had to go through any of this. Sometimes it feels as if the whole world is crying.


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