If You Didn’t Get a Chance to Listen to My Radio Interview . . .

Several people have mentioned that they didn’t get a chance to listen to my radio interview on Sunday — it really is hard for anyone (even me!!) to compete with the Academy Awards. If you are one of these people who didn’t get to listen, perhaps didn’t want to listen and are simply using the Oscars as an excuse so you wouldn’t have to hear to me yammer on and on, you’re not off the hook. The interview is posted online for all of eternity (or as eternal as the internet).

I hope you listen to the interview, “The Authentic Woman – with Host Shannon Fisher and Special Guest Pat Bertram.” I am at my charming best, scintillating, even, with flashes of wisdom. (Just don’t count how many times I say “actually.” Eek.) In fact, I’m listening to the podcast now — I wanted to make sure it isn’t an embarrassment. And it isn’t. Actually (there’s that word!) it’s quite compelling.

Part of the reason for it being such a compelling interview is the host. Shannon Fisher was easy to talk to, asked the perfect questions to get me to open up. We started with a discussion about my novel A Spark of Heavenly Fire, segued into a discussion of writing, which of course, turned into a mention of Grief: The Great Yearning, and a brief discourse of the grieving process. And continued to talk about life, vulnerability, possibilities.

And part of the reason for the compelling interview is that I didn’t treat it as an interview. We were simply two friends talking. The only glitch showed up at the very, very end. Apparently, the show didn’t click off when it was supposed to, but other than that, we did great for a premiere.

Feel free to listen in to this intimate conversation.

You can find me here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/authorsontheairbookstoo/2014/03/03/the-authentic-woman–with-host-shannon-fisher-and-special-guest-pat-bertram (Or click on the photo below.)

AW

***

Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

I am going to be on blog talk radio today!

I am going to be on blog talk radio today speaking to Jo-Anne Vandermeulen. Or should I say, she will be speaking to me? Either way, we will be discussing my new book, Grief: The Great Yearning, why I wrote it, and why the book is important. If time allows, we’ll also talk about how I help other writers and perhaps we might touch on more general topics, such as the future of books. (Jo-Anne wanted a list of ten topics for us to discuss. I guess she didn’t realize I could talk for hours about grief and its unwelcome role in our lives.)

The show is a half an hour, from 6:30pm ET to 7:00pm ET (3:30pm PT to 4:00pm PT). I hope you will tune in to listen, but if you can’t, well . . . blogs are forever, and blog talk is no different. The show will be available whenever you get a chance to check it out. It should be a good show. Not only is 30 minutes a manageable block of time, there will only be one guest (me!) and one host, so it should be a dynamic show. And anyway, you’ve been wanting to hear what I sound like, so here is your chance!

Link to show: Talk Radio Network with Friend and Author Pat Bertram

Guest call-in number: (347) 857-3752

I am Being Interviewed on Blog Talk Radio this Evening

The title says it all. There’s not much more to add. I am being interviewed on Blog Talk Radio this evening. Well, it will be evening if you are on the east coast since the show goes live at 7:00 pm ET, but if you are on the west coast, it will be 4:00 in the afternoon.

Possible topics are:

What kind of books do you write?

Why did you write a book about grief?

Why is your book “Grief: The Great Yearning” important?

Does your past play much of a role in your writing?

How do you help other writers?

Where can people find out more about your books?

(Thank you to everyone who helped me compile this list.)

You can find the show here: Page Turners with Hosts Meg Collins and Nancy Duci DenofioI will be on for an hour, so if you get a chance, feel free to call in. The number to call is: 1-646-595-4478. If you can’t listen to the show live, it will be archived so you can hear it any time.

I Asked and You Answered. Thank you!

A couple of days ago I posted a plea for interview questions to submit for my Blog Radio interview on Thursday at 12:30 pm CT, and you generously came up with some wonderful suggestions. I don’t know how closely the moderator, April Robins, will follow the list, but it should give us a great starting place. Thank you all very much!

Here are the questions I submitted:

You are the moderator or co-moderator of four successful Facebook groups. How did you get started, and how did you end up with four groups? What’s the secret to your success with the groups?

How much time and organization does it take to be active in online communities?

Is your Suspense/Thriller writers’ group only for suspense/thriller writers?

Does it make sense to join a FB group, like the ones you host, if the writer writes for the YA audience?

How do you balance your time between writing, blogging, promoting, moderating 4 groups, and other day-to-day responsibilities? Do you have a written schedule or “to-do list”? How do you keep up with it all?

You have three books published. What’s next?

What is the most common question you are asked by fans or would-be writers?

What are your writing goals for 2010?

Which of your books was the hardest to write/most research intensive? What’s the biggest writing challenge you’ve ever faced?

How did you decide your genre?

Please stop by April Robins’ Blog Radio show Red River Writers Live — Savvy Designs on Thursday, January 7 at 12:30 pm CST to hear my responses. You can also call in with additional questions. The call in number is (646) 595-4478. Hope to hear you there!

Reviewing Interviews

I made it through the first week of my blog tour!! I’m getting to the hard part, though. I have several interviews coming up, and it’s challenging keep from making identical responses to identical questions. There really is only one story behind the writing of Daughter Am I —  I wanted to use the true tales of the Syndicate an historian friend used to tell me, and I wanted to do a mythic journey, so I combined the two ideas into the book —  but I don’t want to bore people bycontinually talking about that not so very interesting inception. So, I wait until very late at night when my defenses are down, and I write what ever comes to mind.

Yes, I know — I keep talking about how words don’t come easy to me, but that’s only when it comes to fiction. When it comes to late night stream of consciousness, well, the words do come. I just hope they are worth reading. I guess we’ll find out. My first interview is today with Shelagh Watkins. Click here to find it.

I must have used up all my words last night for the interview. I’ve been sitting here for the past ten minutes trying to think of something witty to say, or perhaps pithy, but my mind is a total blank. Not good. I have a live chat in a couple of hours on Reviewers Roundup to talk about blog tours, and I need at least a few words for that. Maybe I’ll go take a walk. See if I can find a few words among the fallen leaves.

DAIClick here to buy Daughter Am I from Second Wind Publishing, LLC. 

Click here to buy Daughter Am I from Amazon.

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Conversation With Marshall Karp, Author of Flipping Out

Marshall Karp, the author of Flipping Out, is an award winning former advertising executive, a playwright, a screenwriter, and a novelist. He has also written, produced, and executive produced TV shows for all the major networks.  

Bertram: I enjoyed reading Flipping Out. I must admit, you do know how to turn a phrase. You have a marvelous ear for dialogue, and a knack for one-liners. One, especially, sticks out as being memorable. The cops, Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs, are ready to enter a house owned by a murdered celebrity. Terry looks up at the towering stucco columns and says, “Rather phallic. I think they’re art dicko.”

Marshall: Thank you for the kind words about my ear. That would be the left one. The right one is even more amazing. It can actually hear a tree falling in the forest even if I’m not there. Funny thing about art dicko. In my first draft, as they’re about to bust through the door, I wrote something that my editor felt was too close to what Terry had said the first time he saw that house. She told me to come up with something better. Who knew it would turn out to be one of the more memorable lines in the book. I just don’t want it on my tombstone. Marshall Karp, that guy who wrote art dicko.

Bertram: Is there anything in particular you’d like me to say my review of Flipping Out? Any particular passage you’re particularly proud of?

Marshall: Gosh, blurbers have asked me that, but never a reviewer. For sure, don’t mention art dicko. I wouldn’t want Terry’s lapse into sophomoric humor to define me. In fact, few lines from books do justice to the entire book, although an advance reviewer on Amazon picked up an exchange between Terry and Marilyn that tickled me.

My favorite reviews are those that capture what I hope to do best. My goal is to develop characters you just want to be with over and over again. Some authors have had success with worn down, burned out cynical cops, but I wanted real people. I hang out with real cops, and they are incredibly funny – in that business they have to be – it keeps them sane. So I made Mike and Terry human before I made them cops.

I write for people who want three-dimensional characters, real laugh-out-loud humor that is organic to the situation, and plot twists right up to the final pages. And while I make no guarantees, I’d say that a steady diet of my books can also help you lose weight, double your income, and improve your sex life.

I hope that helps.

Bertram: I’m going to use the last paragraph to finish of my review, if you don’t mind. It’s a great quote.

I am so sick of the stereotypical cynical, burned out cop that it’s refreshing to meet some fictional ones who aren’t.

Marshall: I’ve been reading some of your 100 word stories. They’re terrific. How do you do it? It’s an art form (literary form?) I had never heard of before. I was talking to JA Konrath today and saying that I’m not sure I know how to write a short story. I used to write 30-second commercials, but now I’m stuck in the long form. Plus once you wind me up, I tend to get going. That’s probably why my first book was 632 pages.

Bertram: I can’t write regular short stories, maybe because I don’t like to read them, but for some reason I can do the 100-word ones. They are called drabbles, and stemmed from sci-fi conventions where they developed from a novel writing contest.

With a drabble, you have to find the essence — which is why there are so few stories on my Mini Fiction blog. It’s hard to do. And then you have to have a beginning, a middle, an end and a change in the life of a character.

I think of it as a prose haiku.

Marshall: Well, you got me with prose haiku. Here’s an exercise I did at a conference. I don’t know if it fits the drabble parameters — the challenge was slightly different — but it’s only 95 words. So humor me, and tell me if you think it does.

When you work homicide in Southern California you see your fair share of dead celebrities, but this… this is the first one that ever really got to me.

There were deep ligature marks on his white skin, and his once perfect body had been gracelessly dragged to the side of his private pool and left to be further ravaged by an unwilling accomplice 93 million miles away.

“Who,” I sputtered, as the hot Pacific breeze greeted me with the aroma of my first morning cup of death, “who the hell would want to murder Shamu?”

Bertram: It is an excellent blurb that caught my attention, but it’s more of a scenario than a story.

We don’t know who Shamu is, so the last sentence isn’t much of a punch line. And drabbles seem to need a punch line at the end.

Marshall: Shamu is a pretty famous whale. You’re forgiven for not knowing. Damn those pop culture references. They don’t always work.

Bertram: Then I stand corrected. Your story works for a drabble. In fact, it’s very good. But use those extra five words to show that it’s a whale for us ignorant people. Thank you for talking to me. It’s been a pleasure.

Marshall: And thank you for helping support my life of crime.

See also:
Titles: What Makes a Good One by Marshall Karp
Review of Flipping Out review by Pat Bertram
How to Do a Blog Tour by Marshall Karp

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“Was It Bizarre Reading a Sex Scene Written By Your Sister?”

Exactly two years, 351 days, and 12 hours ago, my sister asked if I was ever going to let her read my manuscripts. I told her no, that I wanted her to have the joy of reading the books when they were published. (There is a vast difference between a manuscript and a book.) Back then, off course, it was still wishful thinking; no one had the slightest interest in publishing my books. Well, hell froze over or something equally cataclysmic, and now she owns two of my published books — books, not manuscripts. Here is a transcript of our spate of emails.

SISTER: The weekend was unexpectedly glorious, so I spent most of it outdoors, lots of yard work, digging in the dirt, reworking some landscaping, plus a wonderfully relaxing picnic at a bayside park. Ahhh. I didn’t spend nearly as much time reading More Deaths Than One as I thought I would, but . . . when I left Bob and Kerry on Sunday night, they were on a plane heading to Thailand, and I’m certainly looking forward to hearing all about what they find. I had a fabulous time traipsing around Denver with them — all those familiar sights and sounds. What a kick. What a gift. Thank you.

I’m curious about so many things, and I’m not sure if it’s tacky or tactless to voice these to the author, but . . . Did you ever see tin-hat folks on Colfax Ave?

ME: No, it’s not tacky to ask. Yes, I did see a foil-helmet guy on Colfax once.

SISTER: Bob’s childhood home was on 22nd, not 23rd?

ME: I don’t remember why 22nd Avenue instead of 23rd (where we grew up).

SISTER: Is it OK if I believe I found myself in your book as a two-liner behind-the-scenes character? Because, gosh, a BMW sure would be a nice upgrade for me.

ME: (After checking the manuscript to see what she was talking about) How funny, the BMW character does sound like you. What was I thinking??!!! Maybe . . . thinking of you? To be honest, I don’t have any idea. It’s like the book isn’t a part of me anymore. I don’t know where even a fraction of it came from. I do remember piecing it all together, though, and I remember all the rewrites. It was the first book I wrote, the third, the fifth, so it wasn’t inspired. It was perspired, but still, I don’t remember.

SISTER: Wow — that “Ballad of Reading Gaol” definitely merits closer study, whew. Best critique I read of that Wilde work is: “. . . startling contrasts between light and shade, drawn together with a keen eye and a sense of the beauty in sadness itself.” Lots there. I’m curious how you found the link between your novel and your title . . .?

ME: Originally the book was entitled The Law of the Jungle. Then I decided that title was trite, so I re-titled it The Nature of the Beast. Then I came across that stanza from Oscar Wilde’s Ballad of Reading Gaol, and had to have More Deaths Than One. Too perfect.

SISTER: Do you realize this novel would make an awesome movie??

ME: Yes, I do know the book would make an awesome movie. There are some scenes that would be powerful visuals.

SISTER: And I have to say — the first time “hidden shallows” appeared on the page, I heard your voice loud and clear. What a quintessential uniquely clever Pat phrase!

This has been great fun so far. Looking forward to more, that’s for sure.

ME: I take it that you’re not disappointed in me/my writing, or feeling guilty for telling your friends about the book.

SISTER: That would be a resounding enthusiastic “damn straight, Sista!”

ME: Just out of curiosity — was it bizarre reading a sex scene written by your sister?

SISTER: Um, YES. But I was proud at the same time — that was hot, quite frankly, and I learned something new. ;D

ME: Maybe I should interview you for my blog!!! Could be interesting. Though I have purposely left my private life off of it.

SISTER: How about this: you could write out a list of questions for your little sister, I’ll pen my answers — and if you like how it sounds, you can post it on your blog . . . if you think “not”, you don’t.

ME: List of questions? That was my question! A one-question interview.

SISTER: Well then, I’m done for the day! You have my permission to post the “interview” as it actually happened. :)

ME: I took liberties and posted our whole exchange. It was too good to pass up. So, welcome to my blog!

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