Three Discussions with Me!

One of the real joys of my Daughter Am I blog tour has been the people I’ve had a chance to talk to. Dave Ebright, author of Bad Latitude was kind enough to be a host — twice — and he also followed my tour. How cool is that! He left a string of questions for me at Bobby Ozuna’s blog where I was being interviewed, and what ensued was a fascinating discussion. Well, fascinating to me. I like knowing how other writers work and how they think.

Dave: A few Qs, Pat – if you don’t mind:
Do you outline 1st?
Do you start at the beginning & write through to the end?
Book signings – Love ‘em or hate ‘em?
Favorite – 1st draft? Rewrites? Editing? or … uhm… Marketing?
Least favorite???
Character or plot? What do you consider your strength?
Coffee Tea or Vodka? (Kidding)
Thanks Bobby for having Pat as your awesome guest. Good interview.

Pat: How long have you been saving these questions to ask me, Dave?

Dave: Right off the top of my head — I was curious. You seem to really have your act together.

Pat: As for your answers — I don’t outline first. I know the beginning, the end, the general idea of the story. I start at the beginning, thinking out each step of the way as I go. The only time I deviate is that somewhere in the middle I write the end. Don’t know why. Perhaps it gives me the push I need to get through the murky middle.

Dave: That’s exactly how I do it. I make some changes during the rewrite / editing, but the story is the story.

Pat: Book signings — so far I haven’t done one. There are no bookstores around here, and I don’t seem to be able to get together with the librarians to plan an event there.

Dave:  I was scared to death with my first signing (there are pictures on my FaceBook from the one at the St Augustine Lighthouse) Fortunately, I write for kids & relate well (was a coach for many years), so I’m sorta in my element.

Pat: There are only two parts of the whole writing  process that are difficult for me — getting motivated to write and then incessant copyediting after I’ve written the book. Other than that, I enjoy the whole process. Or maybe not. If I did, I’d be writing! I like promotion, but whatever I’m doing doesn’t seem to be effective. At least not yet. I have hopes, though.

Dave: My problem is time – I’m not one for sitting down for only an hour or so. When I get into it — I’m good for several hours. Editing, I’m okay with snippets, but I print everything, mark it up with red pen & then make changes on the word doc. (several times).

Pat: That’s my problem, too. Some people can write in fits and starts, and few minutes here and a few minutes there, but not me. It takes a while for me to get into the proper frame of mind. That’s why getting motivated is so difficult for me — I know that I have to make a real commitment not just on blocks of time but for the year it takes for me to write a novel.

Pat: As for your question about character or plot: character and plot are pretty much the same thing in my books. Character determines plot, plot determines character.

Dave: I get most compliments about characters & plot twists. Love ‘the I didn’t see that coming’ reaction.

Pat: As for what’s my strength, that’s up to my readers to decide. Dialogue is the easiest thing for me to write, though.

Dave: Love dialogue with lots of quips & one liners. Current work includes conversations with a dead pirate (Calico Jack Rackham) which has been a blast to write.

Pat:  What do I drink? No coffee, no tea, no vodka. I’m strictly water with an occasional hot chocolate.

Dave: I am a coffee-holic.

Pat: Whew! I think I answered all your question!

Dave: Sorry – didn’t mean to be a pain. I just admire your ability to provoke thought. I’ve enjoyed your blog tour. Don’t worry though, I’m not a wacko stalker. Hah!

Pat: You weren’t a pain, Dave. This was fun. I’ve liked your impromptu parts of my tour, first the article on your blog, and now this conversation.

Dave: I’m anxious to buy your book. I went online to order from 2nd Wind using my wife’s PayPal account but, since I’m out of town, the shipping address didn’t match up with the account & that, apparently, screwed them up. I’ll be home in a week or so & I’ll order it then.

Keep up the good work Pat. What I’ve read of your work so far is excellent & your blog posts are always entertaining & informative.

Pat: Thank you, Dave! That was fun. If anyone wants to answer Dave’s questions, I’d like to hear your responses!

The second discussion of the day is taking place at James Rafferty’s blog. I met James at Gather.com where we are members of a couple of writing group. We are talking about contests and the difficulty of straddling genres. You can find James and me here: Collaborative Interview with Pat Bertram

The third discussion of the day is my weekly live chat. We meet every Thursday night at 9:00pm ET. I hope you will all stop by to talk. You can find me here tonight: No Whine, Just Champagne discussion #80 

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My Wonderful Surprise!

Among the people coming to my blog for sex with sister tips (it’s up to about 60 a day now) are those who actually pay attention to what I write. I’ve often said I blog for myself, using this space to try to get in contact with the creative within me. Whenever I am stumped at something, whether the direction of my current WIP or my struggles to learn how to become a selling and excelling writer, I come here and let the words flow. Except for that ultimate puzzler — how to promote effectively without annoying everyone to the point that said promotion becomes ineffective — I usually manage to find a way out of my difficulty. That I’ve managed to attract readers is a bonus. That they (you) actually like what I say or how I say it is beyond my ability to describe.

Today I had a wonderful surprise. Joylene Nowell Butler, author of Dead Witness, nominated me for a Kreativ Blogger Award. She said: You have only to look at Pat’s blog to realize she’s an inspiration to the world of writers. Pat questions everything. Her wide-eyed enthusiasm and her deep desire to understand the world of the real and unreal has fascinated me from day one. I think she’s covered every aspect of writing there is, only to stop by and see she’s discussing yet another subject that would have never occurred to me. Pat loves writing. Her quest to become the best possible writer she can be is contagious. She loves books. She loves authors. She’s brave, determined and the way she strings words together to form sentences is amazing. Here’s to you, Pat Bertram for venturing into the sometimes scary, but always creative world of creative fiction.

Thank you, Joylene. I appreciate all the comments you have left here on Bertram’s Blog. I also wish you every success — you are my role model.

Passing on the torch, I nominate . . .

James Rafferty has a great blog that ranges from fabulous photos of his travels to informative essays about OneNote
Malcolm Campbell combines a wonderful and poetic way of using words with intelligence and practicality.
Second Wind Publishing – this might be a bit of a cheat since I’m one of the contributors, but when you combine two dozen different authors all with different outlooks and experiences, you end up with a great blog.

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