ANNOUNCEMENT: The winner of Patsy’s giveaway is Tracy Fells. Congratulations Tracy.
I’d like to extend a warm welcome today to Patsy Collins, a short story writer turned novelist. Patsy has recently released her third novel, a contemporary romance called A YEAR AND A DAY. I invited Patsy to the blog today to tell us a bit about her work and especially about the new novel.
So now, over to Patsy….
Patsy, can you tell us a little about yourself and your development as a writer?
I started writing in 2002 almost by accident. Taking a creative writing evening course at the local college was one of those ‘seemed a good idea at the time’ things. My brilliant tutor (novelist June Hampson) strongly encouraged to submit work. Once I’d sold a couple of short stories to magazines. I was hooked. Since then I’ve had hundreds of short stories published, mostly in women’s magazines and I’ve written three novels (and half written several more).
That’s a lot of work. When was your first novel ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY published?
30th March (my birthday) last year.
Did you have to wait long to become a published author?
It certainly felt that way! Like most people who eventually get something published I’ve collected plenty of rejections slips. Tired of that I turned my attention to competitions (to me, not winning doesn’t seem so bad as a rejection).
I won a novel writing competition. Publication of ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY was the prize. From notification of my win to publication didn’t take very long. Maybe that’s because checking proofs, making suggestions on the cover design and jumping around with excitement filled most of my time.
Do you prefer self-publishing or do you prefer being published by a publishing company?
There are advantages and disadvantages to both. My latest novel is self published, but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t consider an offer from a publisher in the future.
Do you have a routine and targets for writing?
Ummm, routine. Talk amongst yourselves while I go look that one up? …I do set myself challenges, but they’re usually quite vague and I don’t fret if stuff happens and I don’t meet them. I enjoy writing so even with my haphazard approach I generally get quite a bit done.
Do you plot your novels in advance or just follow the muse?
I plot now. When I first started novel writing I didn’t think plotting and knowing the end would work for me, but I now prefer to plan out some of the key points. If the finished novel didn’t closely follow the plan that wouldn’t worry me, but it’s good to have something to work from.
Tell us something about your new novel A YEAR AND A DAY? What are the main characters like?
It’s fabulous and everyone should buy a copy! I’m guessing you wanted something a little more specific though. It’s a light hearted contemporary romance.
The main characters are –
Stella. She’s an orphan looking for a loving family and a loving man. She eats a lot, is very fond of shoes, flowers and fireworks. Stella’s a florist. Daphne aka Dippy Daphne or Daffers is Stella’s best friend and possibly the more sensible of the two. She’s very keen on horoscopes and fortune telling (unlike Stella who thinks it’s all a load of rubbish) Daphne’s a chef (in case you think Stella’s shallow I’d like to point out they’ve been best mates since they were five)
John is Daphne’s brother. Stella once dated him but she’s completely over him now. Totally. He’s a policeman who tells truly awful jokes. He’s short and blond. Luigi. This Italian restaurant owner is tall, dark and handsome (obviously) If Luigi was a drink he’d be a rich, sweet and smooth Amaretto. Whenever I wrote his dialogue with the girls I imagined his seductive grin and sexy accent and made a lot of typos.
There’s also a stuffed cat called Thirteen.
That sounds terrific, Patsy, plenty of characters to keep the reader engaged. Thanks for coming to talk to us today and I wish you lots of sales and success with your book.
GIVEAWAY: Readers, if you check out my right sidebar, you’ll find a free book of Patsy’s short stories, available on Smashwords, entitled NOT A DROP TO DRINK. It’s available in all formats. And as if that wasn’t quite enough, Patsy is giving away a PDF copy of A YEAR AND A DAY to one lucky commenter. So please leave a comment before you leave to be in the draw.
A YEAR AND A DAY
Despite Stella’s misgivings her best friend Daphne persuades her to visit a fortune teller. Rosie-Lee promises both girls will live long and happy lives. For orphaned Stella, the fortune teller’s claims include a tall, dark handsome man and the family she longs for. Stella doesn’t believe a word, so Rosie-Lee produces a letter, to be read in a year’s time, which will prove her predictions are true.
Stella remains sceptical but Daphne is totally convinced. She attempts to manipulate Stella’s life, starting by introducing Stella to her new boss Luigi, who fits the romantic hero image perfectly. In complete contrast is Daphne’s infuriating policeman brother John. Despite his childhood romance with Stella ending badly he still acts as though he has a right to be involved in her life.
Soon John is the least of her worries. Daphne’s keeping a secret, Luigi can’t be trusted, romantically or professionally and both girls’ jobs are at risk. Worse still, John’s concerns for their safety are proved to be justified.
John, and Rosie-Lee’s letter, are all Stella has to help put things right.
Buy Links: Amazon Amazon UK
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