Today we have author Patricia Proctor on the blog for an interview. We would like to thank Patricia for stopping by today and sharing with us. So sit back and here we go.
Did you always wanted to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been in love with the written word, so a part of me always wanted to be a writer. But my love of books and reading inspired me to be a librarian, so I have my degree in Library and Information Science. For now, I’ve chosen to dedicate all my time to my writing rather than working in a library, but if I weren’t a writer, I’d definitely be a librarian.
When did you first consider yourself a “writer”?
Honestly, I didn’t think of myself as a writer until I published my first book. Something about sharing my words with others made it official in my mind. I know that a writer is still a writer without a reader, but having readers just really made it feel official to me.
How long did it take to get your first book published?
Well, I self-published rather than working with a publisher, so it took me about three months from writing my first words to when I published my book on Amazon. I’m so grateful to Amazon for providing a platform for indie writers to self-publish!
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Well, I have two books that I’m currently working on. The first one is actually the fourth book in the Witches of Spring Hill series, called Distracted by Fate. It continues the story of the Alexanders and Silvans as they embark on life after high school – I left quite a teaser at the end of book three, so I won’t say more than I already have. I’m also working on an adult fiction, dystopian-esque, psychological thriller about a small group of individuals who are trying to survive in a world that is unrecognizable, while searching for the cause and cure that will prevent society from changing completely. I don’t have a name yet for that book, and I’m not sure which of the two I will publish first – it just depends on which calls to me more.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
With the last three books, it took me about two months to write the book, and then one month of editing. The idea for the first book had been in my head for six years, but I was busy going to school and working so I just didn’t have time to sit down and write until January of last year. The fourth book in the series has been a work in progress for a couple months already and probably won’t be finished for a little while yet. And with this new series that I’m working on, I had the idea last year and I started writing in January. This one’s also taking a little longer than the first three books, which I attribute to it being such a different style than my other series.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I have many exciting stories just waiting to come out, which is why I have two books pulling on me now! And although the Witches of Spring Hill series is young adult fiction, the other book I’m writing is adult fiction, so I plan to go back and forth between the two. I also tend to write in the thrillers/suspense genre, but in the future I will definitely branch out into others depending on where my imagination takes me.
What genre would you place your books into?
The three books in the Witches of Spring Hill series are in the young adult/paranormal/suspense genre. I think of them as coming of age stories with a paranormal twist.
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
When I initially had the idea six years ago, I didn’t plan for it to be a young adult book. It evolved into that when I worked at a library and had the wonderful opportunity to talk books with young adults. I read a lot of amazing YA books myself, and it made me want to be a part of that genre. I like that the YA genre reaches both teenagers and adults, and of course, the paranormal genre is exciting to read and write!
Do you have a favorite character from your books? And why are they your favorite?
One of my favorite characters in the Witches of Spring Hill series is Kamila, who is introduced in the second book. I don’t want to give too much away to your readers if they haven’t read the first one yet, but what I like about her is her strength, wisdom, and overall personality. I especially love the role she plays in Rowan and Liam’s lives.
How long have you been writing?, and who or what inspired you to write?
I’ve been writing my whole life in the form of journaling and poetry, but I’ve only been writing books for a year. Although it was always a dream of mine to write a book, I was never sure what I would write about. Then I started paying attention to my dreams, and that was where my inspiration came from. I have very vivid dreams and can remember a lot of the details when I wake up, so I jot the details down, and flesh them out into stories. I was also fortunate to have college professors encourage me to write – it gave me the boost I needed to get started.
Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I do have a certain routine when I write. I start at night, so the first thing I do is brew a cup of green tea to help me stay awake. Then I sit down at my desk around 10:00pm, which faces the window where I have a view of the Space Needle (I live in Seattle), and I re-read what I wrote the night before and do some editing. I usually finish that by around by 11:00pm and then I immediately start writing and continue until about 3 or 4 in the morning or until the ideas stop flowing. Sometimes I listen to music, jazz mostly, but sometimes nature sounds (I especially love the rain). I find my “sweet spot” to be between 2-3 in the morning – I call it the witching hour!
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
I do read all the reviews, and of course the positive reviews just make my day. On the flip side, the negative reviews break my heart. Even though I know that books are so subjective, I just want everyone to enjoy my books! I honestly didn’t consider people reviewing my books when I published them, and I’m so glad I didn’t because I think I would’ve spent way too much time worrying about it!
Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
With the first book in the Witches of Spring Hill series, After the Summerland I wrote the first few chapters first, and then I came up with the title. But with the other two books in the series, Breaking the Bond and Crafted Truths, I chose the title first.
How do you come up with characters names and place names in your books?
Most of the names of characters in The Witches of Spring Hill are Pagan names chosen to reflect an aspect of their personality. To give an example, Liam means ‘protector’, and he is a guardian of witches. The witches’ and guardians’ names were chosen that way, but the other names were just randomly chosen. As far as the name of the town, Spring Hill, I chose that based on the idea that the hill where the witches live is always in bloom – with the magic that’s used there, it’s as if it’s always springtime, thus Spring Hill.
Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
I develop character traits and the story line as I write. I’ll have a loose idea, but it’s not until I’m in the moment that I decide on specific details. And sometimes I’ll end up changing traits as I go along, especially if the story line changes.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Rather than specific morals, there are tidbits of wisdom in my books. I try not to make it too in your face, but I personally like a book that offers insight or a different perspective of situations that most people have experienced or may experience at some time or another. I like subtle messages when I read, so it was natural for me to write the same way.
Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?
I can’t choose one – I love them all! I haven’t always loved ebooks, though. When they first started becoming popular, I called myself a purist and adamantly refused to read an ebook. And then one day I realized that what I love is reading – it doesn’t matter the format the words are in, it’s the story I love. I’ll read anything you put in front of me, including cereal boxes, so it didn’t make sense that I wouldn’t read ebooks. Now, it’s my mission to tell others how great ebooks are, especially when there are so many brilliant indie authors with amazing stories that are only available in that format.
What is your favorite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I truly do not have a favorite book. I have read so many amazing books that I couldn’t possibly choose just one. I rarely read books more than once though, not on purpose anyway. There are just so many great books, and as it is I don’t have enough time to read them all.
Do you think books transfer to movies well? Which is you favorite/worst book to movie transfer?
I wish books transferred to movies better than they do. Some movies are better than others, and it definitely seems that if you haven’t read the book, then you don’t know that the movie doesn’t do the book justice. I loved the book The Time Traveler’s Wife, but people around me in the theater who hadn’t read the book were thoroughly confused. I got what was going on, thought it was done as well as it could’ve been, and totally loved the actors, but it just didn’t adapt so well on the big screen. I don’t really have a favorite, but I thought Bridget Jones’s Diary was done pretty true to the book, and Lord of the Rings was spectacular as well, though it had been many years since I read the book.
Your favorite food is?
Mmmm... Spaghetti and garlic bread!
Your favorite color is?
Purple, all shades, but especially the darker, richer plums.
If you would like to find out more about Patricia and her novel, check out today’s book blast.