Welcome to Author Spotlight! Each week will feature a different author. We’ll get the scoop behind their writing life and dish a little. The authors will also be giving away a copy of their latest book. FUN.
The winner from last week’s Author Spotlight with Lynn Dove is Seuss! Please email my assistant Amy with your mailing address. (email@example.com)
This week is Patti Lacy is in the Spotlight! To win a copy of Patti’s latest book, The Rhythm of Secrets, leave a comment on this post! And be sure to scroll to the bottom of this email and find out how you can enter Pattie’ NOOK Giveaway!
Share a little bit about yourself. Married with kids? Empty nester? Do you work full-time and write when you can squeeze it in?
I’m Patti Lacy, the Normal Novelist. Yep, I really do live in Normal, Illinois, a strange place for a woman who popped into this world from the back seat of a Buick!
After a court reporting career, I returned to the teaching roots established by an education degree from Baylor and my teacher parents and taught Humanities at a community college. In 2005, God whispered for me to write the story of my best friend, a brave Irishwoman who was banished from her beloved cliffs of County Clare, Ireland, when she was only five years old. Kregel Publications published that first story, An Irishwoman’s Tale, and ever since, I’ve been consumed by the passion to write.
Oh! I have a sweet husband, two marvelous grown kids, a son-in-law, two granddogs, and a mutt named Laura!
Share something about your writing. What’s your genre(s), your areas of interest?
I love to span seas and secrets, inspired by true stories of women. A five-year-old whose first memory is, “The little eejit’s got to go.” Two girls, one black, one white, working toys through spaces in a fence, whose chains, along with racism, try to stop them from being friends. A new mother, holding her baby for the first…and last…time during the span of a ten-minute cab ride. How can I NOT write such things?
Oh, the factoids. Sorry! I get carried away! I write women’s fiction in the inspirational market.
How did you get started writing? Did you have a dream of being a published author?
I always get ahead of the questions, like having already answered this one. Sigh. Until 2005, all I’d written was embarrassing love letters, maudlin poetry, and esoteric papers for my master’s work in literature.
After you started writing seriously–how long was it before you were published?
A little over a year. Attending Write to Publish in Wheaton accelerated my process…I would guess by years. Before you blanch, I really believe we all start writing when we begin reading. I’ve been gobbling books ever since I was five. Um, fifty years!
Aside from a cup of good, strong coffee, what helps you get all of your “brain cylinders” firing so you can write well? Do you have any favorite places and routines when you write? How many hours a day do you spend writing?
I ALWAYS write in my study, surrounded by my painting friends ( I love Scott Mutter, Herb Eaton, Angel Ambrose) my books, and MY MUSIC!!! Yes, I tap the keys to…Alicia Keyes, Corinne Bailey Rae, Jamey Johnson, Selah, David Crowder Band, the Fray, Tracy Chapman, Switchfoot…you name it! We’re talking classical, Celtic, country, sacred, rap, blues, jazz.
My adult kids hooked me up with Pandora, which augments a great CD collection.
Hours in a day writing? Anywhere from five or six to ZERO!
What has been the biggest help to you in the journey to publication? Writers’ conferences? Writing groups? Your mom as your first draft reader?
Soulmate critique partners, who GET what I’m doing and will not let me settle for less than the best. An agent who pushes me to the precipice…so I can fly.
I wrote an article for an upcoming Inkwell Inspirations post (2/2 and 2/3) called, “It Takes a Village to Feed a Writer.” In my case, it’s totally true. The prayer partners, the great editors at the publishing houses, my dog Laura, who “muses from the chair in my study; most importantly, the Holy Spirit, Who whispers instruction, encouragement; truly a co-author!
Is the “writer’s life” what you thought it would be?
No! There are more highs and lows than I ever dreamed possible. My biggest lows have come at “big” moments, like book releases. I never dreamed what’s involved in marketing a book, getting a book right, and the aftermath of cutting open your chest, extracting your heart, nestling it in novel pages, and leaving yourself exposed for the whole world to review!
What are your biggest distractions?
Juggling with the various hats of proposal-writer, creator, editor, mentor, seller, publicist.
What was one of the best moments in your career and what was one of the worst?
God has given me SO MANY wonderful moments? Selling out of An Irishwoman’s Tale at Milwaukee’s IrishFest and STILL corresponding with readers from all over the country. Barnes & Noble book signings that reach from Minneapolis, Minnesota to Corpus Christi, Texas. Those special e-mails that explain in beautiful prose how my book touched lives.
Worst? Hmmm. When everything about the industry seems to be about $$$. When the powers-that-be don’t get it…and don’t seem to be trying so hard.
What do you least like about being a writer? Most like?
The one-on-one writing sessions with God, the worn-out keys, and story snippets.
Dealing with…you guessed it!!…the money. Good thing my agent is a whiz at it!
What is the role and importance of an agent?
Asked and answered … Natasha Kern is THE GREATEST!
What advice would you give to new writers?
Write for the Audience of One. If you don’t it will NEVER BE ENOUGH. Trust me on this one.
Pretend I’m a customer at a bookstore looking for a good book. Give me a one- or two-sentence promo to convince me to buy your book.
I span seas, secrets, and the mysteries of women’s hearts to show how God works for good in ALL things: even when your mother gives you away (An Irishwoman’s Tale); even in the face of a brutal rape (What the Bayou Saw); even when you were coerced as a teenager to give away your beloved son (The Rhythm of Secrets); even when your family lost its precious jewel (Reclaiming Lily). If you love multicultural, romance, and women’s issues, you just may love my books!
How’d ya like THOSE two sentences? 🙂
Warning: my books are Julie Lessman LOOOOONG
What’s on the book horizon for you?
Reclaiming Lily releases with Baker Books in the fall of 2011. Two cultures. Two women. One child. It’s a definitely different twist on a China adoption story!
Last question, how can readers find you and your books?
My books are either on the shelves of Barnes & Nobles, Borders, Christian bookstores like Family Christian Bookstore, or can be ordered. Then there’s www.amazon.com!
Visit me, folks, at www.pattilacy.com.
I’d love to have you join my Facebook fam and see my daily Art Bite postings (see, I just can’t leave that Humanities instructor role!)
Thank you for sharing your writing life with my bleaders! (blog + readers = bleaders)
Thank YOU. IT was a blast!
Patti and her publisher, Kregel Publications, are giving away a NOOK prize package worth over $150 to one lucky winner!!!!
Enter the Nook eReader Giveaway and you could win:
- A brand new Nook eReader with Wi-Fi
- $25 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble
To enter, simply click on the icons below to fill out the entry form/s, then tell 5 or more friends about the contest. Oh, and enter soon! Winner will be announced on February 16th at Patti’s Rhythm of Secrets Facebook Party.