Today’s guest on the Big Blue Takeover is, Patricia Paris, author of contemporary romance series, Glebe Point. Over to Patricia…
The Fun Stuff:
What part of the world do you come from?
I live in the US, in Maryland, but my father was in the Air Force so we moved a lot while I was growing up. I never knew when we’d be packing our bags and moving to another state, or possibly another country. I’m number five of six siblings, so although I never got the chance to keep friends very long, I always had my brothers and sisters to play with, or to annoy.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a lot of things at different points, but the ones I most seriously wanted to be were a nun, a spy, a scientist, a gymnast, of course a writer, and taller. Lol 🙂
List three words to describe yourself.
Creative, analytical, obsessive
Who would play you in a film about your life?
I think maybe Sandra Bullock, not because we look alike, but because she can play serious, funny, romantic, strong, quirky, and I think I’m a bit of all of those, plus, I just like her.
What’s your favourite snack food when writing?
Coffee. Pretty much it’s coffee. I’m more of a three meals a day kind of gal, so I don’t typically snack when I’m writing, although I admit I’ve been known to scarf down a couple of chocolate truffles when I turn my computer off for the day.
If you had a super power, what would it be?
Invisibility. Maybe it goes back to when I wanted to be a spy, but I’ve always thought it would be great if I could become invisible at will. As a writer, I’m always watching people wherever I go, observing their gestures and expressions, trying to listen in on their conversations because I find people totally fascinating. I’ve discovered that staring intently at strangers in public places though makes others uncomfortable and earns me a lot of dirty looks. If I could be invisible it would make things a lot more pleasant for everyone involved.
The Sensible Side:
Tell us a little about yourself. (How did you get started writing? What do you do when you’re not writing?)
I started writing at a very young age, probably five or six. My grandmother, who I adored, had a big impact on my life. She was strong and proud, and very much an individual. As a child, I also thought she might be a witch—she seemed magical to me. She loved to write. She actually had an inkwell, and an assortment of pens she would dip in the well when she did. Often when I visited she’d be sitting in her favorite chair, a writing desk in front of her, writing in her journals, which looked old and worn and I imagined were filled with wonderful stories. I have no doubt my earliest desires to write were a result of her influence on me.
When I’m not writing, and once I’ve gotten all of the necessary have-to-do’s out of the way, I spend as much time as I can outside, enjoying my gardens, boating, or just sitting on my deck reading a book or observing nature.
I also love to cook and try out new recipes. I grow most of my own herbs and do use them. You can find me in my kitchen on a lot of evenings experimenting with a meal, whisking up a special sauce, adding new ingredients I’ve not used before to whatever I’m making. My family never knows what to expect, and although I’ve served some real disasters, I’ve also come up with some real triumphs.
Where did the inspiration for the Glebe Point series come from?
When my husband and I were looking to move to Maryland several years ago, we found a house on a quiet cove that we fell in love with. I was so enamored by the wildlife, the sound of the water sifting through the marsh grasses, and the quiet, that I would spend hours down on the dock writing. It was during those first couple of months after moving there that I got the idea for my Glebe Point books. I wanted to write a series about a close knit family that I could plunk down in the middle of the beauty that surrounded me in real life. Family and nature have always been important for me, so melding the two was natural.
What do you like most about writing contemporary romance?
I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense, so I’ll speak to the romance part of the question, because I enjoy writing both. I am, and always have been a hopeless romantic. I’m not an overtly emotional person, but let me see an elderly couple holding hands on a crowded street, or two people dropping their belongings in the middle of an airport to throw their arms around each other in an embrace after being reunited, and I’ve been known to get teary eyed.
There’s so much beauty and good in our world, but it often seems that all we hear when we turn on the television, or go to the news page on our phone or computer is the bad and all that’s wrong. Writing romance allows me to let my inner romantic free and create a world occupied with everyday, good people, going about their lives in the best way they know how. Like most of us in real life, my characters have their flaws, they make bad decisions, they do stupid things, but deep down most of them want what most of us do, to love and be loved. And I get to give them the happy ending they dream of. Go me!
Who is your favourite character from your book and why?
That’s such a difficult question to answer. I get very attached to my characters and there are things about each one of them that are favorite things. Since you want me to make a choice though, I’ll give you a heroine and hero.
For the heroine, I’ll say Rachael, from my romantic suspense, Run Rachael Run. She’s strong, independent, and loyal, but she can be a real smart-ass. She’s also probably the most flawed of my heroines. She tries to give the impression everything in her life is just as she wants it, but she’s more vulnerable than anyone realizes. To be happy in love, she needs a man who can see through the façade and not be intimidated by her. And I think I give her the perfect one.
For the hero, I have to go with Blake Morrison, from This Time Forever, one of the Glebe Point novels. He’s got so much good in him but he lets his pride and emotions get the best of him at times. He makes some bad choices because of them, and then doesn’t always know how to make things right, which sometimes made me want to scream at him. Fortunately he realizes the error of his ways and goes after the woman he loves before she disappears from his life forever. Oh, and he’s seriously drool worthy, just like his twin Justin in book two.
Can you give us a brief excerpt from your latest novel?
From Return to Glebe Point, my last novel:
As the ferry drew nearer the opposing shoreline, Charlene leaned forward and rested her forearms on the top of the guardrail and watched their approach.
Mountain laurel was the predominate understory populating the sandy soil on this part of the river. In mid to late spring, tiny clusters of white and pale-pink blossoms burst forth in jubilant profusion against its lance-shaped, evergreen leaves.
In July, not much bloomed in the muggy heat. Here and there, though, a few swamp mallows grew close to the shore, towering over the reed grass to show off their dinner plate-sized flowers, mostly white with maroon centers, but with a smattering of pink blossoms scattered amongst them. They flourished in the river’s brackish waters, softening the otherwise green backdrop of mid-summer that grew beneath the taller loblolly pine and white oak that were so common to the area.
The Clara Sue slowed and began to sidle up to the pier where it would be tied off for the night. Beyond the pier lay Brenton, which consisted of little more than a country store that doubled as the ferry station; the Brenton Inn, which had the only restaurant in town and served the best oyster stew and beaten biscuits in Maryland; a one-pump gas station; and Smythe’s Book and Brew, where you could get a cup of coffee while you browsed the book stacks. And beyond Brenton…the road to everything Charlene held dearest to her heart.
Phillip wouldn’t get back from his latest business trip to find her note until Thursday night. That gave her four days’ lead before he discovered she’d left him. She didn’t know if he’d try to find her, but she’d covered her tracks as well as she could just in case.
For the first time since making the decision to leave, she began to relax. Inhaling deeply, she dragged in a soul-bolstering breath of the churning salt water air. It filled her head with a thousand old memories and her heart with a whisper of hope. She was a Bay girl, and she was going home.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m currently working on a four book stand-alone series, The Bonaveras, that’s set in Virginia wine country. The series is about four sisters who inherit a winery from their parents after the two are killed in an automobile accident. Each book focuses on one of the sisters and their quest for love.
The first book in the series centers on the oldest sister, Lucia, which is the title. Lucia and Antonio, the hero, were betrothed at birth by their respective grandfathers who believed the circumstance of their births was a sign the two were destined to marry. Lucia and Antonio never actually meet until almost thirty years later. She lives in the States, and he in Italy. Neither have ever had any interest in meeting the other, and consider the antiquated contract a joke between two superstitious old men they have no intention of honoring, but when Antonio’s grandfather blackmails him into travelling to Virginia to meet Lucia and try to woo her, he’s forced to play along until he can figure out how to get rid of the noose around his neck. What neither he nor Lucia ever anticipated is the attraction that flares between them and the risk to each of them if they give in to it.
LUCIA is currently with my editor and is scheduled for release in the fall of 2016.
How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
You can find all of my books on amazon.
Anyone interested in contacting me about any of my books can do so via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m also on Twitter.
Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog, Shelley. It’s been a pleasure! You are more than welcome, Patricia, it was fun to read about your writing life.
Next up on the BIG BLUE TAKEOVER is author, Lisa Shambrook.