Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Marrying my husband, Dennis, followed closely by giving birth to Geoff and Matt. I’m blessed to have wonderful men around me. I also have a lovey-pie dog named Tillie.
How has being published changed your life?
Oh boy! I’ve gained relationships with amazingly creative people all over the world; I’ve wrestled with ideas and beliefs that may have gone unattended had I not been forced to face them in the writing process; and best of all, the circle between writer and reader has become more intimate. I love hearing from readers. I consider their e-mails replies to my books. What an honor to meet so many wonderful people.
What are you reading right now?
I just finished Sharon Souza’s Lying on Sunday, a truly wonderful book. Now, it’s on to Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon by Debbie Fuller Thomas for my fiction read. In the nonfiction category, I’m reading The PAPA Prayer by Larry Crabb. This is NOT just another book on prayer. I’m back in prayer kindergarten and loving it. I also keep a writing related book percolating. I’m reading Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art by Madeleine L’Engle, a true classic and quite inspirational.
What would be your dream vacation?
Early February. Southern hemisphere. Tahiti. Snorkeling. Eating. Napping. And more napping.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I make the setting of each book a character, so I must immerse myself in the climate, geography, culture, and history of a place. That usually means I pick a place within driving distance that will provide subplots for my story. The Queen of Sleepy Eye is set in the North Fork Valley of Colorado, just over an hour from where I live. Traditionally an orchard and ranching community, the mid-seventies brought new players to the valley—back-to-the-land types or hippies. Along with the coalminers, the place literally sparked interesting possibilities, besides being a beautiful place to visit. The people there are lovely, so eager to share their stories. I loved spending time there. I’m trying to convince my husband that my next story must take place in Ireland, which would mean an extended stay on the Emerald Isle. And just think, no snakes!
Seriously, I just penned a dream list—a bucket list of sorts—and I want to do some short mission trips. Our pastor just got back from Thailand and Japan. I’m game. Here I am, Lord, send me!
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
This is a tough question because there’s not a smarter man or better companion than my husband, so I would have to say: Give me a lonely child to bathe and clothe and feed and cuddle.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
My husband and I love to try out new recipes and invite folks over to share the outcome. So far, we haven’t made anyone sick. I love hiking in the high country in aspen and spruce forests during the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. Travel to almost anywhere is on my list as long as I’m not rushed. I want to meet people and spend time with the locals. Also, I have lots of flowers in my garden, so I enjoy early-morning puttering to weed and tidy. Mostly, I spend non-writing time maintaining relationships with people God has graciously gifted me as friend and family.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Be prepared! Take the time to learn the basics of stellar storytelling. Don’t hurry. You’re writing for the King. If he’s given you the gift, you owe it to him to wield it to his glory. Also, pray a lot and dive into Scripture. Get to know the heart of God. You’ll be representing him in your stories to one extent or the other.
Tell us about the featured book.
Birdie Wainwright isn’t concerned about seeing things others can’t. As a woman with macular degeneration, she considers the clarity and color of her visions a gift from God.
A splash of purple flowers on the sidewalk or mountainsides of edelweiss are welcomed diversions from the fog that covers her central vision. Besides, she has mountains to climb and tangos to dance—until a tumble down the stairs breaks her ankle.
Anxious to reconnect with her son and grandson, she accepts her son’s invitation to convalesce in Denver, miles and worlds away from her mountain home. And then, Huckleberry Finn comes to call. The line between reality and whimsy turns brittle. Faith is tested. And hope is reborn.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Yes, come and visit me! I love hearing from readers.
Web site: http://www.pattihillauthor.com/
And my newest and grandest presence yet: http://novelmatters.blogspot.com/
I will be blogging with seven other amazing writers with powerful and gentle voices. We’ll blog on a rotating basis on all things that make books irresistible. Writers can hone their crafts. Readers will gain an inside look. This blog went live on January 1, 2009. Come see Jennifer Valent (starred PW review for her first novel), Sharon K. Souza, Latayne Scott, Debbie Fuller Thomas, Bonnie Grove, eh?, Kathleen Popa, and little ol’ me. From our conference calls, we can guarantee no dull moments.
Lena, thanks for your hospitality. It’s been an absolute honor to spend time with your readers.
Patty, my readers and I thank you for spending this time with us.
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