Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Author Patti Lacy - AN IRISHWOMAN'S TALE - Free Book

I'm really happy to feature Patti on my blog. We were together at the national American Christian Fiction Writers conference in Minneapolis this month.

Welcome, Patti. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

Sally, in An Irishwoman’s Tale, is Southern and moves to the Midwest, like I did in 1995. She loves chocolate and eats when anxious, like I do. I wish I had more of her sympathetic heart. Since this novel is inspired by a true story, it has more of “me” in it than my next two. My husband, who reads my proposals, is always saying, “Did this happen to YOU? Is this YOU?” It’s fun to keep him—and everyone else—guessing. Nearly all of my characters are based on someone—or a composite of someones. So watch out, friends and acquaintances!

I know. I own a T-shirt that says, "Careful or you'll end up in my novel." What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Ran outside in my nightgown on a rainy spring morning to save drowning earthworms. I love the little creatures that enrich my perennial bed and can’t stand to see them all waterlogged, swollen, stranded, and comatose on the concrete after a downpour. At the time, a friend of my daughter was living with us, and she happened to be looking out the window. Of course she ran screaming the news to my daughter and son, and they spread it all over the neighborhood. (I still do this from time to time but usually get dressed first.)

When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I didn’t start writing until 2005, when God whispered to me that I needed to tell The Irishwoman’s story. However, I did begin inhaling everything I could read around the age of five, starting with Illustrated Bibles and Dr. Seuss, and I think that’s the best training ground for picking up the old ballpoint and scribbling on paper.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

I read everything from Agatha Christie to literary fiction and nonfiction. This is a three-pronged screening test I apply: 1. Values that need to be examined. 2. Several recommendations by time-tested reader friends. 3. Writing, settings, characters which grab my attention and won’t let me go when I sit down in a coffee bar with the book. Latest rave reads? Three Cups of Tea, The Family Nobody Wanted, Demon: A Memoir, Just Jane, LBJ biographies by Robert Caro.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

What the Bayou Saw, Sally’s story, will be published sometime in April 2009. I’m halfway through My Name is Sheba, the premier novel in a four-book series entitled “Spanning Seas and Secrets.”

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Mainly by walking, walking, walking down the very ordinary streets of my town, Normal, Illinois. Discipline keeps my life simple. I try to get up early, write a set number of pages, take my daily constitutional (walking or jogging, depending on how achy old legs are), do housework, and cook dinner for our family. Spice is added with the occasional coffee shop chat with a friend or a video with hubby.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

I draw from Biblical characters, those nearest and dearest, stereotypes, phone books, other books. It’s all fair game!

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

Raising godly children, both of whom love the Lord. However, that’s not really our accomplishment, but God’s grace.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

A sea otter! I love paddling through the water even though I’m not a great swimmer. How wonderful it would be to have a sleek body, glide effortlessly through deep sea waters, then surface with a splash and a shake or two. The fish diet wouldn’t be a problem, either.

I loved watching the sea otters when we visited Pacific Grove, California. What is your favorite food?

Dark chocolate!

My kind of woman. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?

Getting the emotion that I felt in my heart down on paper. Camy Tang helped me with ruthless editing. She also pointed me to several great reads, Writing for Emotional Impact (Iglesias) and Getting into Character (Collins).

What advice would you give to an author just starting out?

Honestly assess the time you can devote to writing. Then set a daily goal, either number of words or time, whichever yanks the most pages from you. Do not pass go, collect $200, or even get a fresh cup of coffee until you meet that goal. Read that section, then rewrite. Do it again. Find a critique partner and repeat until they have run out of things to mark on your pages. Then hire an editor and do what they say, which will probably be…rewrite.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

An Irishwoman’s Tale
explores the painful first memories of Mary, an impetuous Irishwoman. When she dares to share them with her new friend, a gregarious Southerner, God jump-starts the healing process by leading the women on a wild trip, On rocky Irish cliffs, Mary glimpses God’s plan for her life and begins the long road to recovery from those early memories. In this novel, I examine issues such as substance abuse, Catholicism, and Alzheimer’s looking through the rose-colored glasses of Romans 8:28, God’s working for good in the lives of those who love Him.

Patti, how can readers find you on the Internet?

I’d love for you to leave a message at Contact Me, www.pattilacy.com.

Thank you, Patti, for spending this time with us.

Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. BE SURE TO CHECK BACK EVERY WEEKEND TO SEE IF YOU HAVE WON!!!

Then go to Patti's web site and leave her a message.


cpullum said...

Would love to read this book then share it with my family!

danandmarsh said...

I think my step daughter would love this book. Would love to win a copy!

Alyce said...

I would love to win a copy of this book!

Unknown said...

I'm always looking for new books to read! Would love a chance to win this. Thanks!
frog123 (at) cyipcom (dot) net


would love to read this

Chesh said...

This books looks great. I love Ireland and so would love a chance to read this.

angelleslament @ gmail.com

Patti Lacy said...

You ladies are so sweet, I'd love to pack you up and fly you to Ireland! We could visit the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, the majestic Croagh Patrick--I'll have ye seein' a thousand shades o' green in yer dreams tonight.

windycindy said...

I love the cover of her book! It makes me feel like Ireland. Please enter me in your drawing. Many thanks, Cindi

Anonymous said...

I would love to win a copy of this book. Please enter me in the drawing.


Stacey said...

Please count me in for this drawing. The book looks incredible. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

Great interview and I can relate to the eating from anxiety part!

Patti Lacy said...

Elizabeth, if I only ate during anxiety, things would be fine. In great Southern fashion, we eat to celebrate, eat to get over a cold, eat to mourn (choosing the dearly departed's favorite foods, of course!)
How about you, Lena? Do you let emotions rule your belly at times?
Lift those scones high in a toast!

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

I hope they're cranberry orange scones. I love those.

I tend to eat when I feel unsettled. When things are normal, I'm better able to control the eating.

apple blossom said...

Oh, this sounds like a delightful story. Lena, I love your T-shirt saying, "Careful or you'll end up in my novel." That's too funny. I'd love to win this book.

ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

kalea_kane said...

Excellent interview as usual. :) I was momentarily right there picking up earth worms with Patti! :) Thank you so much!



Cheryl said...

I would love to read this book. Please enter me in the contest. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

Patti Lacy said...

Hello, Readers!
Isn't this a great blog?
If you haven't had the privilege of meeting Lena, she's a dynamo! One of those folks who makes everyone feel at home, with that soft drawl and big smile! And if you love redheads--(and I have to, since that's my Mary, the main character in An Irishwoman's Tale)you're hooked for good!

herblady said...

Hello, Lena! I just subscribed here and hello, Patti! I'm only half Irish but all of me would like to read your book! So, would you please include me in the contest? Thank you!

hrbeck_98 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Patti Lacy said...

Okay, all the Irish among ye. That means you, Herblady! Let's hear yer county o' origin or yer favorite Irish county. Lena, there's some Dooleys hailing from Waterford. Are they yer kin?

As for me, I favor the green cliffs o' County Clare.

Lena Nelson Dooley said...

My husband's cousin has followed his family tree back to 1066 in England. When they moved to Ireland, the became O'Doule.

I'm not sure where else, but finally they settled in Tennessee, then moved to Texas.

Carole said...

I have been drawn to Patti's book since the first time I read about it on a blog several weeks ago. Thanks so much for the interview, and I wish Patti much success in her writing career.

cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

Anonymous said...

Patti! I'm so happy to find someone else who rescues drowning earthworms! My little granddaughter helps me.

Please enter me in your book drawing- we're planning to retire to Ireland and I'd love to read 'An Irishwoman's Tale'

Thank you and best wishes

Ruth Dell

Norma said...

This sounds intriguing - I would love to win this book.

herblady said...

Patti, I know that my grandmother was from Co. Fermanagh and I have some of her Belleek china pieces that I treasure. As for my grandfather, he died before I was born so I can't remember exactly where he was from, but it was in the south. :)

Anonymous said...

this books has caught my attention and I'd love a chance to win!

ldneuhof at hotmail dot com