Welcome, Candice. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I started to answer this question with “not a lot,” but the more I thought about it the more I realized how much of myself I do put in there! For example, almost all of my stories contain sections of witty banter between the hero and heroine. That’s the relationship my husband and I have. We’re always jokingly sparring with each other and we laugh a lot. I slip in other pieces of my life in there too, but unless I reveal it online or you know me personally, you probably won’t catch what those things are. In my contemporary romance novel How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart, Emma (who’s four) gets a kitten and names him Baby Kitty. His name, description, and personality are from my furry friend of sixteen years. At least one of my characters always drinks coffee, because like most writers I’m addicted. I also like to slip in the names of people I know, so when they read the book they’re pleasantly surprised.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Quirky or crazy? J
I’m a go-big-or-go-home kind of person, so when I set my mind to something I go all-out. That’s probably more crazy than quirky. I once hiked all the way to the bottom of the
I’ve always been a big fan of the 1980s versions of Anne of Green Gables, so when I was in my early twenties and I
heard that director Kevin Sullivan and some cast members from Road to Avonlea were meeting fans in ,
I made an overnight decision to go, and my husband drove us up there. And after
researching honeybees extensively for How
to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart, I decided to dive into the world of
beekeeping and purchased my own beehive last spring. Toronto, Canada
Definitely more crazy than quirky. LOL
Years ago, there were hives on the property we rented. I love honey fresh out of the hive. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
My love for books and the written word started before I could even read, and I enjoyed writing my own stories on rainy days. The dream bit me hardest when I was around fifteen and that entire summer I read every Janette Oke book my local library had. That’s when I knew I wanted to write my own books, tell stories that make a difference, see my labor of love on bookstore and library shelves with other authors. At sixteen, I took a two-year writing course through the
which I completed through correspondence while finishing my last two years of
high school. Institute
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I rarely branch away from romance. I’ll read all genres of it, but I want the plot to hold at least some element of romance to it. I gave up on reading secular romance years ago because of content, so I’m always on the lookout for new authors who write clean romance while I still avidly devour Christian romance.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I won’t claim to do it very well. J
My two oldest sons are in high school and both are very involved in sports, so I’m on the road a lot. I’m also an elementary librarian, a Sunday School teacher, and a board member for my local library on top of writing books and the everyday duties of wife and mother. I admit, I do get frazzled at times. I try to stay sane by planning dates with my husband, making myself shut everything else out and having a family-only night, reading my Bible, praying, and reading. I read every night before bed, which helps me wind down. Bubble baths help and, of course, chocolate.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
I try to choose names that aren’t overly used, though that doesn’t always happen. If I get stuck and can’t come up with a good unique name on my own I usually shout out for help to my Facebook followers. They’re always good at helping out.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
My children. That title means more to me than any other.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I would probably be a cat. I love naps!
I never took many naps as an adult, but this year, I’m doing more naps. What is your favorite food?
I honestly can’t narrow it down to just one. I love to eat. Fresh fruits and veggies are my favorite in the summer and comfort food is my favorite in the winter.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
My greatest roadblock was giving my characters flaws to make them realistic yet making them likable at the same time. Huck
in How to Charm a Beekeeper’s Heart is a great example of this. He’s
not a believer, he comes from a broken home with child abuse in his past, and
since he never had a fatherly example to teach him how to treat women with
gentleness and respect, he doesn’t know how to do this as an adult. Giving him
those flaws, yet still making him likable as the hero was tough. It took more
revisions than I can count to get this balance. In the end, I realized I had to
show his “good side” up front before I introduced all his flaws, and from there
I had to make the reason for his flaws apparent to the reader so they’d
sympathize with him, while he takes steps of growth throughout the story. Anderson
Tell us about the featured book.
I normally write contemporary romance, so Beneath a Michigan Moon (part of The
Lighthouse Brides Collection) is my first historical romance. Ava Ryan
unexpectedly finds herself as lightkeeper of the New Presque Isle lighthouse on
Lake Huron when her father passes away. She’s
granted the position on a trial basis, and she’s doing everything she can to
secure it permanently, as she has no family and nowhere else to go. She’s
surviving, until logging foreman Benjamin Colfax arrives, wanting to climb the
tower to determine his crew’s best cutting route. She denies him access. He
suspects she’s holding a secret, or many, and he’s determined to not only use
the tower but to discover what makes the attractive lightkeeper tick.
There’s a strong attraction between the characters from the start and plenty of witty banter to keep the story light. Beneath a Michigan Moon has been one of my favorite stories to write.
Please give us the first page of the book.
June 30, 1885—New Presque
Isle Lighthouse, Lake Huron
Ava Ryan walked the shoreline of
Huron, enjoying the most beautiful day of the year—until she
crossed paths with the devil. He was even more dashing than she remembered from
their previous encounters.
Wicked dimples sunk the inner parts of his cheeks. She looked away from blue eyes as enchanting as the crystalline water, peeved by his presence, more peeved that she was wearing her plainest shirtwaist. But nothing else would do, as she was in mourning. And barefoot to boot. Pretending not to see him, Ava lowered onto a nearby boulder and tucked her feet beneath her skirt.
“Miss Ava Ryan.” Hands buried in the pockets of his brown trousers, he sidled up to her as casually as if they’d known each other their whole lives.
She glared at him, though with the angle of the sun peering over his shoulder and into her eyes, he’d think she was squinting. “Mr. Colfax. What brings you this close to the lighthouse? Again.”
How can readers find you on the Internet?
I interact with readers on my Facebook page, Candice Sue Patterson-Author. Readers can also keep up to date with my latest news on my website at www.candicesuepatterson.com. My website is also the best place to contact me through email. (I love hearing from readers!)
I can also be found on Goodreads and Pinterest.
Thank you, Candice, for sharing part of your life and this book with my blog readers and me.
Readers, here are links to the book.The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection - Christianbook.com
The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides Collection: 7 Historical Romances Are a Beacon of Hope to Weary Hearts - Amazon.com
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