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Interview with Patricia Elliott

Q.1 Tell us a little about yourself?
A. Hi, my name is Patricia Elliott and, first I just want to say, thank you for the interview opportunity. My family and I live on the mainland in South-western British Columbia, Canada. I was born and raised in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island.

My favorite thing to do when I was young was to go down to the Alberni Inlet and just sit and write or sit and think. It was always easier to sort out the thoughts going through my mind when I was near a body of water. We also had a trail system near our house that led to a small waterfall; it was one of my favorite places to hide if I needed to get away. I guess you could say I’m really a mermaid at heart.

Q.2 Do you have any upcoming books?
A. This is my year for short stories as opposed to novels. I do have a few dark micro-fiction stories coming out in April, but I’m really excited about a second chance romance story that I’m working on. The story means a lot to me as it will raise awareness of a very personal struggle that many people around the world face. I can’t say too much about it now, but I’m hoping it’s released later this year.
That’s not to say that I don’t have any novels in the works though. I do have four completed novels that just need to be edited. Two of them belong in one series, and I’m just waiting to start and complete the third book before introducing the spicy series to the world.
Q.3 When and why did you begin writing?
A. I was just a youngster when I started writing; it was a way to escape the harsh reality of bullying. Writing and reading allowed me to escape into another world where I could be anyone or anything; even a mermaid.

Q.4 Among all the protagonists of your titles, who’s your favorite and why?
A. I’ve always been partial to Alexander Richards from Her Lover’s Face, as he was my first ever male protagonist; but, I do have to say that Steve Jones from my short story, Love Knows No Apocalypse, is among my favorite. He’s not afraid to still be himself, Hawaiian t-shirts and all, even with all the zombies roaming around. I think sometimes we let the world define us when we really should be looking inward to discover who we want to be and not who others might want us to be.
Q.5 What about the supporting characters? Who does think is dearest to you?
A. That would have to be Joanne from Her Lover’s Face. She has worked for Alexander and his family since he was a kid and is quite a lovable older lady. She took Laryssa under her wing when Alex brought her home. Made sure that Alex treated Laryssa right, making him apologize when he didn’t. I’m actually in the process of writing a story where she is the protagonist.

Q.6 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite among them?
A. I’ve written 6 novels, 3 novellas, and numerous short stories. Only 2 of the 6 novels are currently on the market. I think my first ever novel, Her Lover’s Face, will always be my favorite. It’s the one that taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to as long as I believe.

Q.7 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
A. I learned a long time ago that men and women think differently which can make it a little tricky getting out of the female way of thinking when writing a male character. While we all have the same emotions that riffle through us, the way we react to them is often innately different. Having said that, some men have more female traits and some women have more male traits, so you really have to dig deep into your character and really know who they are to know how they’ll respond to any given situation.

Q.8 In your opinion, what’s the recipe for an irresistible love story?
A. I think it comes down to one simple word: conflict. When you add conflict to a story, it keeps the reader turning the pages to see how the characters will overcome the barriers between them and find there happily ever after. And I believe every love story needs to have a happily ever after, otherwise, is it really a love story?

Q.9 How do you select the name of your characters?
A. I tend to run through a baby names website unless a name feels right for my character. Sometimes it’s based on their past, like where their family is from. Sometimes it’s based on the personality of my character. You just know when you find the right name.

Q.10 What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
A. Does this have to be about writing or anything in general? I think my greatest accomplishment is continuing to have a life while struggling with OCD. I’ve learned the power it takes to overcome my fears and continue to move forward in spite of them. The battle is daily, but I still get up and do what I have to do. My desire is to show my kids that we have the power within us to do anything we set out mind to.

Q.11 Outside of your family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author?
A. I think I have to give this one to Black Velvet Seductions and their group of authors. Without Richard Savage and his team, I wouldn’t be a published author today. The sense of community among his authors is out of this world.
Q.12 Do you believe in writer’s block? If yes, how do you deal with it?
A. I think there are a few different examples of writer’s block.
1. Sometimes life is overwhelming and your mind just can’t get into its creative mode to write a story; all your energy is eaten up by your circumstances. I find that writing about what you’re going through helps break you free from the jail of your mind/life.
2. Occasionally, your characters end up backed into a corner with nowhere to go. This is when you have to re-evaluate your story and try to find out what you can change to open up a path. That happened to me with my first ever novel. I ended up having to resurrect a character from the dead. LOL
3. The last one is not really writer’s block but it can appear as writer’s block. It’s when you first sit down at a computer, and you end up staring at a blank page with no clue what to write. This is because your mind isn’t in its creative mode yet, and it can take a different amount of time for each writer before they get in the zone. It usually takes me about 20 minutes before I get into my writing groove.
Q.13 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
A. I love connecting with my readers and since we can’t always chat with them face to face, reviews are the one way we can hear what they have to say. Our readers are important, for, without them, our stories would not have a home.
In terms of dealing with bad ones, I don’t give it a lot of thought really. Everyone is welcome to their own opinion and not everyone is the same. Some will like our work and some won’t. If you skim the reviews of even greatest authors, you’ll find that they get bad reviews, too, but they still keep on writing. That’s all we can do.
Q.14 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
A. Not particularly, but I do have to have a Dr. Pepper on my desk when I write. The caffeine jumpstarts my brain I think.

Q.15 Do you hide any secrets in your book that only a few people will find?
A. Yes, but I can’t tell you what, or they wouldn’t be secrets anymore. LOL
Q.16 Who designed your book covers?
A. My BVS book covers were designed by Jessica Greeley. She has a fantastic eye for detail and for capturing the very essence of your story.

Q.17 What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
A. My advice would be to never give up on your dreams even when the road gets tough. There will be obstacles that come your way, but they only remain obstacles for as long as you let them. Believe in yourself and your story, and it will light the way.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?
A. That’s a tough question, there are so many people out there that it would be an honor to meet: Jesus, Mary, Moses, Noah; but, if I stick with a writing themed answer, I’d have to say, Nora Roberts. I’ve read more of her books than just about any other, except maybe the Sweet Valley High series that I devoured as a kid. Her books gave me more of a desire to write, and the freedom to write the way that I do.

Q.19 What is your favorite book and why?
A. That would have to be the Bible because it gives me hope for the future, and the power to live in this present moment.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
A. My journey is probably much the same as other writers. I finished my first novel in 2006 when I was 26 years old. Sadly, after harsh criticism and a publisher’s rejection, I allowed life to get the better of me and gave up writing for a decade. My skin wasn’t very thick back then.
In 2016, I found my love of writing again by joining a writing/reading website that my teen daughter introduced me to. The readers there loved my work, and it breathed new life into my soul. I was encouraged by a dear friend, Heather Teston, to send my first novel to Black Velvet Seductions; and, after what felt like forever, I received news that the owner loved my work. He published my book two months after my 40th birthday. It was the best birthday present ever.
Sometimes I do wish that I would have kept with it because I’d be much farther ahead today, but I can’t complain. Everything happens in its own season, right? If you have a dream, don’t let anyone or anything discourage you. If you believe it, you can achieve it!
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  1. It was nice getting to know you, Patricia. The writing to escape bullying really tugged at my heart. I have your book, Her Lover's Face, and can't wait to read it!

    1. Thanks so much, Gibby. I hope that people can see that no matter how bad things get there is always a way to push past to the other side. Writing gave me the outlet to do that. :)

  2. Great post Patricia. I’m glad that you decided to resume your writing after all. I read Her Lover’s Face and loved every page. Sometimes, taking a long break helps us put everything in perspective, realize what is really important to us. Congrats on your upcoming release.

    1. Thanks so much, Suzanne. :) I agree, a break can sometimes recharge us in a way that nothing else can

  3. Lovely getting to know you. I'm sure I've told you how much I enjoyed Her Lover's Face. Great book.
    Great interview!

    1. That you have. Thank you so much. I really enjoyed your book "The Caretaker." I loved that your characters were older than those in the average romance book.

  4. I loved your interview, Patricia! Great, positive message to other writers.

    1. Thank you. ♥️ Great things can happen when we keep trying.

  5. Patricia, what a wonderful interview! I agree that BVS has some of the most supportive, wonderful authors, and I'm grateful to be among them. So happy to know you and your work!

    1. I'm happy to have met you too and have had a chance to check out your work. I'm looking forward to reading your other books. I enjoyed Naval Maneuvers. ♥️

  6. Wonderful blog. It was so interesting learning more about you, Patricia. I am passionate about being by water too. You are right conflict is so important. One reason I love your stories.

    1. There is something mystical and special about water, otherworldly almost. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. ♥️

  7. Lovely interview, and what a lovely site. I have been a big fan of Patricia Elliott for ages now, i love her stories, she has a great way with words.

  8. Great interview Patricia! Your writing rate is soooo impressive... well done!

  9. Fun interview! I'll be looking out for Easter eggs in your stories now! :)