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Interview with Patricia M. Muhammad

Murder by Dissent

She is a multi-genre, diverse fiction author. Currently focused on writing science fiction/fantasy, historical romance, and mystery/detective romance novels.

Q.1 Tell us something about yourself not many people know?
The town I grew up in was so small that we had to use the neighboring one's post office whose zip code we shared (as the tale has always been relayed).

Q.2 Are we going to read more from you shortly? Any new project you’re working on?
Yes, I am currently working on my 20th novel. I will be doing more promotion (2021) of another mystery/detective romance novel most have not learned about. I have plenty of novels waiting to be published.

Q.3 What inspired you to write The Speakeasy Murders?
The glamour of early Hollywood and the era of the 1920s inspired me to write The Speakeasy Murders. People wore suits and dresses to see motion pictures, just not live theatre, and even for the underground clubs, the men and women wore fancy styles.

Q.4 What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
I would say describing the masculine nature of a gentleman's touch that appears genuine and not contrived.

Q.5 How do you develop your plots and characters? Do you use any set formula?
A lot of times, the plot develops as I write. The characters develop as they interact with their environment and other people. However, I usually write from a female protagonist's perspective and even still try to have each one of them in every book to depict a different personality type. I do not use a formula. Instead, I use different cities and countries to relay a character's background and experience as either juxtaposed or complementary to them.

Q.6 Is it vital to get exposure and target the right readers for your writing? Tell us about your marketing campaign?
According to everyone else, yes, it matters. I have done some preliminary research, and regardless of whether an author is traditionally or indie/self-published, it matters. I primarily use Twitter, my website, and my monthly newsletter to alert potential readers of my book releases.

Q.7 Is there anyone you’d like to acknowledge or thank for their support in your writing journey?
Other than a few deceased others mentioned in my books' dedication pages as inspiration, not support; no, there is no one else to acknowledge for their support in my writing journey.

Q.8 How many books have you written? Which one is your favorite?
I have currently written 19 fiction novels. I have a few. I would have to say Ascending Darkness and Beyond the Moonlight and the Flame from the Silhouette Lost series. I would say Love Captured, Ardor's Prestige, and The House of Marchesi of the historical fiction that I have written.

Q.9 What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?
One of the most surprising things I have learned while writing my books was that I exceeded my base number goal of books I wanted to write.

Q.10 What do you want readers to take away from your books?
Adventure, beautiful affection between husband and wife, and a sense of self-discovery.

Q.11 Is there anything you find particularly challenging about writing?
Yes. Having ideas for plots and keeping yourself motivated despite unusual and extreme circumstances and distractions beyond your control.

Q.12 What do you consider being your best accomplishment?
What I consider to be my best accomplishment would be my Silhouette Lost series. The first book, Silhouette Lost, I wrote as part of my fiction literary journey. After eight books within the series, I may pursue one more idea to complement the series.

Q.13 Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write what is original. I do not do reimaginings or intentional combinations of what is popular or considered commercially viable. I remember receiving a rejection letter from a literary agent who complimented Silhouette Lost series. She said it was one of the most unique stories she has ever read. Though they did not pursue the opportunity with me, I accepted it as one of the best compliments a fiction author could receive.

Q.14 Who designed your book covers?
Thus far, I have chosen premade and custom book cover designers from a marketplace. They have basically freelanced book cover designers that range their options from premade, custom, and premium book covers.

Q.15 Do you have any unique and quirky writing habits?
I have inclined towards specific disposable pens, from their .mm measurement to the actual plastic cover of the writing utensil. That's about it.

Q.16 How do you select the name of your characters?
For science fiction/fantasy, I either make them up, this I will use Western names and combine them to create a new one, or if it is contemporary, I look at names that have a meaning that instinctually I know will have some relevance at some point throughout the story (even if it is a hint). For 18th century historical romance, I search for popular male and female names for the time and the European country I set the plot in.

Q.17 Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with good or bad ones?
I don't have any so far, so I am unable to say.

Q.18 Which famous person, living or dead, would you like to meet and why?
I would have to say the famous person I would like to meet is Nelson Mandela. His struggle for justice spanned decades, and most people would not sacrifice their lives to accomplish what he did.

Q.19 What is your favorite book from other authors and why?
I would say from John Steinbeck: The Pearl, from Toni Morrison: The Bluest Eye, W.E.B. DuBois: The Souls of Black Folk. So this one is a conundrum as I only saw the motion picture in the movie theatre adapted based on his book: Coraline by Neil Gaiman.

Q.20 Share the experience of your journey so far?
Tumultuous. Writers are literary artists. They are artists, which means that many are tortured souls. There are times where I can write for consecutive days and feel motivated. On the other hand, there are days in which I experience writer's block, more so as of late than ever before. The most rewarding aspect of it is that no one can lay claim to what I have created, and the anticipation of sharing it with others is both nerve-wracking and exciting.

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