Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wednesday Wonder Writer - Patricia Pellicane

Did you check out the featured book yesterday? I'm very lucky to have the author of that book (and many more) visiting my blog. Patricia Pellicane has a long and fruitful history with the publishing business, and I'm really pleased to have her with me today. Without further ado, the interview:

Author’s lives intrigue readers and other writers. Tell me about your typical daily schedule.

If a reader only knew how boring almost all writers were, Shaking my head here. It would ruin the mystic. So let’s not tell them. Unless you’re Jackie Collins, well, even she doesn’t have constantly exciting days. If writers had constant excitement, when would they write? Here’s my typical day. I sleep late cause I work until 11:00 and then watch some of the shows I taped till around 3 or 4 in the morning. Hate commercials. First thing, I work for an hour or two promoting on Yahoo and gmail. Work on my website, etc. I write from about 1 to 4. I make dinner. Eat and go back to writing until anywhere from 8 to 11, depending on how it’s going that day. Sorry for the disappointment.

Do you have a pre-writing routine to prepare yourself to get down to business?

I get out of bed stagger to the bathroom, brush my teeth, then make a strong cup of tea and I’m ready.

What’s your writing style? Slow and steady? Quick and prolific? All over the place?

Everyday I write five pages. Unless I’m doing rewrite, edits whatever. If I’m working on a book it’s five pages or more. It doesn’t matter if it takes me two hours, which it sometimes does or ten. If I wait for a burst of inspiration, I’ll never get anything done. Five pages, every day.

That's a really good method (and good advice to new writers too!). What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned since starting work in this industry?

From the beginning I realized writing was only part of the package. When you work for a print company there are constant meetings/lunches, cocktail parties, sometimes at really exclusive restaurants, museums, or mansions, and small one day conferences, a half dozen times a year. Mostly in New York City. Very up close and personal. You see and get to know your agent, publisher, editors, reviewers, distributors, art people, etc.

In ebooks, it’s constant self promotion and much more lonely. Everything is done by email, you see no one, you know no one personally. I miss most of all getting together with other writers. I have a few friend and we do that a few times a year. By then I’m desperate to talk about writing.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m finishing up the last book for my Resplendence contract. More than halfway finished plus I’m doing rewrites for the first book, Heat Flash, due out on March 30th.

What’s your favorite genre to write?

M/F Romance. I’m a sucker for a happy ever after endings.

I find a lot of authors like to read outside their chosen genre. What do you like to read?

Lately I haven’t read much, been working too hard, plus I’ve started reviewing for A History of Romance. Doesn’t leave me much time. But when I can I like to read mysteries. James Patterson is my favorite, crisp clear writing, very entertaining and Sandra Brown, I just love her stuff.

Do you have a favorite author or someone you look up to in the industry?

Kathleen Woodiwiss was my favorite. I read Shanna about ten or twelve times, back in the day. When I started writing, I strove to write like her and was delighted to be compared to her when I wrote Deceptions of the Heart.

I love to read Bronte and Austen. They are so excellent.

Tell me your writing story…when did you decide this was what you want to do? How long did it take you to get “the call”? When were you first published? Etc.

I’m astonished when I hear writers say they knew they were going to be a writer when they were eight. I think oh my God, what happened to me? When I was eight, I was playing, running bases, racing my bike, building forts and the kids down the block were teaching me how to curse. We would practice starting from…all right forget about that.

I got married a year out of high school and started, after another year, having babies. By the time I was 25 I had my first five. Two more came along when I was in my thirties. So you can understand after an exhausting day of chasing little kids, cooking, cleaning, etc, why I needed a break. Romance novels were just the thing. I loved them madly. And most of them were wonderful. Except one. I can’t remember which one it was but when I finished it, I thought, even I could do better than that. Arrogant enough for you? I think most writers are pretty arrogant to imagine they are good enough to get published. And it’s a good thing they are, or no one would ever be published.

Anyway I wrote a novel. Never did get it published but thick-head that I am I refused to take no for an answer. Twenty-six rejections on that one. Never did sell it. My second novel got published. I was thirty five, I think. A later bloomer.

How many books have you had published and for whom?

I’ve have twenty-two books published for Pocket, Zebra and Avon. So far this year I have eleven ebooks finished or almost finished and will be out this year plus I’ve promised another to Total-e bound by mid May. That makes twelve. I probably will get a few more in before the end of this year.

What’s your latest release? Can you tell us about the book and how you got the idea?

This is very boring, but it’s the truth. Almost all my ideas come from washing dishes. Nothing is so mind numbing as cleaning a kitchen and my mind constantly wanders as I put the furniture polish in the fridge and the cold cuts in my husband’s underwear drawer.

This month I have three books out. The Homecoming released by Freya’s Bower on March 2, a hot sexy little piece. Happy Birthday Baby released by Total-e-bound March 15th my favorite kind of book, hot, sexy with a touch of humor, and Heat Flash, March 30th, released by Resplendence, a sizzling love story.

What’s your writing space like?

My house is oddly shaped. My living room is twenty-six feet long, but only a little more than half of it is used while the rest is…anyway I took that half for my office. All offspring are married and living in towns near me, but my house is empty during the day. So even though it’s not private it’s perfect for me. (See pictures above of Patricia's desk and the two shelves behind it.)

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I wish I could say jetting off to Paris, but not. If I’m not writing, I’m cooking, trying new recipes, visiting with my kids. (I should clean my house but that would mean starting another story, wouldn’t it and I still can’t remember where I put the bleach I use to clean my cutting board, or the small broom. I use for...)

Back to the question. I get such a kick out of my grandchildren. They keep me laughing especially when I ask my kids payback is a bitch, isn’t it?

I like very simple things like going to Amish country in the summer. Definitely a tourist trap. Still I enjoy it. I love to antique shop. I like visiting big mansions in the south. Anything civil war, old forts, Gettysburg, Valley Forge, etc. I can’t get enough history.

I’m all about ‘giving people something to talk about’. We all experience crazy things from time to time. Can you
tell us something unusual that you’ve done or
had happen to you?

Nothing unusual happens to me. Swear it. I’m so boring what could happen? Except there was that sex tape of course, but I already put that in the author spotlight for TEB April newsletter.

So what else…… Oh you know what I did at work? Right before I left the job, I was working for our friendly electric company. I always say friendly electric company because I love an oxymoron.

Now that I think of it, a man called on a co call. That’s carbon monoxide leak. His detector was going off. I called down for gas to respond and he refused to go. Said the guy’s always calling. So I told my supervisor. She insisted he had to go. He went. And the reading showed the guy would have been dead inside an hour or so. So I helped to save a man’s life. That was exciting.

Tell us… What’s your favorite movie and why?

Casablanca. God I loved it. He loved her so much he hated her. Gone with the Wind, Rhett Butler, not too shabby. The Notebook. I can cry just thinking about it. It was so touching. As you can see my tastes run toward romance. And not one of these had a happily ever after ending.

There was a joke going around when I was new to the business about what a romance editor would do to Margaret Mitchell’s book. How she would insist on a happy ending. How she would be adamant that Mr. Butler just had to be nicer and oh dear he’d never curse in front of his lady. The truth of the matter seems to be many of the not so happy ever after endings are the one’s that remain with us.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with readers?

I don’t know how many readers I have, but I’d say I hope you like what I’ve done so far. My next story is going to be about a witch. Haven’t figured out how or what, need to do the dishes again, I guess. I’m looking forward to writing it. Hope my readers are as well.

Last questions…
Coke or Pepsi? Diet cream soda. I drink it all the time.

Summer or Winter? Oh Summer please. Family barbecues at least twice a month. Block parties. Spring and fall are actually the best. The whole tribe, or most of us anyway get together to go pumpkin and apple picking in the fall. I love the colors. Winter is just a time for bears and people to hibernate.

Cat person or Dog person? I like animals. Really I do, but not now. When the kids were growing up we had dogs. I hate to even think about the work that’s involved with kids and animals. After they got married, the kids not the dogs, the last animal left with my last daughter. After that I went with just a cat. He died when he was fifteen and I haven’t gotten another. When I’m old, if I ever get old, I’d like a Yorkie.

Bronte or Austen? Love them both. I mean I really love them, both. If I had to chose probably Austen. Oh, Mr. Darcy.

Star Trek or Star Wars? I like them both but not that much. I equate them to space cowboys. Not really into sci-fi.

McDonalds or Burger King? Oh a whopper, definitely. That just made me hungry.

Patricia, thanks for being here today! Readers, you can find Patricia at:

www.patriciapellicane.com

6 comments:

Molly Daniels said...

Hi Patricia:) Kudos for not giving up after the 26 rejections! When I first began writing, my goal was to be pubbed by age 20...then 30...I finally accomplished it before 40:) LOVE your bookshelves!

Bronwyn Green said...

I'm also highly impressed that you didn't give up after 26 rejections - well, done!!!

I'm even more impressed that you still have the energy to write after raising seven kids. I think I'd still be sleeping that off - lol!

Anna Mayle said...

I could only wish to write 5 pages each day. It's definitely a goal to strive toward. And to have so many books published through so many places. I applaud your ambition as much as I envy it ^_^.

Genella deGrey said...

Ditto on all of the above!
Fun interview, girlies!
:)
G.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hi, Pat,

I get most of my ideas exercising. So washing dishes is more or less comparable.

Great interview. I like the electric company story.

Warmly,
Lisabet

Furniture Cleaning NY said...

Hi, just visited your blog first time, and found it quite interesting. Nice post indeed. Thanks for sharing it to all
Regards
Prabhat
Furniture Cleaning New York