July 8, 2010

Anne Patrick Talks FIRE AND ASH

This week I'm chatting with romantic suspense author, Anne Patrick, who I am a fan of. Please welcome her to The Balanced Writer and join us as we talk about sunflower seeds, social quirks and her new book, FIRE AND ASH.
Good day, Anne! I know you hail from the Mid-West. Would you mind sharing a little about your background and how you became an author?

Thanks for having me, Danielle! Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had an over-active imagination. This was fueled later on in life by a variety of jobs that nudged me toward a passion for writing suspense. The most interesting job I had was as a transport specialist—transporting prisoners to court and to correctional institutions. FYI, the Fulton County Jail in Atlanta and the Miami-Dade County Jail in Miami is as scary as they look on TV. *grin*

Thanks for that…Ha! I'm not sure if that's comforting being as I'm not far from Atlanta. So, your new release, FIRE AND ASH, is published by DBP. Give us a little taste of what we can expect.

If you like ‘sweet’ romantic suspense, you’ll love FIRE AND ASH. Here’s a snippet:

Fire investigator, Sadie McGregor is called to her hometown to investigate a suspicious fire that claimed the life of a local college student. Teaming up with the handsome new police chief, Quinn Harrington, the two must unravel the mystery surrounding the fire. The answers they find could rock the whole community and may cost one of them their life.

Your plots are always so interesting. How do you research them? Have any good contacts?

While working on FIRE AND ASH, I was fortunate in finding fire investigator Keith Tarbox to help me out. He read my manuscript, offered his expertise and made some great suggestions on how to improve my characters. Book research is good, but finding a contact in the field you’re writing about is much better. Keith was a huge asset in getting inside Sadie’s head.

Having someone in the flesh you can talk to one on one about expertise must be amazing. But how do you balance your life with your writing? Exercise? Hobbies?

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet found such a balance. I envy those who have. When I’m working on a project, really in the zone, my writing comes first. Unless you drop by my day job, you won’t be seeing me until I’m finished with the first draft. Thankfully, I have understanding family and friends who know how obsessive I am and still love me despite my poor social skills.

I think there are a lot of writers who have social and obsession issues. I remember when I saw the first commercial for Social Anxiety Disorder…I suddenly felt vindicated. It had a name! We're a shy lot for the most part. So what's the best feedback you've ever received?

By far, the fan mail. There is no greater feeling than to receive a letter or email from a reader telling you how much they enjoyed one of your books.

I've gotten a couple of those. They make your day, huh? What about your nights? You're sitting at your keyboard. You've got to have a snack. What do you go after?

Chocolate or sunflower seeds, and a diet soda of course.

Oh, yes. I recall you have a sunflower seed habit. For some reason that makes me smile. What are your future goals as far as novel writing is concerned?

Long term goal – to earn the title, New York Times Bestselling Author. Short term goal – finish my two work-in-progresses.

Dream big, I always say. And you are on the right path! Now tell me, what's the last book you read that really moved you?

The Shack. It’s an amazing book!

Hmm…I've heard so much about that one. If you enjoyed it, I know I would.

Last, would you tell our visitors where they can purchase or just find out some more about Fire and Ash?

You can purchase it from Desert Breeze Publishing or at most online bookstores. To learn more about me and my other books, you can visit my website www.annepatrick.weebly.com or blog www.suspensebyanne.blogspot.com

Thanks, Anne, for coming by and chatting with me. {{Hug}} I have already bought FIRE AND ASH myself and can't wait to get into it this weekend!

If you've stopped by for a visit, please leave a comment for Anne and check out her new release, FIRE AND ASH, and don't miss out on her blog. It's pretty cool.

Have a great weekend, everybody!



Anne Patrick said...

Hi again everyone!

I'd love to give away a free download of Fire and Ash. All you have to do is leave a comment. Either Danielle or I will draw a winner Sunday afternoon.

Good luck!

Miss Mae said...

I had no idea this interview was up until this minute! Anne, yes, the jails are scary, but so are the prisons! And it was UN-fun they fingerprinted me on my first day at work, and there was an escape, and they got the hounds out and bells were ringing...

I've heard wonderful things about Fire & Ash. You go, girl, and get on that NY Times Best Seller list! :)

Danielle Thorne said...

That's great news, Anne--can't wait to share that with everyone on Facebook! And great interview, too. Thanks for coming over today.

Cheryl said...

Hi Anne!

Well, I must say, FIRE AND ASH looks like a wonderful read. When my kids were in 7th grade the school they attended took them on a field trip to the county jail. Jessica went first, then three years later, they were still doing it, and Casey went. Pretty weird "field trip"--but they still remember it and talk about it to this day from time to time, so I guess it made quite an impression on them. LOL Good luck with FIRE AND ASH! I'm keeping my fingers crossed to win! Interesting interview--I enjoyed it.


Ann said...

You ladies lead such interesting, exciting lives...not only in the fiction you write, but in your real lives. I envy you your talent!

Three of the things that I remember most about college classwork involved field trips to: 1. the women's prison in Alabama, 2. sitting in on cases at the county court house, and 3. visiting a criminal psyche ward. Anne's work falls right into my preferred reading category. If I don't win a copy of Fire and Ash you can bet I'll buy one.

Anne Patrick said...

Miss Mae, I bet you made an awesome prison guard. And yes, those lock-down's are pretty scary.

Cheryl, field trips for teenagers to county jails and prisons is a great idea I think. I'm not surprised your kids still remember their trips. It does leave a lasting impression!

Ann, thank you so much! I found the court room experiences very interesting too. Once my partner and I had to drag a lady kicking and screaming out of the court room. Now that was fun :-).

Danielle Thorne said...

Goodness! Prison guards and prisoner escorts and college field trips in the psych wards. Who are you women??

haha! *wink*

Sherry Gloag said...

I enjoyed the interview and the details of Fire and Ash. Who knows? This may be the one that brings your dreams to fruition? It sounds good enough to me. :-)
I'm in the UK and have never heard of school trips to visit the prisons, but it wouldn't be a bad idea!

Maryann Miller said...

What a terrific interview. Read so much like a chat between two writers... oh, right... LOL

Seriously, it was fun to get to know you Anne and bit about your book. I agree on how important it is to interview experts as opposed to relying on book research alone. I have a whole scene in one of my books that came out of an interview with an expert. He was so fascinating I made him a minor character.

Anne Patrick said...

Hi Sherry and Marryann, thanks for your comments. Fire and Ash, a New York Times Bestselling novel, does have a nice ring to it. Cross your fingers and toes.

Erotic Horizon said...

Wonderful interview - I was just looking through your backlog and it's nice to know that your life experience have come in handy in your writing..

and - you know exactly the genre you are comfortable with...

Congrats on your releases -all the best..


annepatrick07 said...

Ann, your name was drawn for the free download. WooHoo!

Please email me annepatrick07[at]yahoo[dot]com so I can get the copy to you.