to introduce my next interview
guinea pig guest, Patricia Sargeant. She’s
an award-winning author of both romance and mysteries. Let’s find out more
about her, shall we?
Patricia Sargeant is a national best-selling, award-winning author of romance and mysteries. Her work has been featured in national publications such as Publishers Weekly, USA Today, Kirkus Reviews, Suspense Magazine, Mystery Scene Magazine, Library Journal and RT Book Reviews. For more information about Patricia and her work, visit PatriciaSargeant.com.
Betty: How many books have you written and published?
Patricia: Hi, Betty! Thank you so very much for this opportunity to meet your community. I’m super excited.
I’ve published 23 books. My 23rd book, A Groom Once Again: Meet the Bridegrooms, Novella 2, was a May 2019 release. My 24th book, A Groom Worth the Wait: Meet the Bridegrooms, Novella 3, is a September 2019 release and completes the Bridegrooms novella trilogy, which started in January 2019 with A Groom to the Altar: Meet the Bridegrooms, Novella 1.
Betty: What genre(s) do you write in and why?
Patricia: I write mysteries as Olivia Matthews and as Patricia Sargeant, and I write romance as Patricia Sargeant and Regina Hart.
I write romance because I enjoy exploring how finding your soul mate can help further develop – perhaps stimulate – the best in us. I love that premise. Even in my mysteries, I often include romantic interests.
I enjoy writing mysteries because I absolutely love puzzles.
Betty: What themes or motifs did you use in your recent release and why were they important to your story?
Patricia: Ooh, I love this question! A Groom Once Again is a second-chance-at-love story. Its theme is love languages. I fiercely believe that communication is the foundation of all relationships – personal and professional. If you have a weak foundation, your relationship will crumble. To communicate effectively, we have to put ourselves in the seat of the person with whom we’re communicating. Ask ourselves, “How can I make them hear me? How can I get them to understand how X makes me feel or why Y is important to me?” In A Groom Once Again, Asher and Zora’s marriage failed because they weren’t communicating. Specifically, they didn’t recognize each other’s love language. If they want to reconcile, they’ll need to recognize and understand each other’s love language. Are they willing to put in that work?
Cynical screenwriter Asher Tomlin needs help with the script for his company’s historical documentary. Before their divorce almost three years ago, Asher and his ex-wife had made an impressive scriptwriting team. Now Asher’s two best friends urge him to turn to her again. Asher doesn’t need much prodding, though, to commit to doing whatever it takes to reunite with his ex-wife.
The clock is ticking for jaded editorial consultant Zora Dabney. Her biological clock, that is. While they were married, she and Asher had agreed to have children. Now she’s divorced and childless. So when Asher asks for help creating the script for his documentary, Zora tests his claim that he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get her to work with him.
If Asher and Zora find a way to collaborate on the script, can they also find a way back to the altar?
Betty: Do you have a specific place that you write? Revise?
Patricia: I outline, write and revise in a home office with a dictionary and a style guide close to hand. Ha!
Betty: Do you have any writing rituals while you write? Did you have a special drink, or music, or time of day that you gravitated toward?
Patricia: I really prefer to write in the early morning. It feels like such a special, magical time of day.
Betty: What helped you move from unpublished to published? A mentor or organization or something else?
Patricia: My family and Romance Writers of America helped me to move from being unpublished to my dream of becoming a published author. My family helped by not allowing me to give up on my dream. They believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. It’s almost as though they willed me to continue to believe that my dream of being published would become a reality. Romance Writers of America helped me by educating me on what I needed to know about the craft and business of writing, and by giving me access to the businesses and agencies that would help me realize my dream. I’m forever grateful to both.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest strength in your writing?
Patricia: I think my imagination is my greatest strength. As storytellers we have to continually feed our imaginations, keep it fresh and different. Challenge ourselves. We can’t allow ourselves to get into ruts.
Betty: What comes first when you’re brainstorming a new story: setting, situation, characters?
Patricia: Oh, the characters! I truly believe that characters are the story – what they desire; what they fear; the obstacles they face and/or create; the people with whom they surround themselves. Those are some of the things that drive the story.
Betty: Do you have a structured time to write or is more fluid/flexible? Do you have to write between family obligations or do you set aside a block of time?
Patricia: LOL! Oh, my word! This is another exceptionally great question. Have you heard, “We plan, God laughs.”? I believe God has deep belly laughs at my plans to set aside a block of time to write. This is another reason I prefer to write during the wee hours of the morning. It’s a “special, magical” time because there’s less chance of being interrupted. LOL!
Betty: What is one recent struggle you’ve experienced in your writing?
Patricia: Historical research. Meet the Bridegrooms is a *contemporary* novella trilogy, but the characters are working on a historical documentary. Oh, my word! Historical research is not for the faint of heart. This is me giving historical authors a standing ovation and expressing gratitude from the bottom of my heart. *applause!!!!!*
Betty: Do you participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)? Why or why not?
Patricia: Yes, I do! It provides that extra bit of motivation to focus exclusively on the writing – whether it’s an outline, a first draft or a revision. I start getting super excited around August. Ha! I’ll let you know if I ever make my NaNoWriMo goal. LOL!
Betty: What are you reading right now?
Patricia: Right now, I’m reading Land of Shadows by Rachel Howzell Hall. It’s a mainstream mystery and the storytelling is *stellar.*
Betty: What is your favorite genre to read?
Patricia: Oooh! That’s such a hard question. Um, … OK! For today, I’ll say romance. I love mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy and current events. But for today, I’ll say my favorite genre to read is romance. If you ask me tomorrow, please don’t call me a liar if my answer isn’t the same. LOL!
Betty: What are your keeper books? How often might you reread them?
Patricia: Unfortunately, I don’t have as much time to reread my keeper books anymore. (A moment of silence as I wipe the tears from my eyes.) I used to reread my keeper books two, three, four times. It felt like going back to a party where everyone knew you and love filled the room. Good times!
Betty: When you’re writing, do you read in the same genre as your work in progress or something else?
Patricia: I usually read genres outside of my work-in-progress. Actually, while I’m writing a story, I usually read research books and magazines.
Betty: Do you have a “day job” or do you write full time?
Patricia: Since being unceremoniously laid off and unable to find a comparable position with a new company, I’ve been trying to make this writing dream a reality. Wish me luck! Ha!
Betty: What do you wish readers knew about the publishing industry?
Patricia: Whoa. There are a lot of things I wish readers were told about the publishing industry. But for today, I’ll say that I wish readers better understood their own power. It seems the publishing industry makes decisions based on anecdotes and those anecdotes impact everyone’s reading experience. *Readers* should drive the reading experience. If there are stories readers want to see more of, they should let publishers know. If there are themes they want to see published, they should let publishers know. We shouldn’t have to accept only what publishers serve us; *readers* should set the menu.
Betty: What advice do you have for new writers?
Patricia: Two bits of advice come to mind for new writers. First, never stop developing your craft. It’s important to strive to deliver your best possible work. Second, never stop learning the business of writing. This industry changes so quickly. (Oops! There’s another change!) Writing is an art, but it’s also a business and, if you want to succeed, you have to treat it like a business.
Betty: Any hints of what you’re next writing project might be?
Patricia: Well, no need to twist my arm. LOL! As I mentioned, I’m wrapping up my Meet the Bridegrooms novella trilogy next month, September, with A Groom Worth the Wait. After that, my November release is a contemporary romance novel, A Wedding Gamble, which completes my Anderson Family contemporary romance trilogy, which started with Harlequin’s The Love Game and Passion Play. Thanks to the magic of indie pubbing, I’m able to bring closure to that series. I’m quite excited.
Betty: What kind of writing would you like to experiment with? Or what’s a different genre you’ve considered writing but haven’t yet?
Patricia: I would love, love, love to publish my sci-fi/fantasy! Fingers and toes crossed that I’m able to do that.
Betty, thank you again so very much for this opportunity to chat with your community. It’s been fun! Very best wishes to you for your continued success!
Thanks for sharing about your writing process, Patricia! Wishing you all the best with your career!
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