Please help me welcome my guest author today, Patricia Simpson! She is a fellow RWA member and lover of paranormal and historical stories. Let’s look at her bio and then get to know her a bit better.
Patricia Simpson is an Amazon bestselling writer from the Bay Area of California. She has won numerous awards, including multiple Reviewer’s Choice Awards from Romantic Times as well as a Career Achievement Award. Her debut novel, WHISPER OF MIDNIGHT, was a finalist in the prestigious RITA awards of Romance Writers of America. One of her more recent novels, SPELLBOUND, was nominated Best Indie Paranormal of the Year. After a long career with TOR, Silhouette and HarperMonogram, Patricia is now enjoying creative freedom as an indie author.
Patricia is fascinated by the possibility of life beyond the traditional human experience, and invariably designs one of her main characters to be less (or more) than human. Every chance she gets, she explores paranormal and historical sites and often travels with her Scottish husband, whose job takes him around the world. When not traveling, Patricia produces two podcasts: FREAKIN’ PARANORMAL and FABULOUS WRITING TIPS.
When not writing, Patricia loves to sing karaoke, redesign living spaces (10 houses and counting—one of them on TV!) and walk her two little pooches.
Betty: When did you become a writer?
Patricia: In my early teens, I wrote (and illustrated!) the famous “The Day He Opened the Coffin.” (The most provocative title I’ve ever come up with in my entire writing career!) I became an “official” writer when my novel Whisper of Midnight was published by HarperCollins in 1993 and was a finalist in the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA Awards.
Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?
Patricia: Although I have written extensively since I was a teenager, I took ten years to learn the craft as an adult. I wrote and pursued publication while working part-time at a major university and raising two daughters.
Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?
Patricia: Jane Eyre – I love Gothics, strong women, and a love story that culminates on the very last page.
Interview with a Vampire – I fell in love with Anne Rice’s brooding vampire Louis with this book.
The Bible – Believe it or not, the biblical world has inspired most historical and paranormal elements/questions in my books.
Dracula by Bram Stoker – A Scot who wrote the definitive vampire story. What’s not to love?
Albanian Wonder Tales – This collection included “The Boy Who Took the Letters to the Dead,” a story that was highly influential on my young mind. That story fired my “what if” way of thinking.
Betty: What prompted you to start writing?
Patricia: My family moved to Montana when I was nine. Living in a gorgeous but remote area provided me with a lot of creative time. Just getting around Montana involved hundreds of hours in a VW bus with no radio reception or CD player. I spent a lot of time making up stories in my head as the scenery flew by. Our television time was restricted (my parents made us pick two shows a week, and that was all we could watch). I look back on that “hardship” as one of the greatest gifts my parents gave me. Because of my strict upbringing, I became a producer of creative content instead of a consumer.
Betty: What type of writing did you start with?
Patricia: I was fascinated by Egypt and India when I was young, so I set my adventure stories there. Later, I focused on the American Revolution. In junior high, I was writing 120-page novels (longhand!). I asked for a typewriter for Christmas and never looked back.
Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?
Patricia: I love to write stories that include mystery or suspense in a gothic setting, usually with a slow-burn romance. I am partial to Scottish heroes or heroes that have a paranormal “affliction.”
Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?
Patricia: I started reading “Writer’s Digest” when I was a teenager. Then as an adult, I consumed countless how-to-write books. I attended workshops and conferences sponsored by Romance Writers of America, where I learned the mechanics of writing. I took writing/screenplay classes from Dwight Swain, Michael Hauge and Aaron Sorkin.
Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?
Patricia: Knowing most writers make 5 cents an hour is a daunting prospect if a person expects to make a living. But making money is not the primary reason I write and never has been.
Betty: What other authors inspired you (either directly or through their writing) to try your hand at writing?
Patricia: Phillipa Gregory, Lucile Morrison, Bram Stoker, Daphne DuMaurier, Pat Conroy, Tom Robbins, Ken Follett, Barbara Kingsolver, Anne Rice
Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?
Patricia: My latest book in The Londo Chronicles, PHOENIX, came about as a product of the apocalypse that was due to arrive at the end of 2012. That looming cataclysm got me to thinking about an end of the world scenario…what might happen after a few stragglers survive a nuclear winter, what their world might look like, and what kind of social structure would emerge. The two sisters in the series are modeled after my daughters and their contentious relationship.
When vampire Overseers execute Eva Wilder Paar’s commissioner husband for treason. she is stripped of everything and forced to return to her dreary job in Londo City. But as Eva waits for her train, she recognizes her estranged sister in a line of prisoners. She knows the horrible fate her sister will face, and all because of her own rash decisions long ago. Eva has to do something. But what? Stay and rescue Joanna? They could both be killed.
Eva must find the courage to battle the vampires who have overrun her tiny seaside village, uncover the horrific secret of the Port Pennwood processing facility and vanquish the evil that stalks her sister and now her.
This could be Eva’s chance to redeem herself—or the worst decision she’s ever made.
Eva took a moment to assess him and decided the best recourse was to check his eyes for signs of consciousness. If he was conscious and breathing, he wouldn’t have to be resuscitated. That would suit her just fine. She brushed away the curtain of wavy hair that shielded his face and took a look at him.
She sucked in a breath.
Below the curve of her hand was the face of the most handsome man Eva had ever seen. His profile was perfectly formed, from his intelligent brow and strong sharp nose, all the way to his full, masculine lips and chin. His black hair, so uncommon in Londo, was wild with wind and sand, and his sideburns cut across his lean jaw, accentuating the tendons of his throat. He wasn’t much older than she was, but even in his current condition, he possessed a simmering strength that put her on her guard. She was alone on a beach with a man who could easily overpower her—when and if he ever woke up.
Eva sat back on her heels, poised to jump to her feet. A snippet from her schooldays flitted through her mind.
Strangers bring dangers. Beware, call out, report.
She wasn’t sure what to do: stay and help him or run for her life. This man exuded danger, not only from a personal safety standpoint but also from the way his physical beauty struck her to her core. She knew how susceptible she could be to a handsome man—or any man that paid attention to her.
I share Patricia’s love of the American Revolution time period, too. Thanks for sharing your story with us!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Best-selling Author of Historical Fiction with Heart, and Haunting, Bewitching Love Stories
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