Thursday, 13 September 2012

Interview with Patsy Collins

I just interviewed the very talented author Patsy Collins, read on...

Title: Paint Me a Picture
Paint Me A Picture


Author: Patsy Collins


Page Count: It's only available as an ebook so it depends on the font size you chose. Amazon estimate it would be 356 pages if produced as a print book and that sounds about right to me.

ISBN: There isn't one. I've self published. I know it's possible to get one for self published books, but I didn't.

Genre: Ummm. Yes. That's why I self published. It isn't a proper genre which makes it very difficult to sell in the traditional way. There are a few slightly grisly deaths and an inquest but it's not really a thriller or murder mystery. It's not a romance (despite the best efforts of one character) It would be a rite of passage story - except the mc is 53.

Cost: Oh good an easy one. £3.09 or $4.90

Can you tell me something about yourself? My favourite colour is purple. My garden is planted with lots of purple flowers and my wedding dress was purple.
What inspired you to write? I've always made stuff up. One day I realised that if I wrote it down then I'd be considered an author which sounds soooo much better than liar.
Who are you favourite authors? Oh gosh there are loads. In no particular order and leaving a lot out - Agatha Christie, Philippa Gregory, Sue Moorcroft, Christopher Lloyd, John Grisham, Ngaio Marsh, PJ Tracy, JD Robb, Chimamamda Adicie, Tobias Wolff, PG Wodehouse, Juliet Archer, Reginald Hill, Khaled Hosseini.
Can you tell me something about your latest book? It started as a short story and is the first novel I ever attempted and, at103,000 words, also the longest.
Wow! How long did it take you to write it? 10 years. I've written other things during that time though.
Can you tell us something about the writing process, do you have a set time for writing, did you do any research or anything else of interest that was involved?
I have a full time day job that involves some evening and weekend working so it's not possible to have a set time for writing.
I did have to do quite a lot of research. The most unusual was probably attending an inquest. I also visited an undertaker to ask questions, went to the National Gallery and St Paul's Cathedral by train and underground. I spent the whole time trying to notice the things Mavis, my mc, would be interested in.
Fortunately the painting and gardening are things I already knew about and I'm familiar with the locations in and around Portsmouth that form the main backdrop to the story.
What do you think readers will come away with when they have finished your book. What I hope is that they'll feel they know Mavis and like her. Perhaps too readers might feel a sense of optimism. That's the plan, anyway.
Would you add an interesting paragraph or two from you book for us? Well, I think it's all interesting!  Here's a bit selected at random which introduces one of the important characters.
She almost walked into a man who was patiently waiting in line behind her.
"Mavis? Mavis Forthright?" he asked.
The voice was familiar, the face was not. She looked at the grey eyes, greying moustache and ginger hair that should also have been showing signs of grey. He was smartly dressed, except for the hideous bright yellow shirt that lent his face an unhealthy hue. He smiled. He fidgeted. She remembered.
"You remember, then?"
"People are waiting," Mavis pointed out the other students queuing to enrol.
"I won't be more than a minute. Then we can talk."
Mavis nodded, but the moment his back was turned, she strode away from him. Norman Merlin, what could he be doing there? She didn't want to know, she didn't want to speak to him, or see him and she most definitely didn't want to think of him. She heard footsteps behind her and lengthened her stride.
Any other links of interest:


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  2. I think the fact that Patsy spent 10 years writing this novel and maintained the dedication and enthusiasm to finish it is amazing.

  3. It was hard going at times, Diane and I almost gave up! Fortunately though I also wrote short stories at the same time and having some of those published convinced me I could write things people might want to read.