Friday, October 5, 2012

Interview with Patsy Collins

It's Friday, which is when I said I was going to post about people who inspire me. Today I actually got to interview one of those people. Patsy Collins is one of the first people I 'met' when I started blogging. She is sweet and enthusiastic and made a nobody like me feel totally welcome in this wonderful writing community. So I am thrilled to have her on my blog today talking about her latest novel Paint Me a Picture.


Patsy can be found on her blog.


What made you decide to self-publish Paint Me a Picture?

I couldn't find anyone willing to pay me a six figure advance and do it for me! Actually I didn't ask that many people. I soon realised the high word count (103,000) and lack of obvious genre meant it would be difficult to get it published the traditional way.

This is a book I believe in though. I love the characters and had great feedback from writing friends so was convinced there'd be readers who'd enjoy it. So far those who've commented agree with me.


Was it more nerve wracking to put this one out than Escape to the Country, or about the same? (If it was me, I'd be so nervous about all the formatting and such things that you have to do to self-pub, but then, I'm not good with computers.)

I wasn't nervous up until I had to click that final button and send it out there. I hesitated. I'm normally a leap in without thinking it through type of person so that was unusual for me. The computer stuff wasn't the issue - not that I'm good with technology, it's just that I knew I could keep tweaking until I was happy. It also helped that Helen Baggott who proofread it for me, did so after I'd done the formatting so it was double checked.

 
Maybe the nerves were because this book is all my own work - I can't blame the publisher for anything that's not right. (Not that I'm blaming my publisher for anything in Escape to the Country) Or maybe it's because I feel a little protective of Mavis. I want people to like her. The characters in my other stories are usually quite capable of looking after themselves.


Your very talented husband designed your cover, which is beautiful by the way! Did you know right away what you wanted it to look like or did the two of you do a lot of brainstorming?


I knew I wanted the Round Tower on the cover and to have purple text. I got those! As for the rest, I made suggestions and Gary tried them just to show me how wrong I was and then did it his way, which looked much better. We then tried it on screen at the size it's shown on Amazon and Gary made a final tweak so the text showed up more clearly.


You've said you worked on this book for ten years, it must be very near and dear to you. Is this the first novel you wrote? What was it about this one that made you know you couldn't give up on it?

It is the first one I started. I've written lots of other stuff during those ten years, but kept going back to Paint Me a Picture.
 
Once it started to take shape, it was the characters who kept drawing me back. Also I found writing it to be absorbing. I hoped that a story that could keep me interested for ten years would keep a reader interested for the time it would take them to read it.

 
What will be your plans for your next novel?


I've written the first draft of another romance. This one is about a photographer (where does she get her ideas from? you must be wondering). It wasn't working, but I now know why, so I 'just' have to fix it. Oh and write a new ending and then there's that pesky rewriting and editing and stuff.


Is there anything else you want to share?


No and how did you know I had chocolate?

 
What? Oh, I see ... Yes! 'Not a Drop to Drink' is a collection of my short stories that will be epublished soon under the Smiling Dog imprint. It'll be available as a free download and have another beautiful cover designed by Gary.



I look forward to seeing it, Patsy! Thanks for joining us here today!

The Amazon link for Paint Me a Picture is here.
And the link for Patsy's debut novel Escape for the Country can be found here.
 

26 comments:

  1. Glad you took the plunge and published that favorite story of yours!

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    1. I think it's great! I love that you didn't just push it aside. It's inspiring.

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  2. My to read list is huge, but I will have to move this to the top. I am bored with books that stick to a genre and a pattern. I want something fresh and this sounds like it fits the bill!

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    1. If you can think of a genre this fits, Elixabeth, I'd like to know which it is! (would help with the marketing)

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    2. Maybe you can make up your own genre. Like magic realism. I would image in the past writers were just like, "It's contemporary, but with magic, so kind of like fantasy. Only not." Now it's a whole thing. ;)

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  3. Thanks for inviting me over, Rachel - and for your very kind words!

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    1. Thanks for doing it! I'm thrilled to have you here. :)

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  4. It must have been such a relief to finally have the story out there after such a long time writing it! The cover is awesome, by the way :D

    Great interview!

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    1. I suppose it was a relief in a way, Samantha. I agree about the cover ;-)

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  5. Happy that you decided to publish your book. Nice Interview. I have a bloghop going on offering the winner a chance to name and summarize a novella written by me.

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    1. Sounds interesting! I'll be sure to check it out Sheena-kay!

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  6. Great interview! I always love it when authors are passionate enough about their work to take initiative when the traditional publishing route just simply doesn't work. :)

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    1. Thanks, Heather. I'm passionate enough not to give up.

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    2. And that's one of the awesome things about you, Patsy. ;)
      Thanks for stopping by, Heather!

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  7. Neat interview - thanks to you both!

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  8. Patsy, the fact you kept going back to Paint Me a Picture gives me hope for my yo-yo novel, although I've been working on mine for 16 years, and I'm sure key things like mobiles, internet, Facebook etc would make a huge difference to the story I've already told!

    Great interview, Rachel!

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    1. Advances in technology are a real pain when it takes years to write a novel, Annalisa.

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    2. I would imagine that could be a problem. :) Good luck with it, Annalisa! I hope you go for it!

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  9. Great interview :) I'm going to check out her book.

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    1. It sounds great, doesn't it?! Thanks for stopping by Angela. :)

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