Patricia C. Lee is another Crescent Moon Press writer who agreed to be enslaved for thirty minutes while we chatted. This one was fun, though, seriously. Even after I turned off the recording, we went on and on, talking about books, the industry, future projects, past projects, past pluperfect projects.
For the pre-interview click here. Yeah, the MP3! Pat Lee Interview with Aaron Ritchey.mp3 (Right click and left click on SAVE TARGET AS).
Pat has had a love affair with the written word since childhood, many times immersing herself in the stories of Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene. Her active imagination gave inspiration to short stories and her first play as a teen.
As an adult she has penned an award winning short story titled The Battle and A Precious Glimpse in Time published in an anthology. Her full-length play, The Truth About Lies, was staged at a theatrical festival competition in 2008.
Although still in pursuit of a place truly called home, Pat currently lives in Ontario, Canada with her husband and three cats, all of which claim rule over the house at one point or another.
When her nose isn’t pressed to the laptop monitor, you can find her at the public library. Besides dreaming up her next novel, Pat also enjoys traveling, baking, camping, wine, and of course reading – not necessarily in that order.
No-nonsense medical examiner, Kelly Richards, relies on the familiar comforts of science and scalpels to get her through the day. So when a not-so-dead guy who claims he’s from the past lands on her autopsy table, she considers calling the men in white coats to escort him to a padded room. But Jarek’s old-world ways and hot gaze trick her heart into falling for him—a mistake she swore she’d never make again. When Jarek, Prince of Leisos, discovers someone he trusts has been slowly poisoning him, he travels to the future in search of a cure. Driven by vengeance, he enlists the help of an impudent scientist to return him to his time. Caught between his growing desire for Kelly and the need to expose his would-be assassin before he strikes again, Jarek must either forfeit his ticket home or lose the only woman he’s ever loved.
Okay, Pat, here we go. Hold on. We’re going to slam 1.21 gigawatts of electricity in our flux capacitor. The pop culture time travel references are going to fill a TARDIS. Okay, I’ll try and keep them to a minimum. I won’t mention Sarah Connor.
AARON: In Destiny’s Past, how did you handle the time travel? I mean, if I go back and have a beer with Julius Caesar, would that mean my father became the Pope and I was never born? Or are the timelines, past and present, pretty much separate? I know, geeky question, but I get curious. And if you’re still around after my Back to the Future reference, we just might make it through.
Patricia: Obviously, I haven’t gone back in time (but wait – have I and just never knew???) But books and movies about time travel have always intrigued me because I’m a big believer in “what if.” In answer to your question, however, my theory of time travel pertaining to Destiny’s Past is this – it was meant to be. It was Jarek’s fate to be shot forward in time to meet Kelly and so on (can’t give away any predominant points in the book, sorry ) I know that’s a bit of a cop-out but I live my life on the theory of fate and destiny (ergo: the name of the book) BUT with each decision we make in life that choice has the ability to lead us down a separate path. I could go on and on about the esoterical spin, but I won’t. Oh, and as for Back to the Future, I have all three movies!
AARON: Love the pitch for your book! What kind of research did you do for the morgue aspects? Did you actually lay down in one of those drawers we see on crime shows?
Patricia: I tried to get into the local morgue but I didn’t fit the profile (meaning I was still breathing!) No, seriously I went online and researched what it took to become a morgue intern, what facilities and equipment they have (watched a video of an actual tour of a morgue – minus the cadavers) and read up on the procedures the M.E.’s follow. I think research is important to the credibility of any writer.
AARON: So you have a husband and three cats. Who gets in the way the most when you are writing? The cats or the husband?
Patricia: Actually neither. I’m very selfish when it comes to writing. I close the door and thankfully my hubby is very understanding and supportive so he knows not to bother me unless it’s important. And as for the cats, well, I cuddle with them when I finish and they forgive me. They’re such wonderful creatures.
AARON: Your story takes place in a small town in South North Carolina. How much world building did you do for the town? And why set it in South North Carolina?
Patricia: (Ooops, pretty bad when you can’t remember where your book takes place.) I have no idea why I picked North Carolina. Seemed like a good place. But I did make up the city of Lackton, Wesslyn County where Kelly lives. I did do some Google searching regarding pictures and communities etc.
AARON: When we chatted, you said you weren’t much for history, and yet your book has a lot of history in it. If you can explain the paradox, well, maybe we can talk more because I’m conflicted about a whole mess of things.
Patricia: It’s true, I ‘m not much for history. Never have been. Except perhaps the Egyptians, they sort of fascinate me. Maybe that’s why I took the location of the mythical land of Leisos to be somewhere in ancient Persia. The concept for Destiny’s Past and the whole story about a prince from two thousand years ago came from someone who entered my life. That’s the reason why the book is dedicated to him. And no, I’m not going to embellish on who
AARON: Okay, the obvious question is if you had a time machine, where would you go? But I’m not asking that. I’m asking this: If you could get take-out from any time period in history, past, present, or future, what kind of food would you get and why?
Patricia: Man, that’s a toughie because I love all types of food. I like trying new things. Do I have a favorite? – I tend to lean toward Italian. Oh and wine. Nummy. However I’m not particularly fond of Italian wines. I like Chilean red wine, especially Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.
AARON: You are a very solitary writer and you need quiet. Tell us a little bit about your process and talk about the cabin! I love the cabin stuff!
Patricia: Once I get an idea of a book, I write an outline in point form with certain pivotal things that happen and go from there. Like I said before, I’m very selfish when it comes to my writing. Maybe because I take it so seriously, meaning it’s not a passing fancy for me. It’s like a full-time job. As for the cabin, I go away every year by myself to a fully stocked place (except for food and beverage – think wine, lots of wine LOL!) on a large lake that has no telephone, radio, internet or television (I don’t have a cell phone but there is phone service at the main desk and the library in a nearby community has internet.) There are other cabins around but I don’t socialize with people staying there. The whole point of going is to focus on writing with no distractions, be they housework, family or friends. I get up when I want, cook what and when I want. I usually get up, put on the coffee (a necessity) and nibble on something while I read over the last chapter of what I wrote. Then I do around two hours of writing, take a break and eat, another two hours and perhaps go for a walk, and so on for most of the day. I don’t write in the evening because by then I’ve logged around 6 – 8 hours and need to give my brain a rest. This writer’s retreat started as a two-day housesitting gig that has morphed into a full seven-night seclusion.
AARON: After your reader closes your book, what kind of feeling or experience did you want them to have? Your perfect reader, not some schmoe in Pittsburgh holding a grudge against authors because his wife left him to write a book.
Patricia: I want the reader to be able to feel satisfied they got their money’s worth. If I’ve taken the reader away from their daily life, given them time to escape, then I’ve done my job. That’s very important for me. Strangers have put their faith in me and paid for a product and I want them to be happy with the end result.
AARON: What are you working on now? Sequel? Prequel? A sequel to the prequel? Vice versa?
Patricia: Unfortunately, I’m one of those people that can’t work on two different projects at the same time. I can’t divide my focus like that. With me it’s either all or nothing. I’m currently writing the third and final book of the Daughters of the Crescent Moon Trilogy. After that I don’t know for sure what I’ll do – whether stick with the fantasy genre or do a contemporary thriller. I have so many ideas there isn’t enough time to write them all. LOL!!
Thanks so much Patricia C. Lee! Here is where you spread your links like the footprints of morlocks.
Again, we have audio of the pre-interview interview. Click here. Yeah, the MP3! Pat Lee Interview with Aaron Ritchey.mp3 (Right click and left click on SAVE TARGET AS).