Author Holly Patrone agreed to talk with Lynnette Phillips about her writing process, her family and her opinion of writing in other genres. She has also generously agreed to host a giveaway contest for the first two novels in the April Serao series, Death Is A Relative Thing and Relative Identity. You'll find the entry form below...good luck all!
Now let's talk with Holly...
Question: Do you have another novel in the works for this series?
Answer: Yes I do!
Q: Do you outline the novel before you start writing? I guess that leads me to what’s in April’s future?
A: I have five kids, so it’s pretty obvious that planning isn't my forte!
I didn't have an outline at all for the first two books, just a general idea of where I was going and I certainly had no idea where we would all wind up. I think I got lucky. I do have an outline for the third book in the series because I want to make sure that I’m growing Aprils character and giving more depth to other characters. I don’t want the books to become cookie cutter or stale and that necessitates a more involved plotline which is forcing me into having an idea of where we are headed and how to bring it all together.
Q: What does your family think of you as a writer? Do they take it seriously or privately think “Whatever makes Mom happy”?
A: Well, I don’t think my family has ever taken me seriously! That being said, I think they are proud of me, especially when they run into someone who’s read the book and mentions it.
Q: Have you ever used a family member or a friend as the model for a character?
A: Of course I do- When it comes to my kids, it’s a birthright! It’s payback for labor. But to be honest, none of my characters are a direct hit of any person in my life.
All of my children are portrayed in one way or another in the books. I have four boys, age 32 down to 20 and a daughter who’s 12. April’s sons are actually a mix of my boys- I’ve jumbled qualities around a bit, but they are definitely present. Artistic, funny, musically inclined (and very good looking if I do say so), my son’s are definitely present. Even some of the things in the book are true- like the boys running down the stairs when the smoke alarm goes off yelling “Dinner’s done!” are taken from real life. Yeah. I don’t like to cook.
Gillian is an older version of my daughter- intravenously attached to her phone with the ability to step into any mall in the nation and find Gilly Hicks within 33 seconds.
Throughout my life they have given me a lot of material!
Sal was originally modeled after a great family friend who was also my daughters Godfather. He passed away and originally this all started out as a tribute of sorts to him. Over time his character merged with some more distinct qualities that my husband possesses. In fact, my husband and I used to text 17317071 to each other and it’s engraved in his wedding band.
My mother tells all of her friends that she isn't the model for April’s mom. I plead the fifth.
Q: Do you ever think of writing in other genres? What do you think of using pseudonyms?
A: I am concurrently working on a YA fantasy novel. Pseudonyms are a great thing. I think that writers can be pigeonholed into a specific genre and if the writer wants to explore other type of writing, they may not be able to because expectations in a certain genre are set. Sort of like an actor who was very famous in a sitcom not ever shaking that persona. We, as writers have the advantage of being far less visual. We sit well behind the camera so to speak.
Thanks again, Holly. You can visit Holly and learn more about her and her writing at her website www.hpatrone.com
Enjoy the book trailer for Death Is A Relative Thing, the first novel in the April Serao series.
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