Author No. 4… Robin Patchen!!
I’m thrilled to be able to introduce another favorite Christian author of mine: Robin Patchen!! She has been so nice as to do this blog interview with me.
Robin Patchen, thanks a lot for taking this interview with me. I love your books, and learned from them. It is a great pleasure to have you here!
And for my readers, here’s another exciting author interview. I feel that y’all would be quite interested in who they are, what they write, and how they got on this exciting journey of being a novelist.
Bio: Aside from her family and her Savior, Robin Patchen has two loves—writing and traveling. If she could combine them, she’d spend a lot of time sitting in front of her laptop at sidewalk cafes and ski lodges and beachside burger joints. She’d visit every place in the entire world—twice, if possible—and craft stories and tell people about her Savior. Alas, time is too short and money is too scarce for Patchen to traipse all over the globe, even if her husband and kids wanted to go with her. So she stays in Oklahoma, shares the Good News when she can, and writes to illustrate the unending grace of God through the power and magic of story.
Find her on the web here at http://robinpatchen.com.
And here is the interview 🙂
How and when did you start to write? What (or who) influenced you to go down this road?
I always loved to write. Unfortunately, I was a very shy and insecure girl, and I didn’t have much faith in my own abilities, so I didn’t share my dream of being a writer with anybody when I was a child. After one semester at business school, I knew business wasn’t for me. (Why do you need Calculus to get a business degree? After a semester of the class, I still don’t know what Calculus is.) At that point, I transferred to Northeastern University in Boston and studied journalism. I learned how to write and edit newspaper articles, feature articles, press releases, and marketing copy. I thought that was what I wanted, and I enjoyed it well enough. After college, I worked in marketing and public relations until my first child was born. Then I quit work to raise my kids. Fast forward many years, and for my fortieth birthday, my husband gave me a laptop computer. I’d had a story bouncing around in my head for years, and I decided to write it down, mostly in the hopes of getting it out of my head. Three months and 700 pages later, I’d found my passion—writing novels.
Tell us about yourself in one sentence.
I am a Christ-serving, husband-loving, children-adoring, church-going, novel-writing, grammar-crazy short girl with a big smile and a talent for spilling drinks on unsuspecting dinner companions.
What is most important to you when writing a book?
I want my readers to never get bored, to keep reading late into the night, to be compelled to turn the pages until they’re done. I want them to be thinking about my characters even when they’re not reading. And I want my stories to reflect the grace of God.
What held you on the track (of being a writer) through all the obstacles and trials toward being a published writer/author—before and after you first got published?
That’s such a good question, Odelia, because it’s not easy. When I wrote that first book—remember, 700 pages in three months—I thought I was the next Great American Novelist. I thought it was so good. The first slap in the face came when I realized what I thought was brilliant was actually, well, not. A lot of writers quit at that point, but I thought I could learn, and I poured myself into it. I was fortunate. I didn’t have a day job, and I did have that journalism degree so I knew how language worked. What kept me from quitting? The friends I met in my local writers group, the online critique group I joined, and other writing friends I met across the nation—and around the world—who encouraged me and taught me and shared resources with me. Also, I was given glimmers of hope from industry professionals. I’ll never forget the agent who said after reading the first few pages of my second novel, “You definitely have the chops.” She didn’t even request a proposal, but those words were fuel for months.
Which of your various novels is your favourite? Or are they all the same to you, after they’re published?
My favorite is usually the most recently published, so right now, Innocent Lies. I love the heroine’s determination to protect the man she loves and her son, even though I don’t really like the way she goes about it all the time. And I’d say second on the list of my favorites is Generous Lies, but that story is so close to home for me, it’ll always have a sweet spot in my heart. It’s about a man struggling to get his son help after discovering the boy is a drug addict. My eldest son is an addict, so my husband and I walked that path with him. I hope the story is an honest reflection of the feelings and fears we managed during that time.
How do you use your free time—if any? What do you do for a living besides writing books?
Free time? What’s that?
I used to be so good at managing my time. It’s a skill I need to cultivate again. When I’m not writing a new book or marketing my existing books, I’m editing someone else’s books. I spend a good 12 hours a day in front of this screen. I need to build in more time for fun. What do I do for fun? Don’t laugh… I read.
What advice do you have for budding authors—like myself—out there? Any sagely words of wisdom?
If someone tells you something like, “never use the word ‘was,’” ignore him. Like in most of life, the words “never” and “always” rarely apply to writing. But take most of the feedback you receive seriously and try to figure out what the readers didn’t like and learn how to do it better. Read a lot of craft books and try to apply what they recommend. Read a lot of other books, and read in and out of your genre. Analyze what you’re reading—especially if you love it. Ask yourself, what is it about this that resonates with me? What makes me want to turn the pages? The most important advice I can give you is to write often. Like every other skill, practice makes… well, not perfect, but better.
I love the novel Convenient Lies: and can’t wait to read the rest of the series!! What inspired the Hidden Truth series?
I got an image in my head. No idea where it came from, but it was a picture of a woman holding a newborn and arriving in her hometown. I didn’t know where the father was, and I didn’t know what her story was. From there, I started filling in the blanks—where had she come from, who was she running from, what did she need? About halfway through writing Convenient Lies, I decided it would be the first in a series. It all started with that strange image.
Favorite quote on writing/life in general?
Favorite quote? That’s about as hard as narrowing down my favorite book! There are too many to choose from to pick favorites. I do love C.S. Lewis. This is one my favorites by him: “Joy is the serious business of Heaven.” Isn’t that a lovely thought?
And there you have it!! An insider’s look into the life and story of an amazing storyteller. And the best news is… Robin Patchen is giving each of you a free copy of the first book in her series Hidden Truth–the book that got me hooked: Convenient Lies!! Scroll down for the link: but don’t skim through the wonderful introduction to Innocent Lies!!
LATEST RELEASE: INNOCENT LIES
“Kelsey huddled in the corner, tried to make herself invisible. Outside, she heard a muffled voice, a shout, and the pounding of footsteps across the porch. Then, the unmistakable jingle of keys. The lock turned. The door opened. And her last chance for escape melted like snow.” –Robin Patchen, award winning author of Finding Amanda and Convenient Lies.
About Innocent Lies:
A lost little boy steals his heart.
When Eric finds eight-year-old Daniel alone in the woods, he has no idea where the boy came from or how he’s survived the wintery New Hampshire weather. He figures once he hands the boy off to child services, his part in Daniel’s drama will be over. He couldn’t be more wrong.
She’ll do anything to keep her son safe.
Kelsey sneaks into Nutfield with a goal and a secret, but when she’s arrested and sees Eric, her first and only love, all her plans to expose her enemy fall apart.
The past catches up with them.
Together, Eric and Kelsey fight to protect Daniel, an innocent child caught in a dangerous game. Can Eric help Kelsey bring down her enemies without risking his heart…again? Will Kelsey have to walk away from the only man she’s ever loved…again?
AND…. here’s the link to the free book: ENJOY!!
Thank you so much for coming on with me, Robin: I truly enjoyed doing the blog interview with you, and hope to be able to read more of you books in the near future!!
God bless you!! (and all those reading this:)