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Interview and Giveaway - Patsy Collins on her new novel A YEAR AND A DAY...

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The winner of Patsy's giveaway is Tracy Fells.  Congratulations Tracy.

I'd like to extend a warm welcome today to Patsy Collins, a short story writer turned novelist.  Patsy has recently released her third novel, a contemporary romance called A YEAR AND A DAY.  I invited Patsy to the blog today to tell us a bit about her work and especially about the new novel.



So now, over to Patsy....

Patsy, can you tell us a little about yourself and your development as a writer?

I started writing in 2002 almost by accident. Taking a creative writing evening course at the local college was one of those 'seemed a good idea at the time' things. My brilliant tutor (novelist June Hampson) strongly encouraged to submit work. Once I'd sold a couple of short stories to magazines.  I was hooked. Since then I've had hundreds of short stories published, mostly in women's magazines and I've written three novels (and half written several more).

That's a lot of work.  When was your first novel ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY published?

30th March (my birthday) last year.

Did you have to wait long to become a published author?

It certainly felt that way! Like most people who eventually get something published I've collected plenty of rejections slips. Tired of that I turned my attention to competitions (to me, not winning doesn't seem so bad as a rejection).

I won a novel writing competition. Publication of ESCAPE TO THE COUNTRY was the prize. From notification of my win to publication didn't take very long. Maybe that's because checking proofs, making suggestions on the cover design and jumping around with excitement filled most of my time.

Do you prefer self-publishing or do you prefer being published by a publishing company?

There are advantages and disadvantages to both. My latest novel is self published, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't consider an offer from a publisher in the future.

Do you have a routine and targets for writing?

Ummm, routine. Talk amongst yourselves while I go look that one up? ...I do set myself challenges, but they're usually quite vague and I don't fret if stuff happens and I don't meet them. I enjoy writing so even with my haphazard approach I generally get quite a bit done.

Do you plot your novels in advance or just follow the muse?

I plot now. When I first started novel writing I didn't think plotting and knowing the end would work for me, but I now prefer to plan out some of the key points. If the finished novel didn't closely follow the plan that wouldn't worry me, but it's good to have something to work from.

Tell us something about your new novel A YEAR AND A DAY? What are the main characters like?

It's fabulous and everyone should buy a copy! I'm guessing you wanted something a little more specific though. It's a light hearted contemporary romance.

The main characters are -

Stella. She's an orphan looking for a loving family and a loving man. She eats a lot, is very fond of shoes, flowers and fireworks. Stella's a florist. Daphne aka Dippy Daphne or Daffers is Stella's best friend and possibly the more sensible of the two. She's very keen on horoscopes and fortune telling (unlike Stella who thinks it's all a load of rubbish) Daphne's a chef (in case you think Stella's shallow I'd like to point out they've been best mates since they were five)

John is Daphne's brother. Stella once dated him but she's completely over him now. Totally. He's a policeman who tells truly awful jokes. He's short and blond. Luigi. This Italian restaurant owner is tall, dark and handsome (obviously) If Luigi was a drink he'd be a rich, sweet and smooth Amaretto. Whenever I wrote his dialogue with the girls I imagined his seductive grin and sexy accent and made a lot of typos.

There's also a stuffed cat called Thirteen.

That sounds terrific, Patsy, plenty of characters to keep the reader engaged.  Thanks for coming to talk to us today and I wish you lots of sales and success with your book.

GIVEAWAY:  Readers, if you check out my right sidebar, you'll find a free book of Patsy's short stories, available on Smashwords, entitled NOT A DROP TO DRINK.  It's available in all formats.   And as if that wasn't quite enough, Patsy is giving away a PDF copy of A YEAR AND A DAY to one lucky commenter.  So please leave a comment before you leave to be in the draw.




A YEAR AND A DAY



Despite Stella's misgivings her best friend Daphne persuades her to visit a fortune teller. Rosie-Lee promises both girls will live long and happy lives. For orphaned Stella, the fortune teller's claims include a tall, dark handsome man and the family she longs for. Stella doesn't believe a word, so Rosie-Lee produces a letter, to be read in a year's time, which will prove her predictions are true.

Stella remains sceptical but Daphne is totally convinced. She attempts to manipulate Stella's life, starting by introducing Stella to her new boss Luigi, who fits the romantic hero image perfectly. In complete contrast is Daphne's infuriating policeman brother John. Despite his childhood romance with Stella ending badly he still acts as though he has a right to be involved in her life.

Soon John is the least of her worries. Daphne's keeping a secret, Luigi can't be trusted, romantically or professionally and both girls' jobs are at risk. Worse still, John's concerns for their safety are proved to be justified.

John, and Rosie-Lee's letter, are all Stella has to help put things right.

Buy Links:  Amazon  Amazon UK

FIND PATSY ON THE WEB:

Blog/Website      Amazon   Twitter    Goodreads    Facebook


Comments

  1. Fabulous interview ladies and the book rocked left me guessing and so wowed in the end!

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  2. A year and a day - it won't take that long to read this page turner. Well done Patsy!

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  3. A great interview! Loved reading this post, thanks for sharing Patsy and Maria!

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  4. Thank you for hosting Patsy's blog spot, Maria. It's always interesting to read how writers have gained their success. I am still at teh short story stage...but one day!

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    Replies
    1. There's absolutely nothing wrong with sticking to short stories, but writing a novel can be fun too.

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    2. It was my absolute pleasure, Wendy. I'm still stuck on short stories so far, but there's time....

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  5. what a great interview,it's always intersting to hear about how other writers work, thanks for the great post Maria and Patsy!

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  6. Thank you so much for hosting me, Maria!

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  7. Great interview! I'm so glad you had a brilliant tutor, who supported and encouraged you to submit. Cheers!

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    Replies
    1. Encouragement when we're starting out makes a huge difference I think, Carmen.

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    2. Welcome, Carmen. Great to see you, thanks for stopping by.

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  8. Great interview! I love learning about authors' paths to publication--the journeys are all so different. I wish you continued success on your journey, Patsy. :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Linda, I love reading about the author's journey. It's so unique in every case.

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  9. Yay for the lovely Patsy!!! Her characters are such a scream including the stuffed cat! LOL! Take care
    x

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    Replies
    1. The cat is a real sweetie, Kitty.

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    2. Hello Kitty, good to see you again. I have to read that stuffed cat!

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  10. Great interview Patsy and Maria! I love your answer to routine and targets :-) x

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    Replies
    1. Welcome Teresa, great to see you...

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    2. I am trying to get a bit organised, Teresa but it's a struggle.

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  11. Smashing interview ladies, and what a fantastic story it sounds. I'm more interested in the police man character. You can't trust men who're too good looking I find.

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    1. Hi Susan, I find the same, so that makes two of us LOL

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    2. Suzy, I really shouldn't take sides when it comes to my own characters, but I admit there are times when it seems that gorgeous Luigi might be up to something.

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  12. Hi Maria .. good to find out a little more about Patsy - as I had no idea .. nor that her birthday is the 30th of March!

    Well done Patsy - lots of achievement since 2001 .. good for you ..

    Cheers to you both - Hilary

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    Replies
    1. Hi Hilary, great to see you. There's something new we can learn even about old friends, isn't there?

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    2. Hilary, now you know you've got no excuse not to email me chocolate next month!

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  13. I can relate to haphazard! Whatever works, right Patsy?

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    1. Alex, I rather suspect your idea of haphazard is more productive than mine! (Either that or you have 37 hour days)

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  14. Oh, I really, really want to win a copy of this one.

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    Replies
    1. Ooh, thanks for stopping by and commenting, Cherie. You're in the draw, my dear!

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    2. Just send your bribe over, Cherie.

      Oh hang on, apparently we're not doing it that way. In that case I'll just wish you good luck.

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  15. Really enjoyed that interview, thanks Maria, and Patsy.
    The latest book is going on my to-read list.

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  16. How about a review....?
    Oops, not doing it that way? Darn!

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  17. I am a person who writes by routine and I like to plot as well. Can't wait to read your story.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Clarissa. I like to plot too although routine escape me these days. But! Sometimes, in spite of plotting and planning, the characters just do their own thing.

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    2. Routine isn't a bad thing, Clarissa - it's just that I'm no good at sticking to one.

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  18. Hi Maria and Patsy. Neat Post. Thank you Maria for introducing me to a new author. I will be adding this to my TBR list for sure. It was the stuffed cat Thirteen that got me intrigued :)

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    1. Hi Tash, thanks for coming over, great to see you over here.

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    2. Really hope you like the story, Tash.

      The cat was only supposed to have one scene, but he kept sneaking back in. How does stuff like that happen?

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    3. lol - it must have meant to be :D Thank you Maria :)

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  19. Great interview! The book sounds great, I love your descriptions of Stella and Daphne! They definitely sound like women I'd want to hang out with. :) (Plus, I love the name Stella!)

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    1. They're a couple of fun girls, Rachel. I enjoyed spending time with them.

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    2. Hi Rachel, thanks for stopping by.

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  20. Loved Escape to the Country so please put me in the draw to win a copy of Patsy's latest. Luigi sounds the man for me...(don't tell my hubby)

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    Replies
    1. Can't see why you'd be interested in Luigi, Tracy - I mean other than being gorgeous, charming and generous, having a really sexy accent, being good at cooking, excellent at mixing cocktails, running a thriving business and having a sense of humour he doesn't really have that much to offer.

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  21. Thanks Maria and so pleased to see I've won. Yippee, now I can really get to know this talked about Luigi. Thanks for the comment on my blog and will email you shortly.

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