Author Name: Pat Spencer
Genre: Thriller, Historical and Literary Fiction
Books: Story of a Stolen Girl (international thriller) and upcoming Golden Boxty in the Frypan (Historical Fiction) to be released in 2023 by Pen It Publications, and Sticks in a Bundle: The Early Years (Literary and Historical Fiction).
Bio: Besides six states in the U.S., I lived in Canada and Germany. I love traveling and getting to know people and their cultures. When not writing or traveling, I golf, read, walk the beach, hang out with family and friends or frequent book clubs
What got you started as a writer? My second-grade teacher pinned my Christopher Columbus report on the bulletin board for parents’ night and then bragged about what a good writer I was. I was hooked. But then my career counselor in high school shared reports about how little money the average writer earned, so I went into education.
What is your writing routine? I write almost every day. I carve out time in the mornings and then again after lunch when I am home all day.
What route did you take to get your books published? I was pretty successful with my nonfiction writing. I published a textbook with the first and only publisher that I queried. Imagine that! I also served as a columnist for a large newspaper and as a columnist, reporter, and editor for a tabletop magazine. I also freelanced for a trade journal. I self-published my first novel, Story of a Stolen Girl. For my second novel, Golden Boxty in the Frypan, I sent out queries and accepted a contract offer from Pen It Publications.
What things do you do to promote your books? My favorite promotional activities are events: signings, book fairs, book club meetings, public speaking at community and service groups. I also post on my website, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
What is your favorite genre to read and why? My favorite genre is generally a crossover of literary and historical fiction because these books typically provide the depth of character development and insight into the past that I enjoy.
Do you prefer to write dialogue or description? I prefer to write emotions and the six senses. Both can be conveyed in either dialogue or description.
Have any of your characters ever surprised you? Did this change the plot of your book The main character of my Sticks in a Bundle Trilogy surprised me by revealing more than I expected about her life and coming-of-age under the oppressive rule of apartheid. I thought she would tell me enough for one fairly thick novel, but her life was far too complex for that.
What is the most difficult thing you have accomplished in your life? Earning a Ph.D. at the University of California, Riverside while being a wife, mother, and full-time professor at Riverside Community College.
What three events or people have most influenced how you live your life? Many people and experiences have contributed over time, too many to list here.
What would you tell your younger self? Finish college while you are young. I completed my Ph.D. when I was 50 years old and that was hard. Then go out into the world and be bold—travel, see the world, meet people different than you.
Have you ever met up with a bear on a hike? If so, what did you do? If not, are you looking up what to do right now? I have not met up with a bear, but if I did, I would toss all my food to him or her, and back away quickly.
You’re locked in your local library for the night with no dinner. Thank goodness you have water, but you only have enough change to buy one item from the vending machine. Choices are limited to: Fudge Pop Tarts, Snickers or Doritos. Which would you choose and why? If I only have water, I’d chose a candy bar, but not necessarily Snickers. I prefer a Heath Bar, Payday, or $100,000 Bar. If I happened to have a beer in my backpack, I’d choose Nacho Doritos. Why? Because I don’t like to eat salty things while drinking water. It reminds me of all the water I swallowed when I surfed and snorkled.
What’s the largest number of people you’ve had in your kitchen at one time? Probably 6 or 7. I like small kitchens and eating out.
Closing thoughts: I thank Book Club Mom for allowing me to share with you. Writing can be an isolating endeavor, so I appreciate opportunities such as this to talk with other readers and writers. If you would like to receive the traditional recipes my characters love to cook, log on to my website and send me a note.
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