I love technology, particularly the internet. I love advancement in design, especially the AC and sound system in my new (to me) car. And, better than my electronic keyboard, I love my piano – although the technology and design has remained essentially the same over four centuries.
Piano, automobile, internet, laptop; these are things it is difficult for me to live without. Oh, I could walk two miles and catch a city bus to the library for computer and internet every day – though they frown on me playing the piano at the library – but, you get my drift.
You meet all sorts of people online. It’s a jungle out there. Phishers, foreign princes who want to deposit money to your bank account if you will just give them the account number; amateur political pundits right and left; evangelists sure the sky is falling if you don’t see God their way and others who assure prosperity is yours if you invest money with them.
Happily, whilst steering clear of the friendship evangelists and network marketers I eschewed in four of my last posts; I have met some great friends online. The six women at Novel Matters are representative of those positive relationships. They give encouragement, insight, a look into their private writing lives, times to cheer the success of a new book release, and occasionally an opportunity to spread the word about that book if it suits your taste. They don’t pressure, shame, disappoint, or make me feel used and discarded. Best of all, far from making me feel isolated, they help me understand I am not alone.
Recently, I was able to chat via email with author Patti Hill from Novel Matters. What was supposed to have been a 399 word article for Examiner.com became two pieces one about the author and the other about Colorado settings.
But, there is even more to enjoy in the uncut interview:
CO (that’s me): If Grand Junction were to honor you with Art On The Corner (AOTC)as they did with Dalton Trumbo, how would you like to be depicted?
Patti: I’m delighted to be a published author. I love sharing stories and connecting on a universal plane of understanding with my readers. So many more worthy storytellers deserve to be out there with their work, and yet, somehow, my stories resonated. But to immortalize me in a way that would underscore my fondest achievement, a sculptor would have to capture me reading to my sons (now men!), them in their feety pajamas, their hair combed into neat furrows after their baths, and the three of us cuddled up with a book splayed on our laps. More than anything I love being a mom.
CO: Several of your previous books have to do with gardening. Are you an avid gardener?
Patti: I practically live in a botanical garden, not because I’m passionate about plants but because I’m caught up in my husband’s passion and vocation. He owns a garden center, Bookcliff Gardens in Grand Junction, so our yard has become a sort of test garden for plants. I have to say that loving the man who loves plants has given me a new way of seeing the world and its wonders. For that I am deeply in his debt.
When it came time for me to decide on a topic for my first novel, I took the adage to write what you know and tweaked it to fit my lackluster set of skills: write what your spouse knows. That’s how my first main character became a garden designer, right here in Grand Junction, although I renamed the town Orchard City.
CO: Tell me about your published books.
Patti: I have six published novels, five by traditional publishers and one I published myself: Like a Watered Garden, Always Green, In Every Flower, The Queen of Sleepy Eye, Seeing Things, and Goodness and Mercy.
CO: Which have received or been nominated for awards?
Patti: Like a Watered Garden was a finalist for a Christy Award for best debut novel, and Seeing Things was a finalist for Best Book of the Year, Religious Books for Foreward Magazine.
CO: Your newest release, “Goodness and Mercy,” weaves a plot around a Palisade peach farm and harvest. Your garden series was about – gardens. Are all your books about horticulture?
Patti: Only two-thirds of my books are directly related to horticulture of some kind. The common thread for all of my books is that they take place in Colorado. The Queen of Sleepy Eye is a coming-of-age story of a mother and a daughter that takes place in 1975 Paonia, and Seeing Things takes place in Ouray and the Washington Park district of Denver. I’m going back to my hometown of San Clemente, CA for my next book. I do believe it’s time to do some more research. Sunscreen, please!
CO: How has being laid up with foot surgery affected your writing?
Patti: What writing? I’m hyper-sensitive to painkillers, so I’ve been napping for three weeks. Now that I’m back in the swing of things, I’m catching up with promotional duties for Goodness and Mercy and diving into my research notes for the next book. I’m hoping to get that story structured and plotted by the end of the summer.
CO: What is the best way to get a copy of “Goodness and Mercy”?
Patti: Goodness and Mercy is available as a Kindle book or paperback on Amazon. Also, Dennis has a supply of all my books in paperback form at Bookcliff Gardens. If you don’t have a Kindle, a free app will let you read the book on a tablet of any kind, your smart phone, or your computer. And the novel is only $2.99. That’s the joy of publishing this way. I can price my work to make it accessible to most people.