Of course, life called for a practical career so she chose to earn a degree in Advertising Copyrighting (and took far more credits than she needed). Promptly after graduation she began work at Northwest Airlines and has since served in Accounting, Technical Records, Tech Publications, and is currently stationed in 757 Engineering.
Along the way of her far off travels she’s experienced a lot of cool things including seeing almost all of King Ludwig’s castles in Germany. With her wanderlust sated she decided to get serious about writing. On that front she’s also been busy as shown by her seven novels which have received starred reviews in Booklist and been ranked on the Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks and Borders bestseller lists. Patti has also garnered eight awards including the Winter Rose for Best Paranormal and Write Touch Readers Choice Award for Best Paranormal. Currently, she’s a finalist for the More Than Magic, Booksellers Best and the HOLT Medallion Award.
I got the chance to meet Patti on the web here at Star-Crossed Romance's Blog. She’d volunteered to be a guest poster when ETERNAL NIGHTS came out. Of course, when I got the go ahead to start interviewing I knew I wanted to have her in my line-up. She’s genuine, funny and just plain awesome. Of course I’d heard her name, since I owned all the 2176 novels and Crimson City series from Dorchester. But my ears perked up when she gave us a teaser about her Light Warrior series with TOR. After reading the first book and diving head first into the second, I’m elated that Anna Genoese gave her the chance to do something bold! Kudos to you Patti and keep up the good Gineal work!
What cool sights or occurrences from your travels from Papua New Guinea all the way to Canada have you used in your novels?
I think a lot of what I've seen and where I've been creeps subconsciously into my books. There have only been a few of times where I dug into my travels and deliberately used them.
The first time was in THE POWER OF TWO. When Jake and Cai go to the Raft Cities, I based the poverty and condition of the homes on what I saw when I visited Samarai Island in Papua New Guinea. The island is small–I was able to stroll around it in less than twenty minutes–and there's not much opportunity available for the people there. That seemed to fit with the problem of the Raft Cities and I imagined that the ordinary citizens who lived in this fictional world would have similar issues and challenges.
The other times I tapped into my travels were when I wrote THROUGH A CRIMSON VEIL and IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. Both stories spend at least some time in Los Angeles and I used Venice Beach and the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Crimson Veil and a more general view of LA in Midnight Hour.
I don't count anything set in the Minneapolis area because it’s where I live, but IN TWILIGHT'S SHADOW and IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR take place in my home town. Both stories are littered with places I've been or have driven by. For example, the cemetery in the opening scene of Midnight Hour is across from my day job and the gas station in Twilight's Shadow—where Maia sees the demon—is on the way home from my dentist's office.
If you had the Gineal power to open a transit to any locale you’ve visited, where would you disappear to unwind (or hide from those pesky deadlines)?
Without question, I'd head to Australia. I spent four weeks there a while back and absolutely loved it. The only problem would be deciding where in Australia to hide–Sydney, Cairns, Townsville, Brisbane, Alice Springs? Everywhere I went, I had fun and felt relaxed.
I would be willing to do another continuity if I had the amount of freedom on the new series that I had on 2176 and Crimson City. I don’t think I could handle it if I had to adhere to a certain plot or characters.
Perks: Writing is usually a solitary occupation, but on the continuities, we had an e-mail loop where we discussed, shared, and commiserated. I really enjoyed that.
The downfall is actually the other side of the perks' coin. Since we were working as a team, sometimes an author couldn't do something she wanted to do because it would impact another book in a way that wouldn't work for that writer. So there were discussions and give and take and trying to decide priorities on the points in discussion.
Was your Gineal series sold as the grain of an idea or from a partial submitted to Anna Genoese at TOR?
The Light Warriors series sold on a partial for IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR and a two page overview for IN TWILGHT'S SHADOW. Twilight’s Shadow ended up bearing almost no resemblance to its synopsis.
With a few successful titles on bookstore shelves everywhere, what do you think is the X-factor that’s set you apart from other paranormal writers?
The comments I hear most often are that my characters feel very vivid and real, that the adventure is thrilling, the suspense keeps the reader turning pages to find out what happens next, and that I write very hot love scenes. The last thing is funny because no one ever commented on my love scenes until Booklist reviewed THE POWER OF TWO. I mentioned to my agent that until that review I'd always assumed my love scenes were adequate because no one said anything, good or bad. Since then I've received a lot of positive comments and that's pretty cool.
I call my books paranormal romance because no matter how much other stuff is going on, the focus is always on the hero and heroine and everything moves their relationship forward. I also wrap up the romance in one book and move on to another couple in the next. Midnight Hour features Ryne and Deke, Twilight's Shadow has Maia and Creed, and the third book in the series will be Shona and Logan.
To me, Urban Fantasy carries out the relationship over multiple books and the romance is more of a subplot than the focus of the story.
Out of all the strong heroines you’ve created which one do you think you’d call friend in real-life? And which hero do you think of fondly and wish you could revisit?
Oh, man! Tough question because they're all my best friends–both the heroes and the heroines.
If I had to choose a heroine who I might hang out with in real life, it would probably be either Ravyn from RAVYN'S FLIGHT or Mika from THROUGH A CRIMSON VEIL. Mika because she's outgoing and fun, and since I tend to be introverted, she'd be good at dragging me out to do things. Ravyn is a possibility because she's calm and balanced.
Picking the hero I'd like to revisit is easier–Deke from IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. He's a smart aleck with a sarcastic sense of humor and I love that. Most of the guys I work with are like this and my own sense of humor tends toward sarcasm, so I'd have the most fun with him, I think.
Like any other fan, I’m excited to see Maia Fraiser, Ryne’s sister, show up in book 2 of your Gineal series! Who else can we look forward to seeing in future books?
During IN TWILIGHT'S SHADOW we learn that Creed, the hero, has a younger sister, Shona. The third story in the series is hers and she's paired with the Seattle-based troubleshooter for the Gineal people. The blurb I have up on my website is:
Glass artist Shona Blackwood is ignorant of her Gineal heritage and unaware that people who can do magic actually exist, but when she's targeted for death, troubleshooter Logan Andrews is assigned to protect her. A straightforward job quickly goes askew and what Logan doesn't know might cost both him and Shona their lives.
Right now, I have two more stories in the series that I'd like to write if things work out–Logan's brother, Kel, and Sin Duncan who readers met during IN THE MIDNIGHT HOUR. There’s also this other paranormal idea that I’ve been burning to work on, I just need to find some time.
I assume you’ll be promoting IN TWILIGHT’S SHADOW, but where can your readers/fellow writers find you online?
I’m lying low right now since I have a deadline fast approaching, but I have a blog (there’s a link on my website: http://www.pattioshea.com/) where I try to post at least three times a week and I can also be found on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter. Links to MySpace and Facebook are on my Contacts page and my Twitter page is: http://twitter.com/Patti_OShea. Anyone who wants to friend me should feel free. I’m easy.
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