Tell me a about yourself. What got you started in writing?
I’ve always enjoyed reading, and during the years I was a busy working mom I’d often read romances at night to help me de-stress after a long day. But then I read a lousy book and I thought, “I could do better than this.” A year or so after that I started reading a series that was supposed to feature heroes from each of the fifty states. When I finally got the book that was supposedly about Michigan, I was so disappointed! Very little of the book actually took place IN Michigan. I actually sent a letter to the publisher asking whether they thought this state wasn’t good enough for an entire book. Of course, I never heard back. So I decided it was time for me to start writing.
How do you schedule your writing time? When do you write?
I am not very disciplined when it comes to unstructured time. I keep track of scheduled commitments on my calendars (the ones on my laptop, iphone, and ipad are all synched, and I have a wall calendar as well), but when I have time to write I often waste it. What gets me motivated are writing sprints, which means that several authors agree on a day and time to start writing – usually for sixty minutes. At the end of that time we report how many words we’ve written. My local writing group sprints twice weekly and I belong to a Facebook group that has them once a week. Another thing that motivates me is when I get a challenge. I’ve written two novellas and two short stories in answer to publisher call-outs. Most of my writing is done after my husband goes to bed. Fortunately for me, that’s right after supper. He’s usually asleep by 6 pm and then the house is nice and quiet until he gets up again at 1 or 2 am.
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a laptop or some other method of getting your words down?
Most of the time I write on my laptop at the kitchen table. I use a program called Scrivener, which lets me set up the chapters or scenes I want. I very rarely write in chronological order – I usually write the beginning, then the ending, and then fill in the middle.
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
My favorite part is meeting people who have read my books, even if they didn’t particularly like them. I’ve gotten a lot of valuable feedback from people who have pointed out things I could have done better. My least favorite part is stitching the parts of my book together. I write the beginning, then the end, and then various scenes in the middle. Sometimes putting the pieces of the puzzle together are quite daunting.
How did you come up with your book idea? How long did it take you to write your book?
I wanted to write a sequel to The Partridge and the Peartree, which has been one of my best-selling novellas. I felt that it would be interesting to focus on the servants of the duke and duchess, so this story features Robert, the duke’s valet and Jeanne, the duchess’ maid. Their story took about four months to write.
What types of marketing do you do to promote your writing?
I participate in a lot of online parties on Facebook, and search out opportunities to share my book on other authors’ blogs. I also join in blog hops, Twitter parties, and I have a street team that helps me put the word out on their social media. I have accounts on Google+ and Instagram, too, but I don’t do as much on those platforms as I should.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
Currently I’m working on a new adult story featuring a young Japanese girl whose family has arranged for her to meet a prospective groom. He’s Japanese too, but he lives in San Francisco. So in addition to getting to know this man her parents expect her to marry, she’s adjusting to the change in culture. I’m hoping to get it finished by the end of the year so that I can promote it in the spring.
Two Tutor Doves is my most recent release. My publisher also released an anthology of four of my Christmas books – both of my regencies and two contemporary stories.
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
The Stitching Post series (The Calico Heart and The Friendship Star Quilt) features members of a quilting group. These were written with Stephanie Michels. I have a third book for that series that I’d like to finish at some point – it’s about half done. I also need to finish a sequel to The Samurai’s Garden.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
Write for yourself, for your children, for anyone who will listen. Then join groups of writers. Listen to their words of advice. Take classes – there are lots of great online workshops and classes. Keep writing. Blog. Put things on Wattpad or other journal sharing site. Know what your story is about, and be passionate about it. And write some more.
Thank you, Patricia!
Patricia Kiyono can be found at her website, personal blog, group blog (on Mondays), Amazon, Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.
Read the character interview here: http://idea-creations.blogspot.com/2015/12/character-interview-robert-townley.html