Sunday, August 14, 2016

Welcome #Author Patti Sherry-Crews! Author from Come Love A Cowboy

Hello Patti Sherry-Crews! One of the authors from come Love A Cowboy.

1) So many writers say they began their career with stories about their ancestors or they wrote just for their own enjoyment when they first started out. How about you? When did you begin to look at writing as a profession rather than a hobby?

I started writing when I was 50 as a birthday present to myself. Even though I told myself for a long time I was writing an important piece of literature, I had in fact written a thinly veiled memoir! It’s titled Smoke Damage (my father was a fireman). Tell your own story first, that’s what I often hear. But the words flowed forth, and I realized I’d found my passion late in life.
My next book, Patrick III, I worked on and off for five years. I wasn’t really sure what direction I wanted to go in, and I hadn’t identified myself as a romance writer yet. Once I did figure that out, it all came into focus and I’ve been writing seriously ever since that self-discovery.
That second book started with a personal experience. A few generations of women in my family took a trip to Newfoundland to discover our roots. While there we found an entry telling us how our family came to Newfoundland, “Patrick Nugent, 1800, escaped a prison ship bound from Ireland.” No further details.

Though my second book is not autobiographical, I did like the idea of generations of women traveling together, all on their own quest, with family dynamics and family secrets as the backdrop. I also brought into the story their discovery of an ancestor who placed them there because he escaped a prison ship.
One reason I couldn’t manage to finish the book was because I couldn’t find how my Patrick Nugent escaped (or anyone! I couldn’t find any accounts of someone escaping from a prison ship), or what he did to get himself deported. Finally I made something up and finished the book.

Within days of writing “the end,” I found by pure chance you could search Irish prison records. There I found within seconds the thing that had eluded me for five years. “Patrick Nugent. Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin, July 1800, Robbery. Sentence: deportation to New South Wales.” Which doesn’t answer how he escaped….

2) What genre do you prefer to write and why?

Romance. I write both historic and contemporary, and I’ve even been known to write erotic romances under the pen name, Cherie Grinnell.
Why romance? Because when I write I lose myself in the story. Of course I’d rather be lost in a romance than a dystopian world or true crime novel. I also tend to make a romance out of any novel I’m reading. I’m always rooting for the couple to “work things out.” Even in books where the characters are despicable like Gone Girl. In any fiction I read I really perk up when the handsome man comes into it. To be honest, I’m like that in life too! I’m 56 and happily married, but I’m always scanning the crowd for the good-looking guys.

3) What is your genre of choice to read and what is your favorite book of all-time?

I read all kinds of books, mainly fiction. I love chicklit romance, where the characters are smart and funny. I binge read certain authors like Marian Keyes, Jojo Moyes, and Cecelia Ahern.
Like you, Keta, one of my favorite books is To Kill a Mockingbird. Since you spoke so well on that one, I’m going to go with Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin. I read it multiple times and I’ve seen every movie version. P&P has spawned so many other books, because it’s a darn good story even centuries later. I want to tip my hat to Jane who had to write without modern conveniences like a computer or even proper lighting. She didn’t have access to advice on how to write a novel like we do today. When people give me grief about writing romance, I say “Hello, Jane Austin!” I’m in awe of all those writers from past centuries who wanted to tell their stories so badly, they maybe even had to write by candle light, a quill and a pot of ink. And they probably had chilblains (whatever that is), or rickets, or consumption. I only have to deal with a computer that crashes occasionally.

James Joyce wrote Ulysses (which I also read, cover to cover with the aid of a support group) at a kitchen table with his family milling about. And he was almost blind with chronic eye inflammation!

4) If you won a cruise to any place in the world, where would you go and why?

I hope I don’t win! I hate cruises. I’ve been on two and they were both disasters. The first one the weather was so bad we couldn’t make it into most ports. The second one a bride on her honeymoon jumped overbroad. Nobody was allowed off the cruise while the police ran their investigation. Then when we did get off the ship, a man in my group dropped dead of a heart attack because we were racing around in the heat during our shorten shore excursion.
 Plus, I like to walk and explore. I get stir-crazy on ships.
I prefer renting houses, staying put in one place, and immersing myself.

However, I would love to rent one of those cute little houseboats like they have in Amsterdam or England and travel via canals.
But, where in the world would I go? So many places! I’m going to put Turkey at the top of my list. It looks beautiful and the food looks great. My dream vacation is to stay in one of those cave-hotels they have there.

5) If you could be anything in life (other than a writer) what would it be?

Tough one. I always had trouble deciding what I wanted to be when I grow up. I love to cook and travel but if I had do either for a living, I think I would grow to hate both those activities. If I had the talent, I would like to be an actress, which when you think about it, has some similarities to writing: losing yourself in a story, living in someone else’s head, and moving on to something new all the time.

6) We'd love to hear about your story in COME LOVE A COWBOY. Do your hero and heroine have obstacles to overcome before they find their happily-ever-after? What are those and how did they do at conquering them?

When Angel Harper and Boone Donovan meet as strangers in a chance encounter, their chemistry is combustible. Angel figures she’ll never see him again, and indulges in a little flirting. When he shows up in her life, she doesn’t know what to do about him—especially when he shows up in a fashion, which causes her humiliation.

The obstacle is Angel’s resistance to romance. The two times she’s given into passion, she paid a price; and the second time she lost at love it affected her son as well, so she’s cautious. She’s not sure she can trust Boone, but ultimately it’s about learning to trust her own instincts.

Plus the couple have some real time constraints: Angel is a single mom trying to run a small guest ranch, and Boone is a firefighter with a side business leading trail rides off his family’s ranch.
I dated—and later married—a single dad. I know first hand the complications that come with that arrangement. I drew on that experience when writing Desert Heat.

How do they end up conquering their obstacles? Without giving too much away, sometimes almost losing something is what it takes.

Stalk Patti On The Net


Keta Diablo said...

Hi Patti - thanks so much for stopping by today to chat with us about Come Love A Cowboy! We had a lot of fun sharing ideas and writing these stories.

Best, Keta

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Hi, Keta. Thanks for having me here today. We sure did have fun working together on Come Love a Cowboy. It was an honor to be included with the talented writers in that anthology.

Andrea Downing said...

Hey Patti, it's been such a pleasure getting to know you while working on CLAC and after, and I so enjoyed your story. I'm curious about this Nugent fellow, too, so if you discover any more of his story, please let me know! and I'm with you on cruises--I have rented boats and done the Norfolk Broads, the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness, and the Thames, so if you want any info let me know.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Nice to see you here, Patti. This is a great group.

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Hi Caroline and Andi! I loved working with and getting to know you. Andi, I doubt we'll ever know that Nugent fellow's story. In my story I made him a guy who is always in the wrong place at the wrong time. Arrested in case of mistaken identity. And just when he decides he likes life on a ship, he gets knocked overboard and lands in a boat taking goods to port. He wakes up in Newfoundland where he is mistaken again for a well-known rebel which lands him in Newfoundland's the one Irish rebellion there against the British. Someday I hope I'll be asking you for info on canal boats.

Kimberly Keyes Romance said...

Nice learning a bit about your writer's journey. I love the way you weave your personal experiences in to your novels. Good luck with your release!
Kimberly Keyes

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Thank you Kimberly! Glad you stopped by.

Hebby Roman said...

Great interview, Patti, every time you do an interview, I learn something new about you. You've definitely lived a full life!

Patti Sherry-Crews said...

Hi, Hebby! It was such a pleasure to work with you. I feel I've come to know you.