I’ve begun a Wednesday weekly post to present interviews with authors across all romance genres. Although I’m primarily an historical romance writer, I do read outside my genre and suspect a lot of you do as well. And what’s more fascinating than finding out more about either your favorite authors or new ones? I plan to change up my questions (most of them at least) every three months or so, just to keep the interviews lively.
So now gather round the tea table, grab a scone or cookies, and a cup of tea or coffee and discover a new friend in the writing world.
This week on Be My Guest, I have long-time online friend, author Patricia Preston. I knew her first through the Six Sentence Sunday blog hop as the author of the hysterically funny novella Laid to Rest with its quirky Southern characters who were near and dear to my heart. Now she’s moved on to a fantastic contemporary series she’s going to tell you about today.
Patricia Preston loves writing mainstream romantic fiction where love matters most as well as short stories and historicals. She has won the William Faulkner Award for Short Fiction, the Lone Star Writing Competition for Historical Romance, and Harlequin’s World’s Best Romances Short Story Competition. The small Southern town where she resides and her work in local medical clinics and hospitals both provided inspiration for her “Love Heals All” series. Besides writing, she enjoys photography, cooking, movies, bargain hunting, driving the Natchez Trace and visiting historical sites.
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So nice to see you, Patricia! Thank you so much for coming by today!
Who is your favorite romance hero or heroine and why? What qualities do they possess that make them memorable?
Rhett Butler…Do I need to say more?
Actually you don’t. LOL Okay, so who was the first romance author and book you read?
Actually, I think it was Helen Hunt Jackson’s classic, Ramona, back when I was in school. Then when I was working as a librarian a friend insisted I read Kathleen Woodiwiss.
Oh, Kathleen Woodiwiss was my first romance author!
Who or what inspires your writing?
Music. By all means.
Which of your own books is your favorite and why?
What a hard question! I have a historical set in French Quarter that was my labor of love.
What is your favorite holiday and why?
Halloween. I love October.
Again, we are kindred spirits with this.
If you could have one wish granted just for you (not world peace, LOL), what would you wish for?
A time machine where I could travel back and forth in time. That would be awesome!
I do like the way your mind works, Patricia! 🙂
What is your biggest regret?
That I didn’t get rid of the toxic people in my life sooner. I will tell anyone that if you have people in your life, this includes family, who projects their misery, negativity and unhappiness on you, walk away. You will not regret it.
Do you have any hobbies/passions outside of writing?
Ooh, I hope we get to see some of it sometime!
Who is your favorite non-romance genre author? What is your favorite book of theirs?
Robert Crais. I love his characters, Joe and Elvis. I could read about them all the time.
Now, tell us a little bit about one of your books.
I have book coming out this month, Everything His Heart Desires, which is the second book in my single title series, Love Heals All. This book deals with a heroine who has a tragic past and is looking to find a new beginning in her hometown where she is reunited with an old adversary from high school, who is now a doctor. All the books have a love story, some humor, lots of drama, and a large cast of colorful characters.
What was your inspiration for this story?
I love romantic stories like the movies “The Holiday,” “Letters to Juliet,” “The Lake House,” and “Practical Magic.” They inspired me.
Oh, I love The Lake House!
I don’t think my books are quite as mainstream as those movies but they aren’t what you’d call formula romances either. My characters don’t do formula very well (i.e. Darlene) LOL!!!
You know I adore Darlene. And yes, you’re right, they are definitely not formula! LOL
I am a fanatic about my character names. Are the character names special in any way?
For me, yes, I have to have character names immediately. Brett’s nickname, Hot Rod, came to be when I was thinking about the story and there was an image in my mind of him asleep in the doctor’s lounge and someone had written Hot Rod on soles of his shoes. That part was never in the book but it was the beginning of the nickname.
Do you have plans for a sequel to this book?
The third book in this series is due out in June. It isn’t a sequel, but the characters in the first two books are back in this book. I’m in the pre-planning stages for the fourth book now.
Now, the Infamous Lightning Round: (Choose 5-6 of the questions below)
Tea or coffee? Sweet iced tea! The wine of the South.
Beach or mountains? Mountains.
Chocolate or vanilla? CHOCOLATE
Boxers, briefs or commando? (preferred for your heroes) Boxers
Would you rather skydive or scuba dive? Neither.
Would you rather vacation in Hawaii, Vegas or London? How about Paris?
Ah, the city of love! Mais oui!
Thank you so much for coming by today, Patricia. We’ll leave everyone’s mouths watering with the blurb and a short excerpt from your up-coming release. Just remember–it releases TODAY, January 11th!
The man most likely to drive her crazy…
Growing up in Lafayette Falls, senator’s daughter Natalie Layton hid her sorrows behind a bright smile that charmed everyone in high school—except Brett Harris. Hardworking and highly motivated, Brett dismissed Natalie as a slacker. Instead, she’s become an acclaimed photographer. And when Brett, now a successful cardiologist, needs her family’s help to secure a coveted position, Natalie’s more than happy to prescribe a little payback…
Hailing from the wrong side of the tracks, Brett believed he could never win the school’s popular princess. Now he’s intrigued by the complex and compassionate woman Natalie’s become. Gaining her grandmother’s goodwill is the key to becoming chief cardiologist—and Natalie has no intention of making it easy. But as mutual mistrust gives way to pure chemistry, there’s more at stake than either ever expected—and much more to learn about matters of the heart…
Talk about the opportunity of a lifetime. If he could become Anna Layton’s physician, he would literally have it made. He would have Harry and Sheldon’s support and gratitude, which meant he could create a superior cardiology program at LFMC. Perhaps, someday, there would be a heart center named after him and he would be remembered for all posterity. Yes, he was definitely Type A.
“Do you want to speak with your mother and then give me call?” he asked Harry.
“Well, we have a little something different in mind.” Both Harry and Sheldon looked at Natalie as if it were her turn to speak up.
She tapped her fingers on the table. “I’m home for a few weeks, and I’m staying with my grandmother.” She managed to choke out the rest, “You can come over as my dinner guest tomorrow night.”
It took him a moment to process that. “Okay. So I’m not coming over as a doctor. I’m coming over as your date?”
“A date is kinda stretching it,” she said as if to say that was never gonna happen. “An old friend from high school.”
“Friend,” he repeated, meeting her gaze. “Seriously?”
“It was Uncle Harry and Aunt Lorraine’s idea.” She was quick to clarify, and she frowned at her uncle, who had a mouthful of cheese Danish. “And it’s not a good idea. It’s not going to work. Not with Nana.”
“Natalie, you promised us you’d help out.” Harry took a swig of coffee. “We’re counting on you.”
She shook her head, and Brett realized she was totally against the idea, which might cost him the chief of cardiology position.
He sat up straight. “Natalie, you do understand what’s at stake here?”
“Besides your ego?” She didn’t blink as she looked him straight in the eye. It appeared that, since high school, she had developed a Terminator stare.
He didn’t flinch. “Do you want me to help your grandmother or not?”
Her phone lit up, and she checked a text message. She stuck her phone back in her purse and withdrew a small notepad. She scribbled on it, then tore off the paper and folded it. “I’ve got to meet someone,” she announced.
She hitched her purse strap on her shoulder, and she leaned across the table to hand Brett the folded paper. “Here’s my cell number. If something comes up and you can’t make it tomorrow night, call me. Otherwise, dinner is at seven. Sports jacket. No tie. Be at Nana’s house, which is the Castle House on Rosewood, by six forty-five.”
“I’ll be there.” He tucked the paper into the pocket of his jacket.
In a low, vindictive voice, she said, “Isn’t it amazing to think that I’m the key to your success?” She glanced at Sheldon and Harry before she delivered a parting blow. “Nana is a piranha, Brett. She’ll eat you alive and not even burp.”
Thank you all so much for stopping by for tea and cookies and some striking answers from Patricia.
Please come back next Wednesday when I’ll be sitting down with Viviana Mackade, author of delightfully different contemporary romances. I know you won’t want to miss meeting her!