Today I'd like to welcome author Patricia Yager Delagrange
to Fallen Angel Reviews. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today Patricia
To start, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, specifically the small town (80,000 people) of Alameda. I went to St. Mary's College, studied my junior year at the University of Madrid, then transferred to UC Santa Barbara, getting my Bachelor's degree in Spanish. I went on the receive my Master's degree in Education at Oregon State University.
I am married with two teenage children, a boy who's 17 and a girl who is 13. They keep me pretty busy when they're not in school. When they're gone I write, accompanied by my two large chocolate labs, Annabella and her son, Jack.
Tell us about your latest book Moon Over Alcatraz
I wrote this book to tell the story of what it would be like for a couple to lose their child at birth and how that can tear two people apart instead of their grief bringing them together. They both seek solace outside of their marriage and the way they deal with their relationship is the gist of the book. My main character, Brandy, is the stronger one and she has to struggle to gain balance in her life, but she does it because she's determined.
When writing, do you adhere to a strict writing schedule or wait until the muse hits you?
I write almost every day when I'm writing a book, rarely taking any days off to do much else. If I've finished the book then I'm editing every day. After that, I start sending out query letters to agents and in between doing that, I'm working on getting that novel absolutely perfect (in my eyes, that is).
I do take time between writing to look at my e-mails, comment on other writers' blogs, and look at Facebook.
How did you celebrate selling your first book?
My husband and daughter and I went out to dinner which is something we rarely do. My husband also brought me a dozen red roses and a card and my daughter gave me a lovely card as well. They were very happy for me. My son was too involved in basketball and I don't think he thinks what I do is any big deal. He's seventeen and his world IS the world, plus he hates to read books. What can I say?
What was the hardest aspect of writing Moon Over Alcatraz
? How did you overcome it?
The hardest part of writing this book was digging into my emotions about losing a child. I have never lost a child but I'm a mom. And if you're a mom, you know exactly how you feel about your kids, and you've probably fantasized about what you'd do if something happened to one of them.
I'd seen so many Amber Alerts for kidnapped children that end in tragedy and murders of children by relatives and strangers and I'm always horrified, wondering how the heck do the parents get through something like that.
That mind-meandering prompted me to write this novel. It was an emotional trip for me, and one I'm hoping the reader will go through as well.
Did you choose your genre or did your genre choose you?
I write what I like to read and I love women's fiction with romantic elements. One of my books, Taken Away, is written in the male POV and I guess your'd call that men's fiction with romantic elements, right?
What is a typical day like for you?
I don't want to put y'all to sleep, but you asked for it. I wake up at 5:30 with my husband's alarm and get out of bed at 6:20 a.m., feed the dogs, put in a load of laundry, eat breakfast while watching the news, wake up the kidlinks, then grab my laptop and wade through e-mails and respond and also read blogs and comment, look at FB a little, then take the kids to school and come back home, shower and dress, and then sit down and write or edit or send out query letters. But, hey, I love it!
What do you still struggle with as an author?
Even though I've had two books accepted and under contract and one of them is already published (Moon Over Alcatraz), I still don't feel like I'm a good enough writer. I read this from other authors too. Maybe you never feel you're "good enough" because you always want the next book to be better, so you know your writing is improving. Anyway, I just finished my fourth book and I know my writing is better than the first and second, but validation for me will come with knowing there are more than a few readers out there who love my work.
What exotic location could you see becoming your home away from home if cost wasn't an issue?
If cost was not an issue, I would get a place on Kauai. I have been there twice with my husband - once before we were married and then again on our honeymoon. It's so lush and beautiful and I love the ocean and the mild temperature.
If you could leave your readers with one legacy, what would you want it to be?
That I brought them to the point where they either cried or laughed or felt an emotion while reading my books. I would want them to walk away feeling like, hey, that girl can emote!
What song would be the perfect theme song to your life?
10,000 Miles by Mary Chapin Carpenter. I hope I've been a friend to at least a few people and that they consider me valuable.
What's your favorite invention?
The laptop and the internet. It is an incredible, awesome, unbelievable connection to information and human beings. I never thought I'd see such a thing in my lifetime.
What writing project are you working on now?
I'm sending out query letters for my fourth book to find an agent to represent me. THAT'S a project. It takes up a lot of my time. The book Brenda's Wish is about a divorced mom and her 17-year-old son who live in San Francisco, and how their lives are turned upside down after her ex-husband, a cop, is murdered and she and her son are suspects.
Is there anything else you would like to add today?
This has been a lot of fun. It's made me think. And that's a good thing.
Thanks again for taking time out of your busy schedule to talk with us today Patricia
Interviewed by: Tammy