Patti Lacy’s interview

» Posted on Sep 4, 2008 in Blog | Comments Off on Patti Lacy’s interview

If you want to be entered in the drawing for Patti Lacy’s An Irishwoman’s Tale, please leave a comment with your email address or email me at The drawing ends Sunday night.

Patti Lacy’s interview:

1. What made you start writing?

God gifted me with a story in 1995. We’d been yanked from our beloved South and whisked up to Terre Haute, Indiana. To fight loneliness, I started a book group. After one such meeting, “Mary,” a red-haired woman, stayed late. I thought she wanted to pick through my scrumptious Southern snacks, but she just paced back and forth in my kitchen, acting as if something was on her mind.

“Our next book’s Angela’s Ashes.” Words tumbled out, her pacing making me nervous. “Hey, you’re Irish, aren’t you?” Maybe Mary was lonely, too, and wanted to get involved.

“I am and I’m not.” A faraway look took over her blue eyes.

“What do you mean?” I finally managed.

“What is your first memory?” she abruptly asked.

“I don’t know. I’ve never really thought about it.”

“How pretty, not to think about it.” Mary shoved back a mop of that red hair. “Mine’s so painful, I’ll never forget it. Moon-shaped faces drinking bitter tea, cups and cups o’ the steamin’ stuff, sayin’ the little eejit’s got to go.”

She spewed words all over my living room, and hours later I knew I’d been gifted a wonderful story of betrayal, perseverance, and faith.

“Someone should write that into a book,” I always told Mary. That someone turned out to be me.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I started writing my first novel in January of 1995 and was offered a contract in December of 1996.

3. How do you handle rejections?

Not very well, I’m afraid. I still have a proposal, sent to a well-respected agent in 1996. He scrawled across my query letter, “As I don’t see any way this can ever be published, I will not be able to offer representation.” Every now and then I take it out, look at it, and shake my head. I try not to take things so personally, but the books are kinda like our babies, aren’t they?

4. Why do you write?

The stories take over my mind. The characters whisper to me and won’t be quiet. I have to get them out.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Reading, running, teaching.

6. What are you working on right now?

A three-book series, “Spanning Seas and Secrets.” The first novel in the series is entitled My Name is Sheba.

Here’s the hook for My Name is Sheba:

Sheila Franklin loves a son she never knew and a husband who doesn’t know her. Then her past comes knocking—in the form of a young soldier and a Thai prostitute—and threatens to expose her deceptive ways.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

Oh, yes. I use my friends, colleagues, and acquaintances as well. Being forewarned is being forearmed!

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.

Mary Freeman has come a long way from the rocky cliffs of County Clare. She’s owned businesses, found a loving husband, and raised two beautiful daughters. But she can’t seem to shut out that awful first memory—and the dysfunctional relationships with not one but two mothers.

When her youngest falls prey to substance abuse, Mary and her new friend Sally, a gregarious Southerner, return to beautiful Ireland. On the majestic peak of Croagh Patrick, God meets Mary, and reveals her past, present, and future.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Find picky but tactful critique partners. Write for an Audience of One. Set daily page goals.

10. How important is faith in your books?

So far, each novel has a scriptural foundation. An Irishwoman’s Tale drew from the truths in Romans 8:38. My protagonist struggled with God’s sovereignty and only began to move toward healing when she accepted Christ as Lord and Savior.

11. What themes do you like to write about?

The secrets in women’s lives. The lies women tell and why they tell them. The benefits women gain when they share their pain with a friend. Quest novels. Framed novels.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

At present, I’ve only completed two manuscripts, An Irishwoman’s Tale and Unsettled Waters (anticipated release date in Spring or Summer 2009). Since I’ve only endured the preliminary round of rewrites for Unsettled Waters, I’d have to say An Irishwoman’s Tale. It’s such a blessing to tell Mary’s story and have it out there for everyone else to read. However, Unsettled Waters grapples with some very uncomfortable events in my own childhood, and when the timing’s right, I’ll be excited about that book, too.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

The alarm buzzes around five. I make tea for Xiu Chin (a friend currently living with us), then brew some coffee for my husband and me. Devotionals come next, then I hit the keyboard and try to write three to five pages on my WIP. I figure if the world caves in mid-morning, I’ve already accomplished something. Lately I’ve spent a couple of hours a day with publicity stuff and editing. Occasionally I post on the Midwest loop or greet new ACFW members who live in our zone. Around noon my 20-year-old son have lunch and let the hands of time roll back as we play Yahtzee, Backgammon, or Trouble. By one I’m typing again. Sometimes I wedge in coffee time with a friend or reading time in the hammock. Most days, Laura (my dog) and I take a jog/walk. I try to stop an hour our so before suppertime and take care of food and other household chores. Nights are reserved for our family.