Today I’m catching up with Patricia Lynne, author of ‘Being Human’. Patricia, thanks for setting aside some time to join me to discuss your book. For those who haven’t had a chance to have a quick look at your book on Amazon yet, can you give us a summary of your book in a few lines?
With the help of his human twin brother, Tommy must learn to survive in a world that hates vampires and learn what it really means to be human.
What inspired you to write about Tommy’s plight?
I love vampires and devour any book that has them, but after Twilight there were a lot of emo ‘vegetarian’ vampires who did nothing but brood about being immortal.
While, I love reading those books, I missed the vampire that didn’t mind drinking blood. Those kinds of vampires were only bad guys though. After reading Thirsty by M.T. Anderson, I was left wondering what would happen if someone was turned and lost all their human memories. Tommy was born from that.
How did the other characters that Tommy interacts with in the novel come to be?
Most of my characters seem to just stroll into my brain and say to me, “I want to tell you a story.” It might sound crazy, but that’s how it feels. I don’t sit down and try to think up a story. They come and smack me in the face and demand attention. Very annoying when I’m at my day job.
What’s your day job, it doesn’t sound like it helps your writing?
I am the kitchen manager at a small coffee/sandwich shop. I wish I could say it influenced my writing, but while clocked in I have too much on my mind and don’t have the time to think about writing. I envy those who have jobs that allow them to write.
So you weren’t driven to pursue a fully fledged career in writing where you do things like explore literary themes for payment?
Not at all. I fell into writing by accident and I write best when I’m doing it just for fun, so I don’t consciously delve into themes. Any that are in my books are purely accidental.
Do you intentionally try and blend in experiences or circumstances from your own life into the plot lines?
Well, unfortunately (or fortunately) I don’t have any vampire friends so no. ;) Being serious though, no, this book I didn’t draw much from my own life. Other stories I’ve written have though.
Fair enough, I can see why you’d probably lack the necessary vampire experience in your life to inject that into the novel. Did you develop favourite characters when you were writing?
All of them! It’s hard to pick a favorite character because I find them all interesting. It’s kind of sad because my ideas often come in stand alone novel ideas, so once a book is done, I don’t often go back to that world unless it’s in some flash fiction.
Maybe you might have more luck catching up with the characters again if they could come to life, or reality in the vampire’s case. If that happened who would you like to take to get a beer?
Unfortunately, I’m on a medication that alcohol will hinder, so I can’t drink beer anymore. =(. Not sure who I’d go out with from Being Human, but I know it wouldn’t be Tommy. He’d see ME as the meal and he thinks beer and getting drunk is a pointless human activity and doesn’t understand it.
Yep, I think giving him a miss would be a good idea. Do you have strong enough connection with your characters to dream about them?
The very first story I ever wrote came to me as a dream. In it was the entire cast of True Blood. That story will never see the light of day because OMG plot holes, but yes, as cliche as it sounds, a dream was what got me writing.
Was pursuing your dream the most fulfilling aspect of writing this book for you?
Finishing it. Before writing this, I would get half ideas that would excite me, so I’d start writing. Eventually, I would hit a wall since the idea was fleshed out and a new shiny idea would distract me. I had started to worry I would never be able to write an entire story––at least one that didn’t have giant gaping plot holes.
I’m glad to hear that you got past that shiny idea syndrome. To make that you were adequately filling your gaping plot holes did you try and fill them with research?
All the research was on how to publish. When I started on Being Human I had no intention of publishing, but the story stuck me as one people might enjoy reading. I knew I’d need help, so I looked into editing and eventually weighing pros and cons of going traditional vs self publishing. I choose self in the end.
And do you have any top tips from going through the self-publishing process that might save others from running into the same issues that you did?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I’m a shy person, (if this was face to face, I wouldn’t be doing this interview because I’d be too terrified) so it’s hard to ask for help because I’ll assume people won’t want to. But they do! Other writers are so helpful and eager to help other authors succeed.
And what’s your top tip overall to help other authors succeed?
Find what works best for you and do it.
What worked for you during editing?
I do a ton of editing passes before handing it off to beta readers. Then I do a few more passes. Finally, I hire an editor because I S.U.C.K. at comma usage. I understand how they work, but I can’t apply it to my writing and tend to doubt every punctuation mark.
It doesn’t help that there doesn’t appear to be any universal standards for comma use and then you mix it with depreciated comma use and it all just gets too much. Sounds like something to offload to the editors to me :). Did you also offload the cover design process?
Keary Taylor did the book cover and I love the job she did. I get a lot of compliments on it (except for my dad. He asks why the cover model is so moody looking!)
It’s about vampires and should rightly be moody looking! When you were writing did you use any special tricks to get yourself into the writing frame of mind?
I’m not a fan of the mantra “Write every day”. I’ve tried, but I get burned out and end up not writing for, like, a week as a result. The best that works for me is utilizing my days off from my job. I can crank out between 5K and 10K words if I really put my nose to the grind on those days.
Those are some pretty impressive days. So when you have days with outputs like approximately how long did it take for you to complete this book?
I have no idea. I never pay attention to how long it takes me to write a story.
Did you pay attention and remember how you felt when you received your first review?
Knowing me, I probably squeed. It was back in 2011 and I’m rubbish at remembering significant events like that. Heck, I constantly forget the book’s publishing anniversary.
You should try and remember that one as it would make for a good marketing point of view for promotion on social media. As you have ventured into the foray of self publishing where marketing is more in the hands of the authors and the readers have the ability to quickly veto and move onto a new book, what is your view on the current state of reading, writing and self-publishing?
A mixture of feelings. Things will always change and that’s exciting, but it may not always be for the best. It’s honestly why I plan on keeping my day job. It’s a steady paycheck, so if the writing ship gets capsized, I can still pay bills. That frees up my mind to focus on writing instead of having a panic attack of how I’m going to afford to buy food because my books aren’t selling.
And are your currently working on your next book?
I also write under the pen name Patricia Josephine, so what I’m currently working on is a New Adult Urban Fantasy called Abducted Life. One night the thought “what if vampires and werewolves were the results of alien experimentation?” popped into my head. I really need to get off my butt and get it ready to publish because it’s the most polished out of all my stories right now.
We are a bit of a vampire focus today, do you have any favourite vampire authors that you like to read?
Kerrelyn Sparks and Zac Brewer are two authors who write vampires that I look up to. Kerrelyn always has a bit of humor thrown into her stories, so from time to time, my writing will have jokes that, honestly, I’m probably the only one that gets. Zac is just someone who motivates me to keep going.
Are you currently reading anything motivating?
The Djinn Connection: The Hidden Links Between Djinn, Shadow People, ETs, Nephilim, Archons, Reptilians and Other Entities by Rosemary Ellen Guiley. It’s a signed copy I got at MIParaCon, a convention talking about ghost hunting. I have a story I wrote a while ago that I’m planning on rewriting and incorporating Djinns into.
Were you always into the vampire and ghosts in a big way even as a child, or were you more interested in other stories back then?
Black Beauty. I was big horse fan as a child and I had a version that had pictures every other page. I must have read the book over and over, mostly because it was so long that it counted as five books for the reading challenge my elementary school did and always got me a prize for reading.
And now we’re at my favourite section of the author interviews, the quick fire round. Patricia brace yourself and answer the following questions as quickly as possible.
If you could breed two animals together to defy the laws of nature what new animal would you create?
A bunny and a dog. They’re already cute, so imagine them together!
Super cute! What is your favourite quote?
Just do it. I know it’s from a shoe, but it is a good quote. Life’s too short, so just do it.
It seems to work for those shoes, so it’s worth taking on board. What is your zodiac sign?
Can you stand on your hands unassisted?
Damn, I’m not getting enough yeses with this question to start my circus yet. I will have to keep trying. If you could steal one thing without consequence what would it be?
I have never thought about this.
Fair enough, I see you are a good soul and I will not pressure you to go beyond the bounds of your common decency. Can you curl your tongue?
Is there a book that you wish that you would have written?
Not really. I completely escape into a book when I read, so I’m reading for the pure joy of it. I rarely notice how nice an author’s prose is or stuff like that. I’m more, “OMGBBQ THIS WAS THE BEST BOOK EVER AND EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT!”
Which are cooler? Dinosaurs or Dragons?
Dragons because they breath fire.
Who is your favourite literary character?
I couldn’t pick one. There’s too many I’ve read that I’ve loved.
Do you have any philosophies that you live by?
Lately, and this is mostly due to my health (and isn’t very PG) is F**k it. I turned 30 and had a few health issues crop up and in order to talk to my doctor I had to stop feeling embarrassed about talking about bodily functions. If I want to be healthy and keep writing, I can’t hold back, so F**k it.
That works. What’s the most unusual name you’ve ever come across?
Zephyr and I loved it so much I named a character it.
Zephyr is a good one, very close to Zephir the monkey from Babar. What is your favourite quote from another author?
I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by. by Douglas Adams
*Laughs*. I like that one. And finally, what is your favourite word?
Nap because naps are the best. ;)
That’s a good tip. Patricia, I’d like to thank you again for allocating some time today to catch I me, I do appreciate that you’ve stuck through it despite your shyness. Good luck with your promotion of ‘Being Human’ and I hope that your contribution to the Vampire for Blood campaign goes well.
Want to connect with Patricia? You can find her here:
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108938106639683446081
- Twitter: @plynne_writes
- URL: http://www.patricialynne.com
- Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Patricia-Lynne/e/B01EM6YLAW/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1475227887&sr=8-1