Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Day Two with Patty Smith Hall

Welcome to our second day of visiting with Patty Smith Hall. Here's a teaser from the back cover of The Doctor’s Bride:

Dr. Joshua McClain is headed west
First stop: Hillsdale, Michigan, to break the marriage contract his late mother arranged between him and Katie Clark. Years ago, Katie left him behind in Charleston. But after a train crash, he comes face-to-face with Dr. Kathleen Clark, his childhood friend all grown up.
Welcome back, Patty. What does a typical day in the writing life of Patty Smith Hall look like?
Let's see. I wake up around 7:30, eat breakfast, walk 2-3 miles at a nearby park then head upstairs to my office where I do a Bible study and prayer time. Then, depending on whether I'm writing a first draft or doing edits, I start my writing day. If I'm working on a first draft, I grab a notebook and pen then head to the lake where I write for three to four hours. Something about it is so peaceful and it quiets my mind so that I have a clear vision of what I want to put down on paper. I've found writing longhand and away from home, I get my first draft down faster and without my internal editor bugging me. If I'm editing, I sit at my desk working on my computer for three to four hours. By early afternoon, I need to get out and move so that my back doesn't hurt.

When I start editing, I shift to my office which is a sitting room on the second floor of our house. My husband bought me a lovely writing desk couple of years ago so this along with my books and research material is a wonderful place to create stories. 

If you could book a reservation anywhere in the world for a week-long, all-by-yourself writer’s retreat, where would you go? Without needing to worry about anyone else’s needs for seven days, what kind of writing schedule would you keep?  
I would reserve a cabin with a screened in porch in the Great Smoky Mountains. Sitting out on that porch, overlooking the trees and streams would be the perfect place for me to write for hours on end. I'd write long into the night then wake up and have breakfast on the porch before starting my day. Of course, I'd want to walk some of the trails but I look at that as brainstorming/mulling time.

Do you have any abandoned stories (finished or unfinished) hiding away in files?  
The first book I wrote was a contemporary, a story about a young woman struggling with the role she played in the loss of her grandfather while reestablishing her nursing career. There was a research doctor (the hero) who doesn't understand his new employee or her commitment to the God who allowed his mother to contract AIDS when he was ten. I finished it, even had two editors ask for the completed manuscript, but never got a contract on it. I tweaked it, even made it into a romantic suspense, but one day I recognized it for what it was--a learning tool. Which is fine because writing that book prepared me for the next book which was my first Love Inspired Historical, Hearts in Flight. 

What’s next? What can we look forward to reading from you in the future? 
My next WWII book, Hearts Rekindled (LIH) releases in February, 2014 and I've been asked to write another book in this series though I don't have a release date yet. I'm also working on a series based in the Georgia gold rush of 1829.
Any final comments? If you're a writer looking to get published, just keep plugging at it. Perseverance is half the battle in getting a publishing contract.

Thank you for having me these last two days!

Answer Patty's question below for a chance to win a copy of The Doctor's Bride. Include your email address in the form of name[at]domain[dot]com and respond before 8:30 a.m. EDT this Friday morning to qualify for the drawing. This week, US and Canada readers may qualify.
Tell me something unique about the town you live in that would make it the perfect backdrop for my next historical romance.


Susan P said...

Thanks for sharing with us. Your stories sound intriguing! As for my town - I love it to death, but it has no special history or unique feature. Just a tiny main street with the old buildings and behind that, down a hill, is the old lake and creek with the park next to it.
lattebooks at hotmail dot com

Susan Johnson said...

This book sounds really good. I don't know if there is anything unique about my town. It is a city of a little over 100,000 in west Texas. Right now it is busting at the seams because of the oil fields.