Pat Bertram, author of Daughter Am I
I would like to welcome our Guest Author for the day, Pat Bertram. I’m so pleased to be part of Pat’s DAUGHTER AM I blog tour and I hope that you enjoy today’s interview, excerpt and the global book giveaway*.
Thank you for joining us!
Take it away, Pat… :)
**Congrats to Marjorie Cunningham on winning a copy of Daughter Am I**
Interview with Pat Bertram
How long had the idea of Daughter Am I, been developing before you began to write the story?
Pat: I developed the idea in a single day, but I had to finish the book I was working on at the time, so I didn’t actually begin writing Daughter Am I until several months after I got the initial idea.
Have you always wanted to be a writer?
Pat: I always wanted to be a reader. That’s really all I ever wanted to do. I did try writing a novel many years ago, but the words never came flowing out of me the way I thought they should, so I decided I had no talent for writing. About eight or nine years ago I decided phooey with talent, and I decided to try writing again. I thought it would be a good way of taking my mind off my problems. I also read books about writing, publishing, and promoting, so basically I gave myself a crash course in the whole writing spectrum.
How long did it take you to write Daughter Am I?
Pat: I started writing Daughter Am I on March 19, 2004 and I finished it on February 9, 2005. That was the first draft, of course. I didn’t completely finish the novel until September 2009 when the final edits were done.
What was the most difficult part about writing Daughter Am I?
Pat: The most difficult part about writing Daughter Am I was finding the words. I am not one of those authors who can sit down and just let the story pour out of them, I have to dig for every single word.
Do you prefer to write at a particular time of day?
Pat: Definitely. I like complete quiet with no interruptions, so about the only time I can write is after dark. I like sitting in a pool of light, where nothing exists but me and the blank page.
What would you like your readers to take away from your stories?
Pat: I would like readers to take away a slightly different way of looking at the world, perhaps seeing it in a better light or a maybe just a more truthful light. And if not that, I’d like them to feel good about having spent time with my characters. The best compliment I ever received was from someone who said he didn’t want the book to end.
What inspired you to name many of your characters in such an imaginative way?
Pat: Most of the characters in Daughter Am I are aged gangsters, and they kept the monikers they used when they were young. I patterned my gangsters after those in the 1930s movies, though in the book they didn’t actually reach their prime until the 1950s or even 60s.
Do you have any rituals that you follow before sitting down to write?
Pat: Interesting question, but no. No rituals. Sometimes I read a bit that I’d written to get me into the story, but mostly I just sit and think about what happens next.
Do you have a favourite snack food or favourite beverage that you enjoy while you write?
Pat: Water. I drink lots of water. Writing is a thirsty occupation!
Have you ever lived on a farm?
Pat: Never lived on a farm, but I live across the road from one. Does that count?
In your opinion, what is the most difficult part of the whole writing process?
Pat: The most difficult part of writing for me right now is just sitting down and writing. I don’t know why, but I have no real inclination to write. I’m sure the desire will come back, probably when I stop spending so much time on the Internet.
Do you keep a pen and note pad on your bedside table?
Pat: Yes, lots of pens, notebooks, paper. Don’t use them, but they are there!
Is there a certain freedom in being published by a small independent publisher?
Pat: For sure! I got a final say in the editing process, I got to submit my own cover designs, and I get to promote my books the best way I know how. I realize the last is not something most authors care about, but some publishers expect authors to keep them informed of everything they are doing to promote. In some cases, the authors have to ask permission to post excerpts of their own books.
What are you working on right now?
Pat: Mostly I’m blogging, writing articles, doing interviews, but I do have a work in progress — a whimsically ironic apocalyptic fantasy — that is waiting for me whenever I get the inclination to write again.
Is there any thing else that you would like to share with us?
More Deaths Than One tells the story of Bob Stark who sees his mother’s obituary in the morning paper, which stuns him because he buried her two decades ago before he left the country to live in Southeast Asia. So how can she be dead again? A Spark of Heavenly Fire tells the story of insomniac Kate Cummings who gathered her courage and strength to survive the horror of a bioengineered disease let loose on the state of Colorado.
Excerpt from Daughter Am I
“How could you bear to part with the only thing you had that belonged to your grandfather?” Mary asked when they were all munching sandwiches in Teach’s kitchen. The large rooms of his apartment seemed small because of the books stacked everywhere—on shelves, on tables, on the floor, on the kitchen counters. “Even if it was only a bullet,” she added. “There’s more where that came from.” Teach lifted the top of a ceramic cookie jar sitting in the middle of the table, reached in, and pulled out a handful of metal blobs. He let the pieces of lead clatter back into the ceramic jar, then stuck two fingers in his vest pocket and took out a ten-dollar bill. Handing it to Kid Rags, he said, “Here’s your share. Usually I get about fifteen dollars per bullet.” Kid Rags plucked the bill out of Teach’s hand, carefully placed it in his wallet, and continued eating his ham and cheese sandwich. Mary’s mouth fell open as she stared at Teach. “You’re a con man!” Teach raised one eyebrow. “You say that as if it’s a bad thing.”
“Well it is. You cheated those people.” “No, I didn’t. I gave them exactly what they wanted—romance, excitement, memories. And don’t forget, they thought they were taking advantage of a poor defenseless old man.”
“It’s still not right,” Mary said.
“You don’t get it, do you?” Teach rolled one of the bullets between his fingers. “It’s all one great big con.”
“Everything. Life. Love. Happiness. The OK Corral. Wyatt Earp.”
Mary shot a questioning glance at Kid Rags who shrugged and busied himself constructing another sandwich.
“Wyatt Earp was a con man himself,” Teach said. “He and a mysterious character named Dave Mather got caught pulling the gold brick swindle in Mobeetie, Texas, and they were run out of town.”
“Gold brick swindle?” Mary asked.
Kid Rags groaned. “Don’t egg him on. Now we’re going to learn more about gold swindles than we ever wanted to know.”
“I wanna know,” Crunchy said.
Teach grinned at Kid Rags. “You’re welcome to wait in the living room.”
Kid Rags waved his sandwich. “I haven’t finished eating yet.”
One last thing — I’d like to thank everyone for stopping by to visit. It’s always nice to make new friends!
* The global book giveaway is for 1 print copy of Daughter Am I, if the winning commenter is a US resident. If the winning commenter is not a US resident, they will win an ebook copy of Daughter Am I.
Copyright © Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy