Patricia Correll

December 13th, 2019

I asked Patricia where she would like to chat:

The onsen is nestled in the depths of the Japanese mountains. Snow frosts the pine trees all around, but the water we’re sitting in is blessedly hot, and you can feel your muscles slowly relaxing beneath it. The water smells faintly sweet, like green tea. The onsen is old, very old, but well cared-for; the boards of the floors and walkways are worn smooth by years of sandaled feet. The only sounds are water trickling into the baths and the forest breathing all around us.


Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?

Patricia Correll: I can’t recall any particular moment where I said, “I want to be a writer.” I’ve always been a storyteller, since I was little and pretending with my stuffed animals. I began to write stories as soon as I knew how, and have kept it up ever since. It wasn’t until college, however, that I looked at this hobby and realized I could make a career (more or less!) out of it.

L: How long have you been writing for?

P: My mom has stories I wrote when I was 6 years old (and I’m 40 now so…a long time!). I remember ‘writing’ a story before then, but I couldn’t spell or write real words yet so it was a string of letters on a sheet of paper that made no sense. I had a plot and characters and everything in my head, though!

L: What are you currently working on?

P: I have a novel in the works (probably the first in a trilogy). It’s a fantasy based in Iron Age Britain. I am also laboring away on a new novella, a retelling of the Grimm fairy tale ‘The Juniper Tree’ from a different perspective. Before now much of my published work has been based in Japanese mythology, so I’m not sure how my readers will react to this change of inspiration. We’ll see!

L: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?

P: So many! I think the most obvious influences are Robin McKinley and Ursula K. Leguin. More than one person has actually compared my style to Leguin’s, which left me equal parts flattered and horrified. She’s a goddess of the genre and I’m just…me.

L: What has been the most challenging for you so far?

P: Learning the other aspects of being a published author. I am not an extrovert, so self-promotion has been a struggle. I feel like I’m constantly trying to get a handle on the changing face of marketing.

L: What is your favorite writing trope? Least favorite?

P: I love the angry, bitter man who is secretly tormented and has a soft spot, usually for a woman, child, or pet. Usually a cop or detective, but not always. Examples are Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre, the Hound from A Song of Ice and Fire, and John Wick and Leon from The Professional.

L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?

P: I’ve always been a maker. I do loads of crafts and experiments with my kids, I love building with Lego, I doodle -mostly cartoon dinosaurs- and in the past few years I’ve become enamored of Perler beads. I try to make useful things with them like bookmarks, key chains, coasters and pins. Also the Porg Adventures. When ‘The Last Jedi’ came out I bought a little stuffed Porg (a birdlike creature from the movie). As a joke I took her places and did photoshoots. Before long it took off and now I make her little outfits and we go everywhere together. I post pictures of her adventures for my friends and family. It’s a totally normal hobby, of course.

L: What would you say is your favorite book or series of all time? Why?

P: Ow. Um, The Persian Boy by Mary Renault is a perpetual favorite. But the book of my heart is Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn. Much of my life’s wisdom was absorbed from that book.

L: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?

P: How much of writing, especially indie writing, isn’t actually writing. If I’d known that I would have taken classes in marketing and graphic design in college. Instead I learned It myself, on the fly, and there were tears involved. I think I’m getting better at it all, though.

L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?

P: I have done it both ways. There are pros and cons to each. With a traditional publisher you have a professional editor and a cover artist, people who write your blurb, etc. With indie publishing, that’s all on you (though, to be frank, with a small press most of the marketing at least will still be your responsibility). But with indie publishing there are no submissions, no months-long wait for a response, you get a bigger cut of the profits and have complete creative control. It’s a lot of work. But I enjoy doing it. I’m certainly not averse to pursuing traditional publishing in the future but right now I’m having fun with my indie work.

L: What are you currently reading?

P: I have a Kindle Paperwhite but an also in love with physical books (to a fault, according to my husband). I am usually reading one physical book and one e-book. Right now the e-book is N.K. Jemisin’s The Fifth Season, which has a lot of elements I like in my fantasy. The physical book is actually a library book (because I don’t have enough unread books of my own, apparently) of Ellis Peters’ A Morbid Taste for Bones. I really love the Cadfael TV series with Derek Jacobi and it was high time I tried the original novels.

L: What genre do you read?

P: I will read any genre, but not equally. I’ve read Westerns, self-help and romances but I don’t usually seek them out unless they are recommended to me. I love mysteries, SF and fantasy, horror, nonfiction. Short stories, novellas, novels, series…I don’t have any particular preference for length.

L: What does a typical day of writing look like for you? Any rituals or ‘must-haves’?

P: I am lucky at the moment to be a stay-at-home mother with two kids in school. One is half-day, so between 9-11 a.m. I get more or less uninterrupted writing time. I usually go to the local library, since there are fewer distractions: no chores to be done, no cat nagging me for attention. Next year when they’re both in school full-time I’ll be seeking gainful employment again, so that will cut my writing time considerably.

L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?

P: This is bizarre; I love true crime and paranormal podcasts. But most of it isn’t appropriate for my kids to hear, so I have to listen to it when they’re at school, which is also my writing time. So when I am writing I am usually hearing some gruesome story in the background, murders or cults or cryptid.

L: What’s a word or phrase that people say that always irritates you?

P: ‘Irregardless’ and the ‘misuse’ of ‘literally’. I read an article that made me feel better about the evolution of ‘literally’, but in the moment it makes my blood boil. Also, ‘I could care less’ means you DO care. It’s ‘couldn’t care less’. COULDN’T. And now I sound like a pedant so I’ll stop there.

L: Who is your favorite literary character and why?

P: Ouch again. I love Mary Renault’s version of Alexander the Great, and Molly Grue from The Last Unicorn, and Tenar from the Earthsea Cycle, and Lady Dedlock from Bleak House, and… they’re all well-drawn characters who share some aspect of my personality, I think. Something draws me to them.

L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?

P: I tap into world mythology and folklore a lot. The old stories speak to us in a deep, primal way and can be adapted to any time period I like twisting them a bit, or giving a voice to characters who don’t have one in the original tales.

L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?

P: Sit down and do it. You’re going to suck at first. The only way to stop sucking is to keep doing it.


Patricia Correll lives in Alabama with her family and one elderly cat. She writes fantasy and horror; her work is available on Amazon. She likes Hello Kitty and world mythology, and she loves Matcha Kit-Kats.

You can find Patricia on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and Goodreads.

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Peony Lanterns – Mitsu has been Shiro’s personal servant and best friend since they were both six years old, and he’s been in love with him for nearly that long. While Shiro takes lovers of both sexes, the gulf between their social classes is so vast that Mitsu has never spoken his feelings aloud.

When Shiro meets the beautiful Lady Keiko, he’s instantly infatuated. His affection soon turns to obsession, and Mitsu resigns himself to a life of unrequited love.

But as Mitsu looks deeper into Keiko and her motives, he realizes that Shiro is in grave danger. He will need all his courage– and some help from a master of the occult– to save the life of the man he loves.

Buy it here!

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Dawn Hosmer

August 16th, 2019

IndieGoLogo_DawnHosmer

I asked Dawn where she would like to talk:

It is mid-afternoon on a warm summer’s day and we are in the restaurant Moonbeams in Malibu. We are seated at a bar that overlooks the rocky coast of the Pacific. There are no windows so the fresh ocean breeze blows our hair as we chat. The crashing of the waves is our background music, and as we talk we watch a pod of dolphins swim along, jumping playfully into the air. We are both dressed for the beautiful, sunny California weather in sleeveless dresses and sandals. I am drinking a Pineapple Mojito, minty and refreshing, and feasting on the fresh sea scallops. Even though the restaurant is crowded, the chatter is drowned out by the roaring ocean, so it feels as though we’re alone. The bar juts out over the water and when the waves crash just right against the rocks, we can feel a slight mist from the waves. It is a little piece of heaven on earth. The atmosphere is so soothing that none of the staff seem stressed or hurried by the crowded restaurant. When I mention the beauty to the waiter he says how therapeutic it is to come to work each day and be surrounded by the water. For dessert I order maple crème brulee and one of the best cups of coffee I’ve ever had, in a mug that fits perfectly in my hand. Even though we’ve finished our meals, we stay for hours enjoying the peace and serenity of our surroundings. Our time spent here has helped us to forget the stress and worries of the outside world.

Laura Mae: What inspired you to enter the world of writing?

Dawn Hosmer: Writing has always been my passion for as long as I can remember. Writing gives me a place to dump my fears and anxieties and helps me make sense of the world around me.

L: How long have you been writing for?

D: I wrote my first book in the 1st or 2nd  grade, called The Lame Girl and The White Steed. It was so sad and depressing. I wrote some children’s books about 15 years ago and queried them but none of them got picked up. I wrote my first novel 13 years ago – The End of Echoes – which will release on August 17, 2019. Writing has always been a big part of my life whether through journaling, poetry, or fiction.

L: What are you currently working on?

D: I am working on last minute details for the release of The End of Echoes. I am also working on continuing to market Bits & Pieces. I am trying my hand at something WAY outside of my comfort zone – a romance —  which I’m about 30,000 words into right now. I also have the first draft done of my next novel (a suspense), but need to do some major re-writes.

 L: Are there any books or authors who inspire your work?

D: So many authors inspire me but I’d say some recent ones that serve as an inspiration are: Jodi Picoult, Ruth Ware, Chevy Stevens, Mary Kubica, Wally Lamb, William Landay, and Liane Moriarty.

L: What has been the most challenging for you so far?

D: Marketing is a beast. I feel like it takes constant work and innovation to keep my book on the radar so that readers can find it and choose to read it. I feel like there’s no one set way that works to market books and that good marketing strategies vary from author to author, book to book.

L: Besides writing, what is it you like to do?

D: I love to travel, play board games, spend time with my family, read, and watch HGTV or true crime TV.

L: Are there any regrets you have or anything you wish you knew sooner?

D: I wish I would have joined Twitter and found the writing community sooner. The support and encouragement I’ve received has been amazing and has propelled me forward with my writing. I also wish I would’ve considered non-traditional routes of publishing much sooner. There are so many ways to get your books out into the world nowadays and I clung to the idea that I had to be traditionally published for far too long.

L: In a brief statement, have you self-published or traditionally published? What was your experience?

D: I’ve decided to publish my first two novels with small, independent publishers. Overall the experience has been a positive one. They handle all of the things I’m not experience with, like cover design, editing, formatting, uploading to Amazon, etc. With independent publishers, the process also moves very quickly. With my most recent book, The End of Echoes, I signed with Gestalt Media and had an amazing book cover within 2 weeks and will be published in less than 2 months. I love being able to keep creative control of my work while having others alongside to help me with all of the details and some of the marketing.

L: What are you currently reading?

D: I’m currently reading Next Girl to Die, by Dea Porier which is excellent. I’m also reading Fliers by YOU! 

L: What genre do you read?

D: I don’t stick to a particular genre but my favorites to read are Thrillers/Suspense and Contemporary Fiction. Although since joining the writing community on Twitter, I’ve branched out and found so many new authors and genres to read. For the past year, I have read mostly books from fellow Indie authors.

L: What does a typical day of writing look like for you? Any rituals or ‘must-haves’?

D: Because I’m a mother, I don’t get to be picky about writing rituals and must-haves. I can write through just about anything, although I prefer quiet (that’s hard to find). I recently made a writing space in our spare bedroom which helps so much to be able to go in there and shut the door. When I’m in there, I know it’s time to focus and get to work. (And not time for Twitter!)

L: Any songs or type of music you need to listen to when you write?

D: I can’t listen to music while I write because I like to sing along. Even if I try instrumental music, I’ll make up words to it. Ha!

L: What’s a word or phrase that people say that always irritates you?

D: “It could be worse”. As someone with a chronic illness, I feel like that phrase is often used with good intention to help me focus on the positive but instead, all it does is negate my pain and my experience. I have to stop myself from saying it to myself sometimes too. I firmly believe in practicing gratitude for the blessings in our life while at the same time honoring our reality for what it is. I’ve had to learn that it’s okay, once in a while, to just be sad about my health issues without berating myself or trying to tell myself that I shouldn’t feel the way I do. I also try to practice daily gratitude. There is always something to be thankful for, even on the worst of days.

L: Where would you say you get most of your inspiration?

D: Most of my inspiration comes from real life. I’ve spent my career in social work and gotten to know so many amazing, resilient people who have had to deal with circumstances no one should ever have to face. Much of my inspiration comes from their stories or from true stories I read about or watch on TV.

L: For aspiring writers out there, what would be the best advice you want them to know?

D: Allow yourself to write an imperfect first draft. Just get the words on the page, even if they’re awful. Get the story out and once that first draft is down, then you can make it shine.


headshotDawn Hosmer is a lifelong Ohioan. She is married and has four children, three of whom are now adults. Dawn has spent her career in Social Work; however, writing has always been her passion. Her debut novel, Bits & Pieces, is a Psychological Thriller that released in November 2018. Her second novel, The End of Echoes, is a Thriller and is scheduled to release on August 17, 2019. Dawn enjoys traveling, reading, writing, watching true crime TV, and coffee. Dawn is busy working on her next novel. Dawn is also a Crohn’s disease warrior.

 

You can find Dawn on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, Pintrest, Bookbub and her website.

Bits & Pieces front cover (2).jpgBits & Pieces – A chance encounter with a stranger traps Tessa within the mind of a madman.Tessa was born with a gift. Through a simple touch she picks up pieces of others. A “flash” of color devours her—the only indication that she’s gained something new from another person. Red equals pain; purple, a talent; yellow, a premonition; orange, a painful memory; and blue, a pleasant one. Each flash blurs the lines between her inherent traits and those she’s acquired from others. Whenever she gains bits of something new, she loses more pieces of herself.While assisting in search efforts for a local missing college student, Tessa is paralyzed by a flash that rips through her like a lightning bolt, slicing apart her soul. A blinding light takes away her vision. A buzzing louder than any noise she’s ever heard overwhelms her, penetrates her mind. As the bolt works its way through her body, images and feelings from someone else take over. Women’s dead eyes stare at her as her hands encircle their throats. Their screams consume her mind. Memories of the brutal murders of five women invade her.Will she be able to find the killer and help save the next victim? Can she do so without completely losing herself?Bits & Pieces is a fast-paced, riveting Psychological Suspense with supernatural elements that leaves the reader guessing until the end.

Buy it here!

 

The End of Echoes Cover.jpegThe End of Echoes – Two families, forever linked by tragedy.
Ruby Dunkin is in an abusive marriage. Her best efforts aren’t enough to shield her two children from an abusive father whose cruelty knows no bounds. Their volatile situation ends in tragedy when Ruby’s eldest son, Billy is torn away from everything he loves. Consumed by hatred and self-loathing Billy becomes the thing he hates the most—his father.
Chelsea Wyatt, a senior in high school, goes missing after work one night, never to return. Her parents are devastated, only knowing this kind of tragedy from the news. Crimes like this are unheard of in their quiet, midwestern town. Consumed by the tragic fate of their friend, family member and neighbor, their lives and futures are forever altered.
For over eighteen years, no one knows the connection between Ruby Dunkin and Chelsea Wyatt. A journey through time reveals the common thread stitching their heartbreak together. Yesterday echoes throughout each character’s life as they decide how, and if, they will break the chains of the past.

Will they continue to leave a legacy of pain and loss for future generations? Will they break the cycles of abuse that have destroyed so many lives?

*Trigger Warning**
This book contains scenes of domestic violence and mention of sexual assault.

Buy it here!


Are you an indie writer or author? Contact me to be featured in the Indie-Go Interviews!