Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Author Interview - Patti Lacy - Part 1

Patti Lacy and I met online through Jeanette Levellie. I've read two of her books, recommended them, and look forward to her next offering.

She's done some awesome research, but I'll let her share during the interview. Let's give Patti a warm, Christian Writer/Reader welcome!

1.  I loved your new book, Reclaiming Lily. How long did it take you to research and write this story?

Susan, THANK YOU! I spent around a year developing the proposal for Lily while finishing galley proofs on The Rhythm of Secrets, then capped off preparation for my China project with an international trip! For seventeen days, the sights and smells and sounds of a glorious country unfolded!

For this my fourth novel, I signed a contract in the summer of 2010, BEFORE the story was completed, and had to ramp up my scribbles on paper since Bethany House set a due date of November 15, 2010. For me, this was big-time  pressure, but thank God, I did it!

2.  What's your secret for writing well-defined characters? Do you use character charts?

Susan, no character charts yet, but I sure might one of these days! My secret? I pick and choose from the traits of neighbors, friends, and acquaintances, so be careful if you know me or live in or around Normal, Illinois!!!

3.  Did you visit small Chinese villages like the one in Reclaiming Lily? The detail puts the reader in the setting.

China's so spectacular, she just demanded to be a character in the book! I DID visit a strand of small villages, nestled in a fertile valley. (There were seven when viewed from atop a nearby hill). One special village provided the inspiration for Kai's childhood home. God blessed me with attentive, gracious hosts who cooked over a fire stove and served steaming cups of tea in a shaded, spacious courtyard. Yes, I spent a lifetime in China - for 17 days.

4. Dr. Kai Chang's thought processes reflect the culture. Did you find it difficult developing her character? Did  you have an "expert" help you?

Over 20 research books, a couple of films,and a wonderful tour guide, banker, and friend (also a Chinese citizen) opened her treasure trove of memories to help me, I hope, get it right. Of course, as I state in my author's notes, the real Dr. Kai ripped open her heart...and sorrowful share what compelled her to come to America. It's such a subjective thing to dissect and probe another person's motivations and goals. I did hear that Dr. Kai bought books for all her friends! Do you think that's a good thing???

Thanks, Patti. We'll post Part 2 of the interview next Wednesday (1/25).

What's the biggest thing you've done to research your book? Patti traveled to China. Have you taken a trip for research purposes? Have you gathered information from experts? We'd love to hear about it.


Karen Lange said...

Great interview! It's nice to hear more about Patti and her books. :) Thanks, ladies!

patti lacy said...

Susan, you sure "dressed me up" nice with that intro. On this FREEZING winter Wednesday, I appreciate all the warmth I can assemble!!!

Karen, I always love saying hi to you...and appreciate your support!

Diana Prusik said...

Patti Lacy's novels have earned a special place on my bookshelf. The Rhythm of Secrets and Reclaiming Lily are my personal favorites, written with maturity and grace. I can't wait to see what she pens next. I'm a fan for life! Thanks for the interview. Looking forward to Part 2.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Patti throws her heart into every endeavor, and this shines through in her well-researched and superbly-written novels. She will take you to foreign lands and open your heart to secrets long-hidden, even in your own soul.

But my favorite thing about Patti is that she is a true woman of God, who loves every sheep God brings her way. Just like Jesus.

Marja Verschoor-Meijers said...

Love this interview, thanks ladies for sharing! Traveling for research? No, I haven't done that, but it sure sounds like a great idea.

Kristen said...

Oh, I'd love to be able to take a huge research trip. But then I haven't been brave enough to set a story beyond my own backyard. The biggest thing I do is visit the local historical societies, which is one of my favorite things to do. Talking to the research assistants is so fun for me, and I think for them too.
Looking forward to parts 2 and 3.

Jessica Nelson said...

Sooooo cool that Patti traveled over there. I'm looking forward to reading this book.

patti lacy said...

Wow, things have been busy here since I've left! Diana, you have time to pop in???? Where is that baby? :)

Jeanette, wow, your post should be classified as novelesque! LOVE your writing!!! But of course you know that!

Marja, your name is beautiful! Nice to meet you at such a warm, cozy place!!!

Kristen, you sound like a history buff. Praise God the Lincoln Museum is only an hour away from my Normal, Illinois, house!

Hey, Jessica! Hope you like it! Stay tuned!!!!!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Karen - Patti makes it easy. :)

Hi Patti - Thanks for doing the interview. We sure had fun.

Hi Diana - Patti's unique stories and strong writing voice always keeps me glued to her books.

Hi Jen - Yes, her walk with God is the real deal.

Hi Marja - I've done a modest amount of travel for research and loved the experience.

Hi Kristen - Just Part 2. :) Historical writers can find some amazing things right in their own backyard.

Hi Jess - Patti is adding a giveaway to this post. Details to come.

Hi Patti - Thanks for stopping by and fielding comments. My work schedule and a chiro appointment ate my entire day!

Hmm, is that like "the dog ate my homework?"

Susan :)

patti lacy said...

No, Susan, that is definitely NOT the dog eating your homework. Those of us who receive your weekly prayer updates KNOW BETTER!

You go, girl!!

Edgy Inspirational Author said...

Stopping by to see if I win Reclaiming Lily, which I'd heard was really good. Would love to read it. Love books with grace in them!


Judy said...

Loved the interview! It's amazing to see all the hard work and research that goes into writing a book.

I'm looking forward to reading Patti's books. Such wonderful remarks I'm reading, so I know I'm in for a treat!

Blessings to Everyone!

Kristen said...

Only 2 parts?! Guess I was eager for more:)

Thanks for the giveaway!

kristengjohnson (at) gmail (.) com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Patti - LOL! I always feel a little guilty when I can't be superwoman!

Hi Michelle - So nice to see you! Thanks for entering the giveaway.

Hi Judy - Patti knows how to get the big emotional impact.

Hi Kristen - I don't like to wear out authors with too many questions. :)


patti lacy said...

Michelle, hey! Thanks for stopping by! Judy, thank you! I would LOVE to have you as a reader! Kristen, just stop by my Facebook page any day, my blog once a week! Or you could bribe Susan to ask me back all the time!!!!

Sigh. It's so welcoming here!
Thank y'all.

Pegg Thomas said...

I love American history and have traveled to many historical places, not with the intent to write about them at the time, but now those memories are coming into focus as I write. I also read a lot of history and love digging out the details.
twinwillowsfarm at gmail dot com

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Patti - No bribery needed. You're always welcome here. :)

Hi Pegg - Thanks for stopping by and entering the giveaway. If you comment on the giveaway post and Part 2 of the interview, you can get two more entries. Post it on Facebook or your blog and let me know in the comments - you'll get another two entries.

Susan :)

Melanie N. Brasher said...

Patti, it's great to see you here in one of my favorite blog places {hi, Susan!}. :) Your book is on my 2012 reading list, so I would love the chance to win it. I know I'm in for a treat!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Melanie -

Thanks for the compliment. :)

Patti's novels are like traveling the world. Wonderful settings, exotic lands, and unique characters keep me turning pages.


patti lacy said...

Pegg, I'm praying about a historical proposal. Talk about WORK!! (Not the praying, but thinking about what lies ahead :) ))))

Melanie, sweet friend, should I be so organized as to do a reading list???YES!!!