I gave an Interview on Amanda Young's Intimate Romance website, complete with excerpts and covers. Come take a look and let me know what you think.
This week’s interview is with Edward Patterson, author of the No Irish Need Apply, The Jade Owl and many, many others. Many thanks to Edward for agreeing to answer my questions and share a little about himself with you all.
Q: Hello Edward. First off, could you tell us what genre do you write in, and why?
A: All my novels are gay-themed. However, I like to say I transcend “genre.” I write fantasy, historical (Chinese), mysteries, horror and even romance. Although all my novels have gay characters, they’re just characters . . . and my children, actually.
Q: How long did you write before you received your first contract for publication?
A: I’ve been writing since 1960, but never pushed for publication as I had other ambitions. I received my first publication contract in 2000 for The Jade Owl from an on-line serial website, which promptly bellied up. I am now an Indie author, and loving every minute of it.
Q: So, if you don’t mind sharing, would you tell us about your latest work in progress?
A: I am currently working on Look Away, Silence, an romance in the time of AIDS, and also the third book of The Jade Owl series — The Dragon’s Pool, a light 700 pager, due out in May-June.
Q: Out of all the stories you’ve written, which is your favorite?
A: Without question, Turning Idolater, a whodunit romance about a young internet stripper and a middle-aged author. Somehow, in this mix I introduce an undercurrent of Moby Dick. Nothing has stolen my heart like that novel. I use it as my personal benchmark. Of course, readers favor No Irish need Apply, which has been named the Selection of the Month at Boz Allen Hamilton’s Diversity Readers group for June 2009, a prestigious honor that I hold close to my heart.
Q: Do you need to be in a specific place or atmosphere before the words flow?
A: Actually, no. I just sit at the computer, now that the old upright typewriter has been tossed, and I slip into the zone. I must confess, I write more in my head than anywhere else. When I apply myself to the actual spewing of words, the words already have been fermenting.
Q: What’s the strangest source of inspiration you’ve found for a story?
A: Ah, that would be an upcoming novel, Green Folly, the retelling of the Jonathan, David and Saul story in a corporate diversity setting. It comes complete with the Witch of Endor. I also have a strange item in the front burner called The Road to Grafenwoehr, which I’ve decribed to those interested as “Stephen King meets Jane Austen.”
Q: If you could offer one tidbit of information for new writers, what would it be?
A: Be proud of what you’ve written, but remember, it’s not finished until you’ve revised it at least three times; more perhaps. If what you have written is precious, kill it. Readers want story and great characters, and not to bask in your turn of phrase. That’ll knock them out of your story. Listen to criticism, especially from professionals. They know. You don’t.
Q: Do you have an evil day job or do you write full time?
A: I have worked for the same company for 44 years. Not so evil really. I was a Marketing Director until 2002, when I downsized to posting cash on the general ledgers. However, my publishing works coincided with this wonderful downsizing. So, it is the best event ever to happen to me.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
A: I sing. I’m an Opera queen. I read incessantly. For every hour of writing, I do an hour of reading.
Q: Name one thing readers would be surprised to learn about you.
A: That I am nearly blind in one-eye from Diabetes related glaucoma. When that eye goes, and the other one, which has cataracts, I guess I’ll need to name my seeing-eye dog. I’ll run a contest, perhaps. Good thing I can find the keyboard in the dark and have a fine proofreader, who donates her time to my works.
Q: What’s your favorite dirty word?
A: Fuck. How original, but actually, I love to transpose that word into a refined sentence like a diamond set in platinum.
Q: What’s your favorite holiday, and why?
A: Every day’s a holiday when you’re sixty.
Q: Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
A: No tattoos. Not smart for a diabetic. I have four piercings in ye olde ears, 2 each, 2 of which hold my dearly departed mother’s diamond earrings.
Q: If you could be intimate with three people (not necessarily all at one time *g*) without getting in trouble with your significant other, who would they be?
A: Elijah Wood. Elijah Wood, and Elijah Wood. Pam Racine, forgive me, dear.
Q: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you want with you?
A: My Kindle, a plug and a power plant (for the Kindle).
Q: If you won the lottery tomorrow, what would you spend the money on?
A: I’d send it to Dafur and AmFar. I need nothing but my readers, and they shall not be bought.
Q: Which household chore do you abhor and why?
A: Laundry, because my washing machine leaks and I need to do the floor at the same time as the laundry.
Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?
A: Popcorn in the movies with extra butter and sour-cream flavored salt. Ah, an ode to diabetes.
Q: Do you have any guilty pleasures you feel comfortable sharing?
A: Badpuppy. ‘nuff said.
Q: Do you have a favorite book or movie?
A: Two birds with one stone. The Lord of the Rings – on both counts.
Q: Anything else you’d like to share?
A: As an Indie author, I appreciate all the support that the author and blog community has given to those of us who have decided to do it all ourselves. The stigmas placed on Indie authors are quite onerous, but they exist for various and irrelevant reasons. I am not a tortured author saddled with rejection. I have only received one rejection, and that one was so encouraging, my beta-readers encouraged me to launch out and touch readers directly. Well, it’s done and I would not do it any other way. That doesn’t mean that if a big publishing contract came my way, I’d pooh pooh it, because most Indie authors are just trying to reach their audience through a stiff curtain of an economically depressed publishing industry.
Q: In closing, tell us a bit about your latest release (& share a yummy excerpt for those who aren’t yet familiar with your work)
A: My last work, just released is The Academician is the first part of a four book series called Southern Swallow. It’s a fictional biography of a 12th Century Chinese scholar-official. I have a Master’s degree in Sinology (Chinese History and Culture) and part of a doctorate, so I’ve put that to use in many of my novels. The Academician is an adjunct to my The Jade Owl Legacy series, but also explores homosexuality during this lively period of Chinese history. It is my oldest project, 37 years in the making, and its out, thank heavens.
Excerpt from The Academician - Southern Swallow - Book I:
(on the site)