Friday, March 5, 2010

Interview with Patricia Davids

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Patricia Davids. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.

I understand you have a new release out called Katie’s Redemption. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

First, thanks for the chocolate. I’m an addict, my dress size proves it. Can I have more? Absolutely. We aim to please. (KW)

Katie’s Redemption is the first book in my Brides of Amish Country series from Steeple Hill. It’s the story of a young Amish woman who returns to her unhappy childhood home because she is destitute and very pregnant. She prays her unfeeling brother will take her in but what she doesn’t know is that her family has moved away. Another Amish family now owns the farm. Carpenter Elam Sutter and his mother, Nettie. The new family takes Katie in. Through their kindness, they show her a side of Amish life she’s never known. Soon love grows, but can Elam trust that Katie’s change of heart is real?

Katie’s Redemption is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

Katie is an unwed mother. Her need to keep and protect her child is what brought her back to her Amish roots. To her surprise, she finds more than a roof over her head. She finds love and a new faith. In my mind, Katie’s daughter became her redemption, hence the title.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

My mother. Yes, really.

I didn’t start out to be an inspirational author. I wrote the sexy stuff. Not all that well, mind you. My mother kept pushing me to write a “clean book”. It wasn’t until I met the wonderful Christian author Deborah Raney that I realized there was a market for clean romances filled with faith and hope. It’s funny how God works in our lives and how often when He talks to us he sounds just like our mother.

Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?

I’m a plotter and a panster. I know where and when I want certain plot elements to come in my book. I have to figure that out before I start. It’s when the characters speak that I find I’m a panster. However, like a good cattle dog, I keep them all headed in the right direction. More or less.

Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?

I spent a good six months doing research for this book. I live in Kansas and while we do have an Amish community here it isn’t the size of the Ohio or Pennsylvania settlements. I read dozens of books, spent hours on the Internet and came to the conclusion I could never get the details to be exact. So, I concentrated on the emotions of the characters. We are all human, Amish and English alike. We fall in love, we fear being hurt, we have to find the courage to make a leap of faith. Once I had that firmly in mind, the rest was easy. As for my favorite tool, I’m a Google girl.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

My editor at Steeple Hill contacted me to see if I would be interested in developing an Amish series. After doing some research, I said “yes” to the project. I had read stories about people who have left the Amish but I wanted to show what would happen if someone tried to come back. Katie needed a valid and pressing reason to return to a life she hated so I came up with the idea of making her pregnant and having the boyfriend dump her.

Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?

I can honestly say I dislike the work of writing. I do, but I love to tell stories. I love it. It’s a gift God gave me. He made me a storyteller. I enjoy creating all kinds of characters but the hero of any book has my heart. Be he a tough guy, a soft guy, a wounded guy, I want to make things right in his life. What better way than to give him the woman who will make him complete and the faith that will complete them both?

Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?

I don’t have a set way to create characters. Some appear full-blown and ready to rock in my head. Others, I have to work at fleshing them out by finding their hidden desires and fears. There is no right way to write a book. There is only your way.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Deborah Raney for one. She creates wonderful characters. I deeply admire Nora Roberts’ work ethic although I’m not a fan of her writing. (She has plenty without me.) She can turn out six or more books a year. What I wouldn’t give to be able to harness that kind of productivity.

What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?

That is an easy question. I write for Steeple Hill. They have worldwide marketing. All I have to do is write a book that people will talk about. I do speaking engagements, I have a website, I do interviews and blogs, but I honest don’t know if they have an impact on sales.

What do we have to look forward next?

The Doctor’s Blessing is next for me. It is the story of a nurse-midwife working among the Amish and how the arrival of a new doctor upsets her personal and professional life. Yes, sparks will fly in Amish county.

Thanks, Pat!

To celebrate her book release, Pat is offering a free book of Katie’s Redemption to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see who won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)

She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...

Check out author’s website at Buy


Anonymous said...

Good Morning Patricia.Thanks for joining us today. I'm just waking up, so I'll refill the chocolate in a moment. Your book sounds intriguing. Many sales. I think we have a similar writing style. I call us plansters:) Love the cattle dog analogy. We have a healer mix, and he does his best to keep the kids in line. Nipping at the ankles usually works. I'll have to try that with my characters soon. Have a great day.

Pat Davids said...

Thanks for having me, Kim.
I'll take a look around while I'm here. Looks very interesting.

Amanda said...

This looks like a great book, Patricia! I look forward to reading it - and I loved your cattle dog analogy! I find it fascinating how characters seem to take on a life of their own; so many times I read a book and the characters live on in my head afterward.

Pat Davids said...

Creating characters that live on for the reader is the goal of every author. It may not happen with every book we write, but when it does it's great.

joder said...

What a very interesting premise to a story. I really like the sound of it and would love to read it.

I've noticed alot of stories coming out recently involving the Amish community. Have you noticed that and why do you think that is?

joderjo402 AT gmail DOT com

Estella said...

I grew up in a county with a big Amish population.
So glad someone decided to write about them.

Pat Davids said...

I think the current Amish trend is a longing for a simpler way of life. We couldn't do it, but we admire people who can.