Friday, December 16, 2011

Interview with Marie Patrick

I’d like to welcome our guest today, Marie Patrick. 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 Touch the Flame. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?

I’d love to. The Flame actually refers to a diamond, the Flame of Aphrodite, and a legend (or curse) attached to it. Legend says when the Flame is given and received with love, it will bless two souls with everlasting passion. Legend also says the infamous diamond can bring misery, obsession and death.

Spenser Channing, my hero, knows nothing about the legend of the Flame but he does know when someone needs help. When he finds a woman on his ranch—battered, bruised and near death—with a fortune in diamonds hidden beneath her clothing, a bracelet bearing the name ‘REESA’, and no recollection of who she is, his natural instincts take over and he vows to protect her. He can’t help falling in love with her.

Reesa, of course, falls in love with him as well but she can’t let him know and continually fights her growing attraction. She’s frightened by memories she doesn’t understand, afraid she has committed a horrible crime.
What neither of them knows is that dangers greater than Reesa’s forgotten memories await them, dangers made of flesh and bone and an obsession for the Flame.

Touch the Flame is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?

It all started with a spectacular sunset as I was driving home from work one evening. The sky looked like it was in flames and I remember thinking I could just reach out and touch those flames without getting burned.

Where did you get your idea for this particular book?

From that one perfect sunset. It’s amazing what a visual like that can do for you.

What made you decide to write in this genre?

I’ve always had a love of history, always felt like I’d been born in the wrong time. Of course, the first romance I ever purchased was a historical. I’ve been in love with them ever since.

What are your favorite historical research books and why?

I use everything I can get my hands on for research, even the internet, although there is no one particular book I go to time after time. I love heading down to the Burton Barr Library and just browsing through the stacks. I always find some little nugget of history that inspires me (and usually leave the library with a dozen books at least).

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

Reesa, most definitely. Because she’d lost her memory, she was a complete blank slate for me. She had no memory of her history, no clue to what her background was before she woke up in a strange bed. I imagined what I would feel like if I suddenly “lost” who I was.

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 do a basic character sheet: what they look like, what their history is, who their families are. I don’t interview my characters because eventually, they start talking to me (I know, it sounds strange). My research usually doesn’t change who or what they are but it may change a little bit on how they act.

What are some common speech terms, dress modes, transportation or housing facts that you found interesting for your time period?

What I found more interesting than anything else (although the amount of clothes a woman wore still shocks me) were the amazing inventions created between 1845 and 1900: safety pins and zippers, passenger elevators with safety devices; refrigerated railway cars; condensed milk; telephones, typewriters and ballpoint pens and so many other things that we take for granted every day.

Do you have any authors that inspired you?

Oh, yes! And so many! Jennifer Ashley, Kathryne Kennedy, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Jude Devereaux, Victoria Alexander…the list goes on and on (there are even a few authors who are not published as yet, but whose work is fabulous). If I had to choose just one, it would be impossible. Each one of these authors has sparked something in me.

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

Interviews like this and word of mouth.

What do we have to look forward next?

I’m currently working on another western (what can I say, I love the old west!) but I’ve got two other manuscripts ready to go. One is a sea-faring treasure hunt and the other is a fun romp through Galveston set in 1898.

Thanks, Marie!

To celebrate her book release, Marie Patrick is offering a free copy of Touch the Flame to one lucky commenter on today's blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you 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...

Bio. Marie Patrick has always had a love affair with words and books but it wasn’t until a trip to Arizona, where she now makes her home with her husband and three furry, four-legged “girls”, that she became inspired to write about the sometimes desolate, yet beautiful west. Her inspiration doesn’t just come from the wild west though. It comes from history itself. She is fascinated with pirates and men in uniform and lawmen with shiny badges. When not writing or researching her favorite topics, she can usually be found curled up with a good book.

Check out author’s website at

Buy and


Anonymous said...

Good morning Marie. Thanks for joining us today. Instead of chocolate, I'm breaking out the Christmas cookies in honor of your visit. That, and the more you eat, the less I do. ;) Your cover is beautiful and your story sounds intriguing. I love a touch of the legend. And yes, we do have beautiful sunsets here in Arizona, don't we. What a treat to be able to create a whole story around one. What does your typical writing day look like? Enjoy your day with us and let me know if you need anything else.

Linda Andrews said...

Hi Marie,

I love your historicals. DO you ever plan to write a series?

Anne Baxter said...

I used to live in Phoenix, and the sunsets were beyond any I've ever seen anywhere else. The most spectacular one I ever saw was back in about 1988, driving from Flagstaff to Phoenix. Every variation of cloud (cirrus, cumulus, virga, stratus, etc) and colors from pink to orange to red to purple stretched from horizon to horizon.People were pulled off I-17 all over the place to watchand take pictures. I kicked myself for not having my camera.
And yes, I love historicals, too!

Marie said...

Good morning, Kim! I'm so glad to be here on Much Cheaper Than Therapy! You asked about my typical writing day....well, I write every morning between 4:30 and 6:00 before I head off to the day job. They say you can train your brain and I've found it's true. When the alarm goes off, my characters are already clammoring in my head, urging me to tell their story!

Linda, I'm so thrilled you love my historicals. As for a series, I would love to write one (who am I kidding? I'd like to write several). Actually, one of the secondary characters in Touch The Flame has his own story (in progress)...oh! Now my head is spinning....Thanks, Linda, I think you've just given me an idea!


Marie said...

Thanks for stopping by Anne! You're right, there's nothing more beautiful than an Arizona sunset. I've seen some that have taken my breath away (and like you, didn't have my camera). The one that inspired my story was so spectacular, I had to pull over into a parking lot and watch the sun sink behind the mountains!

Marie said...

By the way, Kim, the cookies are delicious!

Alexis Walker said...

Okay, I just had to pop in and say I LOVED this book! It's classic western with a big family ranch, hunky brothers around, sweeping vistas, treacherous bad guys, and a mysterious legend. Marie, you do such an amazing job with description. It places the reader right there, even to watch the sunset. Wonderful book!

Marie said...

I'm so glad you loved Spenser and Reesa's story. I try very hard to describe what I see in my head, hoping others can see it as well. Glad to know it works.

Thanks for stopping by and for your lovely comments, Alexis! I really appreciate it.


catslady said...

I love hearing all the background on an author and her writing. I also enjoy legends and the what if's that can come from them. I've enjoyed the same authors as you mentioned too. Thanks for the interview and I look forward to your book!

Di said...

I haven't read any of Marie's stories yet, but this one sounds very touching but also adventurous. I love the thought of a beautiful sunset - my favorites are when there are shades of pink to violet - so pretty.
Thanks for the cookies!

Estella said...

I love westerns!

Marie said...

Estella, I love westerns too. There's just something about a cowboy (in fact, right now, in the background, I'm listening to the movie of my favorites)!

Di, I like a lot of emotion in my stories so I have to tell you, there were sections of Touch The Flame that made me cry as I was writing them. I cried as I wrote the ending too (then cried again when I reread it).

CatsLady, I so hope you enjoy Touch the Flame. It was a joy to write (even though I cried). As far as sunsets go, I still love it when the sky looks like it's on fire.


Laurie Schnebly Campbell said...

Marie, I love your description of how that one perfect sunset sparked such a wonderful new story -- that's priceless!

Laurie, sorry to be catching up late

Marie said...

It isn't often something like that happens but I'm so glad it did!

Thanks for stopping by!