WHEN DID YOU FIRST KNOW YOU WANTED TO BE A WRITER AND WHY?
This is an interesting question because I can’t think of a time when I first gave consideration to the thought. I’d always been an avid reader, and from early on, I wrote. But there isn’t a day I can point to when the clouds parted and the sun shone and an epiphany came unto me saying, “You should write.” Having said that, there was an event that served as the catalyst to my starting my first full-length work. Specifically, I was so inspired by a fantasy series I read, that I had to see if I could write one myself.
AS A CHILD, WHAT DID YOU ASPIRE TO BE WHEN YOU GREW UP?
I came from a large family of all girls (eight, that is, count them!), back in the day when we weren’t encouraged to aspire to much of anything, really. Still, even as a child, I was intrigued by courtroom dramas. By the time I was finally able to articulate what I might want to do (practice law), I’d been conditioned into believing that such a venture was reserved for others—that it was not something for me. One day, I dared mention it to a friend. I remember being afraid to even say the words. Then, I quickly followed up with: “But I don’t think they’ll let me.” She responded with one simple question, a question that may well have changed the course of my future. “Who is ‘they?’” she asked. In that moment, something was born—a hunger for more and a belief that perhaps I, too, could have dreams and could follow them. As time unfolded, I found myself pursuing those dreams. I’ve now been practicing law for some years. In many ways, the same idea applied to my writing. I saw others create fascinating works and thought, “Why not me?”
HOW DID YOU GET THE IDEA FOR YOUR AWARD WINNING TITLE?
My two daughters—my youngest two children—were in their early teens at the time that the Oathtaker story and title came to me. I was lamenting about things I saw going on around me. I had a vision of my children seeing the world I’d grown up in, at least for a moment. It was a world in which (to my young mind, at least, back in the day) people said what they meant and meant what they said. You could count on them to follow through on their word. I felt badly that my children were growing up in a world in which teachers don’t always follow through, spouses give up on marriages, religious leaders on occasion fall (quite publicly) from grace, and politicians are excused with the old adage: “Well, they all lie.” I wanted to make a statement that one’s word matters, and that words have a price. Yet I also wanted to express the great glory that can come with honoring one’s word. To do that in a manner that might be accepted by others, I chose to illustrate the concepts I had in mind through a fantasy story.
TELL US SOMETHING INTERESTING ABOUT YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A WRITER:
For me, the most random and funniest events are those moments when in the midst of writing, something trips from the end of my fingertips that I never expected. Sometimes, it’s a funny or thought-provoking, line. For example, in Oathtaker, when a slave woman, Erin, reprimands another, Ginny, whom the reader already knows is slightly cross-eyed, Erin says: “I thought you were only cross-eyed. Now I see that in truth, you are blind.” It’s the kind of line a person would never express out loud in real life, but that a character can get away with saying—and that an author can get away with using. Other surprises have come to me when, for example, a character has shown up in a scene unexpectedly. In Oathtaker, to my delight, that happened at the end of the tale. I remember typing away that Mara (the main protagonist) looked up when the door opened. Then, I stopped, stunned, my hands hovering over my keyboard. I saw the person entering the room, but I was in shock. I had to ask myself: Is that possible? For quite some time, I refused to believe it, but eventually I did, and in the end it was completely right. In fact, it was as though my subconscious knew all along that it was coming, but decided to surprise me along with everyone else.
WHICH AUTHOR HAS MOST GREATLY INFLUENCED YOUR WRITING STYLE OR HAD THE GREATEST IMPACT ON YOUR LIFE?
I can’t say that any one in particular has influenced my style, but as to impact, I have to go back to the classics. Perhaps my all time favorite is Les Miserables, which to my mind is sheer poetry. Moreover, it tells a tale of sacrifice. In many ways, my stories also suggest that sometimes there are things more important than “self.”
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR GREATEST LITERARY ACCOMPLISHMENT?
Of course, there is the obvious of taking a story from start to finish. That may seem ordinary to many, but I suspect many writers would agree that it feels miraculous—particularly the completion of a first full work. Aside from that, both my books are award-winners and WindDancer Films asked to take a look at Oathtaker (Volume One). Not many new authors can claim that a major film production company has shown interest in their work. Even so, I’d have to say that it is the comments from readers that mean the most. I especially like when someone tells me that he or she didn’t read fantasy before, but because of my stories, has been “converted.”
CAN YOU OFFER ANY ADVICE FOR WRITERS ON HOW BEST TO PROMOTE THEIR BOOK?
The best advice for a new author seeking to promote her work would be the worst advice for her, in general. That is, if she wants to be great at promotion, she needs time to do it. This might suggest she should quit her day job. Please don’t! Instead, new authors should be active on social media—preferably before they first publish. (I wish I’d known this before I first published!) Also, I would encourage them to enter contests, but to be wary of them. They are not all equal. An author should look to enter those that are used to promote ideas with which the author agrees. For example, Literary Classics caught my attention because I discovered LC’s emphasis on works of quality.
DO YOU HAVE ANY NEW BOOKS IN THE WORKS?
Ephemeral and Fleeting: The Oathtaker Series, Volume Three went “live” on March 24, 2017. I know there will be more to the series, so I suppose I should get started on the next one (post haste!). I’m very excited about Volume Three. Also, I’ve decided to take the plunge into audio books and have spent some time looking into them and doing some recording. You see . . . I want to read them myself. We’ll see how that all goes. It is daunting—and exciting.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO SHARE WITH OUR READERS?
Yes! If you are a blogger and would be interested in reviewing my works, I would love to hear from you. To all other readers, I very much appreciate getting feedback—particularly “in the moment” feedback. So, if you’re reading one of my stories, please feel free to contact me via Facebook and follow me there, or on my website www.PatriciaReding.com and share your thoughts with me. Finally, if you’d like to know more about how my works came about, I’d be delighted if you would join me on Bublish. Just click on the “Follow on Bublish” button. Bublish is a great tool for authors to use to share with readers what they were thinking in the writing process, what things might have influenced their stories, and so on.
LITERARY CLASSICS Book Awards & Reviews International Book Awards • Top Honors Youth Book Awards • Seal of Approval http://www.clcawards.org
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