Thursday, October 15, 2020

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Patty Smith Hall

Talkshow Thursday: Meet Patty Smith Hall 

Linda: Thanks for joining me today. Congratulations on your release, If Not for Grace in The Heart of the Midwife collection. This is your eighth novella published with Barbour. How do you come up with the ideas for the collections. 

Patty: Thank you for having me, Linda. The ideas for the collections are a joint effort, spearheaded by my friend, Cynthia Hickey. A group of us will get online and throw around ideas until one ‘sticks,’ then we brainstorm different angles until we have four distinct stories to pitch to our editor at Barbour. 

LM: The age old question for writers – are you a planner or a “pantster,” and what is your favorite part of the writing process? 

Patty: In my early days, I was a diehard seat of the pants writer. But I realized it was leading me down inescapable rabbit hole, so I took a year off from submitting and signed up for Laurie Schnebly’s class, Plot Via Motivation. It changed my writing completely! Now, I would say I’m a planner with some pantster tendencies. 

LM: What draws you to writing historical rather than contemporary fiction? 

Patty: I’ve always loved history. Even as a child, I was drawn to biographies and historical accounts more than regular fiction. Not that I wouldn’t write a contemporary if I had a good story to tell, but most of the books on my bookshelf are historical. 

LM: What do you do to prepare yourself for writing? (e.g., listen to music? Go to a certain place in your home?) 

Patty: I spend time in my devotions and pray. For me, writing is a ministry. 

LM: Research is an important part of writing, especially historic fiction (and you’re a professional researcher!). What did you do to research If Not for Grace? How did you delve into the era? 

Patty: Well, in my former life, I was a pediatric nurse specialist, so I’ve been a part of the birthing
process from start to finish. Things haven’t changed much over the years so that was relatively easy to write. As far as researching the era, one of the women I’ve always admired was Jane Addams who made a name for herself caring for the poor despite being an heiress. My character, Grace, is modeled after her. 

LM: Here are some quickies: 

Favorite childhood book: Little Women by Lousia May Alcott 
Favorite food: My Mom’s German Chocolate Cake 
Favorite vacation place: Sitting on the beach in the Bahamas! 

LM: What is your next project? 

Patty: I have another novella collection with Barbour next fall so I’ll be working on that as well as finishing up the edits on two books I hope to release in the new year. 
LM: Where can folks find you on the web? 


About If Not for Grace (Part of The Heart of the Midwife)

New York City, 1889: After her friend's death in childbirth, Grace Sullivan converts her family home into a haven for immigrant families preparing for the birth of a child. But when the city threatens to close her down, her only hope is to ask for help from an unlikely source-her former fiance, Patrick O'Leary.

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