Patricia Kay is a bestselling American author of 50 novels in romance and women’s fiction with four million copies published in 18 countries. Her novels have been on the USAToday Bestseller lists. She was a finalist for the Romance Writers of America (RITA) Award in 2000 for her novel The Wrong Child. Her latest novel, Wrong Groom, Right Bride was published this June. Additionally, she is an acclaimed teacher. She has taught at the University of Houston, at numerous writing workshops all over the country, and teaches Online Writing Classes through her website. Pat was raised with her three younger sisters in northeast Ohio. For the past forty years, she has lived in Houston. She and her husband have three children, and three grandchildren.
1) How long have you been a writer?
I began writing in high school (yearbook, newspaper, etc.) but didn’t begin serious writing for possible publication until 1986.
2) How did you get started in publishing?
I took a creative writing class at Houston Community College and during the course of the semester decided I wanted to write women’s fiction, primarily romance. Through Writer’s Digest Magazine, I learned about the Romance Writer’s of America and joined. From there I attended writers’ conferences and entered contests. Through finaling in a contest, I caught the attention of an editor and that was the beginning of my professional career.
3) How long did it take you to publish your 1st book?
I sold my first book in February 1990, approximately four years after beginning to write my first novel.
4) Who is your favorite author?
My favorite author changes often, depending upon what I’m currently reading. Right now I’m hooked on Maggie O’Farrell, but unfortunately, I’ve read everything she’s published. Ditto for Jennifer Donnelly. And ditto for Marcia Willette. I really like the novels of Penny Vincenzi, as well. And Diane Chamberlain. There are just too many to name.
5) What is the best author experience so far?
Well, aside from getting paid to do what I love, receiving mail from readers is terrific. Sometimes authors feel as if they’re writing in a vacuum but hearing from readers lets you know someone is out there who appreciates your work. Money can’t buy that kind of validation.
6) What do you when you’re not writing?
Read, go to movies, spend time with friends and family, travel, watch favorite programs on T.V., and teach online writing classes.
7) Have you ever had writer’s block? What do you do?
I’ve never had writer’s block. I have experienced burnout, though – been so tired from back to back deadlines and all the pressure that goes along with them – that I’ve had to take time off to refill the well.
8) Do you have any book promotion tips?
The Internet is probably the best promotional tool out there. Having a good website, blogging, maintaining a mailing list and sending out newsletters, speaking to various groups – all of that helps.
9) Tips for other aspiring writers:
Learn your craft. Study hard, write a lot, and keep improving. Read authors you admire and learn from them. Take classes, read books on craft, don’t ever remain stagnant. And be determined. If you want to make writing your fulltime career, don’t give up. Sometimes the only difference between those who achieve their dreams and those who don’t is, those who don’t have given up too soon.
10) Tell me about any current or upcoming books:
I have a new book coming out the end of May. It’s a June release from Silhouette Special Edition called WRONG GROOM, RIGHT BRIDE. It’s gotten good reviews and Romantic Times Magazine gave it four stars. It’s the story a young woman who is jilted practically on the eve of her wedding and what happens afterward.
11) Where can I purchase a copy?
Most Target and WalMart stores carry category romances, as do most bookstores like Barnes & Noble and WaldenBooks. You can also order them at Harlequin’s website, www.harlequin.com and through online bookstores like Barnes & Noble and Amazon. Actually, I have some links on my website at www.patriciakay.com.
And for any aspiring writers out there, I teach a number of online writing classes that are also listed on my website under the Writing Classes link on my home page. Check them out. I formerly taught creative and fiction writing classes at The University of Houston but now limit my teaching to online courses. I’d love to see you there.