Patricia Elliott and I contributed to the same anthology. Slow Burn is an anthology about fire fighters in Australia and all of the royalties will go to a charity to benefit those fire fighters.
Patricia Elliott lives in Beautiful British Columbia with her family. Now that their lovely kids are all teenagers, she has decided to actively pursue her passion for the written word.
When she was a youngster, she spent the majority of her time writing fanfiction and poetry to avoid the harsh reality of bullying. Writing allowed her to escape into another world, even if temporarily; a world in which she could be anyone or anything, even a mermaid.
Dreams really can come true. If you believe it, you can achieve it!
Tell us about yourself
First, I want to say thanks for hosting me on your blog. It’s a pleasure to be here. My name is Patricia Elliott and I’m 43 years old. I’m a romance/dark fiction author from British Columbia, BC, where I currently live with three of my children; they are 17, 18, and 21. It still blows my mind that they are almost all adults now. Time escaped on me somehow. One minute you are holding them in your arms, and the next, they are too big to pick up without throwing out your back. *That might just be me getting old now. Haha
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
Writing has always been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. When I was about 9 years old, back in the 80’s, we moved to the country. The internet didn’t exist back then and cable in the country left a lot to be desired. I think we had about three channels, everything else was fuzzy.
After I started at my new school, I became the target of every bully. The same people bullied me pretty much throughout my remaining school years, with more bullies being added to their group each year.
Eventually, I learned that I could escape into different worlds by reading and writing. A mere paper and pen became my coping mechanism because I could be anyone or anything I wanted to be; a popular athlete, a mermaid, or even a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle. I found it was also a great way to release my pent up emotions.
I never really thought about being an author though. The likelihood of getting published in the 80’s or even 90’s felt like it was on par with becoming a professional athlete. Only traditional publishing existed at the time, and you had to mail your stories in via snail mail.
It wasn’t until my mid-twenties that I started to think of the possibility of becoming an author. That’s when I actually wrote my first full-length novel, “Her Lover’s Face.” However, the book wasn’t revealed to the world until over a decade later when Richard from Black Velvet Seductions gave it a shot. I signed my first book contract with them and it was published in February 2018.
I’ll never forget my journey to publication. The road was full of twists and turns, but in the end, I made it out the other side and got to hold my book baby; so, if you want to publish a book, don’t give up. Your time will come.
What genres do you like to read? Are these the same genres you like to write in?
I tend to read romantic suspense more than anything else, even though I do love a good horror story, too. Most of my work tends to fall into the romantic suspense category, but I have been known to dabble in dark fiction, horror, and even fantasy. Life isn’t the same without zombies. 😉
Is your book for adults, young adults, or children?
My current stories are definitely for adults, but I do have some young adult/children stories in mind to write at a later date under a pen name.
What is your current release or project?
I’m pretty excited about my upcoming release, it is a short story called, “Into the Fire,” which has been included in the Slow Burn charity anthology, which is being published by Little Quail Press. Our wonderful publisher will be donating all the proceeds from our book sales to the NSW Rural Fire Service to help the first responders in Australia. They were devastated by wild fires earlier this year and need all the help they can get. My story takes place in Australia. The main character, Ash, is a firefighter and responds to a call at his ex-girlfriend’s house. He ends up getting more than he bargained for when he arrives…
I also had a novel released in November of last year by Black Velvet Seductions, called, “Not You Again!” Both of these stories revolve around the theme of second chances. What would you do if you came face to face with your first love? Would you run the other way or run into their arms? Emma, the main character in my novel, was so shocked that all she could do was compliment him on his shoes.
Tell us about the key characters
In regards to my story, “Into the Fire,” Ash Daniels was born and raised in a small Australian town. After going through a tough time and having the town stick by him in his late teen years, he decides to stay and help those who helped him by becoming a firefighter.
Theresa Martin was born and raised in the same town, until her dad made her leave. Years later, after the loss of her parents, she returns to sell her family’s farm, but ends up falling in love with it all over again.
Ash Daniels is single and plans to stay that way. Theresa Martin, the only woman he ever loved, left him high and dry, disappearing from his life years ago without a trace. Now, his only focus is saving his town from a raging bushfire that has scorched the land all around them. When he’s dispatched to his ex-girlfriend’s place, his painful past comes rushing forward. His only hope is that he can stay focused long enough to save her place and not die in the process.
Theresa Martin never expects to face a life or death situation; but, when the bushfire reaches her back yard, she realizes that the secret she’s been keeping isn’t hers to keep anymore. She has to tell Ash why she ran away before death rips that chance away.
But what he’ll do with the news is anyone’s guess…
“Mummy,” Zack screamed. Theresa Martin’s heart lurched and her eyes shot open, her blood curdling at the sound. She couldn’t see anything. Thick black smoke blanketed her bedroom in darkness. “Zack!” she cried as she reached over and grabbed her cell phone off the nightstand, dialling triple zero. She rolled off the bed and dropped to the tan carpet below. Sharp pains radiated in her chest. Why hadn’t her smoke alarm gone off? “Emergency Services. Do you need police, ambulance, or fire?” “Fire! My house is filled with smoke,” she cried. Crawling on her hands and knees, she approached her bedroom door and carefully touched the handle. The metal was cool beneath her fingers. Thank God. The strong stench of burning wood, like a giant bonfire, permeated her senses, stinging her eyes. “For what city or town, please?” “Kangaroo Valley.”… Slow Burn – The Fires That Bind Us Anthology Various Authors
What’s your favorite scene?
That’s tricky to say without giving too much of the short story away, but it has to do with a koala and a little rugrat who tries to be brave, like a firefighter would be. You can’t have an Australian story without a Koala, right? Not in my eyes anyway.
What advice would you give a beginner?
My advice is to just have fun. Focus on your story first and foremost; write whatever stokes your passion—the story that’s on your heart to write. It will breathe life into your work and your readers will thank you for it.
And this might be different than what other writers say, but don’t get too caught up in all the writing rules while writing your first draft. There are tons of them out there and trying to follow them all, especially early on, can stifle your creativity; and, you’ll end up focusing more on trying to follow the rules than actually writing your story. There is time for that later while editing.
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