The book is about one women’s journey to empowerment. She deals with a cheating husband who leaves her for his pregnant assistant, discovers she’s pregnant too, escapes kidnappers, and gets lost in the winter in a remote mountainous area.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
I wrote the story based on my own personal experience from an abusive relationship. I wanted to share the lessons I learned with other women. I didn’t think my story was unique or interesting enough to do a biography, and there are so many self-help books on the market. So I chose to create a fictitious character who struggles to find herself while facing adversity and adventure. I wanted to convey the lessons I learned in an entertaining way. And, I didn’t want it to just be about a woman who was treated badly, I wanted to look at relationships from both sides and how they are perceived.
How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
There’s a lot of me in my main character, Georgia Charles. She is the woman I hope to be and I would like to believe her best qualities are mine as well. Certainly, her fears and vulnerability were mine.
How long did it take you to write your book?
The book took nine years to write. Slow writer eh? LOL. Actually the first draft took two years. Then life got in the way. I went back to it every once in a while. A couple of years ago, I sent the manuscript to Second Wind Publishing and although it was rejected, Mike took the time to explain why, which I will always be grateful for. I joined an online writer’s group and that made all the difference to my writing. I sent out three chapters to a publisher the beginning of December last year. They requested the manuscript four days later and after a couple of weeks, two days before Christmas, they sent me a contract. My book, “Winter’s Captive”, (formerly Losing Cinderella) will be released in November, 2011 by Asteroid Publishing Inc.
Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.).
I love the research part of writing. I use the library and the internet mostly. For this book, I read books on survival in the wilderness, childbirth, and how to skin a cariboo. The thing about research is that you can learn about things you may not use in the story you are writing at the moment, but it may be useful in future stories.
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
I have an idea for a beginning, a middle and an end. The rest comes as I write. And, I don’t have any rhyme or reason to how I write. I go where the muse takes me. If I get an idea for a chapter, I write it. I might have an idea that it should be near the beginning or closer to the end. So I just make up a chapter number and fit it in. My chapter numbers usually change a number of times before it finds its final place in the book. It’s the only way I can write.
What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?
My hope is that people will find a part of themselves in Georgia’s plight and learn something about themselves, but mostly I want to entertain and I want them to finish the book in a feel good space.
What was the most difficult part about writing the book?
The most difficult part to write was the chapter about childbirth. She’s all alone and not only must she survive, but the fate of her baby is in her hands. I knew I needed to be detailed for the whole thing to be realistic, but I didn’t want to gross people out. The first draft was a little too graphic so I toned it down a little. I really didn’t think I could pull it off. In the end, I was happy with that chapter.
Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?
This book was a labour of love for me. I didn’t realize until it was finished that it was also a healing for me. Although the characters and situations are fictitious, the emotions, the vulnerabilities, and the growing up were all personal and I felt cleansed.
What are you working on right now?
Because the first book was so personal, I had no idea when writing it what I would do next. But once I finished the book, I knew Georgia wasn’t done. She had more to say and more to learn. So I’m writing the sequel to Winter’s Captive, tentatively called Finding Georgia. This story is about family relationships and the half-sisters (Georgia’s daughter from her ex and his mistress’ daughter by her ex).
Are you writing to reach a particular kind of reader?
I love women’s stories about empowerment. I seem to be stuck with this genre at the moment. I am very character driven as opposed to plot driven. I love to get into the human psyche. I guess this makes my writing more literary which has fallen out of favor in some circles. But I will stay true to my style regardless of what’s favorable because, otherwise, I wouldn’t enjoy the process.
Do you have mental list or a computer file or a spiral notebook with the ideas for or outlines of stories that you have not written but intend to one day?
I have no idea what I will write after the sequel is finished, but I do keep a notebook with ideas and observation. I am a people watcher and sometimes I witness a situation that I think would be great in a story, so I write it down. And, if I cut something out of my current books that I think is redundant, I keep it as well with the idea that I could adapt it to another story later on.
How have you marketed and promoted your work?
I am lucky to have a publisher who is handling some of the marketing for me and sends me lists of marketing chores she would like help with. But in today’s publishing climate, most publishers are small indie publishing houses and they want the author to participate with marketing and promotion. I find myself doing some of the same promotional things as my self-published writing friends. I have a webpage, a blog site, Facebook fan page, a twitter account, goodreads account, an online critique group. I worked in telecommunications marketing and graphics, so I have designed my own posters, bookmarks, business cards, etc. It came naturally to me and I know some writer’s have a hard time making the transition from novelist to marketing director, but there are so many wonderful sites online to help with it all.
What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?
Hmm…my writing career has come late in life for me. I have been a late bloomer with many things in my life. So I guess I would say: You’re never too old to follow your dreams and accomplish your goals. I don’t mind getting older, if I have followed my dreams. But I don’t want to get old and have regrets.
Where can people learn more about your books?
People can read more about my new book on my website and can follow me on my blog site:
Thank you for this opportunity, Pat. It was fun answering your questions.
Thank you, June. I am delighted to hear that your book is going to be published. Congratulations!