Pat Bertram, Author of “Daughter Am I”

Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. Second Wind Publishing liked her style and published four of Bertram’s books: ‘Light Bringer’, ‘Daughter Am I’, ‘More Deaths Than One’, and ‘A Spark of Heavenly Fire.’

What is the main premise of Daughter Am I?

When twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents-grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born-she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead. Along the way she accumulates a crew of feisty octogenarians-former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. She meets and falls in love Tim Olson, whose grandfather shared a deadly secret with her great-grandfather. Now Mary and Tim need to stay one step ahead of the killer who is desperate to dig up that secret.

How long did it take you to write it?

I developed the idea for Daughter Am I in a single day, but I had to finish the book I was working on at the time, so I didn’t actually begin writing Daughter Am I until several months after I got the initial idea. It took me a year to write, and then another year to edit.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

That is a hard question! All the octogenarian gangsters in Daughter Am I are my favorites in their own way. There’s Teach, who sells bullets he claims came from the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. There’s Kid Rags, who still works as a forger. There’s Happy, a trigger-happy ex-wheelman for the mob, whose hands shake so much he can barely aim let alone shoot. That’s only three of the octogenarians — there are seven feisty old gangsters all together. Well, six gangsters and one ex-showgirl.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently collaborating on writing a novel online with eight other Second Wind authors. We each write from the POV of a different character, and follow that character throughout the story. In the first story, a little girl’s body was found in the desert, but who killed her? We won’t know until the book is finished! You can find this project at http://rubiconranch.wordpress.com I hope you will check it out!

What is something that surprised you about being an author?

The most surprising part for me is that I know how to write. For many years, my life was shadowed by the sadness of having no innate talent for writing. I’m not being modest — I really couldn’t write anything worth reading. When I decided to write despite that lack, I set out to learn everything I could about developing a readable story. Most of the how-to books confused the heck out of me — the authors would talk about rising conflicts and motivation/reaction units, and I didn’t have a clue what they meant. It’s only recently that I realized I actually know what I’m doing.

What one word describes how you feel when you write?

Intent.

Who designed this cover?

I did! I took the photo while I was out walking one day, and then tweaked the color. I’m pleased with the result.

Which do you use most for writing on, laptop or desktop?

Okay, I admit it: I am a closet pencilphile. Seems silly, I know, in this electronic age, but I write in pencil on loose-leaf paper. There. I’ve outed myself. I feel so much better now.

I am not being contrary. I do have reasons. I have a better mind/writing connection using pencil and paper than I have with a keyboard; a mechanical pencil is easier on my fingers than pen, and paper is easier on my eyes than a computer screen. But I do use a lap top for blog posts and interviews and such.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

For me, fiction writing is largely a matter of thinking, of trying to see the situation, of figuring out the right word or phrase that puts me where I need to be so the words can flow. I can do this better late at night, in bed, clipboard propped against my knees or on a pillow than sitting at a desk. If, as Mel Gibson said, “A movie is like public dreaming,” then novels are like shared dreaming, and where better to dream than in a comfortable bed?

Your favorite quote:

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” — Goethe

Where can your readers stalk you?

I have a website — http://patbertram.com — where I post important information, including the first chapters of each of my books, but the best way to keep up with me, my writing, and my life on a daily basis is by way of Bertram’s Blog. http://ptbertram.wordpress.com

I’m also at Facebook, Good ReadsSquidoo, Twitter

All my books are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. Smashwords is great! The books are available in all ebook formats, including palm reading devices, and you can download the first 20-30% free!

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