This week, I’m delighted to bring back one of my favorite authors, Patricia Gligor.
Patricia Gligor is a Cincinnati native. She enjoys reading mystery/suspense novels, touring and photographing old houses and traveling. She has worked as an administrative assistant, the sole proprietor of a resume writing service and the manager of a sporting goods department but her passion has always been writing fiction.
I’ve invited Patricia back to find out the answers to some questions I’ve been dying to ask her, so here goes:
What sparked the idea for your first novel?
Before I answer that question, Evelyn, I need to tell you that I see mystery everywhere. It all started when I was a little girl reading Judy Bolton and Nancy Drew mysteries and living in a big, old house with a woods behind it, extending as far as the eye could see. I developed quite an imagination and I was constantly coming up with “what if” scenarios to entertain (and often frighten) myself and my friends.
Fast forward years later. I was going for a walk one day, not far from where I grew up, and I happened upon an old Victorian. Something about that house captivated me and I found myself gazing up at it and wondering what would happen if those walls could talk. Little by little, the plot and the characters came together and I wrote Mixed Messages, my first Malone mystery.
How personal is your writing?
On a scale of one to ten, ten being the most personal, I’d say my writing is probably an eight because every book I write contains bits and pieces from my life, whether it be something that I myself experienced or something I heard or read about.
Which comes first? The character’s story or the idea for the novel?
Although my novels are definitely character driven, the idea for my series started with setting – the old Victorian – and the story came next – a serial killer on the loose in what had always been considered a safe, peaceful neighborhood. And, when I wrote my third Malone mystery, Desperate Deeds, the topic was a missing child.
How do you get feedback while developing a novel? Do you use a writers’ group or friends or family?
I belong to a wonderful critique group and I’ve learned so much from the other members. But I don’t discuss what I’m writing with anyone else until I’ve finished writing it because I realized a long time ago that, if I talk about a story, odds are I won’t write it. I guess for me it’s all about getting the story out and I’d much rather see that happen on paper.
Have you ever been surprised by a controversy among fans or reviewers – for example, you created a character without thinking too much about what people would think of him, and found some readers loved him and some hated him?
Yes. Two examples immediately come to mind and both have helped me to show how my characters change and grow with each new book.
My main character’s husband, David, is an alcoholic and, in my first Malone mystery, he’s in the midst of active alcoholism. I’ve had readers tell me they didn’t like him which is something I hadn’t really thought about. However, if they go on to read the rest of the books in the series, they will come to realize that once David begins recovery in Alcoholics Anonymous, he is a very likeable guy.
My main character, Ann, is another example. I had one reviewer comment that she seemed a bit “wimpy.” Obviously, that reader knew little or nothing about the effects alcoholism has on the people who love an alcoholic. The tendency to “walk on eggs” and to keep their thoughts and feelings to themselves. Again, reading the next book, Unfinished Business, would clear that up because the reader would see that, thanks to Alanon, Ann is becoming stronger and more assertive every day.
Have you ever written anything that you thought would be controversial and found it wasn’t?
I honestly thought that some people would have an issue with the fact that I refer to alcoholism as a disease, which I firmly believe it is, but no one has voiced that to me. In conversations (not about my books), I’ve frequently heard people say that alcoholism is a weakness, an addiction, a habit, that a person could stop drinking if they chose to, etc. and they’ve argued that it’s not a disease. That upsets me and that’s one of the main reasons I’ve included it in my series. To make people aware that alcoholism is about much more than excessive drinking and to show them that there is help available.
Would you tell us about your upcoming novel?
Gladly, she says, with a big smile on her face. My fourth Malone mystery, Mistaken Identity, will be coming out early this summer, published by Post Mortem Press. In it, Ann and her two young children, Danielle and Davey, travel to South Carolina to vacation with Ann’s sister, Marnie, on Fripp Island. Ann is looking forward to a peaceful, relaxing vacation but, when she discovers a body on the beach, she finds herself involved in solving a murder.
I enjoy spending time with your characters and your new novel sounds like an interesting story. I’m looking forward to reading it.
Here are the other wonderful novels by this author:
Visit her website at: http://pat-writersforum.blogspot.com/
Patricia and I would love to hear from you, so please feel free to leave a comment.