(Kelly was written by Kelly Blanchard. Patricia (Patty) was written by Patricia Loofbourrow)
Kelly passed through the beautiful manor until she found herself to the peaceful gardens. With no one around, the place was quiet, and she allowed herself a small smile, soaking in the peace of this place. It was nice after a stressful day.
She meandered the beaten path until she found a bench under the shade of a tree, and there she sat, content on waiting until her guest arrived.
Soon she heard footsteps, and Kelly lifted her head and rose to her feet as a woman came around the corner. “Hi, I’m Kelly. You must be Patricia Loofbourrow.” She stretched out her hand to shake Patricia’s. “How are you today?”
“I’m fine, thanks. And you?” Patty reached out and shook Kelly’s hand. She then sat beside her.
“I’m quite well, thanks. Lovely place here. I always enjoy gardens.” Kelly smiled as she took in her surroundings before focusing on Patty once more. “So, tell me a bit about yourself. When did you first get interested in writing?”
“High school. I used to write poetry, a journal, things like that. Never anything for others to read. I was pretty shy back then.” There was an awkward silence, then Patty seemed to remember the rest of the question. “I had always wanted to write a novel, but never did until I ran across an article online about NaNoWriMo. This was in 2005.” She smiled. “I sort of got hooked on it.”
Kelly chuckled. “Yeah, NaNo has a way of doing that. What did you think the first time you did NaNo though? Having to write 50,000 words in one month. Did you find it easy? Or what was your experience?” She tilted her head to a said as she observed Patty.
“Well…right after I found out about NaNo my husband came home and told me he was being transferred and had to report to work in six weeks. We had lived there for 14 years and had three school age children, one with multiple medical problems. We got to our new home on October 28th, and I spent the first week of NaNo sitting on the floor writing in my laptop, because the movers hadn’t arrived with the furniture yet.” She laughed. “So I don’t know if I would call it easy. But it was fun. I already knew what I wanted to write, so it went pretty well as far as that goes.”
“Wow!” Kelly shook her head. “Well, that was quite a welcome to NaNo. Did you manage to achieve the 50,000 word goal though?” She raised her brows.
Patty nodded. “Yep. I sure did!” She beamed proudly. “After that, I did a NaNo that they had in April, and won that one too. I felt like this was something I was good at, so I kept writing. I haven’t always won NaNo, or even done it, but I write all of my novels that way.”
“Awesome! Congrats on that!” Kelly grinned back. She loved hearing of writer’s successes with their stories. “Would you say then that NaNo influenced the way you write? I mean, did it give you more of a definite goal when it comes to writing?”
“I feel as if it helps me not analyze myself while I’m writing. I can tend to drop into that mode when I stress about it, but if you HAVE to write 1667 words today you just don’t have the luxury of that sort of thing.” She grinned.
“Exactly.” Kelly snapped her fingers when she heard this. “You just write, and it’s wonderful! So…” she shifted in her seat to look at Patty more directly. “What do you write? Do you have a specific genre, or just anything?”
“I’ve written in a bunch of different genres, but science fiction is my first love.” Patty smiled. “I love the ‘what if?’ aspect to it. Plus, as a scientist, it’s fun to speculate on what the future may hold.”
“I was just about to ask what you loved about it.” Kelly grinned. “Science fiction is pretty awesome!” Then she widened her eyes. “You’re a scientist too? Amazing! Okay, so I need to ask, ” She leaned forward, setting her chin in her palm, “How does your knowledge in science work with your writing? Are you very technical when it comes to worldbuilding? Or do you just let things happen?”
Patty paused in thought for a moment. “I think a bit of both. Writing a NaNo means I have to move very fast, but I usually do a good deal of research before I begin. I’ll have the big picture mapped out and the major tech thought through. That helps. Occasionally, I’ll have to stop and do some research before moving forward, because it bugs me when I’m not sure if this really could happen. I guess I tend towards hard SF, although I’ve written my share of FTL and ‘wormhole’ stories.” She chuckles at the thought. “Not that I disbelieve we may have and find those things in the future, but this point that’s moving towards a more space opera/science fantasy sort of thing.”
“Science fiction is fun regardless, and I’m glad you’ve found a way to balance both reality of science with your writing.” Kelly nodded then decided to shift the conversation a bit. “So, tell me about one of your stories–whichever one you’d like to talk about. What is it about?”
Patty perked up at once. “Ooo! My novel series is a mixture of far future science fiction and hard-boiled detective neo-noir. It’s called The Jacq of Spades, and is about a female private eye in a domed city which is now split between four crime families. The sort of science I most like to talk about is – I suppose, strangely enough—is the cultural aspects of societies.” She paused. “Sociology? Future anthropology?” She laughed. “I’m not sure what you might call it. But cultures of the future are what interest me the most: how people deal with the scientific advances—or lack thereof—in the future.” She continued on, “But in that I still like to be realistic as much as possible. Human nature doesn’t really change all that much, so it’s still possible to write a story that has meaning for today, no matter how far in the future it might be set.”
Kelly nodded. “I actually deal with the future sociology as an aspect of my story too, so I know exactly what you’re talking about.” She then absorbed everything Patty said and then shook her head. “It sounds complexed! Just hearing the overview of the story, but that’s pretty awesome. I’m sure you manage it well.” She gave Patty a confident grin. “So, tell me about the characters.” She leaned forward. “Who’s the hero? The villain? What are the immediate conflicts or struggles they face?”
Patty giggled, and a crafty gleam entered her eye at the word VILLAIN. “The main character is a young woman named Jacqueline Spadros. She’s 22 years old, but has gone through some difficult things in her life. She was born in a no-man’s-land area of the city known as the Pot, and because of that was considered one of the untouchables of the city. When she was 12, her best friend was killed in front of her and she was sold to the Spadros crime family. Later, she was blackmailed into marrying her husband, the heir to the Spadros Family. The night her friend was murdered, another man’s friend was murdered. His name is Jack Diamond, and he has publicly threatened Jacqui’s life. Ten years later, he still wants revenge, as the man who claims to be Jacqui’s father murdered Jack’s friend. But Jacqui has other problems.” Patty shook her head and sighed.
“Due to the murder, she has nightmares on a daily basis. She smokes and drinks heavily. She feels trapped in her own home, and has been forbidden to see her mother or family. And she lives in fear, because she knows that if anything happens to her husband, she loses the protection of her Family and then Jack Diamond will be free to kill her. And the man has a horrific reputation. So she has become a private investigator to earn money of her own so she can hire bodyguards and flee the city, should her husband be killed – which is the usual route for a mob boss.” Patty chuckled. “And that’s where she is when the story begins.”
Kelly held up her hand. “Wait a second. She’s in fear of her life, so she becomes a PI? Isn’t that a dangerous line of work?”
“Yeah, it is. But she’s grown up on the streets. That’s where she feels most comfortable. And up to now, she’s been more of – if we were to write about her – would be considered a cozy mystery PI. Tracking down renters who skipped town, cheating husbands, and the like. When she gets the case which begins the novel, she turns it down, because it’s too much for her and she knows it.”
A smile grew on her face as Kelly heard this. “I really like the sound of this story. Sounds so complex and intriguing!” But then her phone chimed, and she looked at it and frowned. “Alarm clock—letting me know that our time is almost up.” She gave Patty an apologetic look. “But a few more questions. First, you have a title for this story? And is it just one story or a series?”
Patty leans back. “It’s called The Jacq of Spades, and it’s the first in a series I call the Red Dog Conspiracy”
“It certainly sounds fantastic!” Kelly grinned at Patty. “Oh, and before I forget! What inspired this specific story?” She raised her brows.
Patty laughed. “I was trying to figure out what to do for NaNo 2014, and a couple of sentences came to me! And they intrigued me so much I began to build a story around them. But then I realized I was in the wrong spot in the story, that what I needed to do was go back and write how they got to this point. So The Jacq of Spades is really a prequel to get me to my inspiration, which is going to be the first lines in book 6.” She beamed in excitement.
“Oh wow. That’s amazing! So interesting that a full story—or series of stories–could be born with just a few sentences, isn’t it?” Kelly smiled at Patty once more. But then she had to sigh and rise to her feet. “Well, Patty, unfortunately our time is up, and I have another interview to meet. However, I really enjoyed chatting with you and hearing about your story. Keep me posted on your endeavors, would you? If I ever find the time to read, I’d love to read your books.”
“Awesome! Well, you can find them on Amazon, or anywhere else. If your bookstore doesn’t carry The Jacq of Spades, make them order it for you!” She grinned.
Patty rose as well. “Thanks so much for meeting with me!”
“Fantastic! I will have to keep the in mind when I finally get the chance to breathe and read.” Kelly smiled then motioned to the gardens. “You’re welcome to stay here and explore if you’d like. I need to head out. You have a good day, all right? It was great meeting you.”
“Nice meeting you too.”
“Take care!” With that, Kelly waved once more with a smile and headed out.
Patricia Loofbourrow’s book ‘The Jacq of Spades: Part 1 of the Red Dog Conspiracy’ and its sequel are now widely available online. Be sure to follow her on social media!
Book Page: http://goo.gl/6msTrS
Amazon paperback: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1944223002
Amazon CA: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B017X29XUU
Book Depository (UK): http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Jacq-of-Spades/9781944223007
BOOK 2: The Queen of Diamond: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01JDTWYIE