Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Patricia Rice's Mystic Isle

by Nancy

Today we welcome award-winning author Patricia Rice to the lair. In addition to being a three-time RITA finalist and gracing numerous best-seller lists, she has won the Romantic Times Career Achievement and Lifetime Achievement Awards, and her paranormal historical, Merely Magic, was one of the Romantic Times reviewers' 200 all-time favorite books. This month marks the release of Pat's 45th book, Mystic Rider.

Congratulations on the release of Mystic Rider. Please tell us a little about it and the related books.

The Mystic Isle series is based around an invisible island in the English channel in the turbulent 1790’s. As aristocracy crumbles in France, so does the supernatural house of Olympus on the Mystic Isle. In MYSTIC RIDER, the last male Olympus—Ian—is forced to leave the island to find the missing Chalice of Plenty and the woman whose life he Sees as entwined with that of the chalice.

Mystic Rider uses music in an intriguing way. What inspired you to do that?

Chantal, the woman Ian “sees” in his vision, can cause riots, laughter, or tears with her music, even with her voice. I’m not at all certain where the inspiration came from, but I had this image of a woman riding beside a man in a cart, playing a flute, and creating chaos all around her. I never got to actually use that exact image, but she creates plenty of chaos before the story is done!

You've coined a new term for this series, amacara. What is it, and how did you come up with it?

I had fun playing with language in these books, coming up with their names from Celtic, Greek, and Roman lore. An amacara is the mystical love bond granted a favored few, a bond that draws two unlikely people together and bonds them to eternity. My heroines have a habit of calling it sexual slavery. *G* But I have to be very careful in choosing weird names because readers like me have a tendency to skim across unknown words or phrases, dismissing them entirely. And this bond was too important to the first book in the series to be dismissed. So I chose two Latin-based words that most people will recognize as referring to love or endearment "ama" and "cara" and hoped for the best!

This is the second book in the Mystic Isle series. What was the first one, Mystic Guardian, (which you're generously giving away) about?

Trystan l’Enforcer is the guardian of Aelynn, an invisible island in the English channel. Trystan intends to marry a woman whose family will help him guarantee the isle’s isolation. But when a sultry beauty washes up on shore, his plans take a confounding turn. She not only stirs a carnal hunger that risks everything he is but she steals Aelynn’s most sacred object— unleashing chaotic forces that can lead to devastating destruction.

The island of Aelynn seems sort of like a combination of Avalon, Shangri-La, and every tropical paradise. What inspired it?

And a touch of Brigadoon, don't forget! *g* Although I can name any number of legends that lend background to an invisible island, it was pure story logic that created it. I wanted an isolated island of superheroes guarding a sacred treasure, and I wanted it threatened by war between England and France. Given the number of ships sailing through the English Channel, it would be just a trifle preposterous to expect no one to have seen this island over a few gazillion years. So I invented a rocky barrier shrouded in a magical fog. Now fog in the Channel, that I can believe. And should anyone dare the rocks and the fog and hit upon the mystical shield that prevented entrance, they would assume they hit an unseen rock. Besides, they'd drown and no one would know anyway. I'm into grounding my fantasies with nasty realities!

Prior to creating Aelynn, you did a wonderful Georgian-set paranormal series about a family of witches. Could you tell us about the Malcolms and the Iveses?

Those were delightful fun to write—the magical Malcolm women with their various psychic powers, and the scientific logical Ives men who loved them, after quite a struggle, of course. As it happens, I do believe our brains are capable of a great deal more than we use them for, so I had great fun playing with Georgian women who could do mysterious things, especially since science as we know it today was just developing at that time. Any man in his right mind would want to study them!

Forty-five books is an impressive streak. What do you think helps a writer’s career longevity?

Pure ornery-mindedness helps! This business is cylical with wild swings and ups and downs. A writer has to be truly creative to surf the rapidly changing markets and stay abreast of the latest industry news. Great agents and editors help, but a writer has to be provide the right material at the right time, which means having a lot of stories rampaging around in one’s head.

You do a very astute program on the changing market. Could you share some of your insights with us?

Probably not in a paragraph or two. As I said above, the market constantly changes. Right now, I’m seeing mass market divide out even more than it was before, with bestsellers filling most of the wholesale stores (Wal-mart, groceries, etc) and a thin layer of newcomers and midlist on the bottom. Retailers are starting to clear their shelves of inventory, which means more of the recent releases and fewer of the older titles are available in the stores. On-line sales and store orders are probably growing for those older titles. I imagine on-line sales are growing, period. There seem to be far more hardcover and trade than a few years ago, possibly because it takes less inventory to make more profit, and until this year, people were feeling wealthy enough to pay for the bigger books. Don’t know what will happen as the economy goes into a downswing. Wish I had a magic genie!

What was your first sale?

To Zebra Books, LOVE’S FIRST SURRENDER, in the age of appalling titles, the early ‘80s. It was reissued over a decade later as just SURRENDER. About time for it to come out again, maybe as RENDER. They could put a werewolf on the cover. No, I’m kidding. It was straight historical romance.

What’s next for you?

We’re working on another contract with Penguin, probably going back to straight historical romance again. The world turns and I keep turning with it…

Pat is giving a copy of the first Mystic Isle book, Mystic Guardian, to one lucky commenter today. For more about Pat and her books, visit her website.

Do you have a favorite of Pat's books? What would your ideal secret island hideaway be like? What kinds of conflict do you like? What changes have you seen in the romance market?


Jennifer Y. said...

Can it be?

Nancy said...

Jennifer, looks like it is! Congratulations.

Nancy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer Y. said...

Muwahaha...the bird is mine again...

OOH, Welcome Patricia!! I need to get Mystic Rider. I haven't read this series yet, but both books sound great!

Do you have a favorite of Pat's books? I have many of her books in the TBR Mountain Range, but All A Woman Wants might be my fave of those I have read.

What would your ideal secret island hideaway be like? Hmm...cabana boys and an endless supply of books sounds pretty nice...oh, and a shelter with air conditioning...the sun/heat and I are not very good friends.

What kinds of conflict do you like? I hope I understand this correctly and don't come across sounding foolish, but I like all types of conflict. I like external conflict where the hero and heroine must deal with each other over some difference or even with a third party about something...where they work together to figure it out...the conflict helps bring them together in a way.

But I also like when there is some type of internal conflict such as a hero dealing with guilt over a past incident or something.

It is wonderful to watch characters grow from their conflicts and work through things to find their happy ending.

What changes have you seen in the romance market? I have been reading romances for about 12 years now...but I am still relatively new to non-historical books (I have only been reading those for about 3 years now). What I have noticed (and this just may have just been me noticing things a bit late) is that there seem to be more cross-genre authors now...authors who write a variety of romance genres...historicals, paranormals, contemporaries, etc.

I, personally, am hoping for a revival of the western romance and time travel genres...there doesn't seem to be quite as many of them as there once were, but I have noticed a few more in recent months.

I have also seen an increase in ebooks...I still remember seeing an ad for an ebook reader years ago in a magazine and thinking it was the neatest thing never thinking how popular they would become.

I hope I answered the questions and made sense...that blasted bird is raiding my bookshelves again and distracting me.

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy and Pat, what a fantastic interview. I really enjoyed it! Thank you!

Jennifer, congrats on the chook! I still think there's something going on between you two ;-)

Pat, 45 books! That's amazing. Did you ever reach a point where you didn't have an idea, where you thought you'd hit burnout? What do you do to refill the well? Love the sound of the mystic books.

I wonder if the 'straight' historical market is due for another boom. I've noticed a lot of publishers seem to be buying straight historicals and they're looking for new authors. What do you think?

Nancy said...

Jennifer, I loved All A Woman Wants, too. I think Pat writes wonderful children and people interacting with children. My current favorite is Magic Man, the culmination of the Malcolms/Ives series, though I'm loving the Mystic Isle, too.

I know what you mean about the TBR mounain range. I finally sorted them out by genre a couple of weeks ago, not that this helps any except to give me the illusion of control.

The banditas will love your island if you have cabana boys.

I agree with you on conflict. A lot of the fun of a romance is seeing the way the characters cause each other to change as they work out those conflicts.

You gotta watch that bird. We've only recently begun to appreciate how sneaky he is. If I were you, I'd check that bookcase for a hidden camera.

Jennifer Y. said...

I wonder if the 'straight' historical market is due for another boom

I was wondering that myself.

Nancy said...

Anna C., I'm glad you liked the interview. As you probably assumed, Pat will be joining us later, when it's day wherever she is.

The bird is probably delighted to have escaped AC's dog crate. And it made such a promising cage, too. Rats!

jo robertson said...

Welcome to Romance Bandits, Patricia. Thanks for joining us. Wow, what an impressive and prolific career!

Your Mystic Isle series sounds extraordinary. I love that time period in French history right before and after the Revolution and all the intrigue involved. And adding an invisible island just ratchets up the excitement.

How do you pronounce amacara? I assumed it was a-MAC-a-ra, but if you're keeping the "love" roots, probably not, huh?

Christine Wells said...

Pat, welcome to the Lair! Thank you for kidnapping Pat, Nancy. That was a very interesting interview.

Your Mystic series sounds fantastic, Pat. I love it when fantasy is grounded in legend and real history. That's skilful wordbuilding.

I also admire authors who can ride the waves of publishing, both within a subgenre and switching between them. I imagine it's stimulating to try something new, but what if you leave the audience you've built behind? Pat, have you ever wanted to try something new and been told to stick to what you're doing? Have you proven the advisers wrong?

Oh, and will you be giving a market workshop at National? I'd like to hear more about your thoughts on the subject.

Christine Wells said...

Anna and Jennifer, I hope you're right!

Trish Milburn said...

Hi, Patricia. Great name, btw. Hee hee.

I remember e-mailing you several years ago, when I was newer to writing romance. I'd read one of your books (sorry, the title is escaping me at the moment -- long day), and I'd noticed that you used to live in a town in Kentucky near where I went to college. It was so cool to see a published romance writer from Western Kentucky.

As far as conflict, I like it to just be real and logical, not forced or contrived. Trends? When I started reading romance, Civil War romances were everywhere. Now I don't think a publisher would touch one with a ten-foot pole. There were also a good number of Colonial-set historicals then, which I really miss. Like Jennifer, I also wish time travels would make a resurgence. I recently had a great idea for one and might just write it anyway. :) She also mentioned cross-genre, and I love how this is happening and all the interesting books it's bringing to bookshelves.

Trish Milburn said...

Pat, meant to say congrats on 45 books. That's an amazing career, and you're still going strong!

Jane said...

Congrats on the GR, Jennifer.

I haven't read any of Patricia's books yet. My island getaway would be at a resort on Tahiti. In romances I like conflicts dealing with revenge. Paranormals and urban fantasies are more abundant and remain popular. I like that there seem to be more medievals(Vikings, Normans.)

Amy Andrews said...

Oh my! 45 books, I think I need to go and lay down!
Welcome Pat - awesome record.

Hey guess what I received today? A very nice invitation to a very exclusive party at Nationals complete with Cabana boys.....wouldn't miss it for the world. Thanks Banditas.

2 more sleeps....

Helen said...

Jennifer have fun with him watch those books!

Great interview Patricia and Nancy and big congrats on 45 books that is awesome. I am sorry to say I have not YET read one of your books but that will change very soon I love the sound of the Mystic series, I have been reading romance novels for about 30 years mainly historical and love them but over the past 12 months I have been branching out into paranormal and contempary and have enjoyed them very much although historical will always be my favourite.

I am sure I will have a favourite of Pats very soon

A lovely island of the Scottish coast I think log fires so I can curl up with a good book (and some Tim Tams of course) and perhaps a few good looking guys in kilts to look after me !!

I am with Jennifer on conflict I enjoy all types when written well

Because I only read historical for such a long time I have really noticed all the paranormal and shape shifter books out there and have enjoyed the ones I have read but historical will always be my fave and I hope to see lots more of them.

Jennifer I too have always loved a westrn historical and Trish I read some really great romances set a round the civil war in the States and ones that are set around the colonies with people transported for crime.

Pat I will be out looking in the bookstores this weekend and adding some of your books to the TBR pile.

Have Fun

hrdwrkdmom aka Dianna said...

I am still a historical reader mainly but like Helen I have branched out, you can't be in the lair for any length of time and not branch out. The banditas are enablers when it comes to enlarging TBR piles.
I have not read any of your books yet Patricia but that will be remedied soon. I like the sound of the Mystic series and most definitely want to read about the Georgian witches!
Jennifer, I am getting really concerned about the GR and you, I am thinking maybe that coded message that slipped through was to you.

Buffie said...

Hey Pat! It's great having you here. I am still in awe over the fact you have published 45 books. That is a great achievement!!!!

I have not yet read the Mystic series, but they definitely look like books I would enjoy.

While I truly enjoy paranormal books, historicals are my first love. I'm glad to see more authors returning to straight historicals.

Pat -- can you tell us the last book that you read (other than your own) that left you satisfied at the end?

Buffie said...

Jennifer -- I think you and the bird have got a thing going on!

Christie Kelley said...

Welcome to the lair, Patricia. Your Mystic Isle series sounds great and I look forward to reading them.

I would love a secret island getaway that a little more northern so I still get a touch of winter. A little house with windows every where so I could see the water from any room in the house. And high-speed internet, of course :) That would be perfect.

Gannon Carr said...

Jennifer, is there something you want to tell us about you and the GR?!

Welcome, Pat. Your Mystic series sounds like something I would really enjoy. *Note to self, buy these books!*

I love paranormal, but historical romance was what I started reading first and I always come back to them. I look forward to reading your books!

What are favorite books to read?

Eva S said...

Great interview! 45 books and I'm ashamed to confess I haven't yet read any....But I will!!
My main interest have been historicals for over 30 years and I've just found paranormals, I have so many yet to read...these books sound interesting.

My ideal secret island can be anywhere where it's warm.

Here in Finland it's right now hard to find historicals or paranormal romances, in the two largest bookstores there are almost only funny modern romances or thrillers.
If there were no internet stores I'd be without books...

Dina said...

Hi Pat,

Thanks for visiting today,

I'm sorry to admit, but I have not read any of your books, YET. You would think with 45 books, I would have, but I will hopefully soon. :)

Louisa Cornell said...

Jennifer, WHAT is going on between you and the GR!!!He always escapes to come back to you! Fess up. You have a Birdie Bordello in your basement. Right?

Hello, Patricia! My favorites of your books are the Magic series. I just love those stories and those powerful women!

The Mystic series is running a close second in my list of favorites.

45 books! I feel like such a SLACKER!! How hard is it bob and weave with the changes in the market? Do you write the books and wait for the market to come around or do you watch the market and then write?

I certainly hope the trend is toward straight historicals! Wouldn't hurt my feelings at all!

My favorite conflicts are the ones the characters fight with themselves. I love it when a character discovers they are more than they thought.

What is your favorite conflict to write and what is your least favorite, Patricia?

MsHellion said...

My secret ideal island getaway would be the island Johnny Depp owns.

Favorite sort of conflict? Character driven conflict. (Although I do like action flicks and the big alpha hero swooping in and just managing not to die at the end of every scene and kissing the girl between times...I prefer conflict that's...darker...and deeper and harder to overcome. Eventually you run out of bullets, but greed, jealousy, hate, and revenge--those are pretty fathomless.)

Joan said...

Hello, Patricia (waving from the Kentucky chamber of the Lair)

Welcome to the Romance Bandits. I will join in with every one to say I loved the Magic series. Fascinating joining analytical scientific abilities with the wonder of Magic. The heroes never knew what hit them, LOL.

Nancy said...

Sorry I'm so late arriving, y'all. Had to go to the gym this morning.

Jo, I think the Mystic Isle series weaves history and fantasy together very well.

Christine, I hope they're right about historicals making a comeback, too.

Trish, I loved the Civil War and Colonial America periods, too. And I still have a Harlequin Elizabethan from years ago because I loved what the author did with the period.

Jane, I've never been to Tahiti. I'd love to go, though. It doesn't look as though medievals will ever go out of style. I hope not. They wax and wane but never quite vanish.

Helen, I'm glad you liked the interview. Your reading tastes sound a lot like mine. The Scottish island sounds great, too.

Patricia Rice said...

Oh my, I see I should have dropped in sooner. I had no idea bandits got up so early! I've been buried in revisions and not coming up for air often, sorry.

There are so many great questions here that I may have to write an essay...

Burnout--no, I can't say that I've ever run out of ideas. I can look at a newspaper and come up with half a dozen. It's plotting and marketing the darned things that is likely to wear me out! So I'm more likely to "refill the well" by going out and punching something. "G" But gardening and music send me to my happy place, a few days on the beach with a bagload of books is extremely restorative.

amacara--it never ceases to amaze me how many pronunciations we can come up with! I try to be careful with names because of that, but I keep forgetting not everyone has my Latin background. AH-ma-car-ah would be a close pronunciation.

switching genres--I started in the early 80s when we switched genres as quickly as we switched POVs. "G" I may have built a stronger career if I'd stuck to one genre, but since I started out with westerns and medievals, I'd be up a creek right now, wouldn't I? So I just blithely swim along at my own speed, hoping for the best. I proved my editor wrong with the Magic series when she didn't think paranormal would work, but I do tend to be ahead of trends and grow tired of them before they end. Hence the departure to straight historicals next.

RWA--yes, I'll be giving a workshop on brainstorming with Mary Jo Putney (and Susan King in absentia). Stop by and ask questions, please! I hate standing up there doing all the talking.

Waving hey at Trish! That's one way to get your name remembered--write an email. Sticks in my mind every time.

Last satisfying book--that's tough because I can be reading ARCs of books you won't see for a year, or YA, or fantasy....So to be perfectly honest, STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli was the one I finished last night. "G" I'm pondering a YA idea (involving time travel, folks!) and I've been checking out the market.

Which leads to "How hard is it to bob and weave with the market?"--Tough, really really tough. I have entire folders full of ideas I want to play with, proposals ready to send, books waiting for the right time... It's so disappointing to have characters screaming for release and finding no editor interested in listening to them because they're not vampires or werewolves. But I read a LOT so I'm always surfing the new stuff and have strong instincts for what works for me and what doesn't. Eventually, what I want to write and what the market wants to buy comes together.

Favorite conflict--You'll laugh. I hate conflict. "G" I want everyone to get to know each other and love each other and have a happy, happy time. So I play no favorites. Conflict has to be dragged out of me. I just want my guys to look in amazement at my women and wonder what planet they came from.

Nancy said...

Dianna, if the GR is sending out coded messages, that's another channel we have to block. Of course, there was that exchange between him and p226 a while back . . .

If the banditas are going to be enablers, I'd just as soon it be for TBR pile growth. Mine never seems to shrink, and you know what they say about misery and company. *g*

Buffie, Gannon and Eva, I'm a history geek, so I'm really hoping that segment is making a comeback.

Christie, maybe you and Helen could share that Scottish isle--or diid you want something more in between?

Eva, I'm surprised the books are so hard to find. I'll bet that can be frustrating at times. Thank goodness for the net, though! It's how I find out of print books on obscure topics.

Dina, thanks for stopping by.

Louisa, I also like to see characters discover something in themselves they didn't know they had. Which was your favorite Magic book, if you had one?

Ms. Hellion, does Johnny Depp own an island? Raymond (Perry Mason) Burr did. I'll bet certain Banditas would join you there in Depp-land.

Joan, which Magic book did you like best?

Nancy said...

Pat--can we ask what you're doing revisions on? Or would you rather not say?

terrio said...

Busy day but wanted to breeze by. I was going to say I had not read Ms. Rice but then the name sounded familiar. I looked her up and sure enough, I used to read her books back in the 90s. I'd just lost track of her for a while.

I don't read paranormals per se, but I love anything with the King Arthur type lure to it. I'll try to find these. (I have a funny feeling they will be returning with me from SF).

My ideal secret island would be one of the ones the Banditas bought yesterday. The one with the Cabana boys preferably. ;)

Jeanne (AKA The Duchesse) said...

Hi Patricia! Welcome to the Bandita Lair! :> I'm always up for magic, so I'm adding your Mystic series to the TBR list. Yeah, MORE good books! Ha!

I loved your answer about the market. When will you be teaching the market class again and where? Are you doing it online?

Oh, and when during conference is the class you're teaching with Mary Jo? (She's a fellow WRW member) Please don't say Wednesday... ha!

I think Christie, Helen and I are going to have to find a nice BIG island, using all that money we found on Trish's blog yesterday. That way we can all have company when we want it, and privacy when we don't. Grins. Obviously, I'm up for a Lair address that includes "Scotland" in the country line.

Conflict? There has to be conflict in a story? Like Patricia, I have to drag it out of myself. I like people to just get along and it irks me when they don't see it my way. Grins.

Beth said...

Hi Pat! Thank you so much for visiting the lair and thanks to both you and Nancy for a great interview *g*

I believe I have your workshop already listed as a Go To on my handy dandy color-coordinated San Fran Schedule (my cp did the color coordinating) I can't wait to hear what you have to say about brainstorming. Can you share a quick blurb about your workshop?

As for switching genres, I'm trying YA at the moment as well. At least until I have to get back to work on my straight contemporary romance *g* I love how open YA is to all sub-genres

Oh, and almost forgot to say: Your books sound fantastic!!

Patricia Rice said...

Y'all need to kidnap me more often! I usually blog over on and I don't get this respect! "G"

I'm revising the final book in the Mystic trilogy--MYSTIC WARRIOR. The last book is always tough because there are certain expectations built in, a whole world and story that have to be wrapped up. Headache inducing.

The marketing class that Nancy talked about is one of the speeches I give to RWA chapters. I'm not certain it's relevant in today's rapidly changing market. I'm not certain anyone can explain it!

Wednesday? Would I do that to you? Nope, we'll be speaking on Friday at 9:45 if memory serves me. "Stirring stories in a creative cauldron" is the tag line. I don't seem to have printed out our outline.... hmm, add to task list. We're still arguing over what we'll wear. MJP wants me to wear the beads we made during one session, but blue simply doesn't go with orange...

By all means, please, everyone attending RWA stop by my table at the autographing! The crowds are so overwhelming I'm likely to put up a tent and hide unless I have someone to talk to.

Esri Rose said...

"Render"... Bwhahaha!

Nancy said...

Terrio, where there are banditas, there will be cabana boys.

Jeanne, you have lots of conflict in Dark and Dangerous. Also lots of danger. If you had to drag it out, that doesn't show!

Beth, glad you liked the interview! I'm finishing up Donna's The Trouble With Moonlight, immensely enjoying her Regency "superheroine," and starting on Not Without Her Family next.

Esri, thanks for stopping by!

Pat, will all the characters of the series come together in Mystic Warrior the way they did in Magic Man? Or will this focus mainly on one couple?

Any chance of a sequel to The Marquess someday?

p226 said...

Secret island hideaway? So... the fortress, runway, and SU37 from yesterday's blog wouldn't cut it would they. Not secret enough, I bet.

How secret are we talking here? Hiding from the NSA secret?

You know, a good secret island hideaway would be pretty easy to do, assuming a tropical climate. Simple shelter near a mountain spring, and within easy walking distance of the ocean for fishing/crabbing and other marine food gathering. The problem in the tropics though comes with extended stays. The jungle always encroaches, and your clothes and stuff rot off of you. Lots of logistics problems.

Bugs. Large ones. Mosquitos like blood-sucking helicopters. (I once saw one carry away a helmet. It probably assumed the Marine was still in the helmet.)

Malaria. See bugs.

Snakes. Don't like big snakes. Especially some of the ones that appear in tropical climates. Ever seen the inside of a seven meter python's mouth? The stuff of nightmares.

But, a machete, a rifle, fishing gear, crab pots, good running stream, little bit of shelter... island hideaway life wouldn't be so bad.

jo robertson said...

Jennifer Y, forgot to congratulate you on getting the golden rooster. My he's quite the world traveler, our little chook is.

I haven't read ALL A WOMAN WANTS. Tell us what it's about. I REALLY like the title.

jo robertson said...

I think my favorite secret hideaway would be near the Pacific Northwest by the coast. We've stayed in a condominium there, close to the beach and the great room has floor to ceiling windows on all sides so you can look out into the beautiful forest. Lovely.

catslady said...

Oh, goodness. All I can say is how come I haven't read any of these books!!!!! They sound fascinating and very original. I enjoyed the interview - thanks.

jo robertson said...

I'm with Christine, Pat. It's amazing that you can switch genres so comfortably. Many authors say they can't read the genre they're writing at the moment. Are you like that?

Jennifer Y. said...

Jennifer, I am getting really concerned about the GR and you, I am thinking maybe that coded message that slipped through was to you.

*looks around innocently* Who me? *g*

Jennifer, WHAT is going on between you and the GR!!!He always escapes to come back to you! Fess up. You have a Birdie Bordello in your basement. Right?

No, but I do have a's what we jokingly call the doghouse that is now used for cats on our back's a Kitty Bordello...LOL

I hate conflict. "G" I want everyone to get to know each other and love each other and have a happy, happy time.

I am that way in real life...hate, hate, hate conflict, but for some reason it doesn't bother me reading about it. I do get a little miffed at third parties who interfere scheming other women or whatnot and it makes me mad. I guess that's a good thing...that a book can make me feel an emotion like anger so strongly that I want to hit the fictional character.

I haven't read ALL A WOMAN WANTS. Tell us what it's about. I REALLY like the title.
If I am remembering correctly (and I am sure someone can correct me on it's been a while), the hero has kidnapped his niece and nephew from their neglectful father and is in search of a nanny. He goes to the heroine's home and she agrees to help him if he assists her with repairing her home. But she doesn't know that the kids were kidnapped and are not his...I am drawing a blank on the rest. you made me want to go find it and reread it to refresh myself.

Susan Seyfarth said...

Wow, Pat, I'm impressed! I love a book that really builds a world for me & it sounds like you're the kind of author who kicks butt! The Mystic Isle books are going straight to the top of my TBR pile.

Your take on today's divided market was really interesting. Any thoughts on what the Next Big Thing is going to be? Surely we can't be in an erotica/paranormal phase forever? :-)


Patricia Rice said...

Popping in again--your secret islands are starting to sound real interesting. I think I heard the other day that there are a few islands still for sale out there...

Nancy asks if all the characters will come together in the final book of the Mystic series--They will, but only at the very end and not in any complicated way. This story is pretty intense because of the personalities of the two main characters, so I can't have babies and moms wandering in and out too much. "G" But they're there, because they're part of the hero's healing process.

And Nancy also asks if there will be a sequel to The Marquess--et tu, Nancy? Sigh. I'm never going to live down Michael's story, am I? The sequel exists. It sold. The company went under. I got it back. It's a 150,000 words long and involves Irish history. Need I say more? Maybe I'll self-pub someday.

Jennifer Y got the story of ALL A WOMAN WANTS right, probably better than I could have blurbed it. Which leads me to ask--what is it the straight historical readers among you want to see in a straight historical? Is it the "real" conflicts between a man and a woman and their kids and households and normal stuff? Or big drama of pirates and princes and so forth?

And Jo asks if I read the genre I'm writing at the moment---Sometimes, although my reading range is so broad and I read so fast and write so slow that I really can't see how any one book would influence anything. Right now I'm reading a Catherine Anderson that starts out contemporary and pops back to a western historical. Cute trick, but I don't think it will influence my Mystic characters much! But as I'm doing now, I may read a lot of books in a genre that I want to write about. Don't know if that counts.

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Welcome to the Lair, Pat!

So great to have you visit us and HUGE THANX to Nancy for kidnap... er, um, inviting you! Pull up a cabana boy or two. Have a drink. Shall we summon Sven for a massage? Anyone in the midst of revisions deserves some pampering.

Anyone who has published 45 BOOKS (!!!) needs the pure and unadulterated adoration of the Banditas! WTG!!! I can hardly imagine such a feat.

I do believe I read some of your early historicals back in the 80s but of course, titles escape me. Your Mystic series sounds WONDERFUL! (Aunty goans at towering TBR pile) MORE BOOKS to add to my never-ending tower. Where ever my secret island is located (see yesterday's answer about the home for wayward cabana boys) it will need to have reasonable accommodations for the TBR mountain!


Minna said...

My favorite secret hideaway: summer cottage surrounded by birch trees, with a sauna, by a lake or in an islamd in a big lake.

Donna MacMeans said...

The change I've noticed in the Romance market is...historicals!
And THANK HEAVENS for that *g*.

I can still recall receiving a standard rejection letter from an agent with a handwritten note at the bottom, "this story shows great potential, too bad it's an historical."

I figured the pendulum would swing back this way. I'm glad it happened in my lifetime.

Jennifer Y. said...

Which leads me to ask--what is it the straight historical readers among you want to see in a straight historical? Is it the "real" conflicts between a man and a woman and their kids and households and normal stuff? Or big drama of pirates and princes and so forth?

I kind of like both...I know, not very helpful, but I read all kinds of books so it doesn't really matter to me as long as it is realistic and enjoyable. I do tend to prefer the "real" conflicts though, I think. But I also like the adventure and escape that a good pirate romance (or something similar) can provide.

Man, I am not helpful at all. LOL

Helen said...

Jennifer I am with you on conflict in real life but I do love it in books.

Pat I like all the conflicts you have mentioned for straight historicals I read a lot of books with pirates in them years ago and always enjoyed them. I also really enjoy historicals with spies they get me in as well. I also enjoy stories where the Hero and Heroine join forces to solve a mystery and the conflict that can cause between the pair.

Jeanne I am sure we could find an island large enough with enough kilted heros for us and plenty of water views as well Christie.

Have Fun

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Helen, can I come and chase Scotsmen on your island? Sounds like we could have fun comparing trophies in the cold evenings near that log fire ;-)

Dianna, I can see I'm not the only one who's wondering about our Jennifer and that naughty chook!

Pat, did it take you a long time to publish? Or were you one of those fluke people who got picked up right away?

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, a BIRDIE bordello? The mind boggles! I imagine there's quite a bit of shaking those tailfeathers in this den of in-chick-quity! Are the Rhode Island Reds the really hot chicks?

Pat, thanks for the burnout comment! You're wonderful! What sort of music do you like to listen to? Do you have a soundtrack for each book? I know a lot of authors do.

Nancy said...

P226, your island for today is more secret than the one from yesterday. Absent magical mists like the ones Pat used to hide Aelynn, I think your runway would give it away. As for the bugs and snakes, this is an ideal island. You can design it without them. *g*

Jo, we once stayed at a B&B in Washington State's San Juan islands, back before the boy, and it was gorgeous. You had to take a ferry to get there, and the beaches were spectacular--rocky with narrow sand, not like our flat, sandy Carolina coast. Which are beautiful, too, but not in the same way.

Catslady, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you liked the interview.

Pat, you know I want Michael's book. I just wanted you to know I hadn't stopped wanting it. *evil G* Just in case, you know.

AC, you raise an interesting point about room on the island for the TBR pile. 20 banditas = 20 TBR piles x all those books per pile. . . the mind boggles. Er, just how big is this island, again? Oahu, maybe? Could we buy that if we were as rich as Trish had us pretend yesterday?

Minna, your island sounds gorgeous!

Donna, I share your relief at historicals coming back. I hear editors are requesting historicals out of contests again, too.

Helen, I love spies, too. We had a discussion in the lair recently about Nathan Hale (yes, it's possible we need to get lives *g*). For those of you outside the US or rusty on your history, he's the American spy who said, on the gallows, "I regret that I have but one life to give for my country." Or words to that effect. I'm not choosey, either. Historical spies, contemporary spies, action-adventure spies, I'll take any of them. Did you ever read the Modesty Blaise novels?

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, the workshop sounds fantastic! Good luck. And I love your comment about the guy looking at the girl like she's an alien - they're always great, those moments in a romance, aren't they? And of course, he's so madly in love he can't get in his rocket and take off for home without breaking his heart. Love it!

P226, as someone who lives in the subtropics, I'd definitely add an endless supply of sunscreen to that list. As someone with a north European complexion, believe me, I'm not built for the Queensland sun!

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, you can actually buy islands on the Barrier Reef. Pretty cool, huh? Hey, P226, you could have your tropical hideaway up there!

Pat, with a straight historical, if the conflict is compelling and realistic within the confines of the story, which can certainly involve pirates and princes, etc., then I'm there. For me, I think it all comes down to the characters.

Helen said...

Of course you are more than welcome think of all the fun we could all get up to with our Scotish heros !!!

No I haven't read any of the Modesty blaise novels I will keep my out for them Nathan Hale must have been a great spy I bet he would have been a great hero as well

Have Fun

Patricia Rice said...

Okay, wow, I just stopped in to see what was happening and you've blown the fuses! I'm on my way out to dinner, so I'll wait until I'm back and try to organize my thoughts a little better.

Enjoying those cabana boys! Bring on Sven!

Ooo, and I'm on my Mac now and for some reason, it just brought up a feed comment I didn't have on the PC. Way to go!

jo robertson said...

Thanks, Jennifer, AAWW sounds great. I love stories about noble heroes who actually like children enough to kidnap them to protect them.

Someone said you do great children in your books, Pat.

I was reading an article today about editors putting pressure on mainstream writers to turn out a book a year. How fast do you write?

jo robertson said...

Pat, in most of my reading, including children, I stay away from children. Probably because I have seven of them myself and I get really irritated with writers (especially seen in contemporaries) who write non-realistic, too cutsey kids.

That said, I LOVE when they get it right. Our own Jeanne Adams does great children in her debut book as does Beth. Now that I've heard YOUR children are well-written I'm eager to read one of them.

I think I'll always prefer the single hero/heroine. Takes me back to the day . . . in a kingdom far far away BC (before children) and the magic of two people falling in love.

jo robertson said...

oops, sorry, that was including historicals . . .

Cassondra said...

Hello Pat, and welcome to the lair. Sorry I'm late to the party. Dreaded Day Job.

You who can write children well, I bow to you. I never shall do so. (I don't have any.) I promise to keep any children I'm forced to babysit ALIVE, and that's all. Not happy. Just alive. it deep and intense and don't like it settled with the snap of a finger because I don't believe it.

Pat, what an amazing role model you are. All those books! And more to come I hope, for a long, long, long while. I love the premise of Mystic and since I have to go to the bookstore tomorrow, well...isn't that just a FORTUNATE coincidence!

Favorite hideaway..hmmm. I guess it would be a mountain cabin, in the woods, (it's too flat where I live--Western KY) lots of old growth trees--the energy in those places is just amazing--with a stream trickling and gurgling and splashing in little waterfalls nearby to lull me into peacefulness. Lots of ferns and moss along the stream bank...

And no set time that I have to get out! I want to stay until I feel like leaving. Just about the time I get all settled into a getaway spot, it's time to leave and go back home. :0/

Nancy thanks so much for bringing Pat to visit with us!

Caren Crane said...

Pat, welcome to the Bandits' Lair! And Jennifer Y, have fun with the Golden Rooster. *g*

Pat, I am intrigued by your Mystic books. I missed the first, but will happily play catch up!

As to conflicts, I adore historicals of all sorts, so I like my alpha heroes and heroines in peril. Usually financial peril. *g*

In your recent books, Pat, I love the magical elements and the conflicts between the "real" world and the mystical world. Living together, but always separated. The stuff of great stories!

My ideal secret island getaway would have tall cliffs and thunderous surf on one side, isolated coves and sandy beaches on the other. It would most certainly NOT be tropical, but set in the Ireland/Scotland part of the world. I would need a castle, naturally. *g*

Thank you so much for visiting us. I hope to see you in San Francisco!

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Nancy said: AC, you raise an interesting point about room on the island for the TBR pile. Er, just how big is this island, again? Oahu, maybe? Could we buy that if we were as rich as Trish had us pretend yesterday?

Actually, we should buy Maui. It's bigger and has fewer tourists. :-)

Pat, hope you had an enjoyable dinner and that you enjoyed hanging out with us as much as we enjoyed having you here! Look forward to seeing you in San Francisco!


Nancy said...

Anna C., any chance of a bandita getaway on the barrier reef islands, or are they too small? The NC Outer Banks are barrier islands, and they're fairly wide in places. I have a feeling I'm confusing barrier islands with the Great Barrier Reef (used by the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke in at least one book), though.

I'm so glad Pat's workshop isn't Wednesday. Wednesday will be insane anyway.

Helen, the Modesty Blaise books are older. I read them in a reissue, but you can find them floating around.

Cassondra, I'm glad you liked the interview. Your hideaway sounds great, especially the part about staying as long as you want. What a handy coincidence about your planned bookstore trip. *g*

Caren, looks like you'll be joining Helen and Christie and Anna C. in the northern climes on your hideaway. You gotta watch out, though, 'cause Anna's planning to chase Scotsmen.

AC, I could go with Maui. The fewer tourists, the better.

Caren Crane said...

Nancy, I will be right behind Anna as she chases the Scotsmen. Might give her incentive to run faster! *g* Last Highland games I went to were held in Virginia. I was invited to join Clan Guthrie. The fellow said there just weren't too many Guthries around and they could use a lass like me. Gave me a beer, too. So, I was a Guthrie for a day. I'm pretty sure there's probably some Guthrie in me somewhere!

Patricia Rice said...

This is me being organized. Not much difference I fear. Had a lovely dinner, thank you! And you’ve all been so great, I hope you let me know when you buy that desert island hideaway.

“Your take on today's divided market was really interesting. Any thoughts on what the Next Big Thing is going to be? Surely we can't be in an erotica/paranormal phase forever?”

I believe the erotica/paranormal phase has hit its peak. The ones who made the bestseller lists have made their marks and will be around for a long, long time. I can see some of the others have already moved into YA. Straight historicals really aren’t going to go away, although as the market currently stands, every genre is selling far less than it used to, simply because there are so many different genres now. I have no idea what the Next Big Thing will be. I wish it would be realistic contemporary romance. Or maybe westerns. I’d like to revisit those! Y’know, if enough of you start turning in the same kind of book, the publishers might think they’re seeing a trend….

Anna: "Pat, did it take you a long time to publish? Or were you one of those fluke people who got picked up right away?"

Hi, Anna! I have never been a person who does anything easily. Hard way, all the way. It never really occurred to me that I could sell a book. I was living way out in the boonies (Hi there all you folks from Western KY!), taking accounting classes, and watching kids in my spare time. (Someone thinks I write good kids? To heck with good kids. I write REAL kids, brats, most of ‘em. “G”) I’d always wanted to write, so I did. Book after book. And then I got arrogant and decided maybe someone else would read them, so I started sending them to agents and publishers. One after another. “G” Expensive hobby but I sold the first one the same week I got my first accounting job. That’s how long it took!

"What sort of music do you like to listen to? Do you have a soundtrack for each book? I know a lot of authors do."

Music inspires me when I’m NOT writing. It flows through my subconsious and stimulates all those little neurons into impatient dances. War dances. Happy dances. Never know. But when I’m writing, it has to be instrumental. Words will whack me out of my world faster than a ball bat.

"I was reading an article today about editors putting pressure on mainstream writers to turn out a book a year. How fast do you write?"

Signal woo-woo music please! I just started my wordwenches blog today and that’s precisely what I’m writing about. Stop over there on the 23rd and you’ll hear far more of my thoughts on the subject then you really want to know!

Thanks ever so much for “kidnapping” me today. This is a great group, and I hope I see a lot of you at RWA!

Joan said...


Thanks so much for being with us today!

Virginia said...

Sounds like a great series.