Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Brook Cottage Books is honoured to have the lovely Patricia Sands visiting today to chat to us about her writing and her new book The Promise of Provence. Thanks Patricia for agreeing to be interrogated interviewed today!
JB, thanks so much for inviting me to your blog today.
First things first, ice cream or chocolate?
I am a chocoholic. No contest!
What do you do in your free time? 
What free time?  Since I began writing eight years ago, there never seems to be any. I do make time for golf once or twice a week and tennis. When we are in Toronto we take bicycle rides and long walks as we live right on Lake Ontario and the city has developed beautiful trails there. Spending time with our grown kids and 6 grandchildren is also a priority. Life is full and time is short! Love it!
Give us a glimpse into a typical writing day from when you wake up till you lie down again.
When I’m deep into writing a novel, you don’t want to know me on my typical day. I will go straight to my computer around 7 a.m., in my p.j.’s, and start typing. At some point I will pause to check social media stuff and possibly get dressed by noon. If my husband is lucky he will be out for the day! I may or may not break for meals and will drink hot water and lemon by the gallon. Around midnight I’ll fall into bed. Seriously, it’s pathetic … total self-absorption!
Are you a night owl or early bird?
Both! I used to be a night owl and sleep in. Now I still stay up late but wake up early, my head buzzing with words and thoughts!
What’s the best advice anyone has ever given you?
Believe in yourself. When I taught elementary school that was the most important message I tried to impart to the students. When we learn to believe in ourselves there’s nothing we can’t tackle.
What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I have always told stories through photography – even before I realized that was what I was doing. It seems to be a natural part of my character. I’m not a literary writer, as much as I would love to be. I’m simply a storyteller and I write like I speak. When I first began writing, it was for fun but the love of it quickly took over my life and I know it is something I will always do. The experience has been satisfying, challenging and rewarding.
Writing this second book, The Promise of Provence, was easier and affirmed how much I love the writing process.
How has your photography shaped you as a writer?
I am constantly visualizing. Even when I don’t have a camera in my hand, I look at something and a shutter clicks in my eye. Somehow the same thing seems to happen in my mind when I’m writing and the shutter clicks on certain thoughts that take me where I want to go. That might sound a little weird … kind of hard to explain … but I feel it!
I was excited to see that part of your new novel is set in the south of France. Why did you choose that setting?
I first fell in love with France when I was 21 years old and backpacking around Europe with my best friend. I’ve been lucky to spend a lot of time there through forty years and in 2011 my husband and I lived in Antibes on the Côte d’Azur for five months. I knew then that I wanted to write about that beautiful part of the world.
Will you give us a quick peek at the story in The Promise of Provence?
At 55, Katherine finds herself suddenly single. She sees nothing in her future but her career and the caregiving her elderly mother may require. It turns out her husband was a bit of a control freak so she is surprised to discover how much fun girlfriends can be. They convince her to sign up for home exchange and the story goes on from there. It is kind of a “coming of age” story at mid-life as well as my love-letter to France. There’s a lot of good travel information built into the story … I can’t help myself! I want my readers to feel they have been on a lovely trip to the south of France.
What is the one thing you hope your readers – either of your books or your blog – learn from you?
I hope they learn to value their own stories, to nurture their friendships and families, and to appreciate every single day. Everyone deserves that. Life isn’t always fair and hardships often occur but with good friendship in your life solutions can be found.  Hmmm – that’s more than one thing … but then that’s how I write!
And to turn that around, here’s what I have learned from readers. Without question the most rewarding aspect of being a published author is hearing from readers. To have a stranger say your words touched them or tell you they related to your story in a way that was meaningful for them is the best gift!
In a recent interview, you said “life presents possibilities at every age.” Could you explain this thought a little more?
As the saying goes, it’s all about the journey. One guarantee in life is that it is unpredictable.
I was widowed when I was 43, in the midst of what seemed to be the perfect life. Our sons were 12 and 13. Needless to say this was a devastating experience for all of us. I returned to university, completed an education degree and became an elementary school teacher, which I loved. It was certainly nothing I had anticipated.
A few years later, I remarried and suddenly had a family that consisted of seven kids, although three were already older and independent. I hadn’t anticipated that.
Now in my sixties I’m a published author with another novel being released as we speak. I am totally involved in social media and thoroughly enjoying the incredible community of writers, editors, readers and all the literati one meets in this business. Who knew?
The older I get, the more women I meet with amazing stories of change that has come into their lives and choices they have made. I hope somehow my stories will inspire people, and women in particular, to embrace change when they are faced with it – to see challenges as opportunities.
Wrestling with grief in my 40′s taught me the most important lesson of my life and I try to share it whenever I can. Every day is a gift. No one is promised a tomorrow so be grateful for each new day and make the most of it. Give back as much as you can, live your life to the fullest and make sure you laugh … a lot!
Final question. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Oh yes! Everyone should have a guilty pleasure! Grande café mocha at Starbucks, extra foam, no whip … often!
What’s yours?
Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh mine has got to be books books and  yet more books!
Here's a little bit of blurb on the book............... 

Surprise, shock, and a shift in life as she knows it tumble into Katherine Price’s world when least expected. The future she envisioned suddenly vanishes, leaving little to focus on beyond her career and the caregiving her elderly widowed mother might require.
Fate has other plans for Katherine.
June in Provence is full of promise when Katherine arrives from Canada, eager to feel renewed by her surroundings. Endless rows of lavender prepare to burst into pink and purple blooms. Fields of sunflowers flow in golden waves among vineyards and olive groves. Ancient hilltop villages beckon. It’s the postcard setting she envisioned, but is that all she needs?
After a year of heartbreak, Katherine has impulsively agreed to a home exchange in the south of France. Colorful locals, a yellow lab named Picasso, and the inspiring beauty of the countryside breathe new life into her days.
Seeking to shed the pain of betrayal and loss, she struggles to recapture her joie de vivre and searches for the answer to a haunting question: is it too late to begin again?
As Katherine explores the romantic cobblestone lanes of medieval towns, the beautiful boulevards of Paris and the sun-kissed Mediterranean coast of the Côte d’Azur, unimagined possibilities present themselves.
An enduring story of hope and change in life’s later years is woven through the author’s love-letter to France. Like a well-travelled friend, Patricia Sands invites readers into a world she loves and entices them to linger.
"Be prepared to fall in love with Provence! This is a story that will draw you in with its vibrancy in setting and characters. A must read for any woman with a desire for romance and travel." Steena Holmes, author of Amazon bestseller Finding Emma.

Author Bio
Patricia Sands lives in Toronto Canada most of the time, Florida some of the time, and the south of France whenever possible. With a happily blended family of seven adult children and, at last count, six grandchildren, life is full and time is short. Beginning with her first Kodak Brownie camera at the age of six, she has told stories all of her life through photography. Her debut novel, The Bridge Club, was published through iUniverse in August 2010 and her second novel, The Promise Of Provence, will be released in early 2013. Her stories celebrate the rewarding friendships of women and examine the challenges life often throws in our paths. Becoming a published author at this stage of her life was not on her agenda but she knows now she will never stop writing.
Patricia is a popular speaker with women's groups on the subjects of writing and self-publishing. At other events (as one half of Sommers & Sands) along with her speaking partner, author Susan Sommers, through keynotes, workshops and conferences, audiences are encouraged to embrace change and see challenges as opportunities. "It's never too late to begin something new," she enthuses. "As the saying goes, just do it! Be a possibilitarian!"


7 Responses so far.

  1. Mandy says:

    Lovely interview. I've just finished my novel, set in the Frejus region of France so I am really interested to read Patricia's book.

    Mandy :)

  2. AprilR says:

    Great interview,Patricia! Me, I enjoy books,love chocolate,as my weight tells on me and I would love to visit France,Ireland,Scotland and England,one day.
    Thanks for sharing,Patricia!

  3. Ooh this sounds lovely ~ it's going straight on my TBR. I love the whole premise of it and can't wait to read it. Brilliant interview, thank you JB!

  4. Patricia says:

    Thank you , Mandy, Nicky and April! It's always a pleasure to visit at Brook Cottage and chat with the amazing Jonty! I love talking about this book and the positive theme that runs through it!

  5. Patricia says:

    Mandy, I didn't realize your new book was set in Frejus. Must read tout de suite!

  6. Fab interview girls!
    I feel about Canada how you feel about France, Patricia. My husband and I fell in love with it back in 2009. We've been twice now (once to the west, once to Ontario and briefly Quebec). We're heading back again soon... this time to the east coast. I can't wait!
    Suzy Turner, YA Author

  7. Love France and can't wait until our next visit in June. Your book sounds amazing Patricia and I can't wait to read it!

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