Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Writer Routine Wednesday: Patti Lacy

Hey, all!
It's another week of my new blog segment:Writer Routine Wednesday, where every Wednesday from now until the end of August, I will host an author. We'll get to know them better and their books as well as hear them describe their usual writing routine.

Maybe you'll pick up an idea they use for yourself!
Lots of great prizes are scheduled too!

So, please welcome author Patti Lacy today and hear about her writing routine!

BIO: When Patti Lacy left the Louisiana swamps for college in 1972, she returned to the home she’d lived in as a five-year-old, the boys’ athletic dorm at Baylor University. Patti’s two hundred big brothers entertained her with magic tricks and tales of wild escapades, planting the love of stories in her heart.
The influence of her schoolteacher parents led Patti to pursue an education degree at Baylor and master’s work in literature at Indiana State. She taught in public schools and at Heartland Community College until she resigned in 2005 to write full-time.
Patti’s first novel of women’s Christian fiction, An Irishwoman’s Tale, explores the first memories of a feisty woman grappling with scars inflicted by two dysfunctional mothers. What the Bayou Saw, Patti’s second novel, takes a chatty Southerner from Normal, Illinois, back to a Louisiana swamp. Patti’s first two novels were finalists in Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year contest. In January 2011, Kregel will release The Rhythm of Secrets, Patti’s third novel. Reclaiming Lily, a story that took Patti to the hutongs of China, is a work in progress.
The secrets women keep and why they keep them continue to capture Patti’s imagination. She writes full time, teaches Bible studies and seminars, and attends book signings. Patti and her husband Alan, an Illinois State faculty member, live in Normal. They have two grown children and a dog named Laura.

Thanks for stopping by, Patti!

Please describe a “typical” writing day for yourself. For example: Do you get up have your coffee, check e-mail, then write to a certain time? Do you have a set word or page goal when you do write?

The alarm buzzes me out of bed at 5:00 to 5:45. I usually trip over Laura the dog on my way to that first cup of coffee. Then I check e-mails, post my ART BITE of the day on Facebook, eat, guzzle more caffeine, and spend time in worship and praise.
Properly fortified, I glue my seat to the computer chair and try not to budge until three to six pages are written. In sports terms, that task gets me to first base! Other chores, including the typical mom/wifey shopping and cooking and general family social coordinator, follow. If the cylinders are firing, I write more on the WIP. Rewards come in the form of blog and Facebook checks. By noon, I’ve rounded second base and coast to third with lunch and my reading time. I trot on home with publicity stuff, blog posts, and e-mails. This year, I’ve tried to reserve evenings for family and friends.

Do you have another job outside of writing? I run the household here in Normal, where life is anything but! Occasionally I accept speaking and teaching engagements, like this past week, when Monday and Tuesdays took me to a retirement village and memoir writing classes. I love to intersperse (and fund!) my writing life with contracted engagements.

Are you a laptop, PC, Alphasmart, or by hand kind of writer? I am definitely PC on several levels.

Plotter or panster?
Dear Jennifer, I’m plotting this very moment. In fact, I’m in a police station in Fort Worth, Texas. Sigh. I plot for at least a couple of months, mulling things over with a couple of writer soulmates and agent Natasha. My first two novels flew by the seats of their pants and needed lots of in-house and out-house (yikes) unrumpling. Hopefully my conversion will smooth out these little wrinkles I seem to develop…

Some writers make collages or listen to or create music soundtracks for their work-in-progress. Do you do any of those or have you thought about doing one of them?
Music fuels me, along with chocolate, coffee, and tea. I have a wonderful and eclectic collection of CDs…which I cherished until my son taught me, like, two months ago, about Yeah, I was a real dinosaur. So far I’ve downloaded Sigur Ros, David Crowder Band, Corrine Bailey Rae, Tenth Avenue North, Jamey Johnson, Ella Fitzgerald, Passacaglia. You wouldn’t believe the “special mix” those little people in the Pandora site have concocted for me!

What’s your favorite book on writing? Self-Editing for Fiction Writers. Hands-down.

What’s your favorite fiction book you’ve read so far this year? Sigh. Jennifer, you’re shoving me into a dark corner. I GOBBLE up books! I just can’t stop at one, so…Hotel at the Corner of Bitter & Sweet, Wild Swans, Chasing Lilacs (Carla Stewart’s new book), The Good Earth, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, The Madonnas of Leningrad…I’ll stop now!

What’s your favorite way to reward yourself after you’ve finished writing a book?
I call up my special soulmates who’ve propped up my hands when they are sick of the keyboard and we meet at Thai House, our favorite restaurant. No menus are needed as we order family-style and celebrate with praise in our hearts and delicious food on the table!

Thai sounds fun, Patti! Thank you so much for sharing a little of your writing routine and life with us today!

Patti has two books out now. Here's a little about both:

An Irishwoman’s Tale
Mary Freeman’s earliest memory has haunted her since childhood: An old oaken table, bitter faces guzzling tea, a heated argument about what’s to be done with the “little eejit”—her. Now she is far removed from this family that didn’t want her, and separated from her native Ireland. Living in the United States Heartland, Mary searches out fulfilling roles—businesswoman, wife, Christian, mother, community servant—but her loneliness and torment remain as acute as ever.
A crisis in her youngest daughter’s life—and the encouragement of Sally, a plucky Southern transplant—propels Mary back to the rocky cliffs of her home in County Clare, Ireland. Her harrowing journey unveils her tragic past and forces her face-to-face with God.
Available at ChristianBooks and Amazon
Watch the trailer HERE.

What the Bayou Saw
Since leaving Louisiana, Sally Stevens has held her childhood secrets at bay, smothering them in a sunny disposition and sugar-coated lies. No one, not even her husband Sam, has heard the truth about what happened to her and her best friend, Ella Ward, when they were twelve years old.
Now a teacher in Normal, Illinois, Sally has nearly forgotten her past. Then Shamika, one of her students, is violently attacked, and memories of segregation, a chain-link fence, and a blood oath bubble to the surface like a dead body in a bayou. Lies continue to tumble from Sally’s lips as she scrambles to gloss over the harsh reality of a betrayal that refuses to stay buried.
Finally cornered by the Holy Spirit and her own web of lies, Sally and Shamika embark on a quest to find Ella in post-Katrina New Orleans. With the help of friends, family, and God, Sally can glimpse a life free of the mire of deceit and truly begin to live with joy. Will she pay the price for a lifetime of deception? Can she save Shamika?

Available on Amazon and B&N
Watch the trailer HERE

Don't they both sound wonderful?

CONTEST: Patti has generously offered to give away a signed copy of one of the above books-- An Irishwoman’s Tale or What the Bayou Saw (winner's choice) to some lucky commenter!

Please leave a comment below to be entered to win. The giveaway contest will run from now until Thursday 11:59PM (EST). I will announce the lucky winner this Friday!

Good luck and get into your writing routine!


Piedmont Writer said...

Great interview, Thanks Patti, Thanks Jennifer.

Tripping over the dog -- doesn't every writer do that first thing in the morning? Well, I know I do.

Both of your books sound amazing and I can't wait to read them.

patti said...

Hey, Jennifer! Nice to be "live" here! Thanks, Piedmont Writer. LOVE that name just like I LOVE meeting new writers!

I'll check in later!

reberto.alberto said...

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We do think that you too might have a marvelous story to tell, one that is your own! So if you can compose it in not more than few words, we would want to hear from you. Also, you stand a chance to get your story published on our site and win cash prize of USD 100.

“Then what are you waiting for? …put on your thinking cap and get writing. For registration and other information check -

Happy writing!

Robyn Campbell said...

Hey Jen, heyya Patti! Super fantastic interview. I love coffee and chocolate too. Yes, we're SOUL SISTERS. Chocolate soothes the soul.

I wake up at that absurd hour too. Especially during home-school.

I loved sitting you y'all and sharing coffee.

Oh and I trip over the cat. ;)

Anonymous said...

Loved the interview. Have a great Wednesday!

Katie Ganshert said...

Loved learning more about you and your writing, Patti! You're an inspiration. And those books sound awesome!

Jeanette Levellie said...

I met Patti last March at a book signing for Irishwoman's Tale, and God knit our souls together as only He can do. She is that kind of lady who steals into every corner of your heart and enhances it with the fragrance of her Godly beauty.

Her writing reflects that beauty.

R.M.Gilbert said...

Jennifer, so great to stop in and read this today.

Patti, congratulations on your successes. It's wonderful that you mention your writing soulmates. What a blessing that must be. All the best to you and them.

Amy DeTrempe said...

Loved the interview and the books sound absolutely wonderful. I'll have to keep a look out for your booksignings in the area.

patti said...

Oh, Jennifer, I LOVE meeting some of your writerly mates!

Waving to Rikki and R.M.!
Hope to stop by y'all's places soon!

Robyn, Katie, and Jeanette, get back to work! Your Audience of One is waiting! LOL

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Sharon said...

I popped over from your blog, Patti. Your enthusiasm and energy are marvelous. It's fun to get a glimpse of how someone structures their day.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great interview. I like Patti's baseball analogy for her day :)

Jeff said...

I would love to win! Thanks for the giveaway!

jeffintennessee at gmail dot com

Joanne said...

Thanks Jennifer and Patti. I always enjoy reading about another writer's journey, days, routines. Interesting about the plotting, Patti. I do find now that the more I plan out the plot in advance, the easier the flow of the writing.

Happy Wednesday to you both :)

Terri Tiffany said...

Ok-- I want this book especially cause I love Patti and how sweet she has been to stop by my blog!:) And how wonderful that she is teaching memoir writing--I am doing that now too for some senior citizens and haven't a clue what I'm doing:)
Thanks for a great interview--it is always a joy to learn more about my fellow bloggers.

Cathy C. Hall said...

I love that there's a town out there called Normal. :-)

I'm also pretty fond of the Irish, the South, and the Holy Spirit-sounds like some interesting reads.

T. Anne said...

Patti I LOVED learning more about you! And we're fueled by the exact same things! Who knew? ;) I'm thrilled to learn of all your great novels. I can't wait to read them.

Enter me Jen!

Deanna said...

What a great interview! I loved learning more about my friend Patti. I loved her first two books and can't wait for the third one to come out.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Patti: Glad to have you "live" here too. :)

Sherrinda said...

Ooooo, Patti, you were in Fort Worth and didn't ring me up??? Did you sweat a bit while you were here? lolol

I love your writing routine! I love that incorporate prayer and praise AND reading into your day. You seem so well rounded. I tend to get sucked into whatever I am doing at the moment and forget all else. Maybe I should be a fly on the wall at your house for a day...or two.

Great interview Jennifer!!!!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Yay, two blogging buddies in one post! Patti, your 5:00 wake-up time amazes me. Once my human alarm clock (aka baby) stops waking me up that early, I don't plan to have my eyes open at that time. :-)

Kenda said...

Enjoyed being introduced to Patti--and to her fascinating-sounding books. Great interview, Jennifer. Thanks.

Janna Qualman said...

Such a fun and raw look into Patti's methods! Loved this. She's real, and nothing beats that.

Thanks, Jennifer. And thanks, Patti.

Ann Best said...

Jennifer: Thanks for this interview. I'm printing it out to read it later, and am making this comment hoping I win! I'd love to read the book. (And thanks for commenting on my recent post.)

patti said...

Hey, regular bloggites Janna and Sarah and Sherrinda and Deanna and Sharon and Terri and T. Anne and Joanne--oh, yeah, you too, Jennifer!

Oh, am I blessed to meet Ann and Kenda and Cathy and Jeff and Jemi. All I had to do was have an interview? WHAT A DEAL!!!


Susan Fields said...

Those books both sound so good! Thanks so much for introducing us to Patti! And I'll be adding Self-Editing for Fiction Writers to my shopping list.

Carol Kilgore said...

I'm definitely a sluggish turtle compared to Patti. Maybe I'll try some of her tips. Thanks.

Jen said...

Wonderful interview and wonderful giveaway! So many awesome stories to be shared!!

I love that you and your soulmates go to Thai House for dinner after you've finished a book. It keeps the spirit alive. I think I need to start some sort of tradition like that!

patti said...

Susan, Carol, and Jen, what a blessing to meet y'all! Yeah, understand a couple of y'all are Texans.

Pulling out my boots. They're a bit dusty, as I lived up here in Normal for over a decade. attending an Asleep at the Wheel hoedown with my husband in a week.

Get the polish out.

PatriciaW said...

Hi Patti! Absolutely loved What the Bayou Saw. An Irishwoman's Tale is on my TBR list.

Niki Turner said...

Hi Patti! This was fun. I love glimpses into other people's writing habits.

Thanks, Jennifer, for bringing a very personal Patti to us. You gained a new follower today!

Laura Pauling said...

I love the covers of those novels! What a wonderful example of writing what you know. To me, the bayou holds such mystery and intrigue. Thanks to both of you!

Julie Musil said...

It sounds as if Patti has developed a real balance in her life. It was fun reading her interview, thanks!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

great interview Jen!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Patti -

I'm interested in how you made the transition from pantser to plotter. I've never been able to make the whole plotting thing work. LOL!

Susan :)

Journaling Woman said...

Patti, you are a wonderful writer. I enjoyed reading about your writing routine. You are an inspired writer and it shows.

Jennifer, a great interview!


patti said...

Patricia, Nikki, Susan, and Teresa, so nice to see old friends here! I appreciate the support and kind words in ways that you will never know. It has come in God's PERFECT TIMING!!

Waving at Laura, Julie, and Shelli! Cannot WAIT to visit y'all's blogs.

Susan, will send you an e-mail about the transition, girl. Or should I post it????

Jody Hedlund said...

I love Patti! She's such an encourager around the blogosphere! She's uplifting and positive and always has something good to say to everyone! Thanks for being such a light, Patti! And Jennifer, great interview! :-)

Michelle said...

Loved reading this - feel so contected with other writers through amazing interview like this in blog land.
Thanks Jennifer - thanks Patti.
You are both inspiring. xx

Lydia Kang said...

Wonderful interview, thanks Jennifer and Patti!
The books sound wonderful!

Jaydee Morgan said...

Loved the interview - other writer's routines fascinate me :)

Bossy Betty said...

Glad that tripping over the dog is in the schedule!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Great Q&A! It's always fun to get a glimpse of other writer's "routines." *Waving to ya Patty, from a home girl still in the swamps!*

Write on!

Angie Ledbetter said...

PS Sorry for messing up your name, PATTI. :D

Tabitha Bird said...

I adore Patti! And this was a wonderful interview with her. Thank you for posting it.
Please enter me in the draw for the book. I would love to read her work! :)

carla stewart said...

What a great interview, Jennifer. Google alerts brought me here, and I'm so glad it did. Thank you, Patti, for the shout out and for the rest of your list of books. Hotel on the Corner is a favorite of mine, too. And I'm going to have to check out the Pandora thing soon.

Blessings to both of you. Looking forward to Patti's new book - YAY!

~Nicole Ducleroir~ said...

Patti, I enjoyed reading about your life, accomplishments, and writing methods. Thanks so much for sharing, and I look forward to reading your books!

Jennifer, lovely job with this interview. Excellent idea to feature a different author every Wed. Great summer series!

Anonymous said...

both books sound irishwoman's tale would be my first pick
the only part of your writing life i don't like is the 5am alarm,,,ugh...tooearly!
love the thai food though!

Jessica Nelson said...

Great interview! It's wonderful to learn about Patti. She's such an encouraging, sweet blogger.
I've read Irishwoman and really enjoyed it!
I can't wait to get my hands on Bayou!

Patti Lacy said...

Hi Diana and old friend Jessica!

Hey, Jennifer, how much was it that you charge for letting me meet all your fun bloggite friends?

Readers AND writers, it seems!

Jennifer Shirk said...

LOL! Patti, I wish I could take credit for such a loving turnout but it's all you, my dear. :)

It's been a pleasure having you on my blog.

Talli Roland said...

Thanks, Jennifer! I do love hearing about other writers' routine! Wow, getting up at 5am - that's dedication!

Lola Sharp said...

Oh darn...did I miss it? Please say I made it in time.

Lola Sharp said...

Okay, now a proper comment--
I LOVE reading about other writers and their routines. I love the differences as much as the commonalities.

Thanks for being my friend on Twitter and my blog. I swear I was already following you...but it said I wasn't.
Anyway, we're here together now. :)

Happy Thursday, Jennifer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for introducing me to Patti. I will be looking up her books and suggests them as readings for the my church book club. It is also inspiring to hear of writers routine and see that you can do have it all--carreer, family, friends, and a social networking gatherings!

Walt M said...

You seem to allow yourself to do a lot of things online in the morning before you start writing. I usually spend about ten minutes (with a wake-up sudoku) before I start, else I'll never get to writing. How long do you spend getting ready before you start writing.

patti said...

Lynn, LOVE your photos! What a BLOG, folks!!!

Walt, hmmm. At 55, I am quite slow in the a.m., especially DAWN!

I'd say a couple of hours; maybe one and a half on a good morning.

But I treasure that solitude.
And it helps the words flow better longer.


Kelly H-Y said...

Fantastic interview!! Thank you!

patti said...

Kathy, you squeaked in under the deadline, didn't you?

Jennifer and bloggites, thank you for a wonderful two days!

Blessings to all!