Robin Patchen lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, with her husband and three teenagers. Her third book, Finding Amanda, released in April, and its prequel, Chasing Amanda, released in July. When Robin isn’t writing or caring for her family, she works as a freelance editor at Robin’s Red Pen, where she specializes in Christian fiction. Read excerpts and find out more at her website, robinpatchen.com.
Connect with Robin...
Robin’s Red Pen: https://robinsredpen.wordpress.com/
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Robin-Patchen/e/B00A289790/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1439253210&sr=8-1
Purchase: Finding Amanda
Author Interview | Robin Patchen
You and Writing
Tell us a little bit about yourself: How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...I always loved to write, but when I was young, I lacked the confidence to believe I could ever make a living as a writer. I majored in Journalism in college, but then I took a job in Marketing and Public Relations, which seemed more secure (and paid better) than a straight writing position. I quit work to raise kids and then home schooled them, and though I read voraciously during that time, the only writing I did was in my journal. I’d never attempted to write fiction and didn’t believe I’d want to, but I had this story bouncing around in my head, and I thought that if I didn’t put it on paper, it might just drive me mad. So when my husband gave me my first laptop for my fortieth birthday, I decided to write that story down. From December through March, I wrote my first book, a 700+ page epic women’s fiction/romance/suspense novel that will never see the light of day. The book wasn’t good, but it taught me that I was made to write fiction, and I’ve been writing stories ever since.
Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written?
...I was sitting in church when the pastor asked a question that shook me—“What are you unwilling to sacrifice for Christ.” I’m sure the rest of the sermon was good, but I wouldn’t know, because my mind went immediately to my answer, which led to an idea. By the time I got in the car that summer morning, I had an entire story plotted and ready to write. It was the only time I’ve ever felt the Lord gave me a story. I wrote the book last year, and it’s about a woman who reaches out to her creepy neighbor because, as she tells her boyfriend, “God loves creepy people, too.” Unfortunately, the creepy neighbor happens to be a rapist. It’s the most unique thing I’ve ever written, and I think the story is beautiful. My agent wasn’t as impressed, unfortunately, and it’s outside of my brand—I’ve been focusing on suspense lately. So it’s still on my computer, but someday, I’m going to publish it.
Tell us a little bit about your book . Why did you write it?
...My first full-length novel, Finding Amanda, released in April. It’s about a woman who writes a memoir about the psychiatrist she had an affair with when she was a teenager. She plans to publish it—until the psychiatrist finds out. It’s also a love story about a married couple struggling to cope with their own sins and shame.
...I love this story, because I believe there are a lot of women who have things in their past they aren’t proud of, situations and choices they regret. This story is about facing those accusing memories and realizing that we who are in Christ are valuable and worthy and forgiven. So it’s a story about overcoming shame, but it’s also a fun, fast-paced suspense. I also released a novella this summer, Chasing Amanda, which tells the story of how Amanda and Mark, the protagonists from Finding Amanda, meet. He’s a marine about to ship out to Afghanistan, and she’s a college student and the target of a stalker. I loved writing the novella, because I had already fallen in love with Mark and Amanda, and it was so fun to write them as younger versions of themselves as they walk through their romance.
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?
...Mark, because he’s such a flawed but loving man. He has no idea how to convince his wife he loves her, but he tries so hard. I feel like a lot of our husbands are just like Mark. The feelings are there, but they can’t figure out how to show them.
When you write, what is your overall intention with your stories?
...I believe that, first and foremost, stories are meant to entertain. My goal is to write stories my readers can’t put down, characters they’ll remember long after they’ve reached the end. If my readers learn a little something or find some encouragement for their lives, too, all the better. But first, I want to entertain.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
...Most great writers read all the time. They read in their genres and outside, they read Christian and general market books. They read fiction and non-fiction. And they make a point of reading great books. Great writers skip the mediocre—that’s not who they want to emulate. They read the best.
...And great writers write. Often. Maybe not every day, but more than once or twice a month. Great writers practice writing. The best writers practice all the time.
Thanks so much for being my guest Robin! I love that your favorite work is yet unpublished. That may sound strange, but I think that's really neat. You love it no matter what happens to it :) I also love your advice - reading is the best way (in addition to writing)! Thanks again and I look forward to hearing about more books from you :)
Almost forgot our WINNER from last week!
I had the lovely Caryl McAdoo on the blog sharing about her book "Daughters of the Heart". Our winner is...
Congrats Kim! Contact me via the form to the right and we'll get you your book :)