Thanks for joining me for my interview with Patrica Snodgrass. I hope you enjoy.
Patricia Snodgrass lives in rural North East Texas with her husband of twenty years, their son two dogs and three cats. She holds a Master’s Degree from Texas A&M University, Texarkana. Patricia has published three other works, “Mercer’s Bayou,” “Marilyn” and “Destiny’s Mark.” She also contributed text and research to two comic art books. She has written numerous short stories, essays and book reviews. Glorious is her first Mundania book.
Thanks for joining me here and answering some of my questions! Now first I’d like to know, When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
Ahh, I can’t recall a time when I didn’t want to be a writer. I remember being around six years old, and sitting on a store counter with a box of crayons and a Big Chief tablet. The shop owner was teaching me how to write in the Cherokee syllabary.. I can still remember seeing him draw the beautiful symbols and encouraging me to copy them. We were living in the Cherokee Nation at that time. I was very happy there.
How did you come up with the idea for Glorious, and what inspired you to write her story?
I grew up in the 60’s and, I was an eyewitness to blatant racism, sexism and homophobia that truly crippled our nation. I was just a kid then, but even so, I understood that it was wrong.
Imagine all those people–all that talent and genius—unfulfilled just because they were born the wrong gender or race. Imagine how much further we as a nation could have grown if everyone was able to participate to their fullest? And now there are people hell bent on sending us right back into those stone aged concepts of what ‘place,’ a particular person should be in. They glamorize the fifties and sixties and want to take us back to the ugliness that is sexism and segregation. It was wrong then. It’s even more wrong now. We must never go back to that.
What character, that you’ve written, are you most attached to or proud of and why?
Although I loved all the kids in Glorious, especially Glorious herself, and Sudda Lee, and Willy, I adored Jaydene most of all, and she was the toughest to write through.
As a woman of French and Cherokee descent, I felt awkward writing from an African American standpoint. In fact, the book sat dormant in my desk drawer for over a year because I felt that I couldn’t do it. I’m not black, you see, and I felt I didn’t have a frame of reference. The characters would come off as frauds. My African American friends would see them as caricatures, and they’d call me on it, and rightfully so. I never wanted to hurt anyone in that way. I wanted to be as respectful as I could be.
It occurred to me one afternoon while I was walking that it would of course be impossible for me to write from an African American perspective, and if I tried to the characters would be bogus. And that would be the smooch of death for the book. So. What I did instead was write from a human perspective. Regardless of our color or our gender, we all as humans experienced suffering at one point or another in our lives. We’ve all lost loved ones, we’ve all been hurt by someone we loved. So from that perspective I could write.
I adored Jaydene. She’s a composite of several African American women I’ve known over the years. One of them was a charge nurse who mentored me while I was in nursing school. I recall her telling me once when I was having a particularly difficult time in school,that she had to sleep in the morgue because the white dorms wouldn’t allow black students. I never forgot that, and it ended up in the book. Jaydene is resourceful, brilliant, strong, the anchor of the book. Whenever her husband had his nervous breakdown (and what father wouldn’t after such a tragic death?) she didn’t abandon him. She and her family went after him. When she found him in the old hotel room, they took him to the hospital so he could get the care he needed. I’ll never forget her words to him, “Where you go I will go.” I wept through that entire scene. I’m forever a romantic. Jaydene’s strength, courage, love and resolve is an inspiration. She bore more than any human being should ever have to. I look forward to writing her story in the sequel. She’ll get the happy ending she deserves.
What other books have you written and are you currently working on any other projects?
A few years back I wrote a story called Mercer’s Bayou. It was a good old fashioned ghost story, that’s published by Samhain Publishing.
Glorious is the most intense book I’ve ever written. It was very difficult but also very rewarding. I said some things in it that I felt needed to be said, uttered warnings that I hope will be heeded. I remember the 60’s. I still love the music, but I never want to go back there again.
Glorious Arising is the sequel and I’m currently doing some research on the final section of the book. Marilyn is a dark comedy about a car that’s haunted by an amorous ghost. It’s due out this month. The Man Who Loved Yolanda Dodson is a paranormal romance, as is Wild Swans. Both those books will be out next year. Aside from Glorious Arising, I’m working on three other books, two which are paranormal and one that is YA. And I promise, nobody drowns. Marilyn is published by Phaze books, the rest are with Mundania.
Who are some of your favorite authors and how have they inspired you?
When I was younger it was Shakespeare, Hemingway and Steinbeck. Now it’s Harper Lee, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Rebecca Wells, Toni Morrison. Oh yeah, Toni Morrison. I read Sula in Grad School…I remember the scene where the guy saw his friend’s head blown off while he was running away and the body continued to run after it was decapitated. Jeezeeee… that messed me up! I had bad dreams about that book for about two weeks after I read it. It was a brilliant tale, but yeah. It troubled me worse than anything King ever wrote.
Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it and why is it your favorite?
I fell in love with To Kill a Mockingbird when I was in high school. It was a summer reading project, and I’m sure you know how I felt about that. Well a week before school started I began the book, and fell madly in love with it. I love the characters, I adored Scout who reminded me so much of my self when I was little; I loved the neighbors and the mystery that was Boo Radley. I was appalled by what happened to poor Mr. Robinson who would never harm anyone. I cheered when Ewing got his. I read that book every summer. It’s something of a personal tradition.
I wish Harper Lee had written more. I understand she hooked up with Truman Capote and they did a project or something together. But I don’t think she ever wrote anything as intense as To Kill a Mocking bird, if she wrote anything else at all. I’d love to meet her before she passes. I’d love to get her opinions on Glorious. Maybe Oprah can hook us up? Hahahaha!
Do you have a writing ritual?
I’m up at 5:00 for meditation. At 8 am I do promotions and then I write until 3 pm. The first half of that time is dedicated to editing current compositions; the second is dedicated to writing new compositions. I work every day with the exception of Monday and Friday. I treat it like a full time job.
Any advice for aspiring writers?
I also do book reviews, and one of the things I see often in aspiring writers is that they don’t really have a handle on grammar. Please, learn the mechanics of language. Take a course if you have to, but learn how to put a sentence together. The second advice I give everyone is whenever you submit, whether it’s a short story or a novel, please follow the submissions guidelines to the letter. Even if those guidelines say to submit while standing on your head, do it. The submissions guidelines are your key to getting published.
What is it that you want readers to take away from your books?
Most of the books I’ve written are just for fun. Glorious, however, has a statement. Segregation, homophobia, sexism should never, ever mar our country again.
What is your favorite way to spend time when you’re not writing or reading?
Ahh, I love a nice long drive in the mountains with my husband, and a quiet dinner for two at our favorite restaurant afterwards. A quiet moonlit drive home with the radio going. Like I said, I’m a hopeless romantic. And of course spending time with family and close friends.
Yeah I’m feeling a road trip coming on. . .
Now for the giveaway! One lucky winner will receive a pdf copy of Glorious for their e-reader. Please do not enter if your e-reader is not compatible with the .pdf format!
Emily Prudhomme is terrified of her stepfather, and for good reason. A man who was raised by an abusive father and uncle, he is convinced that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is talking to him personally through a radio he keeps in his office.
Emily, alienated by her stepfather’s bizarre behavior, is befriended by Glorious, an African-American girl with beautiful amber-colored eyes and the ability to see the thoughts of others. Outcast because of their differences, the girls become fast friends.
When a tragic accident occurs on the banks of the Little Missouri river leaving one girl dead and the other hopelessly maimed for life, rage and revenge creates a firestorm that not only destroys a town but the lives of two families.
Please click HERE for review.
1. All entrants must be 13 years or older
2. Open to US and International Entrants
Contest ends at Midnight Sunday, August 22th. Winner will be chosen by random.org and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. To enter giveaway please fill out the form below:
Filed in: eBooks, Giveaway, Interview Tags: Giveaway, Interview