Monthly Archives: June 2017

Author Interview: Patricia Bailey


Patricia Bailey grew up in a small town in Oregon. She now lives in a slightly larger town in Oregon with her husband and three cats. She spends her time exploring forgotten places, hiking mountain trails, and scribbling story ideas on sticky notes.

You just had an awesome new book come out this year called THE TRAGICALLY TRUE ADVENTURES OF KIT DONOVAN.  

Can you tell us about it? How you came up with the idea?

Thirteen-year-old Kit Donovan is sure she’s to blame when her mother dies of a fever. Guilt-ridden, she’s determined to honor her promises to her mother – namely to be a “proper lady.” Only being a lady in Goldfield, Nevada is tougher than it looks. When Kit convinces Papa to speak out about the dangers in a local gold mine, she learns that sometimes doing the right thing leads to trouble. Now Kit must find a way to expose the misdeeds before it’s too late. Unexpectedly, she finds help from a gruff neighbor, a Shoshone boy, and a newspaperman, and she puts her big mouth and all the life skills she’s learned from reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to work. With a man’s hat and a printing press, Kit defies threats of violence and discovers that justice doesn’t always look like she imagined it would. Neither does being a lady.

I came up with the idea after chatting with the owner of a rock/antique shop in Goldfield, Nevada, a small town on US Route 95 between Reno and Las Vegas. He filled me in on the history of the town and the interesting people who had lived there when it was booming. So many things happened there in such a short time, I just couldn’t let the place go. When the character of Kit came to me, I knew I had to make it the setting for her book.

What made you decide to start writing, and why did you choose children’s books?

I always enjoyed writing, and, as a teacher, I wrote with my students all the time. At some point I started submitting my short stories to journals and magazines. Then one November I decided to give Nanowrimo a try and discovered that all the stories that came to me were children’s books – which was lucky since I really enjoy writing from a young person’s point of view.
The voices are always clear and rich; the struggles are real and meaningful; and in the end there is always a glimmer of hope. Plus, there’s usually not much kissing – because I’m really terrible at writing kissing scenes.

Tell us about your experience getting into publishing. How long did it take you?

Getting published took my whole life up until now, really – but also just under two years in the case of this book – which is hardly no time at all in the publishing world. I met my agent at a conference in May 2015 and we submitted the novel in September. I signed the contract with Albert Whitman & Company in March 2016, and the book came out in April 2017. Whirlwind, right? Of course that was after years of writing and studying and revising and rewriting – over and over again.

When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

When I’m not writing I’m usually trying to shoo the cats off my keyboard or off the book I’m reading. On a good day I’m wandering the countryside like some sort of modern-day Charles Dickens dictating ideas into my phone. I also like to hike and take road trips as long as there’s time to stop and check out the sites.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a Middle Grade contemporary novel set in the Pacific Northwest. I’m also researching a historical novel that will take place near the small Oregon town I grew up in.

Where can we find out more about you and your book?

You can find me at:





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I’ve been off the blog for the last few months. I’ve been very busy working on WIFYR, Re-writes, reading, etc.
Now that WIFYR is over I can focus my attention on this wonderful blog again.
I’m going to go back to posting some of those awesome debut author interviews, as well maybe some writing prompts, and a couple book reviews.
For those of you who went to WIFYR this year, I hope you’re all back on the writing train and getting stuff done. I have to say, it was probably the best year yet.
If you attended, please share your memories in the comments below. Or just email me privately.
Big shout out to my amazing motherdear, Carol Lynch Williams. She always puts on a good conference, and she’s very inspiring. I hope one day I can be just like her.
To sign off, here are a list of books I’ve been reading and or read in the last few weeks. I think they are worth a read, or at least a glance. Very good writing and awesome storytelling.

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
The Elements of Style by E. B. White and William Strunk Jr.
‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis




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What YOU Can Create

So these last two days I’ve been shuffling pages this way and that, adding sections and rewriting my murder mystery WOLF. That means I missed yesterday and Monday’s prompts.

As the conference roars closer, I have to finalize things there.

Here are all five prompts, the last of them, before WIFYR 2017!


What are the significant events in you book? Write them down, in order. Do they rise in tension, causing more at stake for your main character? Is the tension tightened with these events?


Write the most important scene from the point of view of a person watching it unfold, not experiencing it. Pay particular attention to sense of place details. How does this inform your novel?


Choose your five favorite novels. Break away from series and the same genre.

Using each book as an example, rewrite one page of your story, from the opening, imitating each book.

So page one will be like Harry Potter, page two will be like The Road, page three will be like THIS IS WHAT I DID etc.

What do you learn? Can you take any of this and put it in your writing?


Take 15 minutes to put yourself in a scene with your main character. Make it a tough scene. Write what you talk about.


If you have done all these prompts, which one has helped you the most? Why? How can you use this in more of your writing?


Okay, Everyone (all three of you!). I’m off.

Will see you in July!

Happy WIFYR. Happy writing. Happy life.

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4 Inches More? You Never Expected This!

What is your worst writing habit?

Mine is feeling overwhelmed with my novel.

We’ve wrestled, sorta, and the pages have won.

Here’s what I figure. On a good day I can write a thousand words in an hour. That’s 5,000 a week. 5,000 words per week X 52 weeks = 260,000 words. An hour a day, 260,000 words in a year. For me, that’s almost five and a half novels. Good novels? Maybe not. But drafts.

So why not do that?

Stephen King does. 2,000 words per day. Every day. Seven days a week.


Write a list of everything that gets in your way of writing, no matter how small.

Write a list why you deserve to write. Write everything, even your secret desires.

Now go through list number one. What things on this list are more important than you being happy? Cross those things off. Some stuff will be left, that’s the way it should be. There ARE things more important than writing. (Who knew?)

Last of all, pen a note to yourself saying why it’s okay to write even the hard stuff.

Now go write your dreams.

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