Name: Pat Wilpenter – www.PatWilpenter.com
Where are you from? Canberra, Australia
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc: I grew up in a simpler time with my younger brother, a pushbike and a floppy-eared Cocker Spaniel. And of course a Dad and Mum. My Dad was a hard working fellow who was always there to help friends and neighbors. He’d started life in a small coastal holiday town, working first as an apprentice tailor. My Mum was a farm girl who met my Dad when they were both in the Air Force. After they married, Mum did a stint as a dental nurse during the evenings to save up the money to buy a piano.
Music figured prominently in our house. Mum played the piano for church. And we had many a singalong on nights when friends came over. And yes, I took piano lessons in case you were wondering.
Dad had built a brick barbeque in the backyard. A solid structure with quite a tall chimney. And it got a solid workout over the years because my childhood was blessed with many happy backyard barbeques with the kids scampering around and generally having lots of harmless fun. Those evenings almost always finished up with most of us gathered around the piano for a singalong.
With (or without) my brother, there were many bike rides from our house… over the big hill… and down the other side to the local surf beach. We didn’t have the money to buy a surfboard but that’s okay because I could never figure out how to stand up on one of those things anyway. Ah, but body surfing — that was my thing. Loved it.
And no, I was never bitten by a shark or drowned. Shark sightings were not uncommon. But we felt safe because all through the long beach season, volunteer life savers kept watch from their high observation towers. When the shark alarm sounded, we all swam like champions to get out of the water.
Education? Yes, my folks didn’t have much opportunity when they were young but they saw its value and we were given every encouragement to do well in school. Which we mostly did.
My education has been all over the place, literally… from failing my first (and only) shot at economics at university, then off to the UK where I completed a BA degree with majors in theology and communications. While living in Sydney many years later, I picked up a Diploma of Freelance Journalism and then a computing degree. We’ve now retired and finally I’ve got time to start writing stories.
And I’m loving it!
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
Currently I’m writing the third book in the Doctor Tess series of medical thrillers. In Book 1, Tess is confronted by a medical mystery as new patients arrive in her ER and some of them die quickly. She is driven to investigate this new and tragic happening. This gets her into very serious trouble. Bullets start flying and… (Oops, I should stop there… Dont want to spoil the story for you. It’s FREE so why not grab it now. This link http://geni.us/SuDe will take you to your local Amazon store to download it at no cost.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
To be honest, I dont remember when I started writing. Seems like I’ve been writing all my life. In high school, I contributed to the school magazine. Now I’m retired, I’ve got the time to do a lot more writing. And I’m loving it, although it is a challenge sometimes.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I completed a Diploma in Freelance Journalism about a decade ago but that never went anywhere. Well, yes, it did. It has finally led to where I am today.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I read a brief outline of a story similar to the one I finished up writing. Naturally I put my own personality and attitudes into the story. The second Dr. Tess book was sparked off by a small piece in a newspaper that I picked up while we’d stopped for a coffee one day.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I like action, where the story continually moves forward. I dont enjoy long drawn-out descriptions so I wont inflict them on my readers. Other things that I wont inflict on my readers include swearing, profanity, gore and explicit sex.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Originally I had a longer title (“Why are my patients dying?”) then a helpful reader suggested the shorter title – and I loved it.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Even though it’s fiction, I try very hard to make it realistic. I will sometimes spend hours researching a topic to make sure I’m not putting a stumbling block in front of readers who are experts in the field.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
A little bit of both, plus the limitless world of imagination.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Currently I’m working on “Tess3” as I call it. The third book in the Doctor Tess series. Quite different to the first two books, but featuring the same two lovable central characters. This time in a brand new setting. I’m quite excited about this as it’s set in my country, Australia.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
The hardest thing, it seems, for many writers as well as for me is consistency. Books don’t write themselves. We’ve got to write them, one word at a time. Some writers are using Dragon Naturally Speaking to increase their output, but so far I’ve struggled with that. Maybe one day, but this is coming to you directly from my fingers and my keyboard.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Action movies and thrillers, but I do find bad language erodes my enjoyment of some movies. I also love nature programs, quiz shows and interviews with interesting people.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? http://patwilpenter.com