Name: Patricia Puddle
Age: As old as I feel J
Where are you from?
Originally from Scunthorpe in England, but moved to Sydney, Australia with my family at the age of twelve.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Due to childhood illnesses at the age of six and seven, I missed school a lot and got behind in my lessons. There was also a bully of a teacher at the Primary School I went to, and unfortunately I became one of her victims for three long years. I leaned very little at school and so I fell between the cracks. Years later, this teacher was banned from teaching after injuring a child.
When I moved to Australia, my mother became ill, and as my father had to work long hours, I left school at the age of fourteen to help look after my younger siblings. When I turned fifteen, I started working at a typewriter company in Sydney. My boss was kind and sent a typewriter to my home so that I could learn to type. That’s when I began writing, though I just filed my stories away at that time. Still fifteen, I met a teenage boy on Bondi Beach and fell in love. Eighteen months later we were married and while we were still in our teens, we had two children. We are still married and now have two beautiful grandchildren.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
I’m halfway through writing five books at the moment, but working on my fourth in my Ominous Series, a Fantasy Romance. I’m also working on one of my children’s series Velvet Ball. Hopefully I will have them finished soon.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing when I was fifteen, but filed my stories away. As soon as my youngest child started school, I went back to fulltime work, so there was no time to write. I didn’t know how to write properly anyway. I couldn’t spell and had no idea where commas went. Once my children had grown up and left home, my husband and I moved into a rural area where we built a house. My husband is a bricklayer and I was his laborer/gofer. It took us two years of hard work and after the house was finished, my husband bought me a computer so I could learn how to write. First I did an online IT Cert II at TAFE, then I found some online writing forums and critique groups and learned how to write and critique. A few years later I began self-publishing children’s books, then later, Fantasy Romance.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
As soon as began getting five-star reviews, and particularly when one American lady told me that her fourteen-year-old autistic son loved my children’s stories so much, he begged her to read them to him over and over. She did but suggested he learn how to read them himself. Not only did he learn how to read, he learnt how to write and is now going to write and publish his own books. He particularly liked my first book, Star-Crossed Rascals, which was actually my childhood memories turned into fiction, and he nagged me into writing another book in that series, so I did and I dedicated it to him.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My childhood antics. I was a very mischievous child and got into all sorts of dilemmas, so when I was learning to write at the age of fifty-three, I rewrote my childhood memoirs and called the first book Star-Crossed Rascals. The second in the series was called Rascals Sing at The Opera House. Although I lived in England as a child, I changed the story to Australia, and I really wasordered to mime in a school singing festival when I was in the choir, though the ending was a happy one, not like what really happened.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I don’t know, but my stories are usually fantasy other than my Rascals Series. My second series was about a little girl who was bullied at school because she was bald. I just came up with that idea and it just unfolded as I wrote. I don’t know what my style is, I just write and characters appear on my documents. Though I prefer to write in first person present, I also write in third person present and past sometimes. The reason I prefer First Person Present is because it allows the reader inside the MC’s mind, to feel everything they feel and know their every thought, touch and smell. This is also my favourite style to read.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
When I was seven, my best friend and I used to think up fun games. When I told my mother we’d collected bubblegum from the pavement to see who could make the biggest ball, she banned me from playing with my friend ever again. I was heartbroken and used to sneak off to her house to play. These antics became the inspiration for my first book, so I called it Star-Crossed Rascals. Though my second book, Velvet Ball and The Broken Fairy, came about when I found a weird fairy doll in a quaint curiosity shop in the village where I live. The fairy had to grant a wish to someone, so I thought up a little girl with Alopecia that got bullied at school. I tried to imagine what it would be like to be a nine-year-old girl that was bald and the story just came alive in my head.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Some reviewers have said that there is a message in all my books, but I don’t make it obvious. My children’s’ books mostly have the MC rescuing someone or something, but I mould it into the story so that it’s not always obvious and preachy. Like in Molly Gumnut Rescues a Bandicoot. There is a lot of information about bandicoots and how to care for them if injured, but the story revolves around a nine-year old girl who although loves animals, is outspoken and always in trouble. I came up with this story after I cared for an injured bandicoot and didn’t want to hand it back to the wild. But the rules of Wildlife Rescue Charities are that you have to release the animals back to their own territories, even if it means danger.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
My first book Star Crossed Rascals is taken from fact. It is 80% fact. My other books are fantasy, except for Molly Gumnut. I used photos of the baby bandicoot I cared for, but Molly is a fictitious character. The pictures of Molly are of my niece.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Though I couldn’t write as a child, I could read. I read a lot, but there are too many authors that I like to pick one.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
About Three Authors by Patti Roberts.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I’m working on the fourth book in my Ominous Series: Ominous Angel.
A new Series called Innocent Love.
Book Two In my Velvet Ball Series.
Book Two in Molly Gumnut Series.
I’m also writing a Comedy Horror Series. I think I need more hours in the day/night
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My wonderful critique group, The Golden Girls. I met them on an online Critique Group called Critique Circle, and also the authors at Absolute Write Water Cooler where wonderful. They helped me learn how to write when I first began after getting a home computer.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Definitely. It’s what I do most of my waking hours. It’s my present fulltime job.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Um, well I did change my last book. I didn’t like the middle part of Fallen Angel. I published it just before going into hospital for major surgery and when I came home, I realized I decided to re-write it. I cut out the middle part, added a new first chapter and split the book in two. I called the second part Nathaniel Teen Angel and let the first half, Fallen Angel, go free as an eBook. Since then, readers are buying the Nathaniel Teen Angel and the other book, Ominous Love, in the series. It’s a romance series about Guardian Angels that fall to earth. It’s also a comedy, and a thriller and full of twists and turns.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I always knew I wanted to be an author even at a young age. As a small child, I had a great imagination and I used to act out plays with my dolls. I also loved making stories up for my siblings at night. But when it came to writing essays at school, I was frustrated because I couldn’t write and no one it seemed wanted to teach me. The mean teacher I had for over three years used to lie to my parents, telling them I was lazy when in fact she use to send me either out of the classroom, or home. She did this with some other children she chose to pick on as well, but instead of going home, we went to the park and played until home time. We figured our parents would think we were playing up at school if we went home and she knew it. This teacher would put on a great act for our parents, but in the end, she was caught out and punished.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The first book in my Ominous Series, Fallen Angel, is free as an eBook on Amazon, smashwords, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and some other website. I’m working on the fourth book, Ominous Angel.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
First Chapters. They are so hard to get right because if readers don’t like the first chapter, that is usually free to read online, they won’t buy the book.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Patti Roberts, owner of Paradox Book Cover Design. Patti is a wonderful Cover Artist and always makes them just as I ask, even better as she uses her own creativity too. For instance, on my cover, Ominous Love, Patti added, True Love Never Dies at the top. And on Velvet Ball, she added True Friendship is Forever. She also made an angel cover with the tittle Teen Angel especially for my series and I loved it. I called the book, Nathaniel Teen Angel. The cover inspired that story and it seems to be my fan’s favourite in the series.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Marketing. It’s time consuming.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your books and what was it?
That readers like my stories, and I’m thrilled.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Follow other successful authors and listen to them. Find out what it was that got them to succeed. Don’t be stubborn if you disagree with them. They learnt the hard way. Believe in yourself that you will become successful and you will. Use aspirations. As soon as I began learning how to write and publish, I went around telling everyone that I was an author. Some folks laughed at me, saying I couldn’t even spell and that I was dreaming. Little did they know I had been studying online for hours, day and night. Plus I was an author because I had published photographs articles about wildlife in our village magazine. I also filmed wildlife and wrote about them.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
I can’t remember the tittle, but it was about a rabbit, but there was one book I read over and over when I was eight. Around The World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. I still have that book, and now my grandchildren love it.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Heartwarming animal stories, and sad ones. Plus some romance stories.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would like to meet and why?
Oh, yes, but it’s a songwriter. I would love to meet Robin Thicke because I love his songs. They are inspiring, especially the one, Never Give Up. I love that song and play it all the time. He is a songwriter/singer and writes great romantic songs that inspire when writing romance. I love that he’s so unashamedly honest in his words and he shows his true heart in his voice and words, even when he’s does the wrong thing or is down. His songs tell his story of how he was determined to succeed and how he struggled to get where he is today, even when no one believed in him. I can relate to that, and I guess many authors would.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Google me – then you’ll know where to find my books. Tee-hee.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I love powerwalking to music and exercising and doing weights in our home gym. I love taking my little grandkids shopping or to the beach. I also love animals. We have an abundance of kangaroos and other native animals in our garden, so sometimes we care for injured wildlife. I also love guinea pigs and we had three wonderful little fellows for eight years. I love listening to music and reading of course.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I love watching Home and Away, anything Romance. I also really liked Dexter. I loved all the Twilight movies and have only recently seen them for the first time. I love a really good romance, especially tearjerkers and romantic comedies. My favourites are Angel Movies of course because that is what I write.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I love bread, but have given up yeast and sugar in the past few years, so now I’m into fresh veggies and anything made with coconut.
My favourite music is―hey don’t laugh! Nannas can enjoy listening to One Direction too. I love powerwalking to their songs because they’re just the right beat. Plus their music is so inspiring for romance novels. I also love the music of Robin Thicke, Bruno Mars, Nathaniel Willemse, Taylor Henderson, Johnny Ruffo, Taylor Swift and so many more artists.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I wanted to be a dancer. LOL.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Yes, here they are and thank you so much for interviewing me, Fiona. It was fun!
Romance Blog: http://patriciapuddle.blogspot.com.au/
Children’s Book Blog: http://trish-mollygumnut.blogspot.com.au/
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/patricia-puddle
Velvet Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/VelvetBallAndTheBrokenFairy?ref=hl
Molly Gumnut Fanpage: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Molly-Gumnut-Rescues-a-Bandicoot/200423333334548?ref=hl