Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
PL: My pen name is Patient Lee, and I am 45 years old.
Fiona: Where are you from?
PL: I live in the northeast US.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
PL: I am married with three children. I spend most of my life driving my kids to hockey practice.
My undergrad degrees are in French and Spanish. I teach high school. My master’s is in educational technology, which taught me many of the techie skills I use to market my books.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
PL: My newest release is Quick & Dirty 2: Milestones. Six erotic stories about milestones in relationships—loss of virginity, engagement, wedding night, pregnancy, divorce, and death of a spouse. The Quick & Dirty books are about straight couples, as is my latest paperback—Mrs. Maitland’s SAD Valentine with Bonus Prequel, Sharing Her Heart.
My other venture this week is audio books. I’m starting with a gay story—Gay Greenhorn on the F/V Lost Agnes and next I’ll do a lesbian story, probably Mobile Home for the Holidays. I’m waiting to get my first audition samples back. It’s exciting.
I am just about to finish a gay short story called Pittsburgh. It’s about two gay men who meet in a Philadelphia sports bar watching a 76ers game. On the way home to Joe’s apartment the lights go out prompting Dominant Joe to engage submissive Clarke in some sensory play. After a mind-blowing night, both men find themselves falling for their new friend. When they wake up in the morning to bright sunlight, Clarke experiences a Patient Lee Titty Twister Ending. But I’m not telling what that is!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
PL: I wrote nothing until I was almost forty. My AP English teacher in high school was a nasty man who led me to believe I couldn’t write a grocery list, never mind fiction.
I started reading stories on the Literotica website in the 90s. Some were really terrible, but some were quite good. In 2011, I finally tried my hand at writing about my own experiences, discovering sexuality with my boyfriend (who is now my husband of 20 years). I spiced them up a bit, but they weren’t complete fiction.
That same summer, I tried my hand at fiction. My first story was Hurricane Season, inspired by the cruise hubby and I had taken that summer. It’s complete porn, but it’s a fun story. I submitted it to Literotica’s Summer Lovin contest. After that one, I went back to writing about personal experiences with Hurricane Irene, which followed us home from our cruise. I submitted Irene to the contest as well. You can find this tale on my blog. https://patientleewriting.blogspot.com/2016/10/hurricane-irene-pretty-primitive-very.html
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
PL: I wrote a couple more fictional tales after Hurricane Season, entered a couple more contests, and then I took half a year off for a project I was working on. When I returned to writing in the summer of 2013, I wrote five completely different stories in a row for different contests. After the fifth, I was pretty sure I was out of ideas.
When Halloween rolled around, I came up with something else, Jeffrey’s Murderer, which I plan to finish filling out and publish for Halloween this year. This was the first time I worked with a beta reader also.
About that time, I started saying “I write.” Not that “I’m a writer.” Actions speak louder than labels, I guess. This was the turning point though. Just when I thought I’d run out of ideas, my friend put a wolf spider in a cage on my desk. It waved its horrible legs at me, and all of a sudden, I had a story. That’s when I knew that you don’t run out of stories to tell. You just keep your eyes open for inspiration.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
PL: See above.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
PL: Hurricane Season was the obvious choice. On our cruise, we kept saying, “A tropical vacation during hurricane season is a big risk, but usually, it’s worth it.” That sentence pops up in Hurricane Season and Hurricane Irene. (Fun Fact: The sky and water in the background of the cover is a photo I took in Cozumel on our cruise.)
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
PL: I’m a realist, and I’ve labeled my style “Erotic Realism.” I’ve defined it based on the characteristics of literary realism. I don’t write about billionaire alpha males or the rich and famous. I write about teachers, janitors, crab fishermen, homeless people, trailer park residents, and more.
- a manner of treating subject matter that presents a careful description of everyday life, usually of regular people, often of lower and middle classes, and explicitly detailed, scorching-hot sex.
- a theory of writing in which the ordinary, familiar, or mundane aspects of life are represented in a straightforward or matter-of-fact manner that is presumed to reflect life as it actually is only with way more scorching-hot sex.
- Gay Greenhorn on the F/V Lost Agnes, Mobile Home for the Holidays,
Mrs. Maitland’s SAD Valentine
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
PL: There is more reality in my earlier stuff, but the first story in my newest collection, Quick & Dirty 2: Milestones, features a girl bullying another girl. The scene is practically verbatim from an incident in my own class. (Fun Fact: For years after the incident, I thought my intervention changed nothing. I found out earlier this year that it never happened again after that day. The girl bullied the other for three years. I was the first teacher to speak up, and my involvement kept it from happening again. Score one for the good guys.)
Fiction is a lot more fun than writing about life though, so I tend to stick with that these days.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
PL: No travel necessary, although I do prefer to write at our seasonal campsite, overlooking my creek.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
PL: I do my own covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your stories that you want readers to grasp?
PL: I find the same messages popping up in my work.
- Be comfortable in your own skin.
- Labels don’t matter.
- Bullying is unacceptable.
- Love is love.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
PL: I could spend all day on this one. Stephen King will always reign supreme for many reasons. The variety of tales he spins impresses me the most, along with the risks he takes. Desperation and The Regulators receive criticism from many long-time readers who feel that having the same cast of characters for two different books was “gimmicky.” I disagree. He had an idea and took a risk. Not every risk pays off, but when you’re Stephen King, it doesn’t ruin your career.
I have recently discovered A.M. Manay, author of the November Snow series. Her characters are likeable, even when you hate them, and she’s just all kinds of brilliant.
M.S. Tarot, whom I met on Literotica, is as varied as Stephen King on the range of stories he tells. He can spin a tale out of thin air, and he’s wonderful. (He’s also my beta reader, and he’s taught me a million things about storytelling.)
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
PL: My circles of writing friends are essential. The Cabin is a small, private group of authors from Literotica. I could not have published without their advice and moral support. We came together as a Camp NaNoWriMo cabin, and we continued our “cabinness” afterward with a message board.
Since then, two other groups have become very important in my career. Self Published Indie Network (SPIN)- We buy and read each other’s books, help launch books, Tweet, promote, and support. (Multi-genre group)
Finally, the Wicked Pens (no longer associated with Ashton Blackthorne) is a group of excellent erotica authors. We have accumulated 800 fans in just three months. We host takeovers on Tuesday nights, and each Wednesday features a Wicked Pen. Monthly, we hold an “Ask the Authors” session on different topics. Last month we formed a partnership with Kink Crate in which we provide erotic ebooks to include in the crates they send monthly to subscribers, and they donate prizes (toys) for our giveaways.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
PL: For now, it’s a time-consuming hobby. I plan to retire from teaching in ten years, and I’ll write full-time then.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
PL: The beauty of ebooks is that you can change books if you need to. I’m pretty happy with my latest collection.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
PL: I learned that when I write when I’m suffering a depression episode, my writing turns dark. I started writing a wedding night tale (not really a happy tale to begin with) and when I wasn’t looking, it fell down the rabbit hole into nightmares and all kinds of terrible stuff.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
PL: Mrs. Maitland’s SAD Valentine: Diane Lane would play the role of Judy Maitland, widowed biology teacher. Skylar Astin would play Brad, the younger custodian.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
PL: Get good beta readers and listen to their feedback. Eliminate “seemed to,” “decided to,” and “started/began to” from your writing whenever possible.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
PL: People tell me all the time that my books don’t seem at first to be to their tastes, but once they read it, their minds are blown. I take unrelated ideas and beat them until they work the way I want. LOL.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
PL: J.F. Silver’s Life’s Too Short
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
PL: No. Probably because I read fast and forget what I read.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
PL: Animal videos make me laugh until I cry. My kids’ bickering makes me weep.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
PL: I am not really star-struck by celebrities, but I’d love to have lunch with Stephen King. I’m also not over the shock of Chris Cornell’s death. I’d love to talk to both about the link between creativity and depression.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
PL: Right now, writing is a hobby. I also read and do crossword puzzles. I enjoy watching my kids play hockey, but I don’t enjoy the driving.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
PL: I’m not a movie buff. I’d rather write my own stories. I love Better Call Saul, OITNB, House of Cards, Ink Master, American Ninja Warrior.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
PL: Lobster, peppermint stick ice cream, queso in a jar.
Pink has always been my favorite color.
I listen to SiriusXM Octane- new hard rock. Love it. Chris Cornell is my favorite singer of all time. Soundgarden, Audioslave, Godsmack, Tool, Pantera, Volbeat, Jackyl, Metallica, Deftones, Avatar, Nothing More, All That Remains, Adelita’s Way, Pop Evil, Nonpoint, Shinedown. Lots of favorites. Here’s my playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOMiaxBuz4TGbuBcnyk4VavDHflqYkqnz
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
PL: Do every Sunday puzzle in the NY Times archives while I waste away until I’m dead.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
PL: She’ll be famous now. (I always say that I’ll be famous after I’m dead.)
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Website: http://www.patientlee.com (And please sign up for my newsletter while you’re there. You’ll get two FREE books!)
Please subscribe to my YouTube Channel! Here are my book trailers: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOMiaxBuz4TEQ2ybx1biJsvOKRgaQ4AEu