The RV Book Fair – Pat Backley

Welcome to BrandEducation! Pat, tell us about your latest book and what inspired you to write it?

I have recently published two new books, both in different genres. One is the second in my ANCESTORS series, another historical fiction book. Having already published two totally fictional books, I decided to honour my own ancestors by weaving their stories into my new novels. My other new book is entitled THE ABANDONED WIVES HANDBOOK and is not a book i ever intended to write, but personal circumstances forced my hand!

What is the most surprising or unexpected place or situation you’ve found inspiration for your writing?

I constantly find inspiration in unexpected places, objects or people. My life has been very rich and varied, so I think a lot of my inspiration has been stored in my head for many years, just waiting to pop out!

What themes or messages do you hope readers will take away from your work?

I think the underlying theme in all my books (without me intending it to be!) is that life can be difficult, but we have two choices: to either give in or get up and carry on. Also that life is a lottery and we have to learn to deal with the cards we are given.

How do you develop your characters? Do you Draw from real people or experience?

I think all the characters in my books are inspired by people I have met along the way, not necessarily their whole character, but sometimes traits and appearances from different people all muddled together. Mostly I don’t realise who has inspired me until the book is finished and I re-read it.

Can you share some insights into your creative process.  Do you outline your stories or let them unfold organically? 

My stories all unfold organically. Sometimes I have a very clear plan, but then my characters take over and the plot changes to suit them!

What do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? Any hobbies or interests that influence your writing?

When not writing, I love to travel, garden, read, walk on the beach and socialise. All of these things inspire me, often in quite unexpected ways.

Are there genres or topics you enjoy writing about the most?

The topics and genres I enjoy writing about the most always involve people. I am endlessly fascinated about people’s lives and how we all really want the same things in life.

Can you discuss the role of research in your writing? How do you ensure accuracy in your work?

I have discovered that I absolutely love doing research. This came as a great surprise to me when I was researching for my first book DAISY, as I certainly didn’t enjoy doing research at school. But the internet has made it so easy these days! As my books are historical fiction it is very important to get all the facts right. 

Do you have any upcoming projects or future writing plans that you like to share with your readers?

At the moment I am writing the third book in my ANCESTORS series. This is based on my parents lives and I am finding it a little traumatic to write. To see them as people in their own right, not just my parents, but as people with their own hopes, dreams and problems. But I am proud to write their stories, to be able to honour their memories in this way.

In your opinion what is the most challenging aspect of writing, and how do you overcome it. 

For me, the most challenging aspect of writing is having the discipline to sit at my desk and actually write. I get so easily distracted! 

The other challenging thing is the marketing….definitely not my favourite thing!

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