I’m delighted to be welcoming Patricia C Lee today who is chatting to us about her cozy mystery, First Gear.
First Gear by Patricia C Lee is available to purchase in digital and paperback formats
Recently divorced, petite and feisty Texan, Sadie Hawkins, struggles to get her newly established logistics business off the ground. When the opportunity to haul antiquities, including a mummy, drops into her lap, she jumps at the chance, despite the tight timeline. But when her cargo gets stolen and a fresh corpse mysteriously replaces the mummy, Sadie is arrested for theft and suspicion of murder.
Out on recognizance thanks to her lawyer ex-husband, and not willing to watch her business sink farther in debt while the police search for clues, Sadie yanks up her Dan Post boots and does some investigative work on her own. Stymied by her lack of success, she reluctantly enlists a few members with specific skills from Streetsmart, an organization made up of rehabilitated young adult offenders and managed by her best friend Tanya.
While trying to maintain her business from going under and making sure Tanya never learns of her collaboration with Streetsmart, Sadie endeavors to uncover the truth, the whole time wondering if this crime is some form of retribution to an event in her past. However, when she is framed for the real thief’s murder, it appears not even her accomplices in Streetsmart will be able to save her now.
Hi Patricia, welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
It was actually the character that spoke to me, which is a first. I usually come up with the idea for the book, and then the characters but this is the first time that the main character tapped me on the shoulder and said “hey.” Actually Sadie Hawkins (the protagonist) didn’t just tap me on the shoulder, she kicked me in the butt with her turquoise tri-colored water snake boots! ☺ When I started developing Sadie I knew she would be different – she’s not this tall, willowy, gorgeous female. She is shorter, curvy and average and she has a history. I wanted to create someone that readers could relate to. Hopefully I succeeded.
Was there anything about your protagonist that surprised you?
Yes, that she plays baseball. Again I wanted to make Sadie someone readers could see as believable and having her be very good at baseball became a surprise because I certainly am not!
Did you do any research for your book Patricia? What resources did you use?
I did. On a number of things. Since I mentioned that I can’t play baseball, I relied on a very good friend for that and also for Sadie’s profession. I haven’t had the privilege to see Houston so I needed to make sure of various things the city has to offer. That part was done mostly on the internet but I did end up actually phoning a place that is mentioned in the book and inquiring about their product. The woman was so patient and gave me really good information of which I am so grateful.
If your story is part of a series, what is in the future?
First Gear is the first in the series and I plan on having Sadie’s moving company expand – maybe even to long hauling. This will also lend to more locations within North America where Sadie can get into more trouble LOL!!
What inspired you to write Patricia?
I don’t know what, exactly, inspired me. I’ve been writing for most of my life – at least off and on. I started with short prose and wrote my first novel a few years after high school (ugh don’t ask, acckk it was awful!) It wasn’t until a number of years later that inspiration hit and I wrote the Daughters of the Crescent Moon Trilogy. I’ve also written two full-length plays.
Panster or plotter?
Plotter – all the way. That’s probably the control/planner in me. I have to have an outline of where the book starts, the key points that happen and the end. This is vital, especially for mystery because I need to have all the threads tried up or end up missing something or getting backed into a corner somewhere in the book.
Which authors have influenced your writing?
Sidney Sheldon was a brilliant author and still one of my favorites. I can remember reading him and thinking “I want to be able to write like that” Of course I don’t because each person writes in their own distinct manner and I would never think I could be as good as he was but he did set me on my writing path. The other is J. R. Ward because she is truly amazing. Her ability to handle multiple storylines without dropping the ball or losing the intent of the novel is a true work of genius. I’d give anything to meet her.
Finally, can you share with us what are you reading now? Opinion?
I read a lot of different things, mainly genre fiction and some non-fiction. Currently I’m reading The Invaders by John Flanagan which is an offshoot series from his Rangers Apprentice. I love his writing. His novels are fast and easy to read and have great humor. I adored his Rangers Apprentice series and got a number of people hooked onto that. The relationship between his three main characters in that series reminded me of the camaraderie between Kirk, Spock and McCoy in the original Star Trek (think I’m dating myself here!) The Invaders (book 2 of The Brotherband series) has its own unique formula as well.
Thank you for being my guest today. Wishing you success with all your writing projects.
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Pat is a playwright and award winning author who has had a love affair with the written word since childhood, many times immersing herself in the stories of Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene. An active imagination gave inspiration to short stories and her first play as a teen. Her full length play The Truth About Lies was staged at a regional drama competition in 2006. She was selected as “One of 50 Authors You Should be Reading” in 2012. One of her novels achieved a finalist slot in the 2013 International Book Award Contest – fantasy category. Her Daughters of the Crescent Moon Trilogy received Paranormal Romance Guild’s 2nd place award for Best Series in 2016. she is also the winner of the 15th Annual Writer’s Digest Short Story contest for A Holy Night. Although still in pursuit of a place truly called home, Pat shares her life with her husband and three cats, all of which claim rule over the house at one point or another. Besides dreaming up the next novel, she enjoys traveling, baking, camping, wine, dark chocolate (because it has its own food group!) and of course reading – not necessarily in that order. Patricia C. Lee’s website: http://www.patriciaclee.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorpatriciaclee