1. How did you pick the genre you write in?
I love a mystery! I’ve always been an avid mystery/suspense reader and, for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. So, for me, it was a no brainer. I write what I know and love.
2. Do you plot or do you write by the seat of your pants?
I’m definitely a plotter. I have two outlines. For the first, I start out with a story idea and I jot notes on scraps of paper as new ideas occur to me. I eventually organize them into a chapter-by-chapter outline. My outline is really a guideline. It tells me what needs to happen in each chapter; it gives me direction. And, believe me, it’s subject to change.
I developed the second outline, “Characters and Chronology,” as I wrote Mixed Messages, the first novel in my Malone mystery series. It has the key information about my characters and their lives: birthdays, important events, hair color, you name it. I refer to it as needed. I wouldn’t want a character to have blue eyes in one chapter, or book, and green eyes in another.
3. What drew you to the subject of Mixed Messages?
I was taking a walk one day when I spotted an old Victorian. I love old houses and I found myself wondering what those walls would say if they could talk. Little by little, the idea for the book grew and the plot and characters evolved.
4. What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?
They say you should do what you love and love what you do. That’s true for me when it comes to my writing. So, I would say, passion and determination are my main strengths.
5. What do you consider your weakness and what strategies do you use to overcome it?
I have a tendency to start a book too slowly with a scene that doesn’t have enough punch to draw in readers. I think it goes back to the old “Once upon a time, there was . . .” stories of my childhood. But that doesn’t work with today’s readers and I understand that. The solution? My critique group! I’m very fortunate to belong to the Queen City Writers Critique group and the women in that group don’t let me get away with my “slow” starts.
6. Describe your book.
I’ll give you my “elevator” pitch. “A serial killer is on the loose in Westwood. Is it someone close to Ann? With all the mixed messages she’s been getting, she can’t be sure it’s not.”
7. What’s your favorite thing about your book?
My characters! I’ve always been fascinated with psychology. What makes people say and do the things they say and do? Why do two people react differently to the same situation? As I developed the characters for Mixed Messages from bits and pieces of people I’ve known, etc., I needed to get to know and understand them in order to portray them realistically; I needed to get inside their heads.
8. Who is your favorite character in your book?
That’s a tough question. I guess, if I have to choose, it would be Olivia. She’s the seventy-nine year old owner of the old Victorian and she lives in the upstairs apartment with her son while Ann and her family live downstairs. Olivia has lived a long time, been through a lot and yet she has a wonderful outlook on life and a great sense of humor.
9. What was your favorite scene to write?
I enjoyed writing the scenes with Ann’s children, Danielle and Davey. They lightened up the book with the things they said and did. And they made me laugh.
10. What was the hardest scene to write?
The scene where Ann is attacked by an intruder was probably the most difficult to write. I can’t say anymore about that without giving away what happens in the book. But, if I’ve piqued your curiosity, I hope you’ll order a copy of Mixed Messages.
Chris, thanks for inviting me to be your guest. It’s been fun!
Patricia Gligor lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. She enjoys reading mystery/suspense novels, touring and photographing old houses and traveling, especially to the ocean to see lighthouses. She has worked as an administrative assistant, the sole proprietor of a resume writing service and the manager of a sporting goods department for a local retail chain but her passion has always been writing fiction. Mixed Messages is the first novel in her Malone Mystery Series.
Visit her website at http://pat-writersforum.blogspot.com/.
Blurb for Mixed Messages
There are at least twenty to thirty active serial killers in the United States at any given time. There’s one on the loose on the west side of Cincinnati.
Ann Kern struggles with several issues. Her primary concern is her marriage which, like her west side neighborhood, is in jeopardy. Her husband is drinking heavily and his behavior toward her is erratic.
Ann dismisses a psychic’s warning that she is in danger. But, when she receives a series of ominous biblical quotes and several strange and frightening events occur, she grows nervous and suspicious of everyone, including her own husband.
Mixed Messages is available at: