INTERVIEW WITH P.C. ZICK
The weather is cooperating for a change and I’m happy to invite you to join me and Patricia Zick on my virtual back porch. It’s the dog days of August so we’re sipping on Texas-sized glasses of sweet peach tea. Zick describes herself as a storyteller no matter what she writes. Many of her novels contain stories of Florida and its people and environment, which she credits as giving her a rich base for her storytelling. Florida’s quirky and abundant wildlife–both human and animal, supply her fiction with tales almost too weird to be believable. I lived in Florida for more than a dozen years so Zick’s locales resonate with me. Each time I open one of her books, I ache for sand between my toes, the susurrus of moss gently swaying and sometimes the roar of a bull ‘gator. With no more ado, here is Patricia…
Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I always had a secret desire to be a writer, but I didn’t dare tell anyone for fear of being laughed out of the room. The vision of me typing madly away at a manual typewriter with a cigarette dangling from my mouth and a glass with two fingers of whiskey next to me lingered on the peripheries of my dreams. Then one summer while on hiatus from teaching high school English, I began writing my first novel. The vision may have inspired me, but in reality I type far too fast to use a manual, I gave up smoking in my thirties, and I write nonsense when I’ve been drinking. So instead, I sat my rear end in the chair and churned out a book that was published by a small publisher in California in 2000. Since then I’ve become an Indie Author and published sixteen books of contemporary fiction, contemporary romance, and nonfiction.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is Mountain Miracles, a contemporary sweet romance set in the Smoky Mountains. It’s the third book in the series. It’s inspired by the setting where I now live and also by the ability of the human spirit to succeed when the past intrudes on the present. It also is inspired by the idea that we don’t get to choose our birth family, but we can make families of our own choosing where the bonds are sometimes much stronger.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
When I really need the muse to visit, I sharpen all my No. 2 pencils, pull out a legal pad and go somewhere away from my office. Then I just start writing. Usually I only write a page or two in longhand, but it’s usually enough to get the ideas flowing again, allowing me to get back to the faster method of writing. I think it’s the ‘erasable’ aspect of doing it this way for a bit. I know that what I write there can definitely be erased or burned, but I find this method works and almost everything I write in this way makes it to the actual work.
What authors or books have influenced you?
I am inspired by authors who use setting as a part of the plot, almost as they would a character. They usually have a deeper theme than what is seen on the surface. And always there is a strong sense of living a life that makes the world better. My favorite authors who have inspired me the most are Barbara Kingsolver, Lisa See, Isabelle Allende, Anita Shreve, Pat Conroy, Wallace Stegner, Carl Hiaasen, John Irving,
What are you working on now?
I am finishing two Christmas romances. Soon I’m going to try a new genre for me: paranormal romance. All of these books are commitments I’ve made to multi-author box sets. Then I’m ready to begin something a little more serious again. The main characters will all be women of a certain mature age. That’s all I can say now because it’s still in very preliminary stages, but I’m looking forward to starting it by the end of the year.
What is your best method when it comes to promoting your books?
Running promos back and forth between my different genres. Last month, I had a good run with my Behind the Love romance series by running one of them free and the others at a discounted price. I’m currently doing the same thing with my Florida Fiction series.
How beneficial is networking to your success?
Networking is an absolute must for the Indie Author. It is encouraging, but it’s also enlightening when other authors share their experiences. The world of publishing is in great flux these days, and staying abreast of the changes is extremely important to be a success.
Do you have any advice for new indie authors? Write, learn, and persevere. Repeat.
What is the best advice you ever acted upon?
Once, when I was still not admitting publicly my writing ambitions, I joined a writer’s group. The leader grew frustrated with all of us wannabes one night because we were all making excuses about why we hadn’t written anything for that session. He threw down his notebook and said what has become my mantra, “Writers write. That’s it. You write or you’re not a writer.” Folks left in a huff and the group soon disbanded. But guess what? I went home, began writing, and soon I finished my first novel. So that’s why my first bit of advice always begins with “Writers write.”
What are you reading now?
I’m beta reading an historical Irish novel right now for a colleague, but on the TBR pile is House of Spirits by Isabelle Allende. I read the book years ago, but I just finished her latest novel The Japanese Lover, and I want to compare how her writing style has evolved over the decades.
What’s next for you as a writer? I’m ready to start writing in different genres. I firmly believe that the only way to grow as a writer is to experiment. I might try a mystery next.
If you were stranded on a desert island name three books you would like to have with you. Why?
That’s tough. I can’t imagine having only three books with me if I was stranded anywhere! The obvious choice would be The Bible because of its influence on the world and cultural standards and because I’ve never read the whole thing. War and Peace – I’ve never read it, and I really don’t know why it’s considered such a classic. And finally, Beach Music by Pat Conroy. It’s just a beautiful book that embraces so many things that I value.
Name one unique thing that few people know about you.
I lived for nine years off the grid with my first husband and young daughter. We didn’t have running water or electricity. We used solar panels, an outhouse, and a tire tube for our shower. It was an experience, but one I’m not interested in repeating. Speaking of repeating…thank you for having me on your virtual back porch, but I’ve finished my peach tea, I’m talked out, and my characters are nagging me to get on page. I’m gone.
I’m Jackie Weger. Thank you for peeking over my shoulder as I interviewed PZ Zick. I hope you enjoyed your visit. Comments welcome. sign up for Accent on Romance Newsletter and never miss FREE and Discounted books, giveaways and Rafflecopters on offer by PC Zick and other members of eNovel Authors at Work.