To Eileen Goudge, with Love

Jan 23, 2015 by

To Eileen Goudge, with Love

Last summer, Eileen Goudge, one of my all-time favorite women’s fiction authors, tagged me on her blog to participate in a Blog Roll. To say I was honored to be tagged doesn’t begin to do it justice. Eileen is an uber-talented, multi-published NYT bestselling novelist, and someone I really admire. Anyone who reads her books knows that she is brilliant, funny and kind. I had a major dilemma. How could I say NO to someone like Eileen Goudge? Yet that’s exactly what I had to do. As I explained to Eileen, since I had no blog, I couldn’t participate. But being the gracious woman she is, Eileen went ahead and tagged me in her post anyway, inviting her readers to check out my work. Her generosity and kindness stunned me, and I promised myself that if and when I ever had a blog, I would return the favor. That’s what today’s blog is all about… saying Thank You! to one of my favorite authors, Eileen Goudge.

Meanwhile, Eileen’s blog roll asked me (Kathleen) to provide five simple answers to five simple questions. Here’s a little about me (Kathleen) and my writing:

WHAT AM I WORKING ON?

I’m researching for my fifth James Bay novel. If you’ve read the first four novels in the series, you’ll remember the restaurant known as Chuck’s Tavern and Grill. This newest book is about Chuck and his adult daughter Katie, who manages the restaurant for her dad. After writing two novels not included in the series (Royal Secrets and The Other Wife), I’m excited to finally be returning to James Bay.

HOW DOES MY WORK DIFFER FROM OTHERS OF ITS GENRE?

I was born and raised in the Midwest of the USA, and my writing reflects Midwestern values. Rather than being big books about big cities, my stories revolve around small towns and the people who live there. The books, smart women’s fiction, draw on readers’ emotions in speaking to stories of family relationships, and of home, friendship, and love.

WHY DO I WRITE WHAT I DO?

I don’t have a choice. The books I write are the only type of books I know how to work with. When I begin a new book, I’m basically writing for myself. I shut myself away in my office and start telling myself a story. Then the creative process takes over. By the end of the book, I’m as surprised as anyone else as to how the storyline evolved.

HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS WORK?

I envy other authors who, when beginning a new novel, have a plot and storyboard to work with. I am a ‘pantster’, and have to feel my way through the story. When I begin to write, I know the beginning, the end, and (if I’m lucky) ‘some things that happen in the middle’. Other than that, I depend on the characters to dictate what will happen, and where the story takes us.

HOW DOES MY WRITING PROCESS NOT WORK? 

Real life gets in the way. We’re human, after all. I’m a very linear person and prefer to write every day (early mornings work best for me, when all my brain cells are firing properly). But as I post this blog, my mother is very ill. She’ll be 92 next month, and was diagnosed with cancer late last fall. I am her primary caretaker, and trying to cope with juggling my schedule to accommodate her needs, the various doctor appointments, etc. But she is worth it. She’s my mom and I love her. Still, there are days that I yearn for the quiet time, when I can once again devote myself to crafting the stories I love.

That wraps up my participation in the blog roll. I hope you enjoyed reading about my writing process. Meanwhile, if you haven’t already, please remember to check out the works of Eileen Goudge. Many of her women’s fiction novels are on my ‘favorite-reads-of-all-time’ list. Eileen’s latest novel, Bones and Roses: Cypress Bay Mystery series (Book One), offers readers a wickedly humorous sleuthing story with a touch of romance. I loved it, and I promise you will too!

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. Catherine Chant

    I’m another one of those people who has to write early in the morning while the brain cells are still fresh! Looking forward to your next James Bay novel!

    • Kathleen Irene Paterka

      Catherine, from one early-morning-author to another, thanks for stopping by to chat. I’m looking forward to my next James Bay novel too. Meanwhile, be sure and check out Eileen’s books. She has a great backlist!

  2. I am a big fan of Eileen Goudge too – the author and the woman. She’s wonderful. Like you, I’m not a big plotter. Sometimes, however, I need to outline the second half if I’m pleased with the first half and love the ending but feel a bit saggy in the middle. I say, whatever you have to do to make it work must be done. XO.

    • Kathleen Irene Paterka

      Hi Meredith, you’re absolutely right re: ‘whatever you have to do to make it work’. And obviously you know what you’re doing. Your outlining process works. Your books are wonderful reads and I never would have guessed that any of them suffered from a ‘saggy middle’. Thanks for stopping by the blog to chat. xxoo ~ K

  3. Janine Kimberley

    Kathleen, Eileen is the first author that I ever wrote to after reading one of her books to compliment her on her writing and book, and I never expected to get a reply, and low and behold I did!! Ever since then I have been a fan of hers and she is even a facebook friend too. I visited the States in August but unfortunately when I was in NYC Eileen was not there otherwise I would have asked if she would have liked to have met for a coffee!! She is such a warm and generous person with her time, and the fact that she does keep in touch with her readers either by social media or email is wonderful, as I’m sure she is a busy lady. I had not heard of you until I read this post, but on Eileen’s recommendation have ordered the first of your books to read.

    Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, and if your books are anything like Eileen’s then you have a new fan. Thank you. Janine from Melbourne, Australia.

    • Kathleen Irene Paterka

      Janine, I wholeheartedly agree with you re: Eileen’s warmth and graciousness in keeping up with her readers and fans via social networking and email. The writing community is a small one, and many authors do not take the time or effort to reach out to other authors. Eileen is not like that. She is kind and generous, and I am blessed to count her as one of my friends. Though (like you), I’ve never met Eileen in person, I feel as if I’ve ‘known’ her all my life. I’m a huge fan of her books, and it’s wonderful to meet another fan of Eileen’s (you). If you’re looking for one of my novels which Eileen specifically enjoyed, I suggest you try FOR I HAVE SINNED (the story of Fr. Greg, a Catholic priest). FOR I HAVE SINNED is the 4th in my James Bay novel series, and Eileen was kind enough to give it a 5-star review. From a writer of Eileen’s caliber, that review meant so much to me. Thank you for getting in touch, and I hope you enjoy my books. Happy reading!

  4. Really enjoyed reading this post and learning more about your writing life. I wish you the very best as you care for your mother. Writing time is precious – but certainly, time caring for loved ones is, too. Love the new website! (Love Eileen Goudge, too!)

    Cheers!

    • Kathleen Irene Paterka

      Julie, thanks much for the compliments about the new website. I’m delighted to finally have the chance to blog, and to share how I feel about Eileen and her work! As for my mother? While medical advances enable people to live longer lives, ours becomes a ‘sandwich’ generation. My grandparents all died while they were in their 70’s, while my mother will be 92 next month. She is very important to me, as is my daughter (33 yrs. old) and her own children (4 yr. old twins). Finding time for all generations, plus my writing, is a daily challenge, but one that I embrace.