Hey folks! Today I’m happy to introduce you to Patrice Locke and her story Exit Signs!
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As a journalist, Patrice Locke wrote a lot of stories with unhappy and even tragic endings. Facts are facts, and a writer doesn’t mess with facts.
But fiction is another world. Patrice began writing novels, where she could control the endings and make them as happy as she wants. The best thing about fiction, she says, is having time to think before her characters speak, so they can say the things most of us only come up with after the perfect moment has passed.
She loves to write, read, and watch romantic comedies where life always turns out the way it should. Her only obsessive relationships are with semicolons and Oxford commas.
Though she doesn’t like to brag, Patrice is an award-winning artist. She won a gold and diamond watch when she was 13 for decorating a turkey drumstick bone to look like Batman. Alas, that was her last recognition in the fine arts.
Patrice lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the blue sky is brilliant, the air is thin, and the vistas are breathtaking. She is none of those things, which is one reason she enjoys living among them.
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~ * ~ TOPIC du JOUR ~ * ~
I asked Patrice Locke, “How did you get your start in writing and what fuels you to continue?” and here is the response.
“Exit Signs” is a romantic comedy that’s been brewing in my mind, along with other stories, for a long time. I always knew I’d write, and I always have, though the formats and genres have shifted.
Because I always enjoyed writing, I studied journalism at Michigan State and then I worked as a reporter for a number of years.
I especially loved writing feature stories about such things historic buildings, haunted houses, World War II secret code writers, and family lore. I even got to interview saint Mother Teresa and singer Bonnie Raitt, though not at the same time or about the same things.
When you’re writing all day long, it’s hard to write all night too, so I didn’t seriously pursue fiction writing.
I switched to teaching so that my schedule corresponded to my children’s school calendar and I found that even though teaching is challenging, I can switch that off in my brain and focus on writing in my off-hours, so that’s what I do. The bonus is that in writing fiction I get to use my imagination and also my reporter-developed research skills for background information. I get the best of both worlds, and I have the power to give all my fictional characters exactly the ending they deserve. I choose happy endings whenever possible. It’s fulfilling and rewarding.
The hardest thing about fiction writing for me is saying goodbye to the characters I have created. I usually end up wishing they were real.
One thing that fuels me right now is the support for my work from others. When editor Caroline Tolley at Soul Mate Publishing first expressed interest in “Exit Signs,” I felt validated, and that’s something every writer needs to find inside first, but some outside encouragement is always helpful. I also get lots of encouragement and support from online writers’ groups and individual critique partners.
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Tracy Price has a documentary-style life until rockstar Jesse Elliot rewrites her script and takes the wheel to drive her crazy.
In her quest to find a writer missing since the 1930’s, Tracy thinks she has discovered exactly how to handle her new relationship. But she may be listening to the wrong voice.
Then Tracy and Jesse find out they’ve both been keeping some big secrets, and the truth may ruin everything.
Will sharing the missing writer’s story open both their hearts?
~ * ~ EXCERPT ~ * ~
Jesse raked some strands of his blue-black hair away from his forehead. The hair fell right back onto the shoreline of his face like a wave on a beach. I thought of the cliché movie scene where the action cuts to an agitated ocean to symbolize sex. I cleared my throat, and ordered myself to get a grip.
Instead, I surprised us both by asking him my name. “Tracy Price?”
“Yes.” He confirmed my identity. “It’s nice to meet you.”
He was all-business; I was all over the place.
This was how a romance novel would begin, and, as the designated hero, he was free to relax and be two-dimensional for now. I’d provide the script because I thought I knew the genre, but I had it wrong from the start because, on second thought, he was from another planet. He had to be. And if this was science fiction, anything could happen. Aliens are tricky.
When he sat next to me I wanted to leap up and run away. Instead, I asked, “How do you like Albuquerque?” Very original, Tracy. What I wondered was, How does it feel to look like you do?
“I like it,” he said, answering both my questions. “I like it so far.”
I felt a surge of power. “I bet. And how long are you staying?” Or, more to the point, would it be too forward of me to sit on your lap?
“I can’t say yet. Maybe six weeks? This was kind of an unexpected trip.” Bingo. Both questions addressed.
This was working. Let me know when you decide about the lap thing. I covered my mouth for a fake cough to clear my head.
We were silent. I was contemplating his perfection. Maybe he was, too.
~ * ~ BUY ~ * ~
~ * ~ GIVEAWAY ~ * ~
Patrice Locke will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. CLICK HERE to enter to Win! Readers, follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates and places can be found here: Tour Schedule
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Patrice Locke, thank you for stopping by today!
Love & blessings to all! ❤