Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Author Interview: PATTI SHENBERGER

Author Interview by A.J. Llewellyn
1. Hi Patti and welcome to the Divas’ Den! My first question to you is that I know you are a Devine Destinies author. Your books up to this point have a lovely, dreamy quality. They are contemporary paranormal romance novels with a throwback feel. You now have a new 12-part series starting at eXtasy Books on August 15 based on the zodiac signs. This sounds very intriguing. Will you be continuing in this genre or is this a whole different type of work for you?

Thanks AJ for the lovely words about my paranormal books. There is always going to be a soft spot in my heart for a ghost hero. Now The Zodiac Club will all be contemporary, but with a new twist for me, more heat, more erotic. I’ve always done a softer, less sexy book up till now and I’m going to throw caution to the wind, and full steam ahead.

2. Why did you switch from Devine Destines to the “mother” imprint eXtasy Books for this series?

I was going back and forth with my editor Jay about writing a series for them and eXtasy Books seemed the better fit, especially since I was amping up the heat levels. I never thought Jay would say go for it, but she did. And I’m very glad she took the chance on me!

3. You sold your first book, Womb for Rent in 2007. What was that like for you and how did it come about? I love the title by the way!

Actually I sold Womb For Rent way back in 1998, but RWA recognized me as a published author when I reached the qualifications set by them for making over $1500.00 in royalties on my own. So October 31, 2007 I received a call saying I had made it! Womb came about after watching Baby Boom, the old movie with Diane Keaton and Sam Shepherd. I started writing and never stopped till it was finished. It was the second book I ever wrote. Thanks, I love the title as well. It does make people do a double take when you tell them it. They lean forward and say “What was that first word again?”

4. Your DD novel The Captain’s Wench received wonderful reviews and seems a delightful play on the 1940s comedies like Topper and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir…any chance of a sequel for Meg and Captain London?

The Captain’s Wench definitely came about because of my love for The old black and white Ghost and Mrs. Muir movie. I absolutely adore that movie! I’ve never seen Topper though. (G) You know I was just thinking today about how to make it a sequel. To keep Captain London and Meg in the picture and yet bring in a new hero and heroine. You never know, maybe someday it’ll be out there.

5. Go for it, Patti! Your novel The Laird’s Lady also has an old ghost…and a smelly dog! What poor creature inspired the smelly dog?

Wow, that’s a good question and boy have you done your homework on me. Should I be scared (G)?

AJ says: Yes! LOL

I really don’t have any clue why I put Algee in there, but he blended in so perfectly, I left him. And his being scared of Laird MacLay didn’t hurt either. It only brought out Devin’s desire to protect him.

6. Have you had any ghostly encounters yourself…if so, what happened?
Actually yes I have. I took care of my great grandmother from the time she was 96 till she passed away in our home (in my home office where I’m currently typing this) till she was 99 on May 25th, 2003. (Yesterday was 6 years) When she passed, I had the room redone. New carpet, paint, office furniture, you name it. Then about a week after the carpet was installed it developed spots. I would clean, they would come back, I would clean, new spots different places would appear.

This went on for about two months until one day I finally sat on the floor in the middle of the room and said “Nonnie, enough is enough. I love you, I miss you, but you’re killing me in carpet cleaning.” Never again did a spot appear. I kid you not.
Another thing we had happen for probably a year after she died was we could be upstairs (we have a quad level house) and you would hear the front door open and close in the living room. My two dogs would run like maniacs downstairs and sit at the door. By the time I got there, the door was shut, locked and deadbolted just like I had left it.

This happened to me on numerous occasions, to my hubby and to my then 19 year olf daughter. She freaked out one night as she was talking on the phone to a friend and we were out. She heard the door open and close, the dogs go flying downstairs and nothing. So she walked downstairs and told her friend she had to hang up and call us. She was literally terrified as the dogs were still sitting there wagging their tails at nothing. We were about two blocks from the house when she called in tears.

It later became a joke that “Nonnie had come home.” It did stop and you know, I miss it. Nonnie and Papa (my great grandfather) raised me from the age of 3 months after my mother gave me to them. My mother was a widow at age 18 and had no idea what to do with a baby. Also my mothers next boyfriend really didn’t want to deal with a child that wasn’t his. So I owe my entire life to my great grandparents and really miss them to this day.

7. What a great story...I smell a book here...and not a smelly one, either! Do you write every day? What is your routine like?

I try to write every day. Some days I do much better than other days. This week is hard as my son is home on leave from the Army and when he goes back this coming Saturday, he will be getting ready to deploy overseas. I’m trying to spend as much time as I can with him without smothering him (he’s 24). I also have been known to do writing weekends where I produce 40 pages in two and a half days. Not a good thing, but I know I can do it if need be.
8. Who and what are your biggest influences as an author?
My great grandparents are huge influences on me. Papa always said the only ones opinion who matters is your own and he was right. You can’t let other people dictate who you can and can’t be. My family is also a big influence. I would never want to do anything to hurt them in anyway. God knows, I’ve embarrassed them many times over though (G)
9. LOL! Is there anything in fiction you would never want to write?
Truthfully there is so much more out there that I haven’t written. I don’t know if there is or not. I’m open to all suggestions if you have any.
10. I asked one of your closest friends, Stephani Hecht this question so I feel compelled to punish you with it, too. What was your favorite toy when you were growing up?

I knew this question was coming and yup, here it is. Well I didn’t have a sock monkey growing up but I did have a woolie. Man, I know I shouldn’t be saying this but I had a blanket that I literally picked into little fuzzy pieces and then carried it around with me.

Everywhere I went, it went. My great grandfather traveled for General Motors (when it was solvent) and we were in New York for an auto show and had dinner at a very classy restaurant that overlooked Niagara Falls. I was about 6 at the time. I had my woolie in my hand and sat it on the table top to put my napkin in my lap.

The waiter almost had a coronary thinking a bug was on the table and was trying to get it without any of us seeing. So I grabbed my woolie and put it in my fist and he freaked. Then Papa had to explain what it was. After that I wasn’t allowed to take it with me. To this day I still love knitted or crocheted afghans because of how soft they are and you can pick at them. I have one on my bed right now that I’ve had for over 20 years. I kid you not.

11. Wow Patti, that is such a sweet story I can't even run with it...however, you and Stephani do have a thing for yarns now, don't you? Ahem...please tell me, how does your hubby feel about your books? Does he read them? Does he act out the naughty bits with you? Come on you can tell us…

My hubby supports me tremendously in my writing, but is not above the “Where’s the money?” question. He does not read them, but does read the dedication since I have dedicated a book to him. And no alas he does not act out the dirty parts with me. But he has given me ideas.

Last night we had a family dinner with both kids here and we were playing Trivial Pursuit and somehow the subject was Cameron Diaz. Holy cow, he has the hots for her so bad, and was saying he’d love to eat crackers in bed with her. I thought the kids were going to hurl! They were mortified at the thought of their father in bed with her. My answer, “If she lets you in, she has to keep you. I don’t want you back.” (G)

12. What is the quality you like most in a man? What is the quality you least like (apart from crackers with Cameron)?

I love a man who is strong and protective, but also knows how to treat a woman. My hubby did everything for me when I was going thru chemo for colon cancer. I didn’t do a thing but go back and forth to doctor appointments and treatment for10 months. He did laundry, cooking, cleaning the house, caring for the animals, and even cared for my aunt’s cat here in our house when she went on vacation. I don’t know what I would have done without him. He is my hero, my rock and the love of my life! As to what I dislike, that would be a man who uses physical, emotional abuse and mental abuse to get what he wants from a woman.

On behalf of Dark Diva Reviews I want to thank Patti Shenberger for stopping by today. To learn more about this awesome author, please check out her links:


Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Great interview, both of you. Patti, your new series sounds wonderful!

Liz said...

Hi Patti -

Great interview. Good luck with your Zodiac series!

Stephani Hecht said...

Patti and AJ--two of my favorite people. I had so much fun reading this interview.

Anonymous said...

Loved the interview! I wish I could have a ghostly contact. It would be fun! Cheryl

Patti Shenberger said...

Thanks everyone. The interview was a blast to do.

AllureVanSanz said...

I can't wait for the series. I'm sure it is going to be awesome.

Excellent, invasive interview, all that was missing was the underwear question.

Allure Van Sanz

Stephanie Secrest said...

Fun interview, Patti! :) Loved your experiences with the ghost of Nonnie. Thought it was incredibly sweet too.

Lots of good luck with the Zodiac series! :)

Stephanie Secrest

Carol Jo Kachmar said...

Great interview, Patti and interesting questions, A.J. I particularly loved the story about your great-grandmother and father, Patti. Best of luck with the Zodiac series.