Interview with Pat Bertram, Author of Daughter Am I

Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. Second Wind Publishing liked her style and published four of Bertram’s books: ‘Light Bringer’, ‘Daughter Am I’, ‘More Deaths Than One’, and ‘A Spark of Heavenly Fire.’

What is the main premise of Daughter Am I?

When twenty-five-year-old Mary Stuart learns she inherited a farm from her recently murdered grandparents — grandparents her father claimed had died before she was born — she becomes obsessed with finding out who they were and why someone wanted them dead. Along the way she accumulates a crew of feisty octogenarians-former gangsters and friends of her grandfather. She meets and falls in love Tim Olson, whose grandfather shared a deadly secret with her great-grandfather. Now Mary and Tim need to stay one step ahead of the killer who is desperate to dig up that secret.

How long did it take you to write it?

I developed the idea for Daughter Am I in a single day, but I had to finish the book I was working on at the time, so I didn’t actually begin writing Daughter Am I until several months after I got the initial idea. It took me a year to write, and then another year to edit.

Who’s your favorite character in it?

That is a hard question! All the octogenarian gangsters in Daughter Am I are my favorites in their own way. There’s Teach, who sells bullets he claims came from the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral. There’s Kid Rags, who still works as a forger. There’s Happy, a trigger-happy ex-wheelman for the mob, whose hands shake so much he can barely aim let alone shoot. That’s only three of the octogenarians — there are seven feisty old gangsters all together. Well, six gangsters and one ex-showgirl.

What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently collaborating on writing a novel online with eight other Second Wind authors. We each write from the POV of a different character, and follow that character throughout the story. In the first story, a little girl’s body was found in the desert, but who killed her? We won’t know until the book is finished! You can find this project at http://rubiconranch.wordpress.com I hope you will check it out!

What is something that surprised you about being an author?

The most surprising part for me is that I know how to write. For many years, my life was shadowed by the sadness of having no innate talent for writing. I’m not being modest — I really couldn’t write anything worth reading. When I decided to write despite that lack, I set out to learn everything I could about developing a readable story. Most of the how-to books confused the heck out of me — the authors would talk about rising conflicts and motivation/reaction units, and I didn’t have a clue what they meant. It’s only recently that I realized I actually know what I’m doing.

What one word describes how you feel when you write?

Intent.

Who designed this cover?

I did! I took the photo while I was out walking one day, and then tweaked the color. I’m pleased with the result.

Which do you use most for writing on, laptop or desktop?

Okay, I admit it: I am a closet pencilphile. Seems silly, I know, in this electronic age, but I write in pencil on loose-leaf paper. There. I’ve outed myself. I feel so much better now.

I am not being contrary. I do have reasons. I have a better mind/writing connection using pencil and paper than I have with a keyboard; a mechanical pencil is easier on my fingers than pen, and paper is easier on my eyes than a computer screen. But I do use a lap top for blog posts and interviews and such.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

For me, fiction writing is largely a matter of thinking, of trying to see the situation, of figuring out the right word or phrase that puts me where I need to be so the words can flow. I can do this better late at night, in bed, clipboard propped against my knees or on a pillow than sitting at a desk. If, as Mel Gibson said, “A movie is like public dreaming,” then novels are like shared dreaming, and where better to dream than in a comfortable bed?

Your favorite quote:

“Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” — Goethe

If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why?

I’d take the Luck O’ the Irish. With a bit of luck, I could get whatever I wanted, including gold. And anyway, luck weighs a heck of a lot less than a pot of gold and is easier to carry with you.

Where can your readers stalk you?

I have a website — http://patbertram.com — where I post important information, including the first chapters of each of my books, but the best way to keep up with me, my writing, and my life on a daily basis is by way of Bertram’s Blog. http://ptbertram.wordpress.com

I’m also at Facebook, Good Reads, Squidoo, Twitter

All my books are available both in print and in ebook format. You can get them online at Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, B&N and Smashwords. Smashwords is great! The books are available in all ebook formats, including palm reading devices, and you can download the first 20-30% free!

4 Comments

Filed under Author Interviews, books, writing

4 responses to “Interview with Pat Bertram, Author of Daughter Am I

  1. Really interesting interview, Pat. I enjoyed learning a little more about you. DAUGHTER I AM sounds interesting, too. I love quirky characters. Good luck with it and all your endeavors.

  2. Luck weighs less than gold. Very nice!

  3. You amaze me–I thought you were a natural writer and I’m so impressed you developed into one through intent. Wow!

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