Inside the Literary Mind of Patricia Sands

My motivation for writing the series is to encourage people to realize life is full of potential at every age and to be open to new challenges and changes.
Patricia Sands lives in Toronto, Canada, when she isn’t somewhere else. An admitted travel fanatic, she can pack a bag in a flash and be ready to go anywhere … particularly the south of France.

Her award-winning debut novel The Bridge Club was published in 2010 and her second novel, The Promise of Provence was an Amazon Hot New Release in April 2013, a USA Best Book 2013 Finalist and a 2013 Finalist in Literary Fiction, National Indie Excellence Awards. In 2015, eLit Books Silver Award (Literary Fiction) ~ and ~ eLit Books Gold Award (Travel Fiction).

Due to tremendous reader response, The Promise of Provence became Book 1 in the Love In Provence series. Promises To Keep ~ Book 2 was released in Summer 2014. I Promise You This ~ Book 3 was released in May 17, 2016. The series explores a mid-life coming of age and allows readers to lose themselves in the beauty of the south of France without leaving home. Patricia was invited to join the Lake Union imprint (Women’s Fiction) of Amazon Publishing in January 2015.

Celebrating the rewarding friendships and bonds women share, her stories examine the challenges life often throws in our paths. Location features prominently in all of her novels.

Her philosophy is that it’s never too late to begin something new, to seize each day and be a possibilitarian! As the saying goes, just do it! Hearing from readers (both men and women, from ages 20 to 84) is her greatest reward.

Today I am interviewing Patricia Sands. A reviewer says of her work: Patricia writes about sometimes difficult life issues and the true romance of love in all its forms. I Promise You This challenged my thoughts and my perceptions as it made me smile, made me cry and made my heart sing.
Patricia Sands

Question: Tell me about your newest book and what was the inspiration behind your writing it?

Patricia: My newest book, I Promise You This, is the final part of the Love In Provence trilogy. The protagonist is a 55-year-old woman from Toronto, Katherine Price, whose life suddenly fell apart in The Promise of Provence, the first book. Through unplanned circumstances she finds herself in the south of France and a new life begins to unfold for her in the second book, Promises to Keep.

In I Promise You This, the reality of the choices Kat is making becomes clear and she is faced with decisions that will change her life forever. She moves from thinking her life has dead-ended to discovering a whole new world of possibilities … kind of a coming-of-age story in mid-life. My motivation for writing the series is to encourage people to realize life is full of potential at every age and to be open to new challenges and changes. Getting older doesn’t mean you stop having adventures and going in different directions in life. The story is also my love letter to France!

 

Question: Why and when did you decide to become a writer?

Patricia: It actually happened quite by accident! Ten years ago, I began writing a book about my real-life Bridge Club, strictly for our little group. We’ve all been friends since we were in our twenties, some even earlier. A few friends began to read bits and pieces of what I had written and encouraged me to publish, saying their book clubs would want to read it. They felt I was telling women’s stories that should be shared. So that’s how the journey to publishing began. The Bridge Club was published in 2010 and an exciting new career began for me in my sixties.

 

Question: What book has been the greatest influence on you and your writing and why?

Patricia: There are many books that have influenced me in different ways. I’m an avid reader and there are many talented writers who constant influence and inspire me.

However, the one book that definitely gave me the courage to publish my work is Stephen King’s “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.” It was recommended at so many writing workshops that I took in the beginning and I always recommend it now to new writers.

 

Question: Where do you find ideas for your books and characters?

Patricia: I grew up in small towns in Ontario and Quebec.  Toronto is now my primary home. After university I went to Europe for a year (1967) with friends and fell in love with travel and with France in particular. That experience has influenced my writing tremendously and during the past twenty years my husband and I have spent a great deal of time in the south of France.

The Promise of Provence was researched when we lived in Antibes on the Cote d’Azur in 2011 for five months. We have returned every year since in order for me to do research and develop my stories for the Love in Provence series.

In a nutshell, my inspiration comes from travel, watching people, reading whenever possible and listening to the amazing stories that surround us in life.

 

Question: How would you describe your writing style?

Patricia: Since I write women’s fiction, I try to write stories that will speak to women of all ages. However, I definitely write to an older demographic and those women are happy to discover a main character who is over fifty. One message I hope I pass on with my work is to encourage people to follow their dreams and not be afraid to try something new no matter what their age.

It’s fun to write about women who discover they are stronger than they thought they were. There are adventures waiting for all of us, if we take a leap of faith and look for them. We should all be possibilitarians!

I am a simple storyteller. I hope my stories attest to the power of friendship and the possibilities in life that are out there for each and every one of us. Travel is a constant part of my life and location and settings are characters in their own way in my stories. I also hope my stories entertain and inspire in one way or another and encourage others to see the world … even if it is purely from the pages of books.

 

Question: What do you consider the most difficult part of writing a book?

Patricia: No question, for me the most difficult part is finishing the story … getting to the point where I write “The End” and mean it! It seems there is always more story to tell. Once that first draft is finished I find it very difficult to stop going back and tweaking. But that’s where the editing process comes in. I love working with editors and going back into the narrative to make the story the very best it can be.

 

Question: What are your current projects?

Patricia: I am in the middle of writing a stand-alone novel that is scheduled for release on October 24, 2017. Although I began as an indie author, last year Amazon’s Lake Union Publishing (their women’s fiction imprint) signed me to a contract for the Love In Provence series.

After I finish this new novel, I plan to write another trilogy carrying on with that series. Readers write me regularly asking for more about those characters and I would love to deliver that to them. Readers are what make writing so satisfying!

I am now represented by Pamela Harty of The Knight Agency and look forward to new projects.

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