Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Musings from the Mind of Author Pat Dale

Today author Pat Dale is back as a guest blogger with some interesting insights into the mind of the fiction author. Welcome back, Pat!

What do you write?
I write a variety of genres; romance, romantic suspense, sagas, psychological suspense, but there’s a hint of romance in almost everything I write.
Why do you choose the genres you do?
I’ve never figured that out. My first effort was a mainstream novel that went on and on. It involved a lonely man’s quest for a proper companion and spoke of romance, though larger themes such as life and death got in the way of the romantic side of the story. After that, I wrote a group of funny romances, a couple of romantic suspense novels, and a smattering of non-romance books. Now I’m concentrating on mysteries but they also have that hint of romance in them. Can’t get away from it! LOL
What made you first want to be a writer?
I started writing while in college, but my music got in the way and I didn’t heed my English Profs who told me I should be a fiction author. Forty years later, I slowed down a bit and smelled the coffee. I’d written the first fifty or sixty pages of half a dozen novels over the years but never finished any of them. Then fifteen years ago, I started writing seriously and haven’t stopped yet. Go figure…
What inspires you?
A beautiful sunrise or sunset. A rainy day when the water drops spatter over the sidewalk. A girl’s smile. A boy’s absentminded shuffle down the street. You name it and I get inspiration from it.
What kicks the brain into gear when you have writer’s block?
Writer’s block usually occurs when I’ve written myself into a corner and it doesn’t play forward. If I stop and wait, I’ll get back on track. Sometimes I have to go to something else and get my mind totally off what I’ve been working on. Often, it’s my dips in mood that I mistake for writer’s block. I have very high highs and very low lows, and that affects my work more than anything else. I hate the lows but it’s a part of my system and allows me to have those highs where everything comes together like some kind of magic.
Who is your favorite character you have created?
My favorite female character is Molly Dennison, from that first book, yet to be published. She epitomizes my idea of an admirable heroine, brought to a sorry position by factors beyond her control, yet she lets nothing or nobody hold her down. Literally an Unsinkable Molly Brown.
My favorite male character is Daniel Quinn, a detective I’m still polishing for the mysteries in my new St. Louis Blues series, the first of which (TOCCATA) will be released in May. He’s a lovable rogue with disparate talents for jazz and detecting, along with an uncanny ability to attract women who can’t resist his charm.
Is there any genre you want to try, but haven’t yet?
Just one. I’ve always wanted to write western stories, ala Zane Grey. Maybe some day, but at my age it’ll have to be soon. LOL
What do you hope readers will take away from your stories?
A sense of enjoyment and satisfaction from a story well told.
What’s your latest news and do you have anything releasing soon?
Good news; I’m still alive and kicking. On a more serious note, I have a suspense saga, set in the eastern Missouri Ozarks that came out in January. The Evil Within is definitely not romance and contains vicious scenes, not for the faint of heart, including violent rape. The story of a soldier back from war to recuperate from PTSD, hoping to find peace and quiet in his little home town. Instead, he finds the same evil in his town, his family, and in his own heart that he’d experienced in Iraq.
Where can we find you on the web?
My website is: but it’s a bit long in the tooth, due for a makeover very soon.
I have a new website: that will be up and running by the middle of the year. It will be dedicated to mystery and non-romance writing.
I also have an ongoing blog at: where I opine on various topics on a more or less regular basis.
I invite all of you to drop by any of the sites to see where my dysfunctional brain has taken me recently.
Ah, who knows the idiosyncrasies of the human mind?
Thanks, Pat! It's great to find out what makes an author tick and pick up a few helpful hints along the way!
--KSR Writer


  1. Detective Daniel Quinn sounds fascinating. Who can resist jazz? Best of luck on the series, Pat.

  2. As usual, Pat gives a thoughtful, warm-hearted interview. He's a good writer, too. His new mystery series taking place in New Orleans sounds marvelous. The next Alvarez Family Mystery in part takes place there, too. There's something about the Big Easy, isn't there?

  3. Boy, Pat! You're prolific! Nice interview, too.

  4. You are prolific, Pat. I enjoyed reading your interview.

  5. A writer who writes! You write romance because you're still in love with your wife, darlin'! A wondrous thing to see which flavors every thing you write. Elementary, my dear Watson!