It makes me so happy to welcome my writing buddy and one of my favourite short story writers, Patsy Collins to my blog this week.
Thanks for inviting me, Suzy … and for the very green milkshake. It looks … different.
Suzy/ The first story is unusual, almost like two stories in one – it works well; what gave you the idea to do that, as it’s something I haven’t seen before?
Patsy/ I’m interested in the way one small action, or a slight change of attitude can have a big impact on our lives because they influence everything which happens next. With Black and White, I was able to watch as Felicity made one bad decision which gradually resulted in tragedy and then to give her another chance to do things differently.
Suzy/ So far, this is the third collection of short stories you’ve published. How do you choose which to include?
Patsy/ Having a theme helps. I do write a lot of stories which involve plants, gardens or gardeners in some way, but sticking with those narrows down the choice a little. Some of the stories in this collection are favourites from those published in magazines or placed in competitions. Others were written specially with the collection in mind. I wanted to provide a good variety of subjects so that the reader didn’t need green fingers to enjoy it.
Suzy/ Some of these stories are a bit scary, others funny, and some happy or sad. One of my favourites is Picture Perfect, and they’re all lovely stories in their own way. How long does it take you to get a story ready to be published?
Patsy/ That varies a lot! I have come up with an idea in the morning, written it the same day and sent it off the next after a quick read through for typos. I don’t like to rush them like that though (I only did it because the story was topical – and it paid off!)
Often I have most of an idea, but it takes a few sessions to work everything out. However long it takes to write, I usually wait until I’ve written something else, then read through it again. That gives me enough distance to be a bit more objective. If I’m still not entirely sure, I put it up for our lovely review group to have a look at.
I’m glad you like Picture Perfect. That was inspired by real events. Gary, my lovely husband, is a professional photographer. Quite often peculiar things happen when he picks up a camera. On one job someone parked right in his way and began unloading piano pieces from a car. I can’t witness something like that and not note it down for a story.
Suzy/ Which is your favourite magazine to write short stories for and why?
Patsy/ That’s a totally unfair question! I absolutely love them all … but I love whichever one last accepted a story the most.
Suzy/ I like the quirky covers of the story collections. Do you design them yourself?
Patsy/ No, I have a man for that! Gary produces all my book covers, either from stock images we buy, or from his own photographs. The purple writing was my idea though. (You’d already worked that out, hadn’t you?)
Suzy/ Have you any more collections in the pipeline?
Patsy/ There will be more in the Garden series. Through the Garden Gate is next. I’ve considered doing a romance collection, but at the moment I’m working on another novel.
Thanks, Patsy for popping in for the interview. It’s great to learn more about you and your lovely stories.
You’re welcome, Suzy and I’m so sorry about spilling my drink … I hope it comes out of the carpet. No, no please don’t worry about mixing me another. I’m fine honest!
You can buy Over the Garden Fence here
To find out more about Patsy, visit her website Go on, go on, I know you’d like another, here you go now, drink it up…..