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March 29, 2012

Get to Know: Patti Yager Delagrange - Moon Over Alcatraz

A big Plotting Princess Kiss-Kiss to Patti!
Patti Yager Delagrange

How did you get from your day job to writing romance?  I love this question.  In 2009 my daughter came home from school and told me that her friend asked her why her mommy didn’t work.  I had been a stay-at-home mom since becoming pregnant with my son in 1993.  This incident made me pause and think about my life.  I had more free time since my two kids were older and a bit more independent, so I went to the Apple store, bought a MacBook and wrote my first novel.  

What are your three favorite books of all time? Bridges of Madison County, The Notebook, and The Horse Whisperer.

Morning, afternoon, or evening person? I love the evening when I can relax and be with the family, watch my favorite television programs and just chill.

Music--with or without? What kind? I love silence when I’m writing or reading.  I love silence period.  I listen to almost all my music when I’m riding my bike during “exercise time” every day and in the car.  I love Chris Brown, Chris Botti, Rob Thomas, Maroon Five, Justin Bieber.  I’m all over the map with music!

First or third POV? My first three books are in first person POV and the fourth is in third person POV.  I’m not sure yet which one is my favorite.

How's tricks? Do you juggle multiple projects? I’m editing my fourth novel right now along with writing the query letter and synopsis.  I just received a free critique of the first fifty pages of my third novel and am revising that.  And I was just assigned my editor with Wild Child Publishing for my first book.

What's harder: beginning, middle, or the end? The beginning is the hardest for me because I don’t have my groove on, as I like to call it.  Until I really get going on a novel it’s a bit of a struggle.

Revisions: Love 'em or hate 'em? I enjoy revising because it always makes the book so much better.  I get a lot of
laughs out of reading my first drafts.  They can be so goofy.  But during revisions I get the chance to make the book meatier and so much more interesting - characters and scenes become more real.

How did you come up with that title?  Best advice anybody ever gave you? There is a scene in the beginning of the book where the two main characters are in a romantic situation and she looks out the window that faces the ocean and Alcatraz.  She makes a comment about how the moon looks like a medallion hanging in the sky over the island of Alcatraz.  It stuck in my head and I loved the way it sounded.  So I titled the book Moon Over Alcatraz.
The best advice I’ve ever received would have to be, “write what you want to read”.  I try my best to write books like those I pull off the shelves at the book store for my own reading pleasure.

Fill in the blank:  My ideal fictional hero would think me gorgeous no matter... No matter whether I have freckles sprinkling my cheeks and forehead, and a bump on the bridge of my nose.

What’s your favorite dessert? I love vanilla ice cream with fudge sauce.  

Do you write at home or someplace else? I write in my home, sitting on the couch, in the family room, with my favorite chocolate lab, Jack, sitting next to me, keeping me warm.

What's your favorite type of hero/heroine and why? I love a sensitive hero.  I’m really not into the “macho” male with the six-pack abs and the gruff demeanor.  Give me a really emotional guy any day.

As far as a heroine, I love strong women with strong views who aren’t afraid to say what they need to say to a man or a woman.  But at the same time they should be caring and sensitive and emotional

Three days later we were standing at the edge of a hole in the ground at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Hayward, the silence so thick, the insides of my ears buzzed like a distant swarm of angry bees. Mr. Peralta and another gentleman stood off to the side while Weston and I held hands next to a tiny casket.
Weston had chosen a simple mahogany box with gold handles, a bouquet of white lilies graced the top of the small box. I knelt down and laid a kiss on the smooth wood then wiped off the tears that had fallen on top. Weston joined me, placing a single red rose in the middle of the lilies.
He helped me up and we stood side-by-side in silence, my guilt over her death like a stone in my empty belly. I missed everything I’d dreamed would be happening right now, yearned for all that could have been.
Weston nodded at the man standing next to Mr. Peralta and our baby was slowly lowered into the gaping maw. She reached the bottom, and a bird landed on the rich brown dirt piled next to the grave. It pecked around, chirping a little song then flew off — as if saying goodbye. My heart squeezed inside my chest.
I picked up a small handful of soft dirt. “Goodbye, Christine,” I whispered, throwing it on top of her casket.
Weston wrapped his arm around my waist and pulled me in close to his side. Why her? Why my baby? Was this supposed to make sense? And, if so, to whom?
We drove home in silence. No words existed to express my grief.

Find Patti here:


Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Patti and welcome to the PP show.

Your excerpt is fascinating. What led you to writing this story?

Debbie Gould said...

Great interview and love the excerpt. Nice going.

Sylvia said...

Wow, you had me hooked. I wanted to keep reading. Sad, but beautiful excerpt. How many books have you written Patti? I see your name all over the place, so we must be on the same loops. Great to have you here at PP.

Sylvia McDaniel

Alisha said...

Oh..that excerpt is so painful but so beautiful. Wonderful to meet you, Patti.

Pamela Stone said...

Hi Patti. Welcome to the PP blog. Great excerpt. And congrats on the sale!

Brinda said...

Hi Patti! I've seen you around the blogosphere and it's nice to get to know more about you!

Patricia said...

We are all so bombarded with negative news and such - part of that being Amber Alerts and child murders. It got me to thinking how the heck does a family get through such an experience. I wanted to write about that, even though thankfully I've never had to go through such a thing.

Sasha Summers said...

Hi Patti - I love what you said about your daughter. My kids love that I 'don't work' so I'm always available to them.
Nice to meet you :)

Patricia said...

Hi Sylvia! We must be on the same loops. I've written four books. My first won't actually come out until later this year because I was just assigned an editor with Wild Child Publishing. Moon Over Alcatraz is my second book and it's pubbed by Musa Publishing. They were born in October and they're really very organized and so impressive with how much promotion and connection they have with all their authors. I love them! I'm sending out query letters for my third and fourth novels. I've had several requests for partials but nothing yet!

Patricia said...

Thank you, Debbie, Alisha, Pamela, Briinda, and Sasha for the welcome! I'm flattered to have been asked to be here with the Plotting Princesses. This is cool.

PJ Sharon said...

vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce...ahh...the simple things. I get to know a little more about you every time I read an interview. Good luck with your book!

Liese said...

Hey fellow Musaling! Good luck with your book!

Unknown said...

YAT-YAY-YAY! One of my favorite people visits one of my favorite places. Hi Patti *waving furiously* great interview as usual. Hugs my talented friend.

Patricia said...

Hi Paula, Liese, and Karen! I really enjoy this Plotting Princesses site because I'm able to hear from many people who I see frequently on other loops. And here we are -- all together!
Thank you for stopping by and reading my interview. I'm having a lot of fun!

Anonymous said...

What a great interview, ladies!!

Patricia said...

Thank you, Tessy, for reading the interview. The Plotting Princesses blog site has got it goin' on, man!

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Patti,
Thank you for stopping by. I enjoyed the excerpt! It reminded me of my friends who lost their baby last fall. Very sad. Good luck with all those queries! And good luck with your book!

Liz Lipperman said...

I'm late to the party as usual. I love the excerpt, and like Sylvia said, I wanted to keep reading. Thanks so much for coming on the Princess blog and sharing your story with us. Good luck with both of them as well as the new proposal.

Sheila Seabrook said...

I love these posts because I always learn something new. For instance, Patti, I had never heard the story of how you started writing. That's amazing! Thanks for sharing. :)