Author of Real, Sexy, Laugh Out Loud Romance* **
I met Patricia when we both made the case of San Antonio’s “Listen To Your Mother” show.
I was immediately drawn to her. She is so encouraging and kind, I declared myself her foster child. She’s also very, very funny, so I knew when I asked to her to do this interview it would be a blast.
Also, these interviews may, or may not, just be a way to make my friends talk on the phone with me.
Patricia has written a million books, as well as articles for the American Journal of Nursing and many other publications. The gal is smart and talented. Trust me, she’s my mom. 😉
Liza Dora: “Patricia, I knew for sure we would be friends after we did the TV promo interview for Listen To Your Mother. I’d not brought change for the parking meters outside the Tobin Center so as soon as we cut I took off sprinting out the doors and down the street. You called me as I was running and said the whole cast and television crew was watching me run barefoot down the sidewalk. That’s when I knew.
Patricia W. Fischer: (Laughs.) “I remember that!”
LD: “Talk to me about how you got started writing professionally.”
PWF: “I always loved writing. I was back in school, finishing my bachelor of science in nursing, I already had my associates and was working as a nurse, and I saw that I could write for the school paper and get credit.
So, I wrote something and the paper ran it. I didn’t get paid, but it was my first professional writing experience. I ended up getting my bachelor’s in journalism instead of nursing.”
LD: “Sort of switched gears, then?”
PWF: “Really, I combined the two. I began health writing in the late 1990’s. I thought it would be a good way to transition out of nursing. I was in my 30’s, I had thoughts of raising a family and I wanted to be home with them. I didn’t really want to work pediatric trauma and then go home to my kids.”
LD: “Totally, get that.”
PWF: “There are plenty of women that did, it just wasn’t something I wanted to do.
I thought I’d be making a dollar a word. I’d write a few articles a month, and I’d be fine.
And then the internet started.”
PWF: “And people stopped paying.”
PWF: “So it took me three years, because I was having babies and brainpower was at a minimum.”
LD: “Same. (Laughs.) Still.”
PWF: “Right. So, one day I was sending out pitches on the Association of Healthcare Journalists’ ‘loop’ and I couldn’t remember how to spell ‘subtle’. No matter how I tried to let my fingers fly on the keyboard, I couldn’t get passed the ‘b’. And then I wasn’t even sure about the ‘b’, so I was at ‘su….’”
PWF: “So, I just sent it out how it phonetically sounds, knowing it was wrong. I couldn’t even figure out how to do spellcheck, and I wasn’t even spelling it well enough for spellcheck to pick it up.
I was 7.5 months pregnant and I couldn’t even think of a synonym, so I just sent it out. I got some responses, and then I also got a message in my email that said ‘subtle is spelled s-u-b-t-l-e’. I responded that I knew it was wrong when I sent it, but that I was 7.5 months pregnant and couldn’t figure out how to fix it.
Well, it turns out the woman who emailed me was the editor of fit pregnancy! So, she asked me to complete a survey they had going. I did the questions and then pitched her an article—and she bought it!”
LD: “That’s awesome! And then they could spell check it!”
PWF: (Laughs.) “Yes! And then I did sell my first book in 2007, a rom-com called Worth the Weight. I was still working on my bachelor’s degree and writing for Fit Pregnancy at the time.
LD: “But you pulled that one?”
PWF: “I did. I wasn’t happy with the first publisher.”
LD: “That was brave!”
PWF: “It was very scary! But I was glad I did it. I then entered it into a contest and got a full request from an agent, but never heard back.”
LD: “Oh, that’s tough.”
PWF: “It was, but fast forward to 2012. I thought: ‘Well, I’ll rework it one more time and if I can’t get anyone to take it, I’ll just stick it under my bed’.”
PWF: “Well, then I reworked it and Soulmate bought it!”
PWF: “It was a Tuesday, when I found out. I remember, because we’d been fostering a little boy and he went back to his family after 5 months***.
We took a break after that, before putting ourselves s back on the list for foster-adoption. So, I’d already told my mom about my book deal, but the next day, Wednesday, we got a call. We had matched!
I was so excited, and when I hung up the phone, it immediately rang again. I answered, and it was my dad. He congratulated me and I said: ‘Thanks! What are you talking about?’, because I’d just gotten a phone call…”
LD: (Laughs.) “Right?! Which one? Which thing?”
PWF: “He said: ‘your book’, and of course now my book doesn’t seem like anything, because we’re getting two babies!
My dad was so confused. I could hear it in his voice. I said, ‘Thanks! By the way, you have two more grandkids!’ And he went, ‘Oh! Ok!'”
LD: “That’s a lot to be excited about in 48 hours!”
PWF: “Yes! In fact, walking out of the adoption ceremony, my new publisher called and told me someone else had released a book by the same name just before mine, so we changed the title to Weighting for Mr. Right.”
LD: “Well, we talked about how you got started, now tell me about writing for Tule.”
It is a series about first responders who make a calendar to raise money for a local children’s youth center. The funny thing was, the Australian Firefighters Calendar™ that comes out every year was about to be released. I tagged a video of them on my Facebook page, along with the other authors and said: ‘Look here’s our inspiration’.
And the firefighters wrote back.”
LD: “Shut up. Did you die?”
PWF: (Laughs.) “So I ended up talking to the guy who runs it…”
LD: “But OK, if you weren’t married this is like the beginning of a romance novel!”
PWF: (Laughs.) “Yes, I kept showing it to my husband going, ‘Holy crap! Check this out!'”
LD: “Super funny!”
PWF: “I had all the girls sign their books and we sent copies to the guys in Australia. One of the books made the calendar!”
PWF: “Yes! I’ve stayed in touch with the guy who runs it and this year he asked me to send him all of my books, so I did. Well, he sent me back pictures of all the guys reading my books!”
LD: (Dies. Just dies.)
PWF: “It was so funny! These guys are waiting to go get their pictures taken for this calendar and are sitting there reading my books. He even sent a video and the guys are like, ”G’Day Patricia, love your book!’”
PWF: “I showed my husband and he’s like, ‘Well that’s pretty cool’, and I’m thinking my ovaries have grown back.
LD: (laughing and snorting. No one will ever do another interview with her.) “I guess you can’t blame him for not having the same level of enthusiasm.”
LD: “Change gears again for me. What were your thoughts about the whole #CopyPasteCris (go search this on twitter!) scandal?”
PWF: “I think it is just people trying to take the easy way out. It’s hard to write a book.”
LD: “So hard! I read on twitter, as a genre, romance authors have more former and practicing attorneys than any other genre! Also, it seems like a pretty spunky bunch to go after. Especially, with the idea that no one would notice obvious plagiarism.”
LD: “OK. Lastly (that seems like a word), share with us a ‘hill you’re willing to die on’.”
PWF: “My books never have sex at the hospitals. That’s gross. There are so many germs. There may be sexual tension at the hospital, but ABSOLUTELY NO SEX.”
LD: (laughs) “And that’s the hill.”
PWF: “That’s the hill.”
LD: “I agree very much with that hill. I am adding to the range of hills I am willing to die on.
Patricia, thanks so much for talking to me. This isn’t actually an interview, just a way to make people block out 30 minutes of their time to let me ask them questions, while calling them my friend.
If you are interested in reading more from Patricia W. Fisher, and you should be, click here.
Patricia is also an advocate for Ovarian Cancer awareness. Listen to her latest interview with author, mom, and ovarian cancer survivor, Stacey Peterson here.
*Disclaimer: This is a post about writing in the genre of ROMANCE. The word sexy will be used. This isn’t for kids.
**Double Disclaimer: It’s not like gross or anything. I would die if I even spelled sex out loud, but BE ADVISED, because I will not be responsible for you having to have the sex talk with your kids.
***(A real foster kid. When I met Patricia I was 31, and had aged out of the system.)
Up Next: Audrey Wick
Liza Dora is an author, illustrator, and Texan living in Tennessee with her husband and two children. Liza graduated from Texas A&M University with a degree in chemistry and is the proudest member of the class of 2007.
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