I'm very excited about this interview today -- we will be meeting a TRUE mystery author -- one who writes mysteries!
But right now it's her identity that is still pretty mysterious. Those glasses are pretty wild -- and that's not the only thing, apparently. If you take a look over at kcdyer's blog, you'll see that this author has a reputation...
for being naked!
Let's unmask her and find out more, okay?
It's Patricia Smiley! Welcome, Patricia -- thanks for joining me today.
Darby Christopher: A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW is all about how different people came to live in Canada. I know your background is American. Where were you born?
Patricia Smiley: I was born in Washington State, which borders the Canadian Province of British Columbia, in a town called Yakima, named after the Yakama Indian nation.
The city is one of the premier apple-growing areas of the world, but has recently also gained recognition for its wine. My childhood home was just outside the city limits and seems quite rural to me now. I have fond memories of wandering through the nearby apple orchards and hop fields, often stopping to sail paper boats in the irrigation ditches. Many years later, I moved to Seattle. My friends and I took frequent trips to Vancouver, a city that was oh-so cosmopolitan and exciting.
DC: I've heard that said of Vancouver, though I'm a Toronto girl, myself. Where do you live now?
PS: I live in West Los Angeles, California in the neighborhood time forgot. The streets there have no curbs or sidewalks, so it feels like a small-town oasis in the middle of a megalopolis of 3.8 million people. Most people don’t think about L.A. in provincial terms, but I’ve met many neighbors by just strolling the streets with my dog and stopping to say howdy.
DC: That sounds really nice! Do you remember any special stories about your family that you heard when you were a kid?
PS: Once upon a time in yon years of yore, there was a five-year-old girl named Patty who loved cars—the smell of the leather, the rumble of the engine, and the creaking of the doors as they opened and closed.
One afternoon as she played in her front yard, an overwhelming desire to take a road trip overtook her. She crawled inside the family car, cranked the steering wheel to-and-fro, and made loud “vroom-vrooom” engine sounds. When she arrived at her destination, she tried but failed to open the car door. Having learned to make the best of a bad situation, she fell asleep.
Meanwhile back at the house, her parents organized a search party. Sometime later, they found her still conked out in the driver’s seat. The moral of this story? Take no road trips until you are strong enough to get out of the car.
DC: That sounds like a good moral! How about a different kind of 4-wheel vehicle -- can you ride a skateboard?
PS: I never mastered the art of skateboarding because speeding downhill without brakes is dangerous. I prefer skiing. Skis don’t come with brakes, either, but at least you can go splat into a soft snow bank rather than on a hard sidewalk.
DC: I kind of agree with that, actually. Besides writing books, do you have a secret skill or talent you’d like to share?
PS: No secret skills but I believe in experiencing life at all levels and will try almost anything except sky-diving. Jumping out of an airplane with a sack of flimsy cloth on my back? I think not.
DC: You have got that right! But what about if you had a chance to walk through a window into the past? Where would you go?
PS: I would go back far enough to see my beloved Westies Dottie and PJ and Tigger-boo the Wonder cat, before they speed back to heaven with the angels. I miss them terribly and would love to hug them one more time.
DC: I have seen the picture of a Westie on your website. They are so cute! Speaking of your website, can you tell me a bit about your latest project?
PS: I’m writing a police procedural based on my experiences working with the Los Angeles Police Department. Also, you can find me posting every Monday at The Naked Truth about Literature and Life (www.nakedauthors.com), a blog I share with Jacqueline Winspear, Paul Levine, James O. Born, Ridley Pearson, James Grippando, and Cornelia Read.
DC: Hmmm. I'd heard something about nakedness. I'm glad it's just about writing! So, when Gramps throws a little spare change my way, I’m personally pretty fond of red licorice. What’s your favourite treat?
PS: My fourth novel, COOL CACHE, takes place in a chocolate shop so, of course, I had to do some research. The result? I’m now addicted to anything chocolate, especially the brownies in a book called The Essence of Chocolate by John Scharffenberger and Robert Steinberg. Yum! But the truth is, if I have spare change I’d much rather spend it on ruby red lip gloss.
DC: Those brownies sound delicious! If I want to learn more about you or your books (or brownies!) on-line, where can I go check you out?
PS: You can find out more on my Web site www.patriciasmiley.com or if you are game for adventure, just Google Patricia Smiley and see what comes up.
DC: Thanks so much for talking to me today, Patty. I'm going to go Google you right now!
And if you'd like to win a copy of one of Patrica Smiley's very cool mystery books, be sure to leave your name in the comments. Why not give YOUR favourite type of chocolate treat?
We'll do a draw for Patty's book this Friday, March 27th. This will be the final draw of our celebration month for A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW -- but not the end of my interviews or our special draws. More on THOSE mysterious changes, soon.
In the meantime, leave your Patty Smiley chocolate-love comments below!