(patti’s interview is the post for today! sorry for the mix-up folks, another post went up 3 weeks early, 3 times, for about 3 minutes.at least i’m consistent, ay? oh look, i also seem to be canadian.)
I’ll be honest, I have no idea where I first met Patti Yager Delagrange because we seem to be in 7,000 of the same online writing organizations, groups, loops and forums. Ok, maybe three. Or four.
Please welcome Patti Yager Delagrange to Women’s Fiction Writers.
Author Patti Yager Delagrange Talks About The Difference Between Women’s Fiction And Romance
Amy: As noted in the blurb about MOON OVER ALCATRAZ, the novel is about a couple whose baby dies at birth and the aftermath of that tragedy. How did you get the idea for the story? Did a character come to you in the night (as we know they can) or was there a theme or topic you wanted to explore?
Patti: We’re always bombarded with Amber Alerts and news stories about kidnappings. As a mother, I can’t help putting myself in the parents’ place and I know I’d be devastated. This thought process segued into how I would feel if I’d carried a baby to term and then lost it in child birth. It was definitely a theme I wanted to explore.
Amy: MOON OVER ALCATRAZ was published by Musa Publishing, an e-publisher. Can you tell us about your journey to publish this book?
Patti: I read about a new e-book publisher that was just starting up and would be launching their first slew of books in October 2011. Then I went to an online chat room about agents and publishers and read a very long interchange between Celina Summers, the head “honcha” of Musa, and was so impressed by her detailed openness about Musa that I sent her a query letter. And that was it.
Amy: We all know that aspiring and published authors often struggle to understand the fine lines we place between and within the genres. What makes MOON OVER ALCATRAZ women’s fiction with romantic elements as opposed to a romance novel? Which leads into — what is your definition of women’s fiction?
Patti: I know there isn’t an absolute definition of what REALLY constitutes women’s fiction; but for me women’s fiction means a book that revolves around a female character and her journey to overcome a life problem. There’s usually some romance, but that’s just because it’s life.
I don’t read romance novels which always have happy endings, are centered around two people coming together and falling in love, and the obstacle is something standing in the way of them getting together. In women’s fiction the obstacle is standing in the way of the female character getting to where she wants to be in her life and where she wants to be is not focused on “getting her man”.
Amy: What’s your best advice specifically for women’s fiction writers?
Patti: The advice I received was to write what you want to write and not to chase the market and what’s popular. I think it might be harder to find an agent for women’s fiction but because my novels are women’s fiction with romantic elements, I change the genre label based on the agent I’m querying, and call my novel commercial or mainstream romance and skirt the issue entirely and see what happens!
Fascinated by broken-hearted couples and atypical families, Patricia Yager Delagrange weaves engaging tales of men and women who create cohesive families where love reigns supreme. She sprinkles her books with intriguing characters who struggle to find balance in life after tragedy. Whether an unwed teenager, desperate widow, abandoned father, or a couple who stray from their marital vows, her characters form relationships impacted by their desire to create a family.
Aside from writing, her favorite things to do include riding her Friesian horse, Maximus, dot-to-dot for adults, and watching Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington movies. She spends a majority of her days writing while her two very large Chocolate Labs lounge on the couch cuddled next to her and her MacBook.