Interview with Pat Alvarado

When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When am I NOT writing? The connection between brain and paper is a magnificent process, whether it's from keyboard to screen or pencil to paper, from grocery lists to character dialogue to first liners, I love to write! In fact, sometimes I write in my head! On the other side of that coin, I love to read what other people have to say. So when I'm not writing, I'm reading. And to keep myself "balanced" - I walk with my dog and swim.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember the stories we read in First Grade, those "Run, Dick, run! See Dick run. See Jane run. Run, Jane, run!" stories. I remember thinking, Who talks like that? No one I knew did, for sure. To me, those stories needed more action than cheering on Dick and Jane. They needed interaction - dialogue - a plot!
Describe your desk
Neat and orderly with good lighting. Lots of pens, pencils, paper, notecards, dictionaries, reference books, a laptop, a mouse, a printer, a calendar, and an agenda.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Abbeville, Louisiana, a small town in the heart of Acadiana, "Cajun Country." The place is riddled with bayous and swamps, and the people are joyful and friendly. They smile easily and laugh heartily, especially at their own foibles. Perhaps these traits have influenced my writing the most.
When did you first start writing?
I tell people that I started writing when I was six years old. "Wow!" they say. So I go on to explain that as soon as I learned the alphabet and could put two or three letters together to form a word, I began to write. Then I ask them, "When did you learn the alphabet?" I know this is not a serious answer, but it's the truth. I began to write when I was six because that is when I started school. I never went to kindergarten because my mom made me stay home to play with my younger sister Barbara, who was three at the time. When I turned six, Barbara had to go to pre-school and later to kindergarten. So she got double-duty early schooling, not me. I learned to write that first year. We were taught the Spenserian method, with your wrist in the air. We did lots of ovals. When I was in 9th grade, my dad made me and my older brother Mike take an early morning, before school typing class. We're talking pre-electric typewriters, big, black Underwoods that helped you develop biceps on your pinkies. Once I got the hang of it, it was a piece of cake, and the transition to a keyboard was easy, but being a stickler for details and correct spelling, tiny devices today are a major challenge to me. I love my laptop.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Life choices. Where I live and when I finally got my act together with all those notes and little pieces of paper put together into stories, all this played a major role. At the time, indie publishing was still frowned upon as 2nd class citizenship in the publishing world, but waiting to be "discovered" by the big guys in NYC seemed like a death sentence to my creativity, so I plunged ahead. No regrets! At least not too many!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has leaped over the abyss and made indie publishing that much easier, helping me the author make that connection: brain to "paper" to reader.
What is your greatest joy of writing?
Writing allows me to communicate with others, to dialogue with them, all by arranging a few letters together in different patterns. That is my greatest joy of writing!
What is your e-reading device of choice?
At the moment, it's a Kindle Fire HD. I like the expandable text feature so I can read comfortably without squinting.
What do you read for pleasure?
History mostly. History is life lived!
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
The author's presence is the best marketing technique. If the author is available to answer a potential reader's questions directly, chances are the person will buy a book.
Published 2013-10-28.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Convicted at Six
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 15,440. Language: English. Published: July 30, 2012 by Piggy Press Books. Category: Nonfiction » Entertainment » Biography
A brief memoir of growing up as a middle child in south Louisiana during the 1950s.
Revolución en el recreo * Recess Revolution
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 21,990. Language: Spanish. Published: April 14, 2012 by Piggy Press Books. Category: Fiction » Children’s books » Social Issues / Bullying
Changing schools is not so pleasant for Eric when he meets up with Hank ‘the Tank’ Granger. Find out how Eric and his friends solve their problem. Bilingual juvenile novel in Spanish and English, with Ideas to Think About. Approved by Panama's Ministry of Education.
Lost in Cognito
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 22,230. Language: English. Published: April 14, 2012 by Piggy Press Books. Category: Fiction » Mystery & detective » General
Undaunted by the skimpy information given for his latest case, Jake Brown, private investigator, finds himself in Cognito, a grid of connecting streets and avenues, a place designed for the lost and the transitory.