Interview with Pat Muir

What made you, a nuclear engineer, write fiction?
I was designing advanced nuclear power systems when the funding to do so declined precipitously subsequent to the Three-Mile Island plant accident, and so I had to leave that profession. I became involved in real estate including a motel I had purchased with partners. I often worked on the swing shift as the motel desk clerk and read short stories between checking in new guests. I thought I could write stories as good as some of those I was reading. I began to write and submit them to competitions. I complied twenty-nine of them into my first book.
What made you title your first book "Stories to Entertain You...If You Get Bored on Your Wedding Night?"
To get attention. I have found the title and book cover make people laugh. Curiously, I found a Cosmopolitan magazine study reported that thirty-two percent of married couples do not have sex on their wedding night.
Is Pat Muir your real name?
No. It is a pseudonym. Some of the short story writing competitions I entered were restricted to women writers only. I therefore adopted an androgynous name.
Given the title of that first book, are its stories erotic?
No. They are not. They helped me craft my writing by their diversity--mysteries, love stories, dramas, comedies and whether to write in the first or third person.
Why did it take you ten years to write your next piece of fiction?
My former wife thought there were several stories in the first book that portrayed her and unfavorably so. That contributed to our divorce. I spent the next five years seeking a new wife, mostly on the Internet. It took me another four years to write a novel about somebody like myself with a scientific background trying to find a mate on the Internet. That story, a romance, is pure fiction but incorporates some of my experiences and attributes of ladies I met. The conceit of the story is that I wrote my pseudonym character into the novel in order to help promote my first book.
Why is that second book called "The Numbers Man?"
The hero of that story had the same problem as I, namely that he could not remember the names of all the ladies he met on the Internet but could generally remember the order in which he met them. The hero, like myself, met a large number of women before he found a lifetime partner.
Why did you decide to write your third book, a mystery novel?
I have been disappointed that my professional life did not contribute to a structure or a process of significance, nor to any noticeable societal difference. At my age, eighty-four years, I wanted to craft a niche novel that would embody all my creativity and merit stature.
Why did you, a white man, make the heroine of your third book a middle aged black detective?
The concept came from a short story in my first book featuring a middle aged female private investigator. I found that private investigators do not have ready access to criminal data bases, so my heroine became a detective. I also wanted the story to touch on social issues. That led me to make the heroine an Afro American, subject in her career to some racial prejudice. It also allowed me to touch on the issue of alleged drug money funds being seized by law enforcement without any conviction.
Has your mystery novel been independently reviewed?
Yes. Independent reviews have averaged four star reviews on Amazon.com. My latest independent review is as follows:
Reviewed By Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
What Happened to Flynn by Pat Muir follows Afro-American detective Shane Notfarg as she is given a missing persons case to follow. Arthur Flynn disappeared in 2008, leaving his neighbor to look after his house and cat while he went fishing. He never returned. Why did he take $10,000 to the fishing camp where he disappeared from? That’s the first question Notfarg needs to answer. Then his car turns up, stripped but with evidence that a dead body had been it – but where is the body? The DNA matches Flynn. Notfarg starts investigating the campers who were at the camp but it will be seven long years before she discovers the truth. Along the way she uncovers money laundering that Flynn blew the whistle on to the DEA, murder, theft, child pornography, forgery and more; the outcome of the case will raise more than a few eyebrows.

What Happened to Flynn by Pat Muir is a real twister of a story. Not only do we have all the elements of a possible murder mystery, we have the criminal elements of the money laundering, forgery and more added into the mix. This is an intriguing story, full of twists and turns; what starts out as a mundane missing persons case turns into something much more. The twists in the plot will keep you on your toes all the way as it races toward a very surprising ending – I don’t think you’ll guess it. Pat Muir has written a very clever story, an easy but involved read with a great deal of methodical action and some great characters. While Pat Muir has developed her characters very well, she has done an exceptional job with the main protagonist and, although the book centers around a missing man, you feel his presence very strongly throughout. I thoroughly enjoyed this incredible story!
Published 2018-07-18.
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Books by This Author

Stories To Entertain You...If You Get Bored On Your Wedding Night
Price: Free! Words: 79,790. Language: English. Published: February 16, 2018. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
This work contains twenty-nine diverse short stories--dramas, comedies, romances, parodies and mysteries, ideal for reading while waiting in your doctor's office or for a flight or a taxi.
What Happened To Flynn
Price: Free! Words: 97,630. Language: English. Published: December 21, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Police Procedural
Shanisha (Shane) Notfarg, a detective in the San Diego Sheriff’s homicide department, investigates why Arthur Flynn disappeared from a fishing camp on the Russian River. Did he take off to avoid paying alimony? His abandoned car indicates his dead body had been inside. Was he murdered for the $10,000 he was carrying on him or because he had reported a money laundering operation to the DEA?
The Numbers Man
Price: Free! Words: 92,980. Language: English. Published: November 5, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Holiday » Humorous, Fiction » Romance » General
63-year old Pat seeks romance on the internet and numbers each woman he meets since he remembers names poorly. When #57, goes out of town, so he takes up with #59. Meanwhile, his employee’s gorgeous young wife keeps hitting on him. Life becomes complicated when he meets #61, a TV chef, who considers him a womanizer. Is the advice he gets from Sonia, his book promoter, selfless or self-serving?