Interview with Patricia Simpson

When did you first start writing?
I started writing seriously at the age of 13. I wrote stories about Egypt, the Revolutionary War and vampires. In junior high school, my play about Dracula was put on by the drama club. Some of my teachers let me read my novellas aloud in class, boring everyone to tears!
What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book, Gabriel's Daughter, came about as a product of the apocalypse that was due to arrive at the end of 2012. That looming cataclysm got me to thinking about an end of the world scenario...what might happen after a few stragglers survive a nuclear winter, what their world might look like, and what kind of social structure would emerge.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
Part of me likes the control! With my New York publishers, I've had some misleading back blurbs and covers that did not reflect the novel. Being an indie, I can eliminate those types of issues. I also love the ease in which I can improve my books over their lifetimes. If a reader mentions something in a review that I believe has merit, I will actually revisit my book and make changes.
I am also an accomplished artist, so I enjoy all aspects of creating books--from the inside out.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has helped me distribute beyond the big A. Creating digital versions of books and uploading them to various online vendors can be extremely time intensive. I would rather spend my time writing! With Smashwords, I can upload once and let them do their background magic.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love to create worlds and characters in my head and then bring them to life on the page. Touching a reader's heart, and hearing how a story inspired them or helped them get through a tough time, makes writing the best of all possible careers.
What do your fans mean to you?
Fans are everything. Without someone to read my work, why would I bother to write anything down? Without appreciation and critique, I would not grow as a writer.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on the third book in The Londo Chronicles series. The book is tentatively titled "Gabriel's Folly." I'm challenged, though, because I have to write about a red-headed hero! That's tough! I always do tall, dark and handsome.

Talk about writing oneself into a corner...
Who are your favorite authors?
Anne Rice, Pat Conroy, Sherman Alexie, Barbara Kingsolver
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
That little voice in my head, working through the next great scene. Oh, and a nice, strong cup of coffee.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Playing music, painting, and working on the current house. One of my homes was featured on HGTV!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
Mostly from friends. Sometimes I see a provocative blurb in email, and I will follow a link.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Of course! (I illustrated it, too!): The Day He Opened the Coffin.
What is your writing process?
I get up around 6:30 every morning and write for two hours. I edit at night or in the bathtub after a writing session. I also have a full-time job, so that comes after my morning writing session. I always do the creative stuff first. It's so easy to wear oneself out after a stressful work day, and not have time to devote to the most important work--my writing. I am not a TV watcher, so I have a lot of creative time!
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
The first stories that stuck with me were from a collection of fairy tales, called The Albanian Wonder Tales. One of the stories, The Boy Who Took the Letters to the Dead, probably influenced my career the most. I have always been interested in worlds beyond our present existence, and derive a lot of pleasure from imagining how fate, time, and death can be viewed or approached in alternate ways.
How do you approach cover design?
I find an image that inspires me, usually pertaining to one of the main characters. Then I experiment with different fonts that are appropriate for the mood and time period. I have a background in graphic design, so cover design is something I love doing.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Jane Eyre - I love Gothics, strong women, and a love story that culminates on the very last page
Siddhartha - My struggle to find personal peace in a commercial world is never-ending
Interview with a Vampire - I fell in love with Anne Rice's brooding vampire with this book
The Bible - Believe it or not, the biblical world has inspired most historical and paranormal elements/questions in my books
Dracula by Bram Stoker - A Scot who wrote the definitive vampire story. What's not to love?
What do you read for pleasure?
Honestly, I have little time for reading. But when I do read, I love biographical fiction the most. The last book I read was The Round House by Louise Erdrich.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My iPhone. It's always with me.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
BookBub's 99-cent email campaign.
Describe your desk
It's modern. Glass and aluminum. Minimalist lamp by Koncept. Two computers and a slick wireless printer. A watercolor of Greenen Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland hangs above it.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My family moved to Montana when I was nine. Living in a gorgeous but remote area provided me with a lot of creative time. Just getting around Montana involved hundreds of hours in a VW bus with no radio reception or CD player. (I spent a lot of time making up stories in my head as the scenery flew by.) Our television time was restricted (my parents made us pick two shows a week, and that was all we could watch). I now look back on that "hardship" as one of the greatest gifts my parents gave me. Because of my strict upbringing, I became a producer of creative content instead of a consumer.
Published 2014-03-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Death in Amsterdam—Based on a True Story
Price: $3.95 USD. Words: 38,740. Language: English. Published: December 2, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary
When Dutch police tell American Leigh French that a mysterious potion has killed her daughter, Leigh travels to Holland to search for answers. Why did two young women die in the rear garden of a house in Amsterdam? Was it suicide or homicide?
Night Orchid
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 111,960. Language: English. Published: March 3, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Time travel
Marissa Quinn, a Montana rancher with a serious independent streak meets her match when a botched time-travel experiment threatens the life of her sister and transports a domineering warrior from ancient Gaul into modern day Seattle.
Gabriel's Daughter
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 82,000. Language: English. Published: October 11, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » General
When Roman Brandt stumbles across the existence of his best friend's daughter, he discovers that someone is pursuing her through the streets of Londo for reasons Roman can't divulge. All he can do is shield her from the truth of her father's death and keep her at arm's length--far away from his long-suppressed hunger. Veronique thinks he's a real man. A good man. If she only knew...
Imposter Bride
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 98,960. Language: English. Published: January 18, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Historical
Wrongly accused of a crime, maidservant Sophie Vernet assumes the identity of her dead mistress, only to fall into the schemes of Ian Ramsay, a Scotsman who is playing a deadly game of masquerade to reclaim his stolen heritage.
The Legacy
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 89,570. Language: English. Published: October 3, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
Christmas at the bungalow near St. Benedict Winery. Nothing could be worse. But Jessica Ward can't let her reclusive father spend the holidays alone. She leaves California for the misty hills of Washington State, never guessing she is on a collision course with mystery, murder, and the love of her life. Reviewer's Choice Award - Romantic Times Best Contemporary Fantasy
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 90,440. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
After a debilitating car accident, Jade Brennan travels to Seattle to claim the daughter she has never seen. But to gain custody, she has to enter into a marriage of convenience...with a Scottish scoundrel from 1886!
The Haunting of Brier Rose
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 83,150. Language: English. Published: September 23, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Gothic
Rose Quennel's painting studio becomes a place of danger and desire the day Taylor Wolfe arrives with his walking cane and strange blindness.
The Marriage Machine
Price: Free! Words: 25,190. Language: English. Published: August 2, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Fantasy
In this dystopian paranormal, ace mechanic Elspeth Shutterhouse's plans backfire when she decommissions a machine that belongs to the handsome scion of a powerful Londo City family.
The Last Oracle
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 87,870. Language: English. Published: February 10, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Science fiction » Adventure
An oracle-in-distress staggers into the life of a troubled millionaire and asks him to help her escape to freedom.
Whisper of Midnight
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 82,350. Language: English. Published: February 7, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
In this breathtaking supernatural romance. the ghost of hot-blooded highlander Hazard MacAllister appears before Jamie Kent, an emotional misfit in dire need of the Scotsman's passion for life. Award-winning author Patricia Simpson's debut novel and RITA Award finalist.
Lord of the Nile
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 43,040. Language: English. Published: January 24, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
(5.00 from 1 review)
In this lush paranormal set on the shores of the Nile, an elegant stranger persuades a sculptress to join in the search for a lost Egyptian temple. During the search, Karissa uncovers the truth about her father and the reason why she is obsessed with big, black cats. If you haven't read anything by Patricia Simpson, try this bestseller short from one of the premier writers of paranormal romance
Raven in Amber
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 102,580. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
An artist comes face to face with murder, mystery and the most startlingly handsome man she has ever met at a remote lodge on the Washington coast. Reviewers Choice Award Winner.
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 94,880. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Paranormal
Nominated Best Indie Paranormal Book of the Year. A control-freak television host goes to Scotland to get married and encounters a time-traveling knight determined to stop her wedding.