Interview with Patricia L. Fletcher

What do your fans mean to you?
My fans mean everything to me. Without the fans who would I write for? Who would read me? I want to know every one of them. I want them to write to me and ask questions and learn from what I write. I don't just want them to read the book and go on their way. I want to know them, to help them if needed. To be their friend if they wish it. I am very much out there involved with lots of social media and very much enjoy it when those who have read my book or blog reach out to me. In my opinion if your fans aren't important then you're not doing your job as an entertainer, and in my case an educater.
What are you working on next?
I have successfully begun a monthly magazine called The Neighborhood News, and I am working on a second book called, The Raw Truth: Campbell's Rambles Book Two. It will be a follow-up to the first, and will be designed to answer questions not explained in Campbell's Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life. I also have a blog, called campbellsworld on Wordpress, and although I have some trouble accessing it, with the help of my editor I am able to share my challenges and triumphs. As well as help to educate the public all about those with multiple disAbilities.
Who are your favorite authors?
My very favorite author is Stephen King. Although he writes a totally different genre than do I he inspires me in many ways. I guess the biggest thing I like about him is how even in the craziest fantasies such as the Dark Tower series there is such truth and so many great life lessons to be learned. He is a deep thinker, and his logic fits with mine. I also very much enjoy Robert Jordan and his Wheel of Time series. I am getting ready to read the seventh book in that series. The magic is so real and it goes right along with many of my own beliefs. I have even found truth among those books, as I do a bit of research on things like spells, and things like astral traveling. Another of my favorite authors is Nora Roberts or as she is also known J D Rob. The Eve Dallas Series can take me away to places like none I ever dreamed, and I really love the romance portion. Everyone needs a man like hers. She loves him for his coffee you know? I have a guy who does that sort of stuff for me, just on a smaller scale. Cool huh?
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
The things that inspire me to get up and get going each day are simple. First off there have been times when I didn't want to. Times when even the act of breathing took real effort, and when I literally thought depression would swallow me. Then I got Campbell and my life changed. I realized, even when I had to leave my job that I'd had for five years that I had a purpose, and that my real purpose was to get out there in the big middle of it and make a difference in the lives of people struggling just like me, and now even though sometimes my days are a real challenge I know that I have not only my sweet and ever faithful guide by my side to care for and live for, and my loving Bob Cat too, but I have the whole world, and if I want to even help one person I have to get up even when it is tough and put one foot in front of the other again and again, because I won't ask one person to do one thing I haven't at least tried to do myself.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing I read, play computer games, chat on Facebook and Twitter, and visit with family and friends. Sometimes Campbell and I just get out and go for long walks, and sometimes I simply do nothing at all. Just sit in my porch swing and day dream the afternoon away. Every now and then I like to party, you know? Let my hair down, get a bit buzzed and listen to loud music! Sometimes I like to sit by a bubbling stream and listen to the wind tell stories in the late evening, and once in a great while I simply go hide in a tub filled with bubbles and have a good cry. Sometimes I don't even know why, it just feels good.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I have many sources for EBooks. I read digital books from the National Library For the Blind Talking Book program and we have a free website that has thousands of books to choose from. I belong to an Email list that features tbook reviews from folks who have read books from this site. I get notices from Amazon sometimes, and I am forever checking the site for updates. I used to be subscribed to Good Reads newsletters but somehow got unsubscribed from it. Since my getting an Iphone it has made reading EBooks even easier.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes I remember the first story I ever wrote. It is a great and funny story to tell. I was in the sixth grade. Up until then I only wrote stories in my head, and sometimes recorded them on to tape. Then I began a typing class at the School For the Blind I was attending, and my whole life changed. My parents bought me an electric typewriter for Christmas that year and I sat down and wrote a story write off the cuff. My mom had made chocolate covered Coconut balls and there was a large container beside me. I sat eating one and suddenly it came to me! I wrote a story about a Coconut ball that became gigantic and the cause was the chemical plant down the road. My parents got a huge kick out of it, but my mom who has passed now, always knew I could do it. My only regret is that she didn't live to see my first real book published. She'd have been proud. I'm willing to bet that old typed story is in a box someplace just waiting for some grand kid to find it.
What is your writing process?
Wow! What is my writing process? That's a great question. I really don't have a writing process. I journal every day. Never does a day go by that I don't write something about my life. So far I've not written anything but Nonfiction about myself and so my writings come from the journaling I do. In fact the first book, Campbell's Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life, is basically just an edited version of my journal, and come to think of it that's how the second book is coming in to being. My blog too. I simply write what I know. The only real process I can think of was when I was really seriously putting my first book together. I was working a full time job then and so I treated my writing as a second job. I literally made a writing schedule. I'd work my regular job which was never the same hours three days in a row, and once I was done for the day, and then through with animals house work etc I'd sleep about four hours or so, get up make coffee and write till it was time to go back to work again. sounds horrible doesn't it? I have to tell you that it wasn't all fun and games, and some days I didn't think I wanted to write one more word but then another idea would hit at three in the morning and next thing I'd know I'd be back at it again. As far as my blogging goes. It is literally off the cuff. I sit down write it out go over it for mistakes, and email it off to my editor and she posts for me.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I remember the first story I read all on my own. I was five years old, and had gotten my first Talking Book Record Player. (Yes I'm old enough to remember vinal and the player was a tube type.) Anyhow I was five and they sent it and a book. I don't remember the name of it. I only remember what it was about. It was about a duck family and they'd swim out in to the river in the morning when the draw bridge was opened, and they had to get home and back to their nest before it closed in the evening, and there was one duckling who was always late. I don't even remember how it ended but I remember being hooked on books after. The story that actually inspired me to begin a journal and that made me know for sure I wanted to write was Little House In the Big Woods, I have read every one of the Little House books at least three times, and I strive to write that well. I remember being everything that family was. Hungry, cold, frightened when the indians were at war around them, celebrating Christmas and going to the Sugaring Down at Gramma's! Laura Engles Wilder was a great inspiration to me, and I love her books even now. Just writing of them makes me want to reread all over.
How do you approach cover design?
The cover design for my first book came quite by the hand of the Universe itself. At the time the picture was taken I was attending an event to honor victims of Domestic Violence, which I was at the time, and had simply chosen to hide it. I'd not even really started the book when it was taken, but when the book began to take shape, I knew that there really was no other choice. I figure the second one will come about in a similar way. That's just how things work for me.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
My E-reading device of choice would be the NLS Digital Player provided to me by the National Library For the Blind. It makes it so simple to read, and they even have an ap for my phone. It means I can read anywhere at any time and even download books right to my phone with no trouble just as anyone else, best part? They're free.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Honestly the best book sales I've ever done have been when I've been able to get print copies and walk round town with a backpack full. Of course I have a bit of an attraction walking right beside me and it doesn't hurt that the book is partially about him. People walk up ask to pet the dog, we strike up a conversation they ask questions and next thing you know, poof! Book sale. If I don't have books I always have business cards, and if they ask questions I give them one and show them where they can get the book. Now that I have my books in two local places of business sales have gone up. EBooks so far haven't been a good seller for me. It is my hope this interview process will help that.
Describe your desk
My desk can be anything from my computer desk in the corner of my living room which usually always has the cat sitting on one corner, to the front porch swing. I use a Laptop all the time because of the type of writing I do. I like to write where life happens so my desk is everywhere! As soon as I am able to get a Blue Tooth keyboard I will be writing on the bus stop bench too, Because I'll be able to write while using my phone.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in both Kingsport Tennessee and Nashville Tennessee. Part of the time I attended the Tennessee School For the Blind in Nashville, well actually the little town is called Donaldson Tennessee, and when I wasn't there I lived with my family here in Kingsport. I also attended public school for a time here in my own town. So I had the best of alot of the world. It is one of the reasons that I am able to write as I do. I learned at an early age to take in all that was around me, because there was always something to learn and do.
What do you hope to gain from the writing work you do?
I hope to help spread the word about The Seeing Eye and the awesome work they do. I wish to help rid the world of the dividing lines between those with disAbilities and those without. I want to show the world that people with disAbilities whether they're physical or mental are simply people wanting the same things as everyone else.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The story behind my lates book, which would be the one I am writing is that I want to tell my truest story of why I am as I am and what happened to bring me to this point. I want people to understand even more about me and folks like me.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords gives me a place to show myself. Just like this interview process. It enables me to let the world know just who I am.
What do you read for pleasure?
I read fantasy fiction, horror and mysteries. I also love true crime. Biographies too.
When did you first start writing?
I began writing seriously in 2013 and published in 2014.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
The motivation was simple. I simply did not want the rat race of a publishing company and the cut throat attitude that has taken over the public publishing world.
What is your favorite part of writing?
My favorite part of writing is the joy of talking with someone who has read, or is reading my work. Hearing their laughter, or helping them understand something they don't quite grasp. That is the greatest thing ever!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
My five favorite books are The Dark Tower Series, The Little House Series, The Lord of the Rings Series The Eve Dallas Mysteries Series, and the Hobit! Why? Cause they're fun, and don't require me to think too hard.
Write your own question here!Do you think you will ever write a bestseller?
I hope to heck I do. If I dont' however I have had a blast writing so far, and I cannot imagine doing anything else. It is awesome to write and have people actually enjoy what they're reading from me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
As stated the greatest joy of writing for me is helping others discover my life as I see feel and know it to be. That about sums it all up for me. I simply can't think of anything else to say.
Write your own question here!How does your family feel about your writing?
For the most part my family is supportive. My dad had some misgivings at first but then he read the book and liked it. So even he is getting used to it all. They are all a bit taken aback when we go places and people we don't even know recognize us. Campbell and I are quite known around our town, so it can be a bit strange sometimes.
Published 2016-01-22.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Bubba Tails
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 19,720. Language: English. Published: October 5, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Children’s books » Animals, Fiction » Educational
In this magical and love filled tail, King Campbell AKA Bubba travels to the puppy nursery at The Seeing Eye to help ready a group of puppies who are just about to embark on the fabulous journey of learning to become Seeing Eye dogs.
Campbell's Rambles: How a Seeing Eye Dog Retrieved My Life
Price: $4.99 USD. Words: 65,090. Language: English. Published: July 31, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs
(4.33 from 3 reviews)
How the author obtained her first guide dog, Campbell: what motivated her, the extensive training she had, the special relationship she developed with her trainer, and the good friends she made. Challenges awaited her back home, including domestic abuse. With honesty, courage, and humor, Patty Fletcher tells an inspiring and informative story of personal development.