Interview with Patricia Steffy

When did you first start writing?
I feel like I've always been writing -- it just used to be something that I wouldn't share, or would only share with a few close friends. I didn't start writing for an audience until 2006. At that point in my life, I was really taking a look at the differences between my life and the expectations that I had for it when I was younger. Turns out I had a lot to say on the subject!
What's the story behind your latest book?
The book is a collection of essays drawn from interviews with some fabulous women and my perspective on issues I see impacting me (and the people around me). It covers everything from anal bleaching to a mid-life crisis. Some are very serious -- there are perspective pieces on issues of abuse and rape. Some are outrageously funny. Others are a blend because often life is a mix of the two.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I had been blogging for a while, and I was approached about some of the pieces being used for a charity event for the East Los Angeles Women's Center. After the staged reading of the selected pieces, the actresses asked where they could get the entire collection. At the time, I'm not sure I had really planned to go forward with it (I think there were only 20 or so pieces read at the event), but the reaction gave me the motivation to keep going, to keep interviewing women, to keep writing, etc. The collection now has 60 pieces in it, and it seemed like a good time to let it loose on the world.
What are you working on next?
I've written the first 10 episodes of a web series called "Dating in LA and Other Urban Myths." We've just shot a pilot presentation for sponsors, and we're hoping to get the funding to film the entire first season. That is based on my original blog of the same title (which I still continue to write). And I'm in the midst of working on a film script right now. It's a bit different for me -- a bit more serious, but I think my voice still shines through even if there is a thriller/drama aspect to it.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
When I'm not writing fiction, I'm a travel writer. Lately, I've been doing a lot of road tripping around Southern California, so when I'm not writing, I'm probably driving (or sitting in traffic)!
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I rely on my circle of friends for recommendations most of the time, but I have started taking leads from people on my Twitter feed. If something sounds intriguing, I'm much more willing to check it out now than I was a couple of years ago.
What is your writing process?
I'm very much an "inspiration" writer. It's incredibly difficult for me to just sit down and write something with any sort of emotional resonance. But when I'm inspired by something, or someone (as I was with the interviews behind "My Letter to Fear"), I find myself diving into the passage at hand. In terms of my actual surroundings, I prefer writing at a desk in a dimly lit room. I think not having a lot of people, or bright things, around me keeps me focused, otherwise I'm easily distracted.
How do you approach cover design?
This was my first cover, so it was a real learning experience. I started by providing designers with sample essays so that they would understand the mix in tone. Then I provided some suggestions with regards to images. The rest was trial and error. I'm really pleased with the final result!
What do you read for pleasure?
I don't stick to one genre. I went from a legal thriller to women's fiction last week. I went through a "spy" story phase, and I still find myself gravitating toward it from time to time. Looking at my shelf now I see a number of biographies, some plays and a lot of classic literature that is waiting for my attention.
Describe your desk
I have a very basic, dark wood desk. I try to keep it as clear as possible. I have this theory that if there is clutter around me, my brain will be too cluttered to focus on the writing. That might just be an excuse, though.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Ohio, and I have incredibly supportive parents. I was always encouraged to be creative, and while I didn't think about writing professionally until much later in life, I was always pursuing creative hobbies. When I decided to quit my job as an analyst at a law firm in order to explore and write, they never flinched. They told me to go for it. And here I am.
Published 2014-02-02.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

My Letter to Fear (Essays on life, love and the search for Prince Charming)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 26,930. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2014. Categories: Essay » Sociology, Plays » Women Authors
From the ridiculous to the heartbreaking, Steffy’s essays explore the differences between the realities of today and the expectations of youth. Her own experiences, plus interviews with women over the course of two years, are the basis for these funny and sometimes challenging pieces.