Karen Jurgens: Today we welcome author and my personal friend, Patricia (Patty) Carroll, to 3 Questions Wednesday.
Hello, Patty. So glad you could join us today!
Why do you like to write books set in the Old American West?
Patty: I have always loved westerns. I grew up with them. I think the idea of a wild, free country sets my imagination free. Oh, and the horses. I’ve always been a horse lover, and westerns have horses.
Karen: Westerns are great, I agree. Love those horses, especially galloping over the plains.
Why do you think Mail Order Bride stories are so popular?
Patty: Because so many of the mail order bride stories revolve around a town or family, I believe readers enjoy reading about community. In America, I would say one of the things lacking in our land of plenty is a sense of community. So I believe the readers enjoy reading about towns or families where the people know one another and what’s more care for one another.
Karen: That does seem to have an eternal appeal, especially in these days. Tell me more about your style of writing.
How do you write ~ Seat-of-the-pants or plotter?
Patty: I write by the seat-of-my-pants. I enjoy letting the story reveal itself to me, letting the characters surprise me, and the excitement of wondering what will happen next. I read somewhere that SOTP writers would quit the story if they ever did an outline, and I think they’re right. So much of the joy is in seeing how this story is going to unfold. I’d be bored if I knew it all before sitting down to write the first sentence.
Karen: Having the characters reveal the story as you go sounds like great fun! Everyday must be full of suspense for you as a writer. Thanks for visiting, Patty.
You can find Patricia Carroll’s books on Amazon:
Patricia PacJac Carroll http://www.amazon.com/Patricia-PacJac-Carroll/e/B008R9JCN2/
~Please sign up for her Newsletter and get updates about her new releases: PacJac News
***Now for her newest release***
Nettie’s Love is available for preorder, and will release on August 6, 2015.
The newest is the first in a series set in Texas. Nettie’s Love is about a 40-year-old spinster in Minnesota. She’s known only life on the farm and now that her father has died, everything is sold out from under her and she’s to live with her brothers and their families.
In 1867, many states reserved virtually no protection for women. They couldn’t own land. Sad but true. Texas and California were different because of their Spanish heritage. But for Nettie, she had nothing but the promise of more back-breaking work.
She finds an ad in the paper for a sheriff wanting a mail order bride in her forties. He’s 45, and the town is retiring him. Reed Andrews doesn’t like the idea of retiring, but has little choice. To make it tolerable, he sent off an ad for a mail order bride, holding little hope of a woman wanting to come to Bluebonnet, Texas.
There is sweet romance, a mystery, and wild west adventure as Nettie and Reed fall in love and set up Misfit Ranch in Bluebonnet, Texas, where in later books, Reed will help misfits find themselves and Nettie will find them brides.
Here is an excerpt of the first chapter:
Nettie Wellesley picked up a handful of the dark, rich soil and let it fall through her fingers to her father’s casket. He’d loved the land. More than her mother, her brothers, or her. Arnold Wellesley had been a farmer first. Now, he was gone and in the soil that he’d loved so dearly.
The spring wind blew against her face as she gazed at her brothers and their families. She was alone. She always had been. The only girl. Even her mother sided with the boys. It was as if at birth, Nettie, formally Annette, Wellesley was born to serve.
A worker bee. She did the dishes. Milked the cows. Collected eggs. Helped make dinner. Harvested the crops. Yes, the boys worked hard, too. It was a farm. All of them worked sunup to sundown. Nettie shoved aside the nagging sense of duty to milk the cows, reminding herself the barn was now empty.
The brothers had seen to it that as soon as Pa was in the ground, the farm changed hands. They’d arranged to sell everything out from under her sleeping father. Stroke, the doctor had said. After slumbering for a week, he’d slipped into the next world and the farm into the hands of strangers.
She accepted the pastor’s condolences and well-meaning words from neighbors who couldn’t even look her in the eye. Seems they had all profited on the demise of her farm. Her brothers had their own places. She, the only daughter and her father’s caretaker, was left with nothing and nowhere to go.
David rested his big hand on her shoulder. “Nettie, we, Jack, Bill, and I, decided you would come and live with me first.”
She stared into the image of her father in his younger years. David, the first-born. The dutiful son. With nothing of her own but the few clothes in her satchel, she nodded. They had decided. No one had seen fit to ask. Nor had any of the funds from the sale made it into her hands.
David shrugged uncomfortably. “It’s the way of the law, of family. We promised Pa to take care of you.”
She de-petaled a rose and threw the stem to the ground. “Of course. When do we go?”
He stared back to his family. Or more specifically to Annie, his wife. She stood with arms folded and lips set in a stern line on her already unfriendly face.
David turned back to face Nettie. “When you’re ready, we have a room for you. Off to the side.”
Wooden. It’s how she felt. As if she were already in her coffin and unable to stretch, breathe, or live. He wanted her to accept her fate graciously. Truth was, after taking care of an invalid mother for ten years, the farm, and then her father, she was just, God forgive her, plum out of grace.
Patricia PacJac Carroll loves to write. The PacJac comes from her initials and her husband’s. She is blessed beyond her imagination and lives in Texas with her wonderful husband, son, and their ornery lovable Papillion, Jacs.