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Thursday, November 12, 2009

In the Moonlight with Pat Bertram, Author of Daughter Am I

Grateful to be an Author

by Pat Bertram

It seems a bit paltry to have a single holiday to give thanks when I have so much for which to be grateful. I am grateful for my online friends and for my fans. (Odd to think I actually have fans!) I am grateful for the readers of my blog, who never fail to offer support and suggestions. I am especially grateful for my publisher, who understands my books better than I do. But I am most grateful for being the author of my novels rather than being a character in them.

It’s an author’s responsibility to put her characters through as many traumas as possible. Readers want to worry about characters, they want to see how characters act when faced with horrendous conditions and dilemmas, and they want the characters to go bravely where they themselves would never go. As an author, I might give readers what they want, but frankly, I would never choose to be in any of the situations my characters encounter. And, although I am trying to be bold and brave in my own life, I will never be as bold as my characters. Nor do I want to be.

When Mary Stuart, the hero of Daughter Am I discovers she inherited a farm from recently murdered grandparents she never knew she had, she becomes so obsessed with finding out who they were, why someone wanted them dead, and why her father claimed they had died before she was born, that she ends up driving halfway across the country with strangers. That these strangers are all in their eighties might have put her at ease, but when she finds out about their less than lawful pasts, it still doesn’t deter her from her goal. In fact, she heads for Leavenworth, hoping to talk to Iron Sam AKA Butcher Boy AKA Samuel Bornstein, a hit man for the mob who might have known her grandfather.

Um, yeah. Like that’s something I would do! I am grateful that I have never had to deal with such a situation. When Mary discovers that one of the aged crooks is carrying an illegal weapon, she confiscates it and tucks it in her purse. Forgetting for the moment that I don’t carry a purse, having a gun tucked away in a handbag where it might accidentally go off is not high on my list of priorities. (Though I would be interested in firing a gun just once to see how it would feel. Strictly for research purposes, you understand.)

Sneaking onto the property of a connected guy to dig for stolen gold . . . hmmm. Perhaps I might do that, but I’m grateful I don’t know of any such treasure in real life that would put me to the test.

And that’s just one of my books. When I consider all of them, my gratitude is unending. I am grateful I never had to twice attend my mother’s funeral as poor Bob Stark did in More Deaths Than One. I’m grateful I have not yet had to deal with an epidemic so severe that the entire state of Colorado needs to be quarantined as described in A Spark of Heavenly Fire. I am grateful that I am not being held captive in an underground installation run by a quasi-government agency as are my heroes in Light Bringer, which will be released in the spring of 2010.

I am also grateful to Margay Leah Justice for inviting me to be a guest here on Moonlight, Lace, and Mayhem.

So, what are you grateful for!

Pat, thank you so much for the shout out. It is my pleasure to have you here on our blog today!

Pat Bertram is a native of Colorado and a lifelong resident. When the traditional publishers stopped publishing her favorite type of book — character and story driven novels that can’t easily be slotted into a genre — she decided to write her own. Daughter Am I is Bertram’s third novel to be published by Second Wind Publishing, LLC. Also available are More Deaths Than One and A Spark of Heavenly Fire.

13 Moonbeams (comments):

Unknown said...

Hi :)
Thank you for the great post Pat.
I really enjoyed reading about the characters.
Love & Best Wishes,

Anonymous said...

Hi, RK. Thank you for stopping by. I enjoyed writing about these characters. They are so different than the ones I normally create.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sheila Deeth said...

So Pat, when does the book of your blog tour articles come out? These are always such a treat to read. Thanks, again.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I like the way you look at it, and you're right. It's WAY better to be the one pulling the strings. Especially when you look at everything I put poor Mitchell through...

Oh, yeah. I posted this at Win a Book for ya.

L. V. Gaudet said...

Great post Pat.

I think we should all be greatful we don't have to put ourselves through the tests we put our characters through. We might just find ourselves falling short in a way our characters never would. And it would probably hurt.

David Ebright said...

Thought provoking. I have a very intense daytime career. Writing is a release & a time-consuming passion. My wife is extremely supportive, in fact, she pushes me when she notices I've let up. So I'm greatful for her support & encouragement - without it, the dream woulda faded with my 1st draft. Guess I veered off track a bit. My Bad.

Good post (again) Pat.

David Ebright said...

Just took a stroll around the joint. This is a very cool place... think I'll hafta visit again... soon.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful that you all stopped by!

Susan, It's been fun having you follow me all over the place. I'll miss Win a Book when the tour is over.

Sheila, Hmmmm. A blog tour book. Sounds interesting. For now, all the articles are listed on a separate page on my blog. But it's something to think about.

L.V., I know I would fall short. And fall. For sure, it would be painful!

JaxPop, there is no bad. Nor is there a track to veer off. It was a wonderful thought. It's great you had someone to help you keep the dream alive.

Gracen Miller said...

Hi, Pat! Thanks so much for joining us today. It is a pleasure to have you here.

And I agree, I would never, ever want to live the lives of my characters. The things my characters see and do would have me huddled in the corner, squeezing my eyes shut, praying none of it was real. LOL

Again, a pleasure to have you with us today.

Gracen Miller

Gracen Miller said...

I almost forgot to answer your question...what I'm grateful for:

My family...A woman couldn't ask for a better set of men, a husband and two sons. They are a blessing each and every day.

I am thankful that I was given the gift of writing...or at least the imagination to write. Whether I'm any good at it is a matter of opinion, of course. LOL

I'm thankful for my health, my friends, my online friends, Margay, Carrie, my publisher and so much more I can't begin to list them all.


Margay Leah Justice said...

Pat, thank you so much for your wonderful post. You've given us lots of food for thought as we take stock of what we are grateful for.

Anonymous said...

Gracen, it's amazing at times we can even write the traumas our characters go through! Yikes.

Margay, thank you for having me. It was a joy.

Margay Leah Justice said...

Pat, it was wonderful having you here! Thanks for joining us.