Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Writing Process

The gorgeous, new bride, Rhonda Mason, a fellow member of Southwest Florida Romance Writers, invited me to participate in this blog tour. Check out her answers to these 4 questions at


My answers to the 4 questions:

1. What am I working on?

I’m just finishing the last round of edits on the second book in my Marine series with my critique partners, Sonja Gunter, Molly Jebber, and DJ Welker. The title is Always a Marine. It’s the story of a wounded warrior, and single dad’s, struggle to raise his daughter and run a successful construction company. It follows Once a Marine, published last year. I’ve also started book three, titled Love a Marine.

Even though I now reside in Florida, all my novels are based in California, where I was born and lived most of my life with detours in Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming before I landed in southwest Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico. No, I’m not running from the cops!


 2. How does my work differ from others in the genre?

I’m a voracious reader and I read a lot in the genre, non-fiction, and outside the genre. I can only compare my Marines with those military romance novels I’ve actually read. Inspired by my family history, going back the original Marine ancestor, Lt. Presley Neville O’Bannon. I wrote my first modern Marine novel.

O’Bannon’s the United States Marine, who with the exploits of his small band of intrepid warriors, inspired the lyric “To the shores of Tripoli,” when our nation was in its infancy. The USS O’Bannon was commissioned a few short years ago. That sword you see Marines holding so proudly is a replica of the one awarded to Lt. O’Bannon in the early nineteenth century

So, I have a personal reason to love and write about these heroes. Believe it or not, my dog groomer is a tough retired Marine, who’s brave enough to love toy dogs usually associated with girls and women. Knowing Vic also spurred my interest.

3. Why do I write what I do?

I started out writing straight contemporary romance. I had no single thread that linked my stories. All were stand-alone novels. Frankly, I was told by an agent who I hope will represent my work that in the reality of today’s publishing, I needed to pick a specific sub-genre and stick to it. I had already written and published Once a Marine, and had planned another military hero romance.

As you can see from my website: - that’s my direction now. I decided to take the stories in a slightly different direction and make my heroes retired and/or Wounded Warriors, for the sad reason we have so many today from Afghanistan and Iraq. Of my current heroes, one has a physical wound and one struggles with PTSD. In spite of their challenges they are real men in every sense, and the women they love will testify to that.

4. How does my individual writing process work?

Oh, boy. That’s a hard one, but I’ll give it a shot. A character usually comes to me, either male or female. The more I think about that person, the more real they are to me. In the yet to be published book I just finished, Always a Marine, I discovered Marla Danaher first and had to find the perfect man for her strong bossy personality in the most unlikely place. A man she never would have chosen. I discovered him in the form of Dwayne Dempsey, my physically wounded warrior, an intimidating Alpha Male.

Then next I set about writing a short biography of each main character. What they want, what motivates them, what weaknesses and strengths they exhibit. After that I think about other characters peripheral to the story. Also, I like to include a child and a dog in every story to make them more down-to-earth, more faced with everyday problems real people have every day. Not that my characters aren’t real. To me they live and breathe.

Then the work begins. I try to come up with my edited first draft in six months. Whew!


Now check out the talented writer, Joanne Tailele, on her Writing Under Fire blog at



Joanne Tailele wrote her first short story at the tender age of ten. But – life got in the way and she didn’t begin to write commercially until 2010, fifty years later. She has self-published two women’s fiction books and is working on the final edits to book three.


  1. having read Once a Marine, I know you have nailed what it means to be a hero--fictional and otherwise. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

  2. Thanks, Jean. Can't get these guys out of my head.

  3. Nice blog, Patty! I noticed you are writing both book 2 and book 3 at the same time. How can you do that? I couldn't-I'm jealous!
    Keira Montclair

  4. Great post, Patty :) I *love* that you're writing about wounded warriors, what a great set of heroes!

    Thanks for sharing your writing process, it sounds different from mine, which is always neat to see.

    Best of luck!

  5. Thanks so much for sharing!

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