Follow my journey toward publication. Laugh, cry, point and stare-- it's all good. I'll leave a trail so that you, my fellow author, may have a straighter path to finding your own elusive publishing contract. Adventure awaits. Let's travel together...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Social Media Monday: Jessica Patch

Today we are spending time getting to know my virtual bff Jessica Patch. Jessica is one of my primary crit partners, my IM buddy throughout the day, and my familiar face at the WFTS conference in February.

Jessica, tell everyone a little bit about you.
When I’m not crashing into police cruisers, getting stuck on my fridge, or sneaking off to movies with my hubby, I’m curled up in a chair or at my writing desk, spending time with the voices inside my head.

I live in the midsouth, where BBQ and the Blues are a way of life not something you eat or listen to, but I grew up in Southern Illinois then attended Central Bible College as a Missions major.

I love my church where I’ve served as a Biblical Studies teacher, Women’s Ministry leader, and volunteer co-pastor with my husband of the Young Adult Ministry.

I also enjoy embarrassing my tween by wearing my PJ’s and conveniently forgetting to brush my hair, when taking her to school and play-sword fighting with my six year old son. Take no prisoners!

I wear PJ's to drop off the kids too! So, what do you write?
I write romantic suspense and some contemporary romance with suspenseful elements! Yes, there is a difference!

What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on the second draft of Reconcilable Differences, about a woman who dreads going back home for fear buried secrets might surface if she has to confront her old flame, and in a small town, there’s no hiding.

Can't wait to see what happens in that one. Tell everyone how we met.
Michelle and I met online, when I was browsing the phrase--“Beauty for Ashes.” I checked out her blog and saw that we had entered the same contest, so I facebooked her. We’ve been online buddies since and crit partners! We had the chance to meet and hang out for a few days at the Writing for the Soul Conference!

Any interesting stories or anecdotes about the two of us?
On Sunday morning of the conference, I get a text at 6 am from Michelle. It says: “Are you ready?” I’ve been up anyway so no biggie, but I laugh because I realize this is the second time she’s misread her schedule. I text her back: “For what?” She says, “For devotions.” I crack up, “We don’t have to be anywhere until 8 am today.” A few minutes later she texts back, “I could have slept another hour!” It was hilarious. That’s just one story! We had a ball!

LOL, I just had to ask! As you can see from my eyes in the photo, I was tired! Yes, we did  have a ball.  I hope we get to do it again at the next conference. So, what's the most exciting thing that has happened this year, relating to your writing?
I was a finalist at the Clash of the Titles. It was a great experience and it was nice knowing that readers enjoyed and voted for my excerpt. I also had an opportunity to go to the WFTC and develop new relationships because of my writing.

It was fun having you on COTT! How has social media affected your writing relationships and/or marketing strategy?
If it wasn’t for social media, I would have never met some of the incredible writers that I have. Michelle for one! The friends I’ve made have helped me grow as a writer, encouraged me when I needed it, and given me great feedback. Before I began blogging or reading blogs, I knew no one personally who wrote. I wouldn’t be this far without them.

I don’t have a marketing strategy, but I will say that the relationships I’ve built have opened doors in the industry that weren’t there before. I’ve been given great advice by a client of an agent I wanted to query. She looked over my material when she was already busy and stretched thin but we’ve become friends through social media. I’m grateful for that. I’m one of the finalist judges for the Grace awards in the romance/historical romance category. If it hadn’t been for a relationship I’ve built with an author, I might never have heard about it. Next month, I’ll be interviewed on a Romance Writers on the Journey, which I’m very excited about. All because of relationships I’ve cultivated with other writers and authors. God has blessed me with the friendships and opportunities.

What advice would you give to other aspiring authors?
Be patient. This isn’t a fast industry to break out in. Trust Him to get you where you need to be when it’s His time. Put Him first always. Spend time with Him before you settle in to write. No matter what, He’s your greatest reward—not a publishing contract or a movie deal. Keep that in perspective and He’ll carry you where you need to be and bless you!

Great advice! Can you share a snippet from your latest project?
Claudia Bennett’s has good reasons not to go back home to West Creek after thirteen years but when her mother becomes ill, she has no choice.

Drew Jamison is determined to find out the truth behind Claudia’s quiet exit from their hometown, and him, but when he thinks he might get answers, a body surfaces in a remote field and his investigative reporter begins sniffing out Claudia as the prime suspect and uncovering deadly secrets.

OOOH, creepy! I'm glad I get to read it early as your crit partner! =) Thank you so much for visiting my blog today, Jess. 

Readers, you can connect with Jessica on twitter @Jessicarpatch and on facebook
And follow her really great blog! http://www.jessicarpatch.blogspot.com/


Terri Tiffany said...

Wonderful Interview! I love getting to know my blogging friends and Jessica you sound even more fun!!

Living by Grace said...

I can't believe the two of you first met on line...you seemed to be buddies forever! I enjoyed the time we spent together at WFTS, and I hope to talk a little more online with you before then! You both have a great style of writing and a wonderful sense of humor!

Jessica R. Patch said...

I do love to have fun, Terri! :)
Jeri, Michelle is easy to get to know!
Michelle, I forgot about that pic we did at our first lunch--where you finished off my sweet potato fries (you know that's a bond when you can eat each other's food the first time you meet! ha!) Thanks for having me stop by!

Michelle Massaro said...

LOL. It was still on my phone. Yes, we also saw Terri Burns and felt all nervous to introduce ourselves, like he was a movie start or something, lol. And those sweet potato fries were GOOOOD! :D

Jerri, I so enjoyed getting to know you too. Please do keep in touch around here!

Terri, I hope to meet you one day at a conference too!

Thank you guys for welcoming Jessica and warming my cyber-home with your presence. :D

Donna said...

Jessica, you're a hoot and such a privilege to know. Thanks, Michelle, for letting us get to know her even better!

leelee said...

I will have to say that Jess is indeed a blast and I am so blessed to have her as one of my besties!!!!! She is super smart and I feel smart just by association. I am always motivated to read anything she writes so therefore I had to stop by!

Michelle Massaro said...

Donna, thank you!

Leelee, I think Jess is the type of friend that everyone wants to be BFFs with, lol. Thank you for stopping by--I hope to see you again. =)

Jessica R. Patch said...

Donna: Smooches and thanks!
Leelee! I was so thrilled to see you pop in! Lee was my muse for my most favorite female characters of all time!!!! Muah, ya ragin cajun!

Michelle: You're making me blush! :)This has been fun, thanks!

thefearlist said...

Sorry I'm only just now getting to this, Jessica! You're so funny and I'm glad I got to meet you. Your book snippet sounds really good!