Tell us a little bit about your background.
I’m a retired elementary music teacher and classroom teacher. Now I teach future teachers at Grand Valley State University and take care of my grandkids from time to time. I have five kids, nine grandkids (so far) and one great-granddaughter. My husband and I live in southwest Michigan.
Now tell us how you got into writing.
I think I started writing after reading a book that had so many errors I knew I could do better. I found a local chapter of RWA and started working on several different story ideas, but it was until I retired from full time teaching that I started writing with a goal toward getting published.
Was getting published hard?
It was a lot of work getting that first book finished, but getting it published was surprisingly quick and easy – I think it was a combination of a lot of things, including good luck. A fellow member of my writing group had an ebook published through Astraea Press, and when they put out a call for novellas to benefit victims of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster in Japan, I knew I had to try. My paternal grandfather came to American from Sendai, the area hit by the earthquake. Fortunately, the novella I came up with The Legacy, was accepted at Astraea Press and I’ve enjoyed my association with them.
Give us a summary on Searching for Lady Luck
Searching for Lady Luck is a historical novella set on the Boardwalk in Wildwood, New Jersey during the Depression Era. It was inspired by a trip my daughters and I took during the summer of 2005. Family friends invited us to spend a week at a cute little house only a few blocks from the Boardwalk – it was the most restful vacation I’ve ever had!
Where do you get your ideas?
I like to start with the central conflict, and then create the characters who have to deal with it. For example, I wanted to write a story set in Wildwood, but in order to write it I had to start with a problem. Since Wildwood has always been a vacation area, its residents suffered greatly when tourism declined during the 1930s. That idea inspired two characters who had been affected in different ways by the stock market crash, and I came up with Charlie, an artist, and Rose, a former socialite.
How long does it take you to write a novel?
It varies. My first full-length novel took over seven years to write. Since then, I’ve learned a lot, but it still takes four to six months for me to get the story the way I like it.
What do you enjoy doing outside of writing?
I have many hobbies – sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, and general crafts.
Do you find certain times of the day or certain things inspire you to write?
I write whenever I have time. Since retiring, my schedule has filled up with lots of other things, all happening at various times of the day, so I write whenever I can. As for inspiration, I think ideas come from reading the news, listening to friends’ conversation, and generally being observant.
What advice would you give to a new writer wishing to make it in the publishing world?
Keep writing. Keep learning – there are writing groups all over, many of them online. There is a ton of great advice out there. Have at least two or three other people read your work - not friends and relatives who are going to love anything you write, but people who will be honest about what your book needs.
We'd love to hear a few quirky facts about you...things that don't normally come up in an interview!
I always read the beginning of a book, then the end, and then the middle. I write them pretty much the same way.
When I eat a meal, I usually have to portion each item on my plate so that I run out of everything at the same time.
In college, I worked as a music librarian. I also typed papers in exchange for food.
Blurb for Searching for Lady Luck:
Only seven years have passed since Rose Sheffield was a carefree college student, though it seems like a lifetime ago. Her father’s position at a major bank provided her with luxuries she took for granted. Now she works at menial jobs to support herself and her mother, and they live in what used to be their vacation home in Wildwood, New Jersey. Rose’s days are pure drudgery, until she meets Charlie. As luck would have it, she just happens to have the perfect place to display his artwork.
Before the Great Stock market crash of 1929, Charlie Brannigan was hailed as an up and coming artist in Manhattan. But now he’s back at his family home in Wildwood, delivering newspapers in the mornings and selling his paintings on the Boardwalk in the afternoons. He needs some luck in his life, and it seems every time a pretty lady named Rose appears, good things happen.
Searching for Lady Luck can be purchased at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords,
and other ebook outlets.
Patricia Kiyono can be found at her website, and on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
When I discovered this novella was a historical romance, I was skeptical. Historical books are not usually my style. Partly because it's hard to do it well and partly just because of my tastes. When I began reading this novella, I wasn't sure I was going to like it just because of that. But it has a lovely cover. I know, I know, don't judge a book by its cover, right? :)
Anyway, the novella is fast paced because it's short so the story had to clip along. I found that it didn't take me long to get into the story and enjoy the characters. They were going through a hard time due to the economy after the depression and they really found a way to pull together and help each other along.
The book didn't give me a history lesson, but I still get the feel of a different era, which I liked. The author did the whole historical romance thing really well and I found myself shaking my head at my pre-reading judgments. I was pleasantly surprised that not only did I enjoy the historical romance, but I also was interested in reading others! Especially by this particular author. She writes beautifully and the storyline and characters were very vivid.
A very sweet, fast read that doesn't take up much time, but is well worth the time spent.