Patricia Johns writes from Alberta, Canada where the winters are long and cold--a perfect recipe for writing! She lives with one husband, one child, and two birds. She writes for both Harlequin Love Inspired and Harlequin American Romance.
Patricia, how did you become interested in writing typical American settings when you're Canadian?
When I was growing up, I spent several years in the US while my father was doing some schooling, so I have fond memories of pledging allegiance to the flag, singing The Star Spangled Banner and pretty much experiencing a typical American childhood. Because of those "American years," I have a really fond spot on my heart for the United States.
You started writing for the Love Inspired line, but I heard that you recently signed a contract with Harlequin's American line, too. What drew you to the American line?
First of all, I liked the emphasis on heart and home that the American line has. My romances are sweet, and there is nothing in them that would offend a Christian audience, even though in the American line faith isn't referenced. Add to that the warm fuzzies from my "American years" in my upbringing, and you've got a winner combination!
What part do you enjoy most about writing? What part do you dread?
I love the first draft stage, because during the first draft I feel like a superstar. I can't believe the brilliance that flows from my fingers onto the page. The part I dread is the editing, because my brilliance gets torn apart and I feel significantly less like a superstar. LOL! Humility is painful!
Tell us about the defining moment when you thought you'd made it as a writer.
I keep on having them, actually. My first one was when I had my first novel accepted. After that, it was when I got my first Harlequin novel accepted. And now, I'm feeling pretty stoked about being able to write for two different Harlequin lines. I don't think you ever really "arrive" as a novelist. You just keep going. They say that writers don't retire, they die. I really believe that!
Tell us about your book.
When the baby he rescued seven years ago returns---with his widowed adoptive mom---Deputy Fire Chief Matt Bailey can't turn them away. Desperate to escape the reminders of his failure in the line of duty, Matt is close to leaving town. But one look at Rachel Carter and her son, Christopher, has him second-guessing his plans. Rachel is a mom in need of a hero for her son. But as much as she wants the two to bond, she's determined to keep her distance from Matt. After losing her husband on the job, she promised never to love another fireman. Yet somehow she finds herself drawn to the one man she should avoid.
How did you come up with the story?
I actually saw a news story about a firefighter who got to meet a grown woman who he'd rescued as an infant. It was just a really sweet story, and the wheels started spinning. My story is a bit different from the one the inspired it, but that was the seed. Gotta love feel good Yahoo News stories!
LOL, Oh, yes, my last firefighter story came from a youtube video, firefighter rescuing a woman's cat. ~grin~ What do you do to refuel on creativity during the writing process?
I take a break, lay on my couch and watch mindless television. It sounds horribly counter intuitive, but it lets my brain just swim for a while, and it works like a charm. Don't judge. ;)
Never. What advice would you offer an aspiring writer?
I'd say keep writing and keep submitting. You never know how good you are until you get an acceptance! And don't feel bad about rejections. If you aren't getting rejected, you aren't doing this right.
That's hilarious. Patricia, thank you so much for joining us here today. I wish you all the best with your new release and your upcoming contracts.
If you'd like to learn more about Patricia, you can connect with her here: