Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Patricia Sargeant

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Title: You Belong to Me

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Romance

 Synopsis: Science fiction author Nicole Collins is delighted when she learns her first book will be made into a movie by Celestial Productions—until she finds out who owns the company: Malcolm Bryant, her ex-husband. Nicole still loves him, but she fears Malcolm is the same man who crumbles in the face of adversity. And then there are those threatening letters…

Somewhere out there is a deranged fan, one who has adopted Nicole’s characters as his own family—and he’s not about to see his loved ones distorted by the camera lens. Nicole’s life is in danger. With a killer closing in, the only person who may be able to save Nicole is Malcolm—the man she so desperately hopes will finally make a stand.

This romantic suspense novel was originally released in 2006.

Patricia Sargeant, Author

CH: Today’s Celebrity Guest Author is Patricia Sargent. Patricia writes romance to die for. Welcome to my blog, Patricia.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

PS: Oooh, that’s a tough one. You’ve taken off the gloves with your first question. OK. Here it goes: You Belong to Me is a romantic suspense that reunites a divorced couple, looking for their second chance at love. Twenty words on the nose. Bam!

CH: This book was your debut novel and won several awards in 2006. Are you re-issuing the book? If so, why now?

PS: There are several reasons I wanted to reissue You Belong to Me as an eBook. The most pressing reason is that You Belong to Me was always supposed to have a sequel for Omar and Joyce. Even though my publisher didn’t want that story, I’ve always wanted to tell it. But it’s been more than 10 years, so I thought I’d reissue You Belong to Me, then finally write We Belong Together, Omar and Joyce’s story. I hope to release their story in 2018.

CH: Sounds like a great reason to re-release the book. So, where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

PS: My stories come to me in different ways depending on the genre. With contemporary romances, I start with a protagonist’s inner demon. Character A has an identity crisis or Character B has trust issues. Since I’ve got a lot of issues myself, I can do this all day. Ha! With romantic suspense, I start with the villain’s goal. Villain A wants your job. Villain B wants your guy. Great fun!

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

PS: I think the stories that stick with us the longest are the ones with situations that we can relate to. “Oh, yeah! I can totally see that happening!” Or, “Oh, yeah! That’s actually happened to me!” But to keep turning the page, I need something that embellishes on those situations; something that adds that extra, “Oh, no they didn’t!!!” to the story, but still keeps it believable.

CH: Which book is your latest release? Can you give us a brief synopsis?

 PS: Thank you so much for asking, Cheryl. My most recent release is my re-release of You Belong to Me. It’s available in eBook format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. I’m hoping to upload it to iTunes the week of March 13. You Belong to Me is a romantic suspense that reunites Nicole Collins, a popular sci-fi author, with her ex-husband, Malcolm Bryant, a movie producer. Malcolm has bought the film rights to the first book in Nicole’s best-selling series. However, a deranged fan will do whatever it takes to prevent the book from becoming a movie, even if he has to kill the author.

In June, I plan to release in eBook format the next story in my Brooklyn Monarchs series. Game Plan brings back the fictitious professional basketball team that I introduced in Fast Break, Smooth Play and Keeping Score. Game Plan is two romances. We advance Serge and Constance’s relationship, and we start a romance for Anthony “St. Anthony” Chambers and Faith Wilcox. This is another story that my publisher didn’t want but that I wanted to share.

CH: You seem to be revamping your writing. Can you tell us a little about it?

PS: Oh, Cheryl, honey, I’m calling it taking back my power. Like Patti LaBelle said, ‘I’ve got a new attitude.’ When I first dreamed of becoming a published author, I wanted to tell my stories. However, New York had a different vision for my career. And that was fine at the time. I love the characters I created. I don’t regret any of them. But I still wanted to tell my stories. I’ve got a lot of stories to tell. Then I saw so many of my associates independently publishing their stories. I thought, ‘Well, maybe I could put on my Big Girl Pants and give it a try.’ Oh, Cheryl! Patricia Sargeant’s back, baby! And I’m so excited. As I mentioned, I’m writing the sequel to You Belong to Me. I’ve brought back my Brooklyn Monarchs basketball romances. Next, I’m going to publish my Fire trilogy, starting with On Fire. And then—wait for it—I’m going to publish my sci-fi/fantasy trilogy. It takes place on four different planets in a galaxy far, far away. Bam!

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your romance writing style?

PS: With my romantic suspense, I like to put ordinary people in extraordinary situations and have them find the courage that they didn’t even think they had. With my contemporary romances, I put my characters in the position of having to face their demons head on and vanquish them. If he’s afraid to trust someone, I’m going to put him in a corner where he has no choice. If she doesn’t want to forgive someone, I’m going to make her realize that the person she’s hurting the most by withholding forgiveness is herself. I hope my stories give readers encouragement or inspiration or at least, an enjoyable few hours.

CH: In all of your books, who was your favorite character to write? Why? Who was the hardest character to write? Why?

PS: Quite candidly, Cheryl, I loved all of my characters for one reason or another, even the villains. I’ve written 20 stories, 16 have been published to date, and I’ve loved every single one of them. I think that’s a requirement. Before I share a story, I have to know that I love it enough to spend the $3.99, $4.99 or $7.99 that I’m asking readers to spend on it, otherwise why did I write that story? What’s the point? Life is too short to write a story that you don’t want to write, much less read.

CH: Is there a message in your novels that you want the readers to grasp?

PS: Oh, yes. All of my stories have messages for myself and my readers. ‘Family’s really important.’ ‘Love is the most powerful healing medicine.’ I use those messages to help plot the stories.

CH: How long does it take you to write one of your books?

PS: Oh, now are we really going to go there? I must be the slowest writer on the planet. When I’m working full-time, it takes me about…OK, nine months from concept to final revision to complete a full-length novel. So sad, but so true.

CH: A lot of authors write under pen names. What pen name do you use? Will you continue to write under that pen name?

PS: Now, that’s an excellent question for the transition I’m going through right now. Currently, I write romantic suspense as Patricia Sargeant, contemporary romance as Regina Hart, and cozy mysteries as Olivia Matthews. I know. Oh, my goodness. However, I’m spending 2017 bidding a fond farewell to Regina Hart—the name—not the contemporary romances. As Patricia Sargeant, I’m going to write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, sci-fi/fantasy, paranormal romance and time travel. These will be independently published eBooks. For my New York publisher, I’m going to write cozy mysteries as Olivia Matthews. Let’s face it; three names is a bit much. Yeesh.

CH: You’ve been writing for over ten years. Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

PS: I’d love to share an experience that was tremendously important to me. I’d been trying to get published for about 13 years at the time, I got a promotion at my old day job and I was feeling overwhelmed. These were two, three, four diet Mountain Dew days. I’m talking hard core. My brother called one weekend just to chat and I told him that I was going to give up my dream of becoming a published author. Between the added responsibilities of my promotion, my writing and life, something had to give. I still remember what he told me, ‘Don’t give up your dream. Don’t ever give up your dream. Even if you just write a page a day, don’t give up your dream.’ And he was right. If you have a dream, don’t allow other people or circumstances take it away from you. Find a way to continue your journey until you achieve your dream.

CH: Can you tell my audience about some of your series and how they came about?

PS: I’d love to. Thank you. My Brooklyn Monarchs series came about when my editor asked me to switch to contemporary romances. I love football and basketball. At the time, I knew of a couple of romances featuring football players, but I wasn’t aware of many with basketball players. That’s how my Monarchs were born.

I created my Finding Home series when my editor told me she didn’t want anymore basketball books. She wanted me to write small town contemporary romances. I turned to my husband and said, ‘Now, how is a woman who grew up in Brooklyn, New York, going to convincingly write a small town romance?’ Can we say, ‘panic’? Then I remembered that the neighborhood I grew up in was like a small town. You had the neighbor who spied on everyone. You had beefs between the neighbors up the block and neighbors at the end of the block. You had the star-crossed romance between the boy from up the block and the girl from the end of the block. I just expanded on that, added a waterfall and created Trinity Falls, Ohio.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of your books?

PS: I’ve received some wonderfully supportive and encouraging feedback from readers. Readers are amazing. They seem to know just when you need a pat on the back or a kick in the butt to get the next story going. I’m tremendously grateful to all of my readers and especially the ones who’ve taken the time and gone to the trouble to be so encouraging.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

PS: Thank you so much for asking, Cheryl. I’m really excited about my 2017 schedule and my 2018 releases. As I mentioned, next up is Game Plan: A Brooklyn Monarchs novella and book 4 in the Monarchs series. It will be an original eBook. In September, I hope to re-release On Fire in eBook format prior to continuing my Fire trilogy. In December, my first Olivia Matthews Sister Lou Mystery will debut. The title is Mayhem and Mass. Sister Lou is a Catholic sister who’s an amateur sleuth. I’m really excited about this trilogy because I’m returning to my mystery/suspense roots. There’s a little bit of romance—a teeny bit—between Sister Lou’s nephew and a sassy, cynical newspaper reporter. Ha! Love it.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

PS: Of course. Thank you so much. it’s www.PatriciaSargeant.com. From this URL, you can get to my Regina Hart website, at least until the end of 2017, and to my AuthorOliviaMatthews.com website, once it’s launched.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

PS: My print books are in bookstores. The print and eBooks also are on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Kobo.com.

CH: How to Find Patricia Sargeant:

CH: Any closing remarks?

PS: Cheryl, thank you so much for this opportunity. I really appreciate your welcome. And to my readers, thank you so very much for helping me keep my storytelling dreams alive. Love you so much!

CH: Thank you so much, Patricia Sargeant for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your books with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet,Patricia Sargeant and Cheryl Holloway.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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