Thursday, April 22, 2010
I have not had the opportunity to meet Pat Brown in person, though we are on several lists together. This is my chance, and yours, to learn more about her.
Marilyn: When did you first begin writing?
Pat: I was in grade school. I wrote my first book when I was 17. You can imagine how good that must have been. Let's just say no one besides me ever saw the thing. I first started writing seriously in the 80s, but then I wrote Science Fiction. Never had anything published. It wasn't until I switched to mysteries that I sold my first book. It was actually the first mystery I'd written.
Marilyn: Tell me about yourself.
Pat: I'm a Canadian who hates winter. I'd much rather live someplace warm. That's probably why I moved to L.A. in 78 when I was 22. I didn't care that I didn't know anybody there, it was warm and I wanted to write scripts so it seemed only logical. I did write scripts, though I never sold anything in Hollywood. I came back and kept writing SF, until the late 90s when I switched to mysteries, mostly because that's all I read at the time. More logic, right? You can probably tell Mr. Spock was my favorite Star Trek character. LOL. I did write a few erotic short stories that sold in the 90s. Then I wrote what would become L.A. Heat. It got me an agent, who sold it to Alyson Books.
Marilyn: Did you always aspire to be a writer?
Pat: Yes. Though I was told very early it was a lousy career choice and a waste of time. Even my family insisted it was a phase. It just happened to be a phase that lasted 4 decades... But they never really took me seriously until the first book sold.
Marilyn: What was your big break?
Pat: Meeting Lyn Hamilton, who sadly, passed away just recently. She was the Writer in Residence in Toronto and I sent her L.A. Heat -- only then it was called Babylon Boneyard. She really liked it and gave me some good suggestions. When she became the Writer in Residence in Kitchener/Waterloo, I sent it back to her and this time she liked it so much she introduced me to 2 of Leona Trainer's authors she was appearing on a panel with -- Mary Jane Maffini and Barbara Fradkin. I met Leona and she ended up representing me. She sold the book to Alyson Books.
Marilyn: What was your most disappointing moment?
Pat: When Alyson rejected the second book in the series. It was a good year or more before I found another publisher who would take book two and wanted to reprint L.A. Heat. By that time I'd actually written two more books, L.A. Mischief and L.A. Boneyard, which were published as book 2 and 3 in the series. The one that would have been book 2, L.A. Bytes just came out as book 3.
Marilyn: What has been the most exciting thing to happen in your writing career?
Pat: The most exciting thing is something I can't talk about yet. Other than that, I think beyond being published for the first time, was getting my first rave review and hearing from total strangers who read one of my books and took the time to email me and tell me.
Marilyn: What's next?
Pat: At this moment I'm finishing up the first draft of a noir historical set in 1929 Los Angeles. It's a total departure for me. I've never written an historical before and it's also the first one I've written where the main characters aren't gay. I liken it to James Ellroy's noirish books set in L.A.
Marilyn: Anything else you'd like my blog readers to know?
Pat: I love what I do and I can't imagine doing anything else. I hope people keep reading my books and enjoying them because I plan to keep on writing them.
You can learn more about me at http://www.pabrown.ca
Or follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/pabrown
Or through Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PatABrown
Or I'll be at Bloody Words in Toronto from May 28-30th.
Marilyn: Thanks, Pat, for letting us get a bit of insight into your life. And please, when you can tell us the exciting thing! What a cliffhanger.